Apollo, a mongrel dog who will rebuild with a prosthesis the jaw that someone broke, or Lía, a 3-month-old Maltese bichon who has operated from the heart, are some of the almost 5,000 extreme and complex cases They spend a year at the AniCura Valencia Sur Veterinary Hospital.
« We are an exclusive center of cases that are referred by other clinics or hospitals that have considered that they could have one last chance with us« , affirms in an interview with the Agency EFE Jorge Llinás, director and head of surgery of the center, to which many animals are mistreated or have been evicted from other parts of Spain and abroad.
Llinás is considered the « Animal digs » for the complex interventions he performs, such as Sky, a dog that was sent from Germany, where he was to be slaughtered, and underwent maxillofacial surgery to reconstruct half of his face, which had been sectioned with a knife.
« I am flattered by the simile, but we are light years away from a surgeon as big as (Pedro) Cavadas; Hopefully we can do such similar things, « says the veterinarian, who adds that Valencia Sur is a reference center where » teamwork « is done and help in cases that seemed to have no solution.
One they are currently working on is Apollo, a mestizo who came to the center with a « bestial trauma » and the jaw in the air and to which, after being able to extract the filarias (worms) that he had in his heart, they are preparing a three-dimensional prosthesis so that he can eat normally.
The Valencian center, open for seven years and where 60 people work, offers a comprehensive service with the total practice of veterinary specialties and it has a multidisciplinary team that contributes its experience in hospitals in Europe and the United States « to solve the most complicated cases ».
One of these specialists is the Italian Roberto Bussadori, who after intervening with Lía, a Maltese bichon puppy weighing just 800 grams, of a vascular anomaly between the aorta and the pulmonary artery, explains to EFE the special difficulty of this operation. Lía, who has been referred from Murcia, suffers the third most common congenital anomaly in the dog and although this problem could be solved with other less invasive methods, it has only been possible to perform with traditional surgery due to its low weight, Bussadori details, who points out that the veterinary profession is « totally vocational ».
Jorge Llinás also agrees with this statement, which states that being a veterinarian, « more than a philosophy, It’s a lifestyle. The veterinarian is born with that vocation « , and regrets that Spain is one of the countries at the head of animal abuse.
« It is a real and objective situation, it is very worrying, and I think it is a matter of social awareness and action, » highlights this specialist in maxillofacial surgery and veterinary dentistry, which adds: « Like many colleagues in Spain, we are doing a service to serve a lot of animals that, unfortunately, are abandoned. »
He confesses that the cases that have marked him the most are those in which he has not managed to save them –« I see those broken families … », He regrets – and explains that they have in the center a puppy that has arrived from Madrid due to a laryngeal paralysis and its owners are selling the car and doing everything possible for him.
The center has also made interventions such as Magnus, a 4-month-old lion cub that worked in a circus and whose esophageal problems prevented him from eating solid foods, or that of Duna, who arrived at the Hospital with a broken face after being abandoned by a hunter and was unable to eat and drink.
« The most frustrating thing is when you see that you don’t get it, the pain of the family stays in your head and heart, the last look of that dog or cat … That hurts, « reveals Llinás.