Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I graduated from the Estonian University of Life Sciences in 1997. I set up my own practice in 2007 and we will celebrate our tenth anniversary in November. I have been President of ESAVA since 2014 and am a member of the Scientific and Breeding Advisory Board of the Estonian Kennel Union and Secretary of the Federation Cynologique Internationale Breeding Commission.
Could you introduce ESAVA to our members?
ESAVA was founded 1991 and I am proud to say that more than 90% of companion animal veterinarians are members. We hold two regular CE meetings a year, as well as our annual meeting and some smaller events. In addition to CE, our biggest project is the creation of a companion animal microchip registry. We began in 2002 and it is the largest voluntary microchip database in Estonia.
Estonia is hosting the 24th FECAVA Eurocongress in June 2018 and your colleagues have produced some unusual promotional brooches. Tell us about them!
That's a good question! When we decided to bid to host the Eurocongress, we wondered what we could produce as a souvenir of Estonia. We do not have a well-recognized symbol like Dutch tulips or Russian matrioshkas so I thought I’d better come up with one! A little later, I was in a car with colleagues, driving through Poland to a congress in Germany and started crocheting flowers in blue, black and white – the national colours of Estonia. We made them into brooches and they now represent our Congress! My colleagues have helped by crocheting hundreds more.
What is your role within the WSAVA? What does it involve and what do you value about it?
I have been Assembly Representative since 2008. ESAVA’s resources are limited so I only attend congresses in Europe but the WSAVA is very important for veterinarians in Estonia. We implemented the WSAVA Vaccination Guidelines soon after they were launched with key parts translated to Estonian and available on our website, linking back to the original document on the WSAVA’s website.
I use the WSAVA Hereditary Disease Guidelines and WSAVA genetic database and encourage colleagues, as well as breeders, to use them. The availability and accuracy of tests, as well as the reliability of the laboratories, is big issue and the WSAVA database is a valuable resource. I am looking forward to the Global Dental Guidelines as they will help us to explain to our clients what is reasonable and what is not. We hope to translate the Global Pain Guidelines soon. All of the WSAVA Standardization Guidelines are very useful!
How can the WSAVA most effectively support veterinarians working in Eastern Europe?
Eastern Europe is a diverse region with varying needs. At one end of the scale are countries with small associations which struggle to organize CE. At the other end are countries with an active veterinary community and veterinarians who attend CE events in large numbers.
My Estonian colleagues value international CE and attend congresses aimed at general practitioners and more specialized conferences. The main problem is the language barrier. This hinders our participation at congresses and even restricts our access to information about webinars and CE events in neighbouring countries. It is really helpful if WSAVA Representatives are well informed and if they disseminate information about WSAVA-supported CE events regularly.
What do you do in your spare time to relax?
I have four dogs – three Jack Russell terriers and a Welsh Corgi Cardigan - and I breed Jack Russells on a small scale. Travelling, gardening and tending my indoor orchid collection are my other main hobbies outside the veterinary world.