A Turkish veterinarian and his
Kursat Ozer’s Istanbul clinic has become a haven for pet owners desperate to find a cure for their pets’ mysterious ailments, transforming him into a veterinary version of Dr. House, the famous TV disease sleuth.
Ozer, 57, and his team treat cats, dogs, birds, and even the occasional iguana in the working-class Zeytinburnu district on the city’s European side.
On Sunday, he opened his clinic to Anadolu Agency to commemorate International Cat Day, which has been observed by the International Fund for Animal Welfare since 2002.
As the queen of cities, Istanbul is also known for the felines that roam the city’s historic streets, living lives that are always near humans, sometimes intersecting, and frequently affectionate.
Cats can be seen at concerts or lying on metro turnstiles, yawning and oblivious to the harried commuters, and occasionally attempting to share a lunch with upright Istanbulites along the Bosphorus shores.
Residents enjoy caring for cats, so it’s not surprising to see them feeding stray cats on the streets. Ozer is one of the people who looks after the strange animals.
Ozer, who was born in the eastern province of Erzurum, studied veterinary medicine at Istanbul University’s prestigious Veterinary School.
Ozer is a long-serving professor of surgery who recently retired from the university faculty, bringing with him more than 37 years of experience in diagnosis.
Ozer has worked in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan, as well as teaching at universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Azerbaijan.
In 1999, his two-story clinic opened its doors, boasting cutting-edge technology ranging from blood tests to innovative visualization techniques. ‘Animal love in Turks’ genes’
‘Animal love in Turks’ genes’
“Animals in need of surgery come to us from more than 90 clinics” in Turkey and abroad, he said. “Turkish people have a love for animals in their genes..”
“As a nation, we love animals,” he said, explaining that birdhouses were built outside houses or palaces in the old Ottoman Empire, something that was not seen in other countries. The most recent of these birdhouses can be seen outside the mausoleum of Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in the capital Ankara. According to Ozer, Turkey’s first animal hospital, the Ottoman-era Gurabahane-i Laklakan, was built in the 1800s specifically to care for storks in the northwestern province of Bursa, a stop along the birds’ migration route. He told stories about the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s fondness for cats. According to legend, when a cat fell asleep on the prophet’s sleeve and he had to get up, Muhammad carefully cut off his sleeve rather than disturb the sleeping feline. In another, Muhammad is said to have ordered his marching soldiers to take a detour around a mother cat nursing her kittens. Returning to animal health care, he stated that viral diseases in cats, particularly respiratory diseases, appear to be very common.
However, he mentioned a peculiar feature found in cats that fall from balconies.
“There are cats that fall 200-300 meters (650-1,000 feet) and are unharmed,” he said. “Because cats make perfect use of the laws of physics while falling, as they turn their bodies at the last second and thus change their acceleration from gravity.”
According to the Turkish veterinarian, most cats are injured in such falls not by the fall itself, but by hitting balconies or awnings, and cat owners living on high floors should protect their cats from open windows.
Canine assistance with tumors
Ozer enjoys telling stories about his patients, such as a happy-ending story about a dog who started out in bad shape.
The dog’s vulva was constantly bleeding, resulting in a large bulk.
“She was on the verge of death,” he recalled. His team needed to get her to surgery as soon as possible, but it was a difficult situation because the dog was losing a lot of blood.
By chance, an owner of a golden retriever who Ozer had previously assisted – in that day for a routine checkup – heard about the other dog’s plight and offered to donate blood from his own dog. “That day, in a major operation, we took out a tumor weighing 3..,” Ozer said, referring to the donated blood. 8 kilograms (8. (3 kilos). ”
The ailing dog is now back to normal after a month of treatment.
He stated that a variety of tools are required in one’s medical kit in order to make successful diagnoses. “People need to constantly improve themselves,” Ozer said, adding that he follows the innovations and experience shared at professional congresses both in Turkey and abroad as much as possible. ”
He emphasized the value of experience as well as the need for high-tech equipment, stating that “animals can’t tell you their problems..” ”
Ozer said he formed a five-person team to aid animals in areas of Turkey where forest fires are raging, particularly in Mugla province in the Aegean. “Farm animals are being cared for in a way, as they’re a source of livelihood for people there,” he said during the fires, “but there aren’t many people who understand wild animals.” ”
Ozer also called a long-awaited animal-rights bill passed by parliament last month a missed opportunity. “It’s just a rewrite of previous legislation,” he explained. “Yes, the fines were increased, but 90% of the problems remained unsolved..” ”
The father of three daughters hopes to expand his clinic in the future and save even more animals. “One of my daughters is studying to be a veterinarian, and my youngest hopes to be one someday,” he said, adding, “This is teamwork.”