We last visited the Kasetsart University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Hua Hin on 5th October 2013, when HRH Princess Chulabhorn officially opened the facility. This was a grand occasion with representatives of all levels of government, practitioners and academics in the field of Veterinary Sciences in attendance; however the importance of the occasion left little room for us to ask questions or to explore what it’s all about. Royal patronage of the University was instrumental in this exceptional project becoming a reality.
Professor Doctor Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Princess Chulabhorn studied Chemistry and graduated in 1979 from the Faculty of Science at Kasetsart University, with a Bachelor of Science, First Class Honours. She continued to study Science at Mahidol University, where she received her Doctorate in 1985. Almost two years later we had the chance to spend some time with two of the resident veterinarians and understand why Kasetsart in one of the finest animal hospital facilities in the country providing world-class diagnostic and treatment services in small and large animal practices. This new campus is dedicated to international training in veterinary education in the ASEAN region.
Our two welcoming guides for the visit were Doctor Kanthapan Ubotrat (Khun Pa) and Doctor Athipot Jareonsuppaperch (Khun Sharp). The answer to our question about why they undertook the initial 6 year vetinary training and joined the other eleven small and two large veterinarians on staff should have been obvious. It’s basically all about the love of animals and yes, they’re both dog owners. Kasetsart Hospital provides public animal clinical services, including diagnosis and treatment, including complex surgical procedures. Veterinarian training focuses on post graduate qualifications and research.
The description of animal ailments bears a surprising similarity to human conditions including diabetes and those conditions needing chemotherapy. The common requirement of dog sterilisation is conducted with the services of the surgeon, the anaethisist and two additional attendants. There are seven examination rooms and three surgical areas. The standards are far from the ‘backyard’ operators (literally) or individual doctors with a more ‘hasty’ approach. There is also CT scanning, MRI and laser equipment to ensure that the patients are given the best attention available anywhere.
What’s coming? The focus of Kasetsart University is gradually changing. This will be a shift away from primary care and towards research and the ability to manage more complex treatment regimes. This is aimed to steadily move towards an ambitious goal of becoming the Veterinary Education Hub in Asia region. Alongside the current facilities and due to open in mid- 2016 is the under construction Princess Chulabhorn International Conference Centre. This will feature 4 star accommodation (140 rooms) and conference facilities. This will become the venue of international standard academic and research based conferences as well as events with a less academic focus. There will also be small animal accommodation for those who wish to either board their pets or enjoy a shared holiday. There will even be a dog swimming pool and training facilities. Our pooches will never have had it so good!
Kasetsart University Veterinary Teaching Hospital Hua Hin
Address: 9 Petchkasem Road, Nong Kae (next to Suan Son), Hua Hin
Phone: 032527605-8 Website: www.vthh.vet.ku.ac.th
Open Hours: Monday – Thursday : 8.30am – 4.30 pm,
Friday: 8.30am – 11.30am
Saturday, Sunday & public holidays:8.30am – 4.30pm
Open Every evening: 5pm – 8.00pm
Sterilisation for dogs cost 3,000 thb (males) and 3,500 thb (females). As a general guideline, rabies jabs cost 70 thb, combined injections (covering parvo, lepto and distemper), about 200 thb. Rabies shots should be given once a year and are a legal requirement. The combined vacinations are not necessary by law, but you are strongly advised to have them done. The diseases they protect against are common around Hua Hin and they can kill your pet very unpleasantly. Parasites are another big problem, particularly fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, lice and worms. These can be kept at bay using imported oral medicines (which are expensive), or by means of a cheaper 2 monthly jab from a vet. Sprays, powders, shampoos and tick collars are also good.