Meet Dr. Georgiev from the Blue Cross Veterinary Hospital

more than a year ago
Meet Dr. Borislav Georgiev
Head Vet at Blue Cross Veterinary Surgery Sofia

Dr. Georgiev graduated in  veterinary medicine from the Forestry University Sofia in 2002 and opened the Blue Cross Clinic in the Pancharevo district the following year. Since the early days the clinic has gone from strength to strength and grown considerably, offering round the clock (24hours) medical attention and care for your pets with many of the on duty doctors having another language up their sleeve. At the end of 2019 the most ambitious wing was completed making the Blue Cross clinic – a state of the art animal hospital, one of the largest and most modern equipped in Bulgaria – if not the region. As a team they strive to stay at the forefront of all developments in the field of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Borislav Georgiev himself is specialised in orthopedics and traumatology, abdominal and thoracic surgery. He is internationally recognised as a specialist in the field of hip and elbow dysplasia and with his team carried out the first ever hip replacement on a dog here in Bulgaria.
Apart from animals his other passions include skiing, fishing and diving.

What was your motivation behind starting Blue Cross?
We had a German Shepherd dog who became ill and died and no one in Bulgaria was able to help him or tell us what had happened. That was the moment I decided to become a vet. At that time there were no clinics in Bulgaria for pets (dogs, cats) equipped to offer a full service of testing and care. As soon as I graduated we decided to build a clinic based on the European model and as you see we built it away from the city centre. Maybe with the hope to grow? Nowadays people don't think twice about travelling to the clinic by car or taxi because they know they will get a good service here. I am very proud of my very dedicated team who at the end of the day all became vets because they love animals.

What were your biggest challenges then?
Getting credit from a bank was very difficult in those days but ultimately where there is a will, there is a way. The good thing is that from Day 1 we were in business.

With the opening of the new hospital wing, would you say that was the final element of the dream?
We were not sure in the beginning about how successful the clinic would be and we are grateful to have won the trust of our clients. We are happy that over the years we have been able to help so many animals and of course we are saddened by the fact that not all could be saved. Unfortunately that is life!
Over the years we have expanded the clinic 3 times and we keep outgrowing it. New advances in veterinary medicine are moving at a fast pace and we are very proud to say that we have facilities more modern than in many parts of Europe.

What are the changes you have seen in people's attitudes towards their pets in Bulgaria in the years you have been working?
The biggest change is definitely that people these days have the resources to pay for the necessary treatment for their pet. In the early days we often had to compromise treatment, either because there was no treatment available or finances were limited. Pet owners have become more responsible. A big role has been played by the NGO's that have raised awareness about stray cats and dogs and responsible ownership. Where possible we try to support them in their ongoing work.
Pet owners have understood the importance of castration and sterilisation, along with regular vaccinations and other preventative measures such as de-fleaing and de-worming.

What does Blue Cross offer today?
99% of the highest technological levels in veterinary medicine offered anywhere in the word. From specialised neurological procedures, computer tomography, genetic diagnostics, general surgery including endoscopic surgery (the only facility in Bulgaria) etc. It might be easier to list what we don't offer.
In our experience most expats who visit the clinic are very impressed with the overall standard of the facilities and additional services which include micro-chipping, registration, grooming and the pet hotel. They are not dissimilar to what they are used to from home. Usually we have at least someone on reception or duty who speaks English or another foreign language.

Do people need to worry about rabies?
There is no rabies in any of the cities in Bulgaria. The only potential danger would be for those going hunting in the forests where they could possibly encounter a rabid fox, but there have been no such reported cases in many years now.

Although we are very much in favour of encouraging 'pet adoption' what advice would you give about purchasing or acquiring a pet in Bulgaria?
Firstly consider very carefully the different characteristics between a cat and a dog and which you prefer, secondly be aware of the different breed characteristics and how they will work with your lifestyle. A hunting dog will never be happy locked in an apartment; in fact he will probably wreck it through no fault of his own and no amount of training will help. Generally it is also recommended to do the much will this dog cost me in a year and can we afford it? The most important thing is to always remember the responsibility you have to your pet, it's not for a day or month – it's for a lifetime.

Some funny memories you wish to share?
As a vet, especially in the early days, my focus was very much on the animal and sometimes you would meet people away from the clinic and they would say 'Don't you remember me? I brought my dog to you.' And I would have to politely inquire as to the name of the dog 'Of course Bari – I remember him'



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