A co-founder of Dobro Hrumvane, Dr Mila Bobadova embodies the big heart and the professional skills that are the trademark of clinics. She specialises in dermatology, cytology, imagery, parasitic diseases, endocrinology, cat's behavioural problems, and is the founder and chairwoman of the Bulgarian Association in Veterinary Dermatology. A few years back Dr Bobadova successfully campaigned for animal abuse to become a criminal offence in Bulgaria's Penal Code.
What is the most important thing in care for dogs and cats that owners are unaware of?
I don't think that people lack any knowledge on how to take care of their pets. Today information is easily accessible. However, this poses a danger from another extremity: consulting with Dr Google. Owners have to remember that connection with a vet has also to be built with time, just like the one with a dentist or a layer one trusts without any doubt. The same goes for the doctor treating your pet. It is a two-side process, and an important one. Once the connection is established and there is mutual trust, communication is easier and benefits both sides. Moreover, just like with children, taking care for a pet is a never-ending chain of making decisions about the wellbeing of another being. This is always a great responsibility. That is why it is important for owners to have a vet they trust, a person they are confidant they can ask any question and then act upon the answer provided.
Share with us some of the most challenging medical cases you have had at Dobro Hrumvane?
We have plenty of exciting cases that have left permanent memories in us. Puzzles hard to crack. Cases of brutal abuse. Recently I had a quite difficult case. A dog living in Austria visited us specifically for treatment, after our colleagues had written her off as hopeless and had recommended euthanasia. We are happy to say that Lumpy is now alive and in a good condition. Yes, due to her autoimmune condition she takes medicines, but nevertheless she is happy and adequate.
Our work with the Wild Animals Foundation provides us with the chance to meet a lot of patients that are not typical for out routine practice. Last year, for example, we took care of Masoud and Terez, two lion cubs from the Razgrad Zoo. Such patients brings us back in our university years, as we again scroll through thick books in search for at least a crumble of information about such species. Birds, hedgehogs, martens, fawns, badgers, foxes… An immense species diversity that is a serious challenge to a veterinarian who is used to work with dogs, cats and pet rabbits.
Animals cannot speak. How can we understand that something is going on with our pet?
Observe them for red flags like refusal to eat, change in behaviour, even aggression. Animals do not demonstrate a problem. They can suffer an incredible amount of pain and discomfort in order to retain their hierarchical position within the family. A change in the frequency of drinking water, a slower pace during walks and play, a lack of interest in the toys that until recently have provoked an almost hysterical dance of joy: all of these are signals that something is going on. These are not as self-evident as gastrointestinal discomfort, but are signs through and through.
What pet food is healthy pet food?
The topic is immense. There are many lines of thought on how to feed pets. Dietetics is a complex science. It combines skills in balancing proteins, fats, carbs, micro and macro elements, plus a right evaluation and knowledge of the particular animal species. The nutritional needs of a chihuahua are different from the ones of a working German shepherd or a Persian cat. That is why we cannot give a definitive answer on the food question.
Some owners prefer to cook, others use commercial food, yet third opt for the BARF system. All of these approaches have their strong and weak points. Anyway there are several important rules. First: dry food that comes in many colours is not good. Second: loose dry food is low quality. Third: dog is not pig, it cannot eat our leftovers. Four: no spices. Five: no bones, chocolate, onion and raisins.
How can Dobro Hrumvane help us if we want to adopt a pet? What should we do if we take a dog or a cat from the street and want to keep them home?
Dobro Hrumvane Clinics have always had strong social projects. We are actively working with homeless patients and popularise adoption programmes. We have preferential rates for such patients and we often donate our labour. On our Facebook page we often share animals searching for a home. We ourselves sometimes also find distressed animals and try to find them adopters. At the moment we are searching for home for an elderly female bulldog and six wonderful cats.
If one decides to take a dog or a cat from the street, the first thing they need to do is to bring the animal to a vet. The vet will examine the animal, will delouse it and will make a plan for a follow-up prophylaxis. They will advise on how to feed the animal in accordance to its age and species, how to help it adapt to living in a flat and will connect you to trainers who can help you and your new pet to achieve harmony at home.
Emergency phone: *3536
Centre: Sofia, 125 Knyaz Boris I St, phone: 0896 604 835
Borovo: 10 Poduevo St, Krit Building, phone: 0896 604 836
Iztok: Sofia, 10B Pier Degater St, phone: 0896 604 887