Chats with the Chatfields

Ep 32: An American vet in Hong Kong?

October 26, 2022 Dr. Jen the vet and Dr. Jason Chatfield Season 1 Episode 32
Ep 32: An American vet in Hong Kong?
Chats with the Chatfields
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Chats with the Chatfields
Ep 32: An American vet in Hong Kong?
Oct 26, 2022 Season 1 Episode 32
Dr. Jen the vet and Dr. Jason Chatfield

Ever wonder what it's like to take your pet to the vet in a different country?  Dr. Jen the vet and Dr. Jason are joined in the Chat Room by Dr. Jason's vet school classmate, Dr. Anders Kulhavy.  Dr. Kulhavy has been practicing in Hong Kong for the last 12 years and has had some interesting experiences!  Hear how culture influences the pet-client-vet relationship in this episode!

V shares her view from vet school and it's all about externships!
Check her out at 10:20 and hear what an externship really is and if they truly are necessary for vet students.

More about Dr. Kulhavy:  Dr. Kulhavy graduated from Texas A&M University in 2004 and has spent 16 years practicing emergency and critical care medicine. In 2013 he developed an interest in ultrasound use in the ER and has presented 2 research posters at IVECCS on the topic of lung ultrasound. In 2017 he took on further training and shifted his career focus to performing referral ultrasound and echocardiogram exams in both mobile and ICU settings. He passed his ANZCVS membership exam in emergency and critical care in 2019 and joined Easonography in 2022 as a full-time ultrasonographer. He has a passion for ultrasound and loves to teach others how to incorporate this important tool into their practice.

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V's View is brought to you by the AVMA Trust - Veterinarian inspired coverage protecting you through it all

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Follow us on instagram @ChatfieldShow

Share this episode with a friend who needs to hear it...or might be interested in the topic...or just to make their day brighter! :)

Show Notes Transcript

Ever wonder what it's like to take your pet to the vet in a different country?  Dr. Jen the vet and Dr. Jason are joined in the Chat Room by Dr. Jason's vet school classmate, Dr. Anders Kulhavy.  Dr. Kulhavy has been practicing in Hong Kong for the last 12 years and has had some interesting experiences!  Hear how culture influences the pet-client-vet relationship in this episode!

V shares her view from vet school and it's all about externships!
Check her out at 10:20 and hear what an externship really is and if they truly are necessary for vet students.

More about Dr. Kulhavy:  Dr. Kulhavy graduated from Texas A&M University in 2004 and has spent 16 years practicing emergency and critical care medicine. In 2013 he developed an interest in ultrasound use in the ER and has presented 2 research posters at IVECCS on the topic of lung ultrasound. In 2017 he took on further training and shifted his career focus to performing referral ultrasound and echocardiogram exams in both mobile and ICU settings. He passed his ANZCVS membership exam in emergency and critical care in 2019 and joined Easonography in 2022 as a full-time ultrasonographer. He has a passion for ultrasound and loves to teach others how to incorporate this important tool into their practice.

Show our sponsors some love:
FullBucket Veterinary Strength Supplements - the leader in digestive health for dogs, cats and horses

V's View is brought to you by the AVMA Trust - Veterinarian inspired coverage protecting you through it all

SUBSCRIBE to our show on Youtube or on our website:
Follow us on instagram @ChatfieldShow

Share this episode with a friend who needs to hear it...or might be interested in the topic...or just to make their day brighter! :)



This episode is brought to you by full bucket veterinary strength supplements the leader in digestive health for dogs, cats and horses. Hi, everyone. Welcome



to another episode of chats with the Chatfields. This is a podcast to expand your idea of what impact veterinarians, pet owners, basically all animal lovers of the galaxy as humans, we are your hosts. I'm Dr. Jen the vet.



And I'm Dr. Jason.



And if you have not yet subscribed to our show,



why not?!



just go to and subscribe today. And if you want to reach us and you've got a message full of love and positivity, you can find me at



And for all the serious inquiries only you can reach me at



Okay, let's get into it. I'm very excited. We are going to have, we're have a very sophisticated show today. What do you say Jason,



I have no idea. I'll tell you afterwards.



I think it's gonna be really sophisticated. Friends,



maybe we have different definitions.



It's true. We're gonna get a little culture here in the chat room, I would agree with that. Yes. So very, very excited. We are welcoming a guest in from an international location. Right.  ...and wait for it. It's a friend of Dr. Jason.



Yep. I only have two and we've had both on.



Right. That's right. So this is the third Musketeer from that group in his vet school class. But um, let me let me introduce this guy, because I'm kind of I'm kind of impressed with him. So Dr. Anders Kulhavy is our guest today, folks. And he is coming to us all the way from Hong Kong right now. And he's not only a good friend of Jason's and a Texas a&m Grad. He's an Aggie vet. Also. He was an ER vet, worked in the States as well before he went to Hong Kong, but an ER vet for about 15 years. And then he even got this crazy Certificate. It's an international thing. Jason, did you know about it? I had no idea. No. Yeah. So I'm gonna read it. So I don't get it wrong here. He has is a member in Australia and New Zealand's College of Veterinary scientists. Emergency and Critical Care chapter.



Oh my gosh. Right.



I mean, I'm gonna save all the pets over there who wants to live like legally no problem. Is that what that means?



Yeah. Does that mean he automatically has to have an accent? I'm okay. Um, anyhow. So he did all that he was this crazy, great er vet, and then he transitioned to be an ultrasonographer.



Okay. All right. Exciting.



I know. Yeah. So he does that full time. So he is a mobile ultrasonographer for Easonography. In Hong Kong, Dr. Kulhavy. Oh, also, I will say Dr. Kulhavy is my very favorite partner when playing 42. 42 By



the way, is a domino game. Okay. For those of you guys that don't do those sophisticated game of dominoes,



it is it is. So now, Dr. Kulhavy. Who is your favorite partner? We're playing 42? I don't recall playing that with you. Oh, apparently it's not even you. Actually, I



worked for Dr. Jenn. And I was I was best man at Jason's wedding. And that's because I was the only one that showed up. So that's,



that's also true. To say the second part, but all right, you



said put some pants on standing there. That's right.



My fiance showed up as all the matters.



First best man speech ever there. I wasn't. I wasn't prepared.



A long time ago. Good times.



It was a good time. All right. But so now we're all grown up doctors. And I am intrigued. And one of the reasons that we wanted to have you come on was not only so we can hear some embarrassing stories about Dr. Jason, or none, but but also because you have worked in the US in veterinary medicine. Right. And now you're in Hong Kong. And I am incredibly interested in like, what what's the difference? Like how is it there versus here? First



of all, how long have you been in Hong Kong? I don't even know about eight years. That's right. That's that's quite a long time.



Yeah. Half my career. Yeah, so So and I'm sorry, what what how did you find yourself in Hong Kong?



I asked myself that. I remember so When we started vet school I hadn't, I pretty much just lived in Texas my whole life in college towns, and then I hadn't really traveled. And so that first summer, after the first year of vet school, I just kind of took off to Europe just just to kind of do something different, because we spend all our time trying to get into vet school in the summer and work that's, and so I just kind of did something for myself and just basically spent spent the summer traveling Europe and just had a great time and just really got the travel bug, you know, got interested in sort of seeing what else is out there in the world. So that kind of became a bit of a focus of mine. And I remember in school just kind of researching, like, how do I move, you know, overseas, and where can I be even in Australia or wherever. And I, you know, it basically looks looks difficult, like you had to emigrate and stuff first and all this. So I just decided to work for for several years and kind of travel, work in the US and travel rather than work overseas. So I did that kind of the first half of my career and did a lot of kind of backpacking and travel and such. But I always kind of had an eye out for opportunities, and I was looking for volunteer stuff you can do in Central America and that sort of thing.



Did you do any of that? And if you do any volunteer



Yeah, yeah. Well, I've done some of that on my travels. Yeah. So in Thailand, spent a month at a place called soy dog, like



it's a volunteer vet work, not just volunteer. Yeah.



Yeah, when I travel, I needed to kind of, you know, not as modern, rich countries, there's always these animal rescue groups. And so we had to look them up and go there. So I've been to ones in India, and Thailand and such, and I usually kind of go find some people there to to hang out with and, like me that just kind of wanted to get Oh, hold on. There's



nobody like you Anders, nobody, I don't know what you're talking about.



Anyways, I just saw a job ad for Hong Kong, I think I'm one of the Australian websites. And I was like, I can work in Hong, I can work in Asia, because usually you can only work in a country, we can speak the the language, right? Australia, New Zealand, and I was kind of browsing. And I was like, How in the world can I do this, I kind of got that seed in my head. And I kind of kept browsing that for a few years. And then life kind of gave me a push back home. And I've just said, Okay, I'm jumping, you know, and ended up out here. And then there's, there's just a lot of everyone that's here is like me, I mean, they just like I want to travel and I want to go overseas, and I want to live in Asia. And so we all kind of have that in common. And so there's lots of vets from South Africa. In all the English speaking



country. Yeah, yeah. Before we get on how multicultural is not, not not even within



the vet world. That's crazy. There's the local vets. A lot of them go to Australia for school, but some of them go to Scotland. Some of them go to the US, and they come back.



Did they have local vet schools there,



or just just started one? About five years ago, since I've been here, one of the Wow. But that's it. One of the universities bought the specialty hospital, especially hospital and they kind of turned into a teaching hospital. And they're pretty big out here. But they do about 10 students per year to start right now.



Now, that would be a difficult application, then a difficult admission if they only take



the rest of them still go overseas and such, you know, yeah. But it's an opportunity for people to do it here.



Yeah, interesting. Interesting. Okay. Well, yeah,



I can imagine that they had a vet school for five years. That's it?



Well, I mean, like, they didn't have I mean, it's, there's 8 million people here. So it's, I'm aware, right? New York City having their own you know, so it was, it's very interesting. Like, there's, I mean, all that's previous to that were basically imported. So there's, there's a need for it.



But yeah, interesting. Well, I want to get into a little bit about the position of the pet in society in Hong Kong, and what does it look like if you have to take your pet to event in Hong Kong, but first we had we do have to pay some bills. And so we're gonna take a quick break on the other side, we're gonna find out how tests in Hong Kong fare. All right, so hang with us. We'll see you guys after the break. Dr. Jenn the vet, and I'm here with my friend and colleague, Dr. Keith lassen. He's got an incredibly interesting story all about full bucket health,



my college roommate and that school, housemate. Dr. Rob Franklin and I were collaborating on some cases, both of us were struggling with diarrhea in some of our patients, whether it was after a procedure or after after an illness. So we created a formulation but we didn't want to just create a formulation. We also wanted to create a movement and animal health, for being able to help animals in need through the use of bar products that we developed that really has resulted in our one for one giving program which we're really proud of As much as we are our formulations for dogs versus cats,



and so if you want to know more about their one for when giving it full bucket, or if you're interested in better supporting your dog, cat or horses, digestive health, head over to full bucket to learn more. All right, well, let's see what V has got cookin from vet school.



These view from vet school brought to you by the AVMA trust, veterinarian inspired coverage protecting you through it all.



Welcome to Wiis view of vet school. I'm Bea and this is my view. externships even before I started vet school, I understood that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Yeah, that's all true for many, many different circumstances in my life. But I digress. Most if not all, vet schools also understand this bit of human nature that require that all students spend some time away from the mothership, learning and other settings. They call these experiences externships as an external to the university externships can be amazing talk about learning how the real veterinary world works. Well, what an experience. What I decided after doing multiple externships this past summer, is that that med is a broad field with lots of different ways to skin a something not a cat or, or a deer or anything living just it's a different way to learn things. And there's so many different aspects of vet med for example, while I was in Arkansas, I learned about an amazing condition called Cytoxan. It's very common there yet and 15 to 20 years of Florida med never saw it. It's something to look up especially if you have cats in Arkansas. But anyway, I digress. So embrace your externship. If you're a vet student take the opportunity to do something different. And if you are an if you see an external in your regular veterinary practice, there'll be the person standing awkwardly in the corner not knowing whether to engage you or not say hello, make them feel welcome, because they're probably feeling a little bit like a fish out of water at the time. And you never know. They may be the new associate UC and a couple of years. IV and that's my view.



These view from that school, brought to you by the AVMA Drust veterinarian inspired coverage protecting you through it all.



Okay. All right. So we're back in the chat room with Dr. interschool havy, who is an American who is living and practicing veterinary medicine in Hong Kong. And if I, as you said, it's multicultural. So you've been there, you said eight years?



Yeah, yeah. I've actually kind of watched even veterinary medicine evolved since I've been here.



Oh, that's interesting. So So what is it like? So when, if you if you're like in a regular practice, although you did a lot of emergency care when you first got there, I think right?



Yes. But as a mobile oceanographer, I'd go around all the clinics, I've seen kind of everything from the smallest one to the biggest one.



Okay. And so is it? Is it similar to the US at all? I mean, are there similar similarities?



Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, you're still practicing medicine. But there's different challenges. And it's really different. The people are different. The culture is different. Everything is through a translator. So you have to kind of learn I have a lot better understanding of the clients and their kind of, you know, emotions and attachments and, and how to kind of deal with that.



And I think that's what Jen was getting at. Are there. Are there attacks? Are there attachments and emotions towards their, their pet different there than they are here? Are they stronger? They are the



same or different perspective.



There's a bit of, again, is a bit some things are similar, some things are different. I mean, the things that come to mind, they're much more compliant. Like if you say, you need to give this this many times a day and you do it.



Well, you mean, you mean? Do you mean, owners who follow direction?



Yeah, it's interesting. It's a cool thing when they really follow the rules here. If the they don't really cross the crosswalk, until the light turns green, you know, even if there's no cars.



I could never make it



brings food on the subway or even in the subway. Are you kidding? If you go on the escalator, you will stand on one side and you walk on the other. There's no I mean, it's not even you know, it's just sort of, they're a bit more



compliant. It sounds like we're all huh,



that actually sounds like not necessarily compliant. But like, maybe consider it. Yeah, yeah, yeah.



And anyways, they they tend to follow your instructions and some of them will not write down everything and show you all right. This is When I gave him you know, and so I feel like there's a bit more kind of attentiveness from the clients to the pets. And the other thing is they everything's real estate and apartments, everything really small here, and no one has big families or big houses. So, you know, their pets are like the kids. So they tend to be a bit more focused on them. And literally like living on top of each other here. So your pets always kind of next to you know, there's no weekend, let them out in the backyard or whatever.



You can't just say get out, like when, because that's going nuts that I say, get out and set the door. So do you see giant breed dogs or anything like that? Because if there's not a lot of space, and people are apartment living type of thing, do you see that? Or is it really just all small breeds? So



it depends where you live? I mean, so Okay, so it's probably the most population dense place on the earth, one of them, but it's also an island. And, and so it's not, I mean, it's jungle. And so there are wild dogs, there's, you know, city part. And then as you go kind of out to the outskirts of Hong Kong, I mean, it's very spread out. And you do have those clients that have the big dogs. And so it depends kind of where you work. But sometimes we get things referred in from from outside that make it to our place,



and eight years, how much how much Chinese Have you picked up?



Yeah. generally speak English. I mean, it's kind of a cool dual language, society, all the signs are English, you know, people generally speak if you talk to a taxi driver, they can usually understand you. But then at work, I have always had a translator, because some of the medical stuff they're not going to know and right, just never really had a I'm not going to judge your language person to begin with, but you don't really need it. There are circumstances where some of you can't get by the little stuff with a shop, you know, retail, or taxi driver or whatever. It's pretty easy. Anything more complicated, you typically have a translator, or someone at least someone that speaks both languages nearby. Wow. It creates a challenge. It just everything takes twice as long to



Yes. Like it's like that medicine maybe in South Texas or something like that.



So yeah, exactly. Yeah.



Yeah. Well, so Okay, so So let's say, I know that you and I both did emergency medicine here in the States. And at least at least when we were working at the same place, we, you know, we saw we saw a lot of, you know, bloody diarrhea GI upset. That was most probably the most common thing. We saw a lot of C sections. You know, maybe some coughing type of stuff. What's what's kind of the more common stuff that you see there? Is it the same sort of maladies? And and again, I know it's just you're we're not asking for data, we're asking for, you know, one man's experience and perspective.



Yeah, so the pet population is actually quite different is very, very different. So, where I work in the city, at least, it's all small breed dogs. I mean, 90 95% of it is is a small breed dogs, and then they don't really have much in the way of just rescue groups. I mean, there's SPCA, and you can go find a dog there. But there's not much here. Because it just they don't just grin. Because everyone's I mean, they're all kind of locked up in apartment. So it's all purebred dogs, and someone has to breed. Right. That was that was breeding dogs, right? Yeah. But you get them from the pet store. Yeah, so that's cool. It's kind of a rare, somewhat rare place to get a dog in the US. I mean, they exist, but they're not mainstream here. There's a pet store in every block. And so if you want to pet you have to pay money. I mean, 1000s of dollars to buy a pet,



you have to pay it here from the shelters, we just call it an adoption fee, but you're still purchasing a pet.



These are $3,000 for just to get a dog. I mean, if you're into the dog, you know, ownership thing is a bar. And then, of course, in a lot of we don't know where they come from, I think a lot of them come from.



Okay, we're gonna delve off a little bit here. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. So So you've already said that owners are more compliant, right, in general, and not not bashing American owners, but they're more compliant. They follow is that maybe because they have to pay so much money for that maybe goes into it? A



lot of them don't have kids? Yeah. So that's kind of like their kid.



I would think too, because it's so multicultural in Hong Kong. Like you said that you have you have people from Australia, you have people from China, you have people from Scotland and Europe and all these places. You almost have to be kind of more compliant or at least more aware of people around you to get along well in a society that's so incredibly diverse. Right? Because, I mean, you can't, you just have to, I mean, you just have to be tolerant to that sort of thing. Again,



it's not it's not odd to have people from different cultures, you know, you just walk down the street, it's kind of kind of different. But at the same time, there's also just kind of like, it's not as big of a deal for people to say, Okay, well, you guys do that. And we do this, you know, there's a little bit of kind of segregation of who does what, and it's kind of accepted or tolerated. There's there's not kind of an uproar about, you know,



there's no push to for everyone to be the same. Right? Everyone's a little bit different, I don't think.



Yeah. So it's not as political.



Yeah, but yeah, that's awesome. That sounds fantastic. Jason,



it does, actually. Yeah, kind of do what you want to do and spend $3,000 on a dog and then actually take care of it. So yeah, Doctor says it's fantastic. So it is it's how many other American veterinarians are down there that you know, I mean, what a silly question. Right. But, but are there a lot of them? Do you see a lot of them are like you just stand out?



Yeah, so I didn't. I haven't met a lot of American vets, though. There are some several American specialists. So I think the specialists kind of get recruited over here and and I haven't I don't know that I've met an American vet who's not a specialist here.






Medical Director of the vet school is actually an American anesthesiologist. Oh, cool.



Okay. Now look, I will correct. Dr. Jason right there like, Jason, it doesn't matter if there were other Americans or not. Anders, Dr. Ko havia would stand out. Definitely stand out. Okay, so I want to ask about cats. Because, okay, and we hear all kinds of stuff about what goes on in other parts of the world, especially in Asia as it comes to pets. So do people have pet cats?



Yes, yes.



The big question, Do people have pet cats? Yes.



I mean, you know, because culturally, there's big differences about you know, people's



similar, you know, and again, the department pets and stuff. But the difference is they're all purebred. So very rarely, you're gonna see something that's just called a domestic shorthair.



No TSH is, huh. Well,



I think they have DSH sell them as British Shorthairs. Or just like a black and white cat. Short hair. Yeah, right.



That's awesome. Okay, I



can I can picture Anders going into the pets. What do you tell why is this blah, blah, blah. It's just a black and white cat note. And I can picture in his questioning the pet store owner calling out his marketing techniques,



right. And there's some people that getting a pet here isn't enough. They have to import it. So they want to the imports, or the stocks from Japan, or this jocks from Taiwan, or I got this dog from Austria. Yeah, literally. And so it's, you know, it's interesting that probably the people in those countries are importing dogs. Oh, this one's from from Hong Kong. Yeah.



Okay, not unlike here when we get oh, no, no, I rescued this dog out of Puerto Rico. I saved this one from Guam. This one came this one came from China because it was going to the meat market, you know, like or whatever. So, do they have that? Because I know in some parts of Asia, they have you know, they have three distinct populations of dogs. They have like the pet population, they have the street dog population, and then they have the dogs that are bred for purpose, right, like the meat dog population. But that doesn't exist in Hong Kong, does it? No,



no, I'm that's China. I have an interesting story about about that. Let's let's hear it. So when I first thought I'd heard about these these meat market kind of things. The Yulin dog meat festival Yes, it was was big on Facebook and yeah, it was on the rest of us and out of morbid curiosity. I went to it. About seven years ago, I I took an overnight train just slipped on it and went to mainland China. Yeah, okay. I was I was in Ulan and I didn't know anything about anything I just showed up and it's not like Hong Kong there's no English Chinese internet is difficult the Google doesn't exist there are no Googler you have to put a VPN on and then you can access it but yeah, just everything in and then couldn't can even get a SIM card. Yeah, so it's very difficult all the sudden. I didn't have as much research as I could, but I didn't really know. Yeah. So just showing up and I pictured it being this big festival was slaughtering dogs and dogs were this thing was that literally just taking it it was that week so everyone knew about it was Yeah, and if you're a Westerner there, you know, it's there's a lot of protests and



they know why you're there. They presume I guess to know why you're there. I'm walking



to the taxi driver showing them a picture of a dog And then finally you get someone to take you there and they're like, oh, go in there. And it's a market. I mean, just a normal meat market with all this stuff. And then, you know, amongst the other animals that we'd normally see in a open open air, there's There's dogs and cats.



Cats, too. Nobody ever mentioned the cats.



Yeah, so the cats Well, I have photos of this but it's it's kind of it's it's odd. So I have cats full intact body with no hair. That's been it's been already skinned. And



I just strung out. Right, you can buy it and with the purpose beating it Yeah, right.



Yeah. Like, like, like it like I've seen in a ton of countries the open just an open air butchers market. Right? It's just, they have different different ones.



Yeah, exactly. So. But next to that is, is a cat walking around the market. Like a stray cat kind of rocking around. So it's, it's interesting, because they



know that cat is spreading sorry, that cat is spreading



the backup in case they run out. And then there'll be people in the alley, you know, skinning the dog and doing doing the thing and disturbing and and I don't know how much you want details on this? No, no,



I just was curious about, you know, because it's interesting, because, you know, it's, it's all right there together. It's not like that was an ocean away. It's not like that was the other side of the globe, it was right there. But then you have where you are practicing in Hong Kong. You know, people spending 1000s of dollars to get their pet, sometimes importing it and then taking it to not only the veterinarian regularly, but then to a specialist if necessary. You know, so it's just, it's just an interesting kind of dichotomy, I guess.



Yeah. Yeah. And that's different. That's part of that's just Mainland China versus versus Hong Kong and mainland China. People get rabies, you know, in China. And it's once you cross the border, it's a completely different story.



It's different. Yeah. Yeah. Very, very interesting.



That eight years you must, you must enjoy. There's gotta be a reason. I mean, I mean, you really must enjoy. And that's a pretty, that's a pretty what you just the story you just told us pretty brave thing is, everyone knows me. I'd never get on an overnight train and go somewhere where I didn't know that I would just I barely even leave my house. Right? I know, he doesn't like to leave the basement sounded that you do these kinds of things. And you have these awesome stories. It's really, it's really cool. But you must really like it for various content. Yeah.



Yeah. And one of the one of the reasons I came here was just travel hub, you know, so I used to work week on week off and on my week off, I would just go to another city, I go to Vietnam, or go to Korea or whatever. And so actually, the last three years with COVID has been difficult because we've just been locked in here. We've stuck could leave but it's hard to come back for a while. I mean, six months ago, you had to quarantine in a hotel on your own dime for three weeks.



Wow. That's crazy. Yeah. And



they've they've changed it to one week. And then now they just randomly got rid of it last week. So now there's no more quarantine. Oh my gosh, they just now got rid of it. It's changed her mind. I think they changed into something that was political. But they finally kind of the and again, they're they're trying to balance between the Chinese policy which is zero COVID And that versus opening back up to the Western world because it's an international city and businesses left because they couldn't have come in and stuff. So that's been a little bit challenged the last three years we've just been kind of trying find things try to find things to do in Hong Kong. Yeah. And which is fine, but it's not really why I was here. You know, a lot of its travel.



Yeah. About that. Okay, so



so back to back to the pets. Number one. I also want to know is are Frenchies taking over in Hong Kong like they are taking over in America?



They exist here. I wouldn't say they're taking over so much. But yeah, they exist here. Okay,



they're not taking they have only taken over Dr. Jensen. They're not taking over America.



Yes, yes. The fern COEs at the farm fresh Frenchie has definitely taken over. And then so what? What's the most common thing that you think that like the most common presenting complaint that you'll find at a veterinary practice there for? For clients?



We're getting the populations a bit different. So animals live in apartment their whole life? Yeah. And purebred. So they have this genetic, you know, tendencies. But they don't really die of environmental emergencies. So you don't have the hit by cars and the dog but I'm sure you're kind of on the outskirts. Yeah, so basically, it's a lot of Geriatric Medicine. I mean, you don't see them until they have kidney failure or heart failure or diabetes or something like that. So I've gotten really, really good at you know, those types of conditions. And so, my job As ultrasonographer is primarily we might say 90% of it is due or 8080 90% of it is doing echocardiograms for mitral valve disease and HCM and the common kind of purebred



things small every dog is used with the value as efficiencies. And,



and the one thing that stood out that I didn't really be I wasn't a good vet back then. But I didn't really diagnose that were until I got here is pulmonary hypertension, no severe pulmonary hypertension, multiple times per month. I mean, it's Yeah. And I've talked to some cardiologists overseas, and they're like, we don't see that much, you know? No, I think so. That's a big difference. And something that if you're not from here, and you just move here, you might not pick up on, like heart failure, they're getting treated with diuretics. Overnight, they're not getting better. You do an echo, and it's right sided disease, and it doesn't present necessarily like you would expect with societies and stuff. So yeah,



that's interesting.



Interesting point about the genetics and the purebred stuff. Do you do you really see a lot of genetic anomalies? I mean, daily, really? Yeah.



Yeah. Everything's crazy. Like, pretty much every dog has a hypoplastic, trachea and bad patella. And



so just chalk that up to pure breeding, just like the guy should just have more months. Ah, yeah, more gene diversity, I guess. Yeah. They



don't have that. And the dogs that are, there's a population of dogs that we call mongrels. So there's not so much, but it's the it's the the natural dog here that is right in the wild. So it kind of kind of in two forms. There's the ones that people take care of that are like the village dogs, and they feed and like it's part of it's just, and they're a bit more like pets. And they're handleable. Right? It's just a wild dog. I mean, wild dogs, feral dogs. Yeah, yeah. And they do have big rescue groups. And there's a lot of money in Hong Kong for this sort of thing. And they they bring in, these are the ones that come in to do the environmental emergencies, and are always maggot wounds. And, you know, they'll have, you know, the Vizia and stuff like that. So the rescue groups bring them in. And the good good news is they have kind of unlimited funds, they've never said no to something, wow, comes down with the broken back and refer them to a specialist for surgery. And, and so that's actually good. Those Those cases are kind of the exciting ones I see. Kind of a reprieve from the geriatric medicine, you know, all dogs and cats. Treat them and keep them in the hospital for a month. And, you know, usually,



no worries about getting paid just as it's coming.



In, in the US, you know, you get $100 to work with and, you know, ya gotta get to the shelter the next day, and, yeah, that's crazy.



Yeah, so, um, is spay neuter, like, you know, as soon as possible. Is that a big deal there as well? Or, or? No, I



mean, there's, there's, there's so so in general, yes. So that's kind of a big thing. But there's kind of noticed that in Europe, too. There's kind of a population, especially like male dogs, where they just like, I don't want to castrate them. And they don't really interact with other dogs as much as breeding isn't an issue in the female dogs, like we tend to spay. But we do do a number of biometrics? I guess not. But I feel like there's a bit more of people that just like I want them to be intact. Yeah. And we see those older dog intact patients. And it's just kind of because there's not really a risk of breeding and having right he's



right. Yeah, like you said, a little different than here. They're there. They're an apartment. They're in a small house, they're in a townhouse, whatever, whatever you want to call it, they're not going to run into the random, you know, in heat, female or whatever.



Yeah, and dig under a fence or jump over a fence with super, super dog strength, right, because they have a drive.



This is a cultural difference. I'm sure. I mean, Americans like to chop things off. We just do as cut it out as soon as we can. Right. So



I don't know that that's an American thing. For sure. Bob Barker told us all man, he told you told you, Bob Rowley moly. No, I think Bob told us that the price was right.



Spay and neuter your pets every show every single time.



It's your pet spayed and neutered. Yes, it's true. It's true. So what about availability of medications? Is that that's not an issue in Hong Kong. Is it?



It's a huge issue. Yeah, it's one of the challenges so we have to import everything. Yeah. So trying to bring a drug in from a different country mean it's a lot of triplicate forms and it takes a long time and some of Australia some are from Thailand. There are some distributors here so for the common stuff, I think you just it's kind of like you would expect back home where you just kind of click online and it comes but there's so much stuff. One clinic I talked to you they have just a full time person all they do is order stuff. And is it



is it because like the first person they call will say we don't have it, we can't get it. You



gotta you gotta do all paperwork to get it and so it's a lot of it's finding As a supplier, and it and then if I if I tell my company like, hey, I want to get this drug in or this type of catheter or whatever, it's first sourcing it, and then getting it and it takes minimum a month to really kind of, wow. You can't say hey, listen, get it in a few days,



we lose our minds if we have one random thing on backorder. No oil here, right? What do you what are you talking about? The world's gonna end? Yeah,



I think there is an opportunity if a company wanted to just have everything here, but you have to do it, then you have to pay shipping, you have to incorporate into the cost. And so it's actually a big challenge. And there's some drugs that were just hard to come by. And dangerous drugs, opiates ovens. Such a controlled drugs are a little bit different here. And their availability in which drugs we use and such. And so it actually creates situations where like, Okay, I don't have this. What else can I use? Yeah,



you got to get to MacGyver it a little bit. Exactly. Yeah. And yeah, that is interesting. So, you



know, the opiates easier, easier to deal with, they're harder to deal with over their control drugs in general.



They're kind of the same, but like, you. Actually, when I first got here, I started sending that notice, they weren't really locked up. I mean, they're kind of supposed to be but no one was really. So one of the things is people don't there's no addicts here. People don't abuse the drugs



there. There is some just not here. Right. Is that right? Yeah.



I mean, I think that the young kids do ketamine at the clubs and then there's some I think that's a party drug and then there's some older people older generation that are opium addicts, like like actual opium and those that so they do have that. But there isn't the just mass drug stealing and doing and so something like butorphanol buprenorphine, those aren't controlled drugs. Those are sitting around around. I've never known anyone to walk while Tramadol. I mean, those things are just out for the taking. And, and then there's the opiates, and the benzodiazepines and such, those are locked up. And those are well documented. And, you know, standard, I noticed they weren't as locked up eight years ago, and there's a bit more compliant. A bit more strict. Now. Yeah, I think it's just I think it's just natural. But I mentioned the kind of evolving,



things are certainly worth more now. So you got



some of them, some of them we have to order from overseas and some of them but like the primary opiate has methadone here. Oh, that's interesting. And what is it, you know, it's a new agonist, but also has serotonin properties. I think it's generally the same, but a little different than you know, I



know from watching TV, it's a replacement for what heroin? Right, right to get you on the methadone and set. But we don't have a use for it and vet med in the United States. So that would be eluding other drugs. Yeah. Yeah, that's super interesting. Because again, I think of Hong Kong as like you described, like, kind of this huge hub of international commerce. And so I like I, I, I would have thought that they would have access to everything. And I guess maybe they do that just not all the time, and just



immediately, more, because just like the US if you're importing a drug, you know from yes, no. Yes. Yeah. You've gotta go through. Right. Trolling all that. So?



Yeah, so interesting. Um, yeah. So that's, that's different.



So I still can't believe you've been over there for eight years. I think that's crazy. That's awesome and crazy at the same time and your story, training overnight, Whatever, dude.



Well, I came here originally for like two years, just planning to come for two years and then leave and I like it. And



and as most people do that to like Miami, or all halfway across the world, I mean, just so everybody knows. It's, it's 830 at night here at 830 in the morning over there. So we did on the next day. It's that far around most of us are, you know, four or five hours, but it's crazy. It's all the way around the world.



And so, so as long as so I guess, look kind of to wind this up. Number one, I think the fact that you have been successful in building a career there to



talk What did you make of that? What does that have? I have to you've been exciting?



Yes, that's what I'm saying like successful because not only did you I mean you were er and critical care, and then you just morphed into, you know, being a full time ultrasonographer right. Mobile. I think that really a test to the kind of the value or the depth of the broad base of the training. Now that you got right here.



Yeah, I mean that all of us have. Yeah, that's just many opportunities with the vet degree.



Yeah. But I'm saying like you like you really tried to test that Jigna.



For emergency medicine is a young man's game. And as I've gotten older and started a family, it just transitioned to something that's a bit less, less physically demanding. Yeah. And I actually I burned me wanted to be a radiologist for a long time. And so this is a good kind of middle ground without having to do I didn't want to do the residency, imaging of it, but I just want to go through that.



Every specialist ever, I didn't really want to do the residency, but I had to



travel around the world instead.



That's right. That's fantastic. Well, I would be curious to know your very favorite thing there. But I'll give you a minute to think of it like the very the thing that like if you, if you for whatever reason, like next week, you had to move back to the states for whatever reason, the number one thing you would miss most about being a vet in Hong Kong. Although, like, like 100% compliance, that's gonna be that would be wrong, like on my list, but I think that would be really interesting to know. Dr. Jason? Well, he kind of contemplates that.



I want some I want to I just wanted to get the timeline of Dr. Koh havy slife here. Okay. So it really only care about two things. Right? I think he said he worked. He worked with you for you. Right? Right. We work together. So and then immediately jetted off to Hong Kong. Is that is that a cause? And effect? Or is that sort of a temporary relationship? I'm gonna go with cause and effect it?






i You should not you should, you should not rest easy knowing that that's you're just lucky that he's he's very, he is very cultured, and get along with everybody. He says,



to having tricycle havy around the practice love this so much that he went to Hong Kong, they ran out of the country?



We find it on enough, get give us the answer? What's your number?



What would you miss the most besides your family? If your family didn't come? You'd really miss them. But what if you're,



it's hard. I know some things like personal effectiveness, but like, as a vet. I think a lot of the client interactions are better.



And that's the point I was gonna add. I don't



I mean, part of it is I don't I don't know what they're saying. A lot right. Now, whatever. I don't have like a fear of the clients here of them blowing up on me or them yelling about the price or whatever. And it's one of the stresses of being a vet is dealing with the clients. We're all like dealing with the animals, but they can be challenging. And, and we do have the subset of challenging clients here. But in general, I feel like it's not as stressful of an interaction.



Is it a longer interaction?



Because the translation,



but even even if it wasn't the trend, there wasn't the translation, do you think it's like, you go more time or not?



It is, but that's because there's less efficiency amongst the staff and stuff. So that takes a bit longer. And that is a notable difference, too, is we don't have a nurse training, kind of hierarchy, as you do in the States, I do notice the state is less trained, and they're multicultural, too. So wow, there's room with you is bilingual, you know, local, the people in the back, actually tend to be veterinarians from the Philippines. Interesting, a better opportunity for them to come and be a technician, we call them We call those people technicians and the other one that is, so the technicians are actually Filipinos. And so that actually is very helpful. Because then yeah, that kind of doing things you do miss would miss that. Just just being able to hand something off to that. But I think a lot of things I wouldn't miss to.



We don't want to do that. We're gonna end on a positive note. Yeah. For that, that was a wonderful answer. I love that. Yeah. So we're really, really interesting. I hope that you'll come back again, because, you know, I am just brimming with questions about infectious diseases that you might or might not see in Oregon. And so I mean, you probably don't see them anymore because you're you do ultrasounds, but I think you probably saw a good number of them. So I hope that you will come back and talk with us a bit more about



I heard lepto doesn't exist in Hong Kong, but I guess we can talk about that. So. Oh, you're not supposed to say



the deal is it comes from the rats, so they're sitting. Yeah, and you everything and then the dogs walk outside. You see, Jason



everyone knows I find



an interview with with one of the local news publications because we had a lepto dog and you know, we got it through it and



yeah, and it was so rare



that no no no. They wanted to raise



Jennifer's Jennifer's jam is loved. She loves this. I like



to Yeah. And anyway, so thank you so much surgical havy for getting up early in Hong Kong to chat with us. Yeah. Okay, so um, I guess that's all we have today. So



I'm Dr. Jenn the vet and I'm Dr. Jason.



I will catch you guys on the next episode.



This episode is brought to you by full bucket veterinary strength supplements the leader in digestive health for dogs, cats and horses.