DO not think quality medical care is only for humans. In the heart of Pretoria’s eastern suburbs is a veterinary facility to rival the best private hospital.
Described as a “home away from home”, the Valley Farm Animal Hospital in Faerie Glen has recently undergone an upgrade and is the answer to every caring pet-lover’s needs, regardless of the time of year.
From the entrance of the hospital tucked away on Old Farm Road, one feels a sense of tranquillity and well-being. If one didn’t know better, with all the hi-tech equipment and state-of-the-art facilities, one could be forgiven for forgetting this was an animal hospital.
It has the latest equipment, such as a CT scanner, operating theatres, climate-controlled wards – including a high-care ward for critical cases – and specialist vets and nurses at hand to deal with any ailment or emergency.
Before our tour of the hospital, we are met by the co-owner, Tim Krafft, who beams with pride and passion.
“Gentlemen,” he says to us, “this facility is like no other. I don’t want to blow my own horn. Let’s take a walk through the hospital and you be the judge. Don’t say I didn’t warn you though.”
With a staff of 85, 18 of them qualified staff veterinarians, Valley Farm Animal Hospital provides ultra-modern, comprehensive service to its existing client base as well as to clients referred from other practices in Pretoria, Joburg and further afield.
The hospital is one of the biggest veterinary practices in South Africa. In addition to general veterinary care for pets in Pretoria east, the practice offers a 24-hour on-site veterinary team for emergencies and in-patient monitoring.
Valley Farm general veterinarians are supported by specialists in medicine, surgery, anaesthesia and radiography. Owners are provided with veterinary care, grooming and a well-stocked on-site shop.
They also provide pet owners from all over South Africa with specialist care on a referral basis.
The facilities are world-class, used to aid with diagnostics, surgery, post-operative and other care, including stem cell therapy for arthritic pets, dentistry and physiotherapy.
Valley Farm Animal Hospital called in the services of Prof Robert Kirberger, a South African- and European-registered specialist radiologist to assist with advanced CT and sonar scans and, among the new hi-tech equipment at the hospital is a recently installed, multimillion-rand 16-slice computed tomography (CT) machine, the first of its class in the country for veterinary work.
Many of the staff qualified at the internationally renowned Onderstepoort veterinary faculty of the University of Pretoria.
Gareth Zeiler is a specialist veterinary anaesthetist, certified internationally, and able to deal with any tricky case or emergency.
Others on the staff are Dr Salome Nagel, specialist physician who takes referrals for a wide range of medical cases, and Dr Adriaan Kitshoff, who specialises in advanced soft tissue surgery on the brain and heart.
The practice was established by Krafft in 1995, joined a year later by Dean de Kock. They have worked hard at building the practice, introducing a 24-hour emergency service, improving facilities and constantly increasing the range and quality of services offered at the practice.
Valley Farm Animal Hospital provides a weekly pet-care column in the Pretoria News Weekend.
By: Sakhile Ndlazi