In December last year, a rancher from Samburu flew his dog 148 kilometres via a chartered plane to a vet clinic in Nanyuki town. The dog was suspected to have been attacked by a snake. Diagnosis revealed it had scratch marks which were treated.
The plane journey cost its owner Sh130,000. That was besides clinic charges.
The Northern Kenya Veterinary Services, a medical facility for pets along the Nanyuki-Nyeri Road is where dogs and cats are admitted for among others liver and kidney check-ups.
Majority of patients are owned by white ranchers and wildlife conservancies who, besides air, also ship them there by road. Air transport varies depending on type of fuel consumed by helicopters or fixed wing planes and hours spent.
Veterinary officers sometimes are asked to collect patients from the nearby airstrip.
The clinic has mobile digital X-ray machines, lab equipment with hierogram and biochemistry machines, an ultrasound and endoscope machines, special theatre table and admission facilities for cats and dogs placed under observation for continued treatment.
Consultation charge is pegged at Sh2,500 with additional expenses depending with nature of treatment and drugs subscribed by veterinary experts.
Sara Dyer established the facility three years ago from her desire to provide medical care for animals. When she was young, Sara wanted to pursue vet medicine but entry grades in Sweden failed her.
She said that she attends to hundreds of animals brought in from Lewa Downs, Timau, Samburu, Archers Post among other places and the patients are ably treated by veterinary surgeons, Dr Kivara Luke and Dr Moses Wamithia.
“We have modern kennels for the dogs to enable them get quality treatment,” she said, adding that besides pets, they also treat livestock and horses for which she plans to open a special facility for them in the next five years.