Small Animal Hospital
The reorganisation of operations at the Small Animal Hospital was successful. The goal was to increase the number of appointments, particularly for normal patients. In other words, the aim is to admit more of the kind of patients that our students will be treating immediately after graduation. The total number of patients admitted during the year rose by 6.7% to 18,538, the majority comprised of patients attending by appointment. The turnover of the Small Animal Hospital also grew healthily, improving productivity. Several two- and three-year specialist programmes aiming for a Specialist Degree in Veterinary Medicine were launched at the Small Animal Hospital. The specialist programme in ophthalmology (residency) was finally established, supported by dedicated external funding.
Horse husbandry is once again on the rise, resulting in an increase of more than 10% in the patient numbers of the Equine Hospital. The annual total was 2,738 patients, which includes research subjects. Several veterinarians specialising in equine diseases have been completing their specialisation at the Equine Hospital. The three-year specialist programme in equine surgery (residency) was brought to completion. As per tradition, the hospital participated in the Helsinki International Horse Show, which has turned out to be a magnificent opportunity for introducing science to horse owners. We also took part in the Kuninkuusravit Finnhorse Trotting Championship.
Production Animal Hospital
The clientele of the Production Animal Hospital’s production animal sector is very established, with no effect so far from the budding competition. The number of farm calls at the Production Animal Hospital grew approximately 5%, of which a significant part were health care calls, but the increase in horse management stated above also had an impact. The Production Animal Hospital is participating in the Neuvo 2020 programme of the Agency for Rural Affairs, through which cattle owners can obtain advisory services. Last year, the number of hospitalised patients also grew at the Production Animal Hospital. The patient numbers seen in 2014, however, are yet to be repeated, since the closure of the hospital in early 2015 still impacts its patient numbers. What was pleasing was the currently quite broad spectrum of species treated at the hospital.
Teaching, research and community relations
Facebook has proved to be a functional channel for communicating on important matters related to animals. Turvallisempi joulu lemmikeille (“A safer Christmas for pets”), a video released before Christmas, was viewed 52,000 times. The mission of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital is to share research-based knowledge with animal owners. We also wish to remind them how to avoid common accidents. The public lecture series Studia Veterinaria, intended to promote the popularisation of science, continued with two events: Ponin köhät ja kutinat (a lecture on equine allergies and respiratory tract diseases) and Hyvinvoiva kissa (a lecture on feline health). Canine knowledge was shared at the Dog Fair Finland organised by the Finnish Kennel Club.
The scope of research conducted at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital is constantly broadening. Procedures of hospital work and clinical research have become established, and the hospital’s improved financial result enabled investments in equipment required in research. During 2017, two new ultrasonic devices were procured, in addition to which an invitation was sent for tenders on a new MRI device.
Feedback for the hospital from fifth-year students was mainly excellent. During the year, no specific projects related to the development of teaching were carried out. Continuity was secured for the personal student services provided at the hospital, maintaining its good quality.
Director of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
University of Helsinki