General Overview of Small Animal Practice in India, and Mumbai in Particular
Animals have been an integral part of Indian society since hundreds of years Animals were not only looked after but were also worshiped in ancient India. Review of literature indicates that animal hospital existed in India in 300BC. There are about 95172 stray dogs as per 2014 census and pet dog population is 50,000 in Mumbai as per municipal census. Pet dog population of India as per 2014 census is 10 million.
In Mumbai with a geographical area of 603 sq km, there are more than 700 veterinarians, some full time, some part time, with around 120 private clinics, 60 veterinarians doing house visit and 55 veterinarians in periphery of Mumbai called as MMRDA area. At present, there is one Animal Hospital (SPCA) with facility for inpatients, intensive care units and a crematorium.
Facilities with each private clinical unit vary ranging from a mere OPD facility to having an operation theater, X-ray machine, ultrasonography facility, in-house lab facility, own pharmacy. For transportation of pets to veterinary facility, people have to rely on private vehicles, limited public vehicles or animal ambulances. Since commutation is time consuming and expensive, people prefer going to convenient veterinary close vicinity.
The availability of veterinary drugs is limited to select pharmacy stores. Specialty clinics are few and wide with specialist in surgery, medicine, radiology, exotic species, and birds.
Since the geographical area of Mumbai is small, small animal veterinarians will need to have more specialization to sustain in this competitive world.