Koira-Kissaklinikka was founded by veterinarians Martti Haasto and Folke Perander in 1972. The reception was opened at Rauhankatu 17. On the street level there was one room and another downstairs. In between a spiral staircase, which from time to time caused grey hairs to the animal patients, their owners as well as to staff. A cat goes up and down the stairs calmly in ones’ arms, but when a 50 kilo dog which had been in an accident came around it was tricky to get downstairs. Coming up with the pet under narcosis afterwards needed everybody to help in the carrying operation. The feeling was a bit like trying to move around a living four-seat sofa in the spiral staircase… Mrs. Haasto worked as a receptionist and the patients would literally walk in off the street, without an appointment. The lobby was sometimes completely deserted, empty and quiet. Then all of a sudden a whole pack of dogs would burst in, since the owners had decided that now we’re going to get everybody healthy at once, vaccines and ear problems. At the same moment in sailed an owner with his/her pregnant cat which refused to begin giving birth and also just then the owner of the house next door decided, together with his Musti, to test who really has right-of-way on a corner near Mikaels’ church. The one with the bigger wheels or the one with a curved tail? The wheels won and Musti had to be operated…
Jyri graduated from veterinary school in 1981 and Eva a year later. The following year the Animal Hospital Anivet was founded at Teijo in Perniö (1983), with both Jyri Koponen and Eva Einola-Koponen as practising veterinarians. From the beginning the clientele composed mainly of horse owners who had some difficulty in travelling to Teijo and after a couple of years Anivet moved nearer to its clients to Raadelma in Piikkiö. Eva became the new owner/entrepreneur of Koira-Kissaklinikka in Turku. On the first of April (1.4.1985) began the scrubbing and fixing of her own clinic. First only Eva, and when needed Jyri from Raadelma would come to help, and later a part-time receptionist was hired. The clinic was open from 1 pm. and the doors would only close after the last patient had gone home, in other words sometimes pretty late in the evening.
The receiving of patients continued according to the old model, without booking of appointments and the days, evenings and nights were full of surprises. Our own family had also increased. Daughter Johanna was born in 1984, and became accustomed to sleep her siesta in the most different environments and situations, and to sleep tight! A few years later Johanna gave all who were at the clinic at that time an unforgettable visit to the vet. Johanna came straight from school to the clinic, said hi Mom from the door, and asked in her clear, high child’s voice, as if it were the most natural thing in the world: “Anybody die today?” Luckily there was no one in these conditions at the clinic that day, and after a moment of confused silence, no one could stop laughing!
We got rid of the spiral staircase when we moved to Untolankatu. Now, in addition to Eva, there was another veterinarian and two helpers working full-time at the clinic. Here we also began to get used to the principle of booking appointments. Now you could walk in off the street only at the end of the day, as of 4 pm. And at suppertime, sort of around eightish, the waiting room was like the meeting room of the conversation club of dog and cat persons. The clients already came having made up their minds that they would probably have to wait. Exchanging all kinds of experiences and news with others waiting their turn was one specific part of the visit to the vet. In Turku in those days, apart from the city veterinarian, there were 3-4 small animal clinics and the patients were mainly dogs and cats. Different exotic pets were few and far between in Finland then, and it was as if only a “narrower slice” of veterinary services was used compared to today. More often it was about the different basic health care of pets, but surgical procedures were present right from the beginning. In the surgery room we operated in tighter quarters than now. There were different “basic operations”, castrations and sterilizations, Caesar sections and patients with fractures. Nowadays, when you read the reservations book of the operating room, these basic operations are about half of all surgical proceedings. That other side did not really exist back then, among others, eye, dental and internal organ surgery, and hip operations, etc. In veterinary science procedures and care possibilities develop continuously, just like in human medicine, and you never really “graduate” as a veterinary doctor anymore. After high school you get journeyman’s papers to work in practice, but the need for continued education and further training continues, as in life itself
“I’m probably the only person hereabouts who was overjoyed about the Suikkila post office being closed down…”
At Untolankatu we worked in rented facilities and when going to the post office one day Eva heard about the decision to close it. And there and then she asked the girl who worked there a question she couldn’t answer: “Who owns this place?” The owner was found and a deal was done, and the renovation and new building to make it suitable for a small animal clinic begun. This was the year 1990 and Eva had ahead of her an autumn of specialization in her professional know-how, and the objective was to attain the degree of “Small animal diseases specialist veterinarian”. At the same time the maternity leave of the other full-time veterinarian working at the clinic began, and it became necessary to also get new skilled people for the care staff. In the new facilities there were many more rooms for procedures and investigations than in the former place, and a whole new arsenal of hospital furniture, appliances and instruments was hauled in at once. It is said that Eva every now and then searches for the ignition locking system of the X-ray machine, because there sits the materialization of the family dream of an SUV…
Now we made it to decent facilities and full-service functioning. The whole vast scale of small animal health and illness care is offered at our own clinic, right down to our own laboratory services. We continually participate in international veterinary further education and the specialty areas at the clinic are varied, including dermatology (skin diseases) of small animals, heart, tooth and eye diseases, and some rarer procedures such as hip and joint surgery, and stomach and lung endoscopies.
In 1997 the Clinic was awarded, for the first time in Finland to a veterinary company, the Turku Entrepreneurs’ services sector ENTERPRISE AWARD for meritorious entrepreneurial activity.
The clinic moved into new facilities Vuorelankatu at the Turku north ring road late spring 2008. Now we have the chance to examine and treat acute patients effectively and precise and continuing developing lab equipment helps vets to get quicker to diagnosis and to start precise treatments. The bigger clinic gave the personel a chance to work in an inspiring and nice environment and the clinics development can continue.
The big treatment room with a table for dental clients, more cages and room for stationary patients and those in the recovery after surgeries, and a fysioterapy room with aqua trainer where very welcomed by all of us, clients and staff. Also our laboratory with a very good instrumentation helps us even more to help acute emergency patients.
When we moved to Vuorelankatu we also got the digital X-ray equipment to make our life easier and better service in x-ray quality.
At the same time our personel got room for night and weekend shift sleep, a sauna and kitchen. As we where one of five clinics taking care of the weekend duty for small animals in Turku area 1985-2011 these better circumstances to work during weekends where excellent. Turku city decided to have a not originally Turku area clinic taking care of all emergency duty from january 2011.
To serve our own clients better also during weekends we started in may 2012 with emergency hours service at the clinic between 9 am and 3 pm every saturday.
Jyri Koponen 1.10.1956-25.11.2010
Honouring his memory, Koira-Kissaklinikka’s staff.