Dr Ranko Georgiev on the mission to provide top-quality healthcare
Central Vet Clinic is unique in Bulgaria: it offers the full range of healthcare services for pets of all types at one place. Staffed by dedicated professionals, the hospital is the best place where you can seek help when your pet is suffering from a rare, critical or hard-to-treat disease or condition. We talked to Dr Ranko Georgiev, a specialist in cardiology and diagnostic imaging, on what makes Central Vet Clinic so special.
Why did you decide to become a vet?
I love animals and am beyond happy when I successfully diagnose and heal a patient that is afraid of me, that is unable to share with me what the problem is. The feel when your patient licks you once the treatment is over is priceless.
Our profession is very interesting and also intellectually challenging. We work with several animal species and are not as narrowly specialised as physicians who treat humans. Most of us vets have a broad range of expertise, but in the recent years we started to specialise as well. We aim to provide top-end healthcare, we work in big teams, we narrow our focus of expertise. As a cardiologist, I am a specialist in diagnosis (echocardiography, X-ray imagery, fluoroscopy), therapy, interventional procedures and surgery.
What are the most common cardiological diseases that pets suffer?
Many owners are not aware that their pet might suffer from a cardiological disease. About 10% of the patients in Central Vet Clinic develop a potentially life-threatening cardiological condition as they age. We also have many patients with congenital heart pathologies. These can be corrected with an intervention or surgery.
Cardiological problems in pets are mostly genetically predisposed. Unlike humans, they are rarely caused by unhealthy lifestyle. An overweight dog, for example, does not suffer from vessel problems and high blood pressure.
Owners should be aware of the predisposition of their dog's breed to development of certain conditions and diseases. They also should bring the pet regularly to the clinic for check-ups, particularly in the second part of the pet's life.
Why is prophylaxis so important?
Unfortunately, in Bulgaria we see few healthy patients in our offices. Usually, their owners bring them to us when their pets develop a problem. It is best to visit the vet's office two-three times a year. A general check-up is the easiest way to discover diseases as early as possible and to prolong the pet's life.
The Internet is full of information about pet health that is often unreliable. This is why I will advise owners to find a good and trustworthy general practice vet and to consult with them, rather than with the Internet, when they have a question.
I am happy to see that a growing number of general practitioners refer their clients to Central Vet Clinic when they face a condition that is rare, hard or risky. We are eager to cooperate with our colleagues, as this is in the interest of everyone. Such practices make general practitioners more confident that they can help their patients. It allows us to expand our experience and to treat more pets. And it gives the owner the security of knowing that they have done the best for their pet. Ultimately, the pet's health benefits from being provided with timely and top-quality health care.
Providing better healthcare to pets is also why we offer specialised training to vets at our clinic.
Tell us about some of your most interesting cases.
We are a large referent centre and my colleagues and I see exciting, challenging, and rare cases on a regular basis. For me as a cardiologist, heart surgeries are the biggest challenge. We treat heart conditions interventionally, put pacemakers and are able to correct congenital pathologies via peripheral blood vessels. For me, however, classical open-heart surgeries remain the most interesting ones. These include cases of correction of congenital heart defects, treatment of tumours, different heart parasitic diseases and other pathologies. We publish many of our cases on specialised forums so that we can help our colleagues and to motivate them to see cases that might appear untreatable as something that can be solved.
What are the abilities of diagnostic imaging?
In our work at Central Vet Clinic we routinely work with high-end echographic imagery (echocardiography included), and an excellent digital X-ray that provides excellent quality and fast results. Our computer tomography scanner is the best for veterinary medicine in Bulgaria. We use it routinely before spinal surgery and treatment of all spinal pathologies, complicated spinal fractures, disc hernia, tumours of the central neural system and the brain.
Fluoroscopy is an imaging technique that uses roentgenography in real time, allowing us to follow the different breathing phases of patients with collapsed trachea. At Central Vet Clinic we have all the tools of contemporary veterinary medicine. We outsource only nuclear magnetic resonance, but its area of application is still very narrow.
What animals are your usual patients?
Cats and dogs of all breeds are our most common patients. We also have a specialist in exotic animals for pets like iguanas, guinea pigs, rabbits and hamsters. Since our establishment 10 years ago we have also treated pro bono animals from Sofia Zoo, so our patient's list includes tigers, lions, monkeys and antelopes. Veterinary medicine becomes an even bigger challenge when exotic animals are concerned as information is scarce and the animals are very stressed when entering the office. But regardless of whether we deal with an aggressive cat, dog or lemur, we have ways to relax them in order to do our job. We apply in our work the Rules for Good Clinical Practice that cover from proper disinfection and sterilisation to use of the best tools, implants and drugs, to working without causing stress to the patients.
Why did you choose to be a part of Central Vet Clinic?
Central Vet Clinic allows me to be a part of a big team of five other cardiologists. In our work we share experiences, knowledge and ideas. I have worked in small practices, but I feel that I can become a better specialist in my field only at a place like Central Vet Clinic. All the patients that I have successfully treated here benefited from the fact that I worked together with other dedicated colleagues: anesthesiologists, cardiologists and the rest.
Central Vet Clinic has over 60 doctors in all fields of veterinary medicine. Our orthopedic specialists, for example, are qualified to perform joint replacement in cases of severe hip dysplasia. We perform procedures such as placing intratracheal stents in cases of collapsed trachea. We also have excellent specialists in the field of endocrinology and artificial insemination and breeding. Basically, we are the pet's equivalent to a large referent human hospital.
What does the clinic provide to its patients and their owners?
The safety that there is a place in Sofia and Bulgaria where even the most complex, hard and hopeless cases can be solved with the means of advanced contemporary veterinary medicine. We constantly learn new things and aim to be better and better specialists. We follow the philosophy that only by providing the best environment, equipment and professional staff we can help properly our patients. I believe that a project such as Central Vet Clinic has achieved the golden mean for such a structure. We have found the best balance between professionalism and passion.
Sofia, 25 Chavdar Mutafov St, next to Sofia Zoo,
entrance from Simeonovsko Shose Boulevard
you can call 24/7 on 02 421 99 99, 0888 100 970 and 0899 100 970