I am a veterinarian! What’s your superpower?
Dr Atul Patil
Meet Dr Atul Patil, a leading veterinarian from Mumbai. Know more about his journey of being a vet, how he believes that the pet industry and diagnostics are evolving, and how he and his team worked through Covid lockdown and overcame all the challenges. – by Dr Atul Patil
I graduated from Mumbai Veterinary College, Parel. During my childhood, I spent a lot of time with animals in rural and urban areas. I saw a lot of them suffering due to an injury or disease but was unable to help them that time. I wanted to do something for them and that’s the reason I chose this profession.
I have two clinics, one in Colaba and the other one in Parel. We have a multispecialty clinic at Parel where we have a functional operation theatre, recovery room, and a 24/7 in-house care facility for dogs and cats. We offer diagnostic services such as Radiography,electrocardiography, and pathology. We are the only clinic in India which offers the unique service of Breed Specific Consultation and Genetic Testing in pets. We have a dedicated team of veterinarians handling cases everyday which includes Dr Nitin Lavate, Dr Neha Mumbarkar and Dr Abhishek Gawhane.
Facing challenges and overcoming obstacles
Eventful, is how I would describe my journey as a veterinarian. I have worked with animal welfare NGOs, provided veterinary care rural areas, especially during the time of heavy floods in Sangli and Kolhapur (both in Maharashtra). I conduct breed specific consultations at a few clinics in Mumbai. I have received a great response and have built good relationships with a lot of pets. Pets, especially the younger ones have a habit of swallowing a lot of foreign objects so we get a lot of cases of gastrointestinal disturbances. Along with that, disorders of liver, kidney and hemoprotozooan infections are pretty common. We always advocate regularly vaccinating your pets because it prevents the occurrence of many diseases which could be life threatening. We believe that prevention is always better than cure.
Bringing small changes for a greater good
I can speak for all my fellow veterinarians when I say that every day is a new challenge. We come across many cases of acute and chronic illnesses on a daily basis. However, the veterinary sector has seen a lot of growth in the past few years. There has been an improvement in availability of more advanced diagnostic tools which helps in detecting such chronic diseases in their early stages so that we can provide better medical care to pets.
Overcoming fear and becoming COVID warriors in true sense
Working during the pandemic was very challenging because of the constant fear of getting infected. Regardless, we functioned throughout the lockdown and also saw an increase in the number of our patients. The fee that we collected through online consultations during that period was donated towards the PM Cares fund. We tried our best to help stray animals since they too were majorly neglected during that time. Our team visited different areas and provided medical help and food to those animals in need. We even conducted online lectures for pet parents to create awareness about COVID and also to bust any myths they had about animal to human transmission of this disease.
Do your best and trust your vet
My advice to all pet parents is to always be observant towards your pet. They do not have their own voice and in critical moments, miniscule details about them might help save their lives. Getting professional help wherever and whenever required is absolutely necessary otherwise it might lead to further complications. Your veterinarian will always try their best to help your pet and all they require from you is your belief.
Today’s pet parents are very particular before selecting a pet to become a part of their family. Many of them approach us for breed specific consultations before going ahead with the selection. I find that pet parents these days are aware of the detailed needs of their pets, which is very admirable and necessary for their good health.
Hoping for a bright future
My vision for veterinary sciences would involve improvement in the diagnostic avenue. A lot of the diagnostic equipment is not easily available for veterinary use in India and I would really like if these possibilities open up in the coming years so that we can ensure better and faster diagnoses of various disorders.