Some travelers or those looking to start a life abroad may be wary of the level of care available from Thai animal hospitals, or wonder if they exist at all. We recently experienced a mini midnight emergency with our cat, MooShu, and visited two clinics that provided everything we could have hoped for. They had clean facilities, knowledgeable English-speaking veterinarians, and satisfactory medical treatments. And to top it off, the veterinarian cost in Chiang Mai was only 10% of the cost of similar services conducted in the US.
We noticed our cat was in severe pain during the wee hours of the morning and had no idea what veterinary services were available in Chiang Mai. Would a veterinary clinic be open? Would the veterinarian be knowledgeable and speak English or only Thai? Would the facility be clean and well-equipped? Would the veterinarian cost in Chiang Mai eat us alive?
A quick online search directed us to the 24 Hour Purpoon Animal Hospital located off of Thipanet Road. The veterinarian on-duty saw us immediately, and to our relief, confirmed that our cat’s condition was not life threatening and no immediate action needed to be taken. The visit took all of 15 minutes and was free of charge. Although we declined any services, we were relieved to know that this facility is open around the clock in the case an emergency arises.
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After checking out several online reviews, we discovered that Chiang Mai actually has roughly twenty animal hospitals with English-speaking vets. So the next day, we opted to get medical treatment for MooShugo from the Chiang Mai University Small Animal Hospital located off of Highway 121.
Profession Staff and Clean Facilities
The CMU Small Animal Hospital accommodated us immediately and the veterinarian quickly diagnosed MooShu’s condition, which was the same as the Purpoon clinic. The veterinarian was professional, friendly, and thorough in explaining his diagnosis, how he would evaluate the severity of our cat’s condition, and what medical treatment he recommended.
We were satisfied with the condition of the facility. The Small Animal Hospital had a large waiting room, was well-lit, and both looked and smelled clean. The animal hospital is equipped with an emergency room, an x-ray room, an operating room, and ten exam rooms. Our exam room had a stainless steel exam table topped with a fresh towel, a sink and cabinets stocked with first-aid equipment, and the walls were decorated with posters about dogs and general animal health. Later we visited the x-ray room where the equipment was in good condition. No dirty floors, rusty surgery equipment, or clogged sinks here!
One major difference from our vet back home was that we assisted in holding our cat still while they conducted the tests instead of the vet technicians. We even held him still during the x-ray, radiation-reflecting jackets and all!
We finished the visit by discussing what to do if our cat was feeling better or not in the next few days, as well as what the long-term expectation of his condition could be. After settling the payment and getting the medication, we were out the door in just under an hour.
Veterinarian Cost in Chiang Mai
Another major difference between veterinary treatment in Thailand compared to the US was how inexpensive the bill was. For nearly identical services, our veterinarian costs in Chiang Mai was 10% of the cost as our veterinary bill in Northern Virginia. That’s about a $350 price difference!
|Examination||$65||$2.62 / 80฿|
|Two Medications||$148||$8.70 / 270฿|
|Two X-Rays||$174||$19.30 / 600฿|
|Medical Instruments||N/A||$8.00 / 250฿|
The level of professionalism, timeliness, thoroughness, knowledge, and quality of facilities in Chiang Mai was comparable to our experience in Northern Virginia but they provided all this at a fraction of the cost. It was also refreshing that the Small Animal Hospital didn’t try to sell us expensive and “necessary” flea and tick medication, de-wormers, dietary supplements, etc, as we were trying to leave, which was something we experienced during almost every visit at our old vet.
The most important part is that our fur-child is on the way to a healthy recovery and is nearly back to his old self, chasing bugs and lizards and lovin’ life in Thailand…and of course, napping in his spare time.