private practices. During those thirty years,
we built a sought-after clinic and established a firm foundation. I also worked
as the chairman of the Moravian-Silesian
Association for the Protection of Animals,
where I dealt with the issue of animal
Can you compare where the veterinary
profession stood at the start of your
career to now?
In those days, it was completely different
than now; there has been a massive rebirth.
We started with glass syringes and needles
that were boiled; today, everything is disposable. Our first X-ray was just a developer
and fixer in vats; today, thanks to digitization, we have a high-quality image available
in a few seconds. We used to know some
operations only from foreign literature
which today are common practice in our
country. We do things that are commonly
done in human medicine and are always a
few steps behind. These days, we have two
surgical rooms: one for orthopedic-, neurosurgical- and laparoscopic operations with
full equipment, including inhalation anesthesia with a vital signs monitor, including
air conditioning and a black-and-white system; and another for soft tissue and small
rodent operations. We have cardiology
specialization here, including USG examination, dermatology specialization, dental
specialization, X-ray with direct digitization,
a laboratory for biochemical, hematological examination of blood, including determination of hormone and blood clotting,
and more. I think that veterinary medicine
in the Czech Republic has progressed significantly and is comparable to the world.
What is being done in America or elsewhere in Europe is also being done here. We
don‘t have to be ashamed of anything.
Even in orthopedics, we perform the most
modern operations that are performed
everywhere else in the world.
What range of services do you offer your
With a little exaggeration, everything but
transplants. When a patient arrives, we
do all the internal examinations. Recently,
a lady with a cat came for a thyroid examination. We did an on-site examination
and found that the problem was not in the
thyroid gland but in the kidneys. Based on
that, we started treatment. We offer comprehensive care which includes modern
diagnostics; a whole panel of internal
examinations; top ultrasound and X-rays;
various endoscopic examinations; operations on both soft and hard tissues. We have
been accepting a lot of severe cancer patients lately. We specialize in orthopedics
and neurosurgery, which is my specialization, which I like to do. We provide dental
specialization, including tooth fillings for
dogs. I must also mention the cardiology
specialization—a person who has his dog
or cat examined for cardiology with us receives the entire cardiology protocol from
us, including the proposed treatment.
Do you also offer above-standard
services, which is why patients come
to you from all over the country?
We are a referred workplace; people come
to us for orthopedic, neurosurgical or laparoscopic operations, special dermatology.
Years ago, we were the first to have a neurosurgical operation in which we operated
on a cyst in the spine (syringomyelia). It was
in collaboration with one human medicine
department because magnetic resonance
imaging was needed. We took advantage
of the fact that a humane colleague had
experience from abroad and applied it to
a dog who would otherwise have died. We
successfully resolved the case together. Today, we perform other operations in conjunction with human medicine, whether
laparoscopic ovarian collection or stomach
suturing directly in the abdomen of large
breeds of dogs. We were perhaps the first
in the country to introduce a stent to a cat
so that it could urinate.
How many patients do you treat each
Many. On average, fifty to seventy per day.
There are four doctors and four assistants
here and there are really a lot of those
What is the most beautiful thing about
a veterinarian‘s job, and what is the dark
side of this profession?
It is best if you manage to save the health
and lives of animals. But not everything can
always be fixed. If I have a dog cancer patient who already has metastases everywhere, then it is difficult. And, as in human medicine, timeliness is paramount; then the
patient can still be saved. If that is no longer
possible and we have to put it down, that is
the dark side. Unfortunately, we also have
to perform this service. The advantage, however, is that we can save the animal a lot
of pain and suffering, which is not possible
You mentioned an animal aid foundation.
It is located in the area and is designed
for cats and dogs and other small
animals. On what initiative did you set
up the foundation?
The foundation was founded in 1994 and
provides a cat shelter for the city of Ostrava.
It has sixty places for cats and eight places
for dogs. We also take other animals, such
as found guinea pigs and rabbits, we’ve had
ferrets, turtles, wounded roe deer, snakes,
but most of them are cats. We have about
400, and about sixty dogs per year. One of
the founding members of the foundation is
the current mayor of Ostrava, Tomáš Macura. The foundation was established at a time
when there was only a small shelter for dogs
in Vítkovice. It was full; the capacity was not
enough, so we created our shelter. And today he has been here for twenty-six years.
What is the most exotic animal you have
come into contact with during your
When I was at the beginning of my practice, they brought a boa in for examination.
I imagined that three guys would bring a
five-metre-long snake. Eventually, they brought a box with a small nematode, which
also recovered during the trip. We also had
a cougar with a broken leg. And about three
or four years ago, a young lady bought a serval, which is a cat about the size of a lynx
with dangerous teeth and claws. We‘ve
done three surgeries already, because he’s
always eating toys and stuffing his intestines.
When the young lady came to us, she was
desperate because the serval had an injured
leg and was refused treatment in three surgeries. So we induced sleep, took an X-ray,
found a broken leg, put on a fixation bandage, the fracture fused and it was okay. In
the meantime, the serval has grown up, weighs about twenty-five kilograms and we are
glad that the young lady sends us a picture
of how they are doing once in a while.
Since this is a physically and emotionally
demanding job, how do you recharge your
My energy is my children. In addition, we
have two dogs and a cat. We go to the
Beskid Mountains for a cottage; sometimes
we go cycling, skiing, and we like to travel.
But most of all, I‘m being recharged by our
patients. You simply have to love veterinary
medicine, have responsibility and make sacrifices for this job a lot of time. If you do
not have a relationship with it, you are not
able to sacrifice a lot of time and study new
research, after a few years you will leave our
field. And we also have decent and kind clients, which we really appreciate.
Thank you for the interview.
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