Dr. Kazuhiko Ezura


“Being a Buddhist myself, I really admire Bhutan’s culture and religion. Whenever I’m invited to their gatherings, especially during their yearly rituals and religious teachings called “choeshay layrim,” I start to see why Bhutan is known as the land of happiness. The Bhutanese people are deeply religious, and their practices are truly remarkable.
I’ve been living in Bhutan since last November. This is my first time abroad. Currently, I work at the National Veterinary Hospital, where I focus on treating cats and dogs. While I don’t have any children, I consider my pet dog ‘Taro’ to be my eldest child and he is 8 years old.

Back in Japan, I used to have 5 dogs, along with a cat and a rabbit. However, only one dog from that time is still with me. A significant event in my childhood influenced my career choice because when I was 10 years old, my grandfather left behind a pet dog while we were moving, which left me heartbroken. From that point on, I aspired to become an animal doctor.
After completing my education, I spent 8 years handling pathological diagnoses at the Tochigi Livestock Laboratory. Following that, I ran a small animal hospital for 26 years. Bhutan has always been my top priority and intrigued me because its culture and Buddhist practices resonate with my homeland.
A Japanese TV broadcast introduced Bhutan as a nation focused on happiness, with the Bhutanese people content and joyful. I felt a bit envious of the deep respect and admiration the people here hold for their king and queen.

I’m currently occupied with bridging the gap and finding differences between veterinary medicine practices in Japan and Bhutan. However, When I look at the Bhutanese vet, I see that they take responsibility and pride in animal medicine at the environment they are placed in.
I hope to share my knowledge and skills with my Bhutanese friends. English, Dzongkha, Hindi, and Nepali are challenging for me, but I’m dedicated to improving my communication. My aim is to help enhance the capabilities of local veterinarians by organizing training sessions for different district vets by assembling them here in Thimphu.

There’s a concern about a shortage of animal doctors in Bhutan, as many are leaving their positions. Still, I’ve come to realize that the Bhutanese vets are highly committed and proud of their work, considering the limitations they face. My days are filled with treating around 30 cats and dogs daily.
I have participated in a 2-day dog sterilization campaign, aiding around 60 dogs. It’s unfortunate that I couldn’t dedicate more time toward the sterilization program as I was very busy with my work. The prevalent animal diseases I encounter include rashes and skin issues and feline panleukopenia (viral infection) along with other common ailments. While Japan has around 40,000 veterinarians, Bhutan only has approximately 30 and this is a big concern.
There are times when I have to euthanize animals, not because I lack empathy, but because they’re in pain and suffering. It’s a difficult decision I have to make. In those moments, I find solace in prayer.
My workplace at the hospital offers a comfortable environment, and I wish the same for my colleagues. I extend my gratitude for the warm hospitality and companionship I’ve received.
Lastly, I want to express my appreciation to my wife and family for their support on this journey of mine.”

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