This week Nicely Made in China takes a look at one particular sector of the service industry. With roughly 150 million dogs in China and at least as many cats the need for veterinary services has never been so great. « Doctors Beck & Stone« started by an Anglo-Chinese team has opened a couple of clinics in Beijing, including a brand new one in Shunyi. NMiC talked to Dr Stone and Dr Anthony Beck about pets and pet lovers in China.
Dr Stone, Dr Beck what are your respective background?
Dr Stone: I have been a veterinarian for 10 years and I graduated from the China Agricultural University in Beijing in 2001. I come from Jianxi province in the South of China where I grew up on my parents’ farm. We had 40 cows and as many pigs. My parents wanted me to become a vet so that I could work on the farm with them later. But I realized it was more interesting to care for city pets. Yesterday I adopted a dog, Stella, from a family which was going back to the US. Here I can have a close relationship with animals.
Dr Beck: I am British and I graduated from the London veterinary college in 1998 and came to China in 2006 working as a consultant for the Beijing quarantine bureau where I stayed for two years. With Dr Stone, we met a year ago and opened the practice in 2009.
What are your specialties?
Dr Stone: I mainly treat cats and dogs. I use Western medicines as well as traditional Chinese medicine -TCM for short-. Traditional Chinese medicine -including acupuncture- has been used in China for over 2000 years on animals. We don’t use TCM very often but we do use acupuncture for spine disability on small dogs. Only when that doesn’t work do we resort to surgery.
Dr Beck: I am very much a cat and dog specialist too even though in the past I’ve treated rhinos in Africa and monkeys in Bolivia for a while.
What kind of diseases do you encounter in China? Anything different from other parts of the world?
Do you see any differences between Chinese and foreign animal owners?
Dr Beck: Yes there are some differences. Foreigners have a greater knowledge of the medical issues, have a strong feeling of good welfare and treat their pets as animals. Chinese owners are more attached to their own pets than foreigners to the extent that Chinese owners tend to anthropomorphise their pets. They see their pets as family members which can of course lead to severe bereavement when the pets die. Westerners can be upset too but usually keep a sense of perspective.
Tell us about this new clinic that you just opened in Shunyi?
Dr Beck: The new clinic is using all the latest state of the art equipment. We are now using a new management system, a device called « Vet Port ». It allows the animals owners to access their pets’s medical tests results and diagnosis on internet and it allows us, the vets, to share the results with other vets in our clinic more easily. We can of course also communicate with the owners using this Vet Port.
We also have a biochemical machine to make the blood tests ourselves which means that we have the results in less than an hour and we have also acquired a machine to make all dental work and last but not the least an ultrasound scanner. We have also added grooming (shampoo, nail clipping, etc…), a new service which is already very popular.
How many people work at the new clinic?
About 15 people work for us now including 3 vets -Celine a young French woman has recently joined our team- and 6 nurses. The grooming department currently employs 4 people.
Tel: +86 10 8776 6346