dr. susanne kamu

Susanne Kamu

Susanne Kamu. Founder and majority owner of Clinica Veterinaria PetVetKamu (The Scandinavian Small Animal Clinic).

I was born in Helsinki, Finland, into a Swedish-speaking family. I attended a private Swedish school from which I graduated in 1979. I started studying veterinary medicine in Helsinki in 1982 and graduated with honours and a doctorate in 1990. Completing my studies took slightly longer than anticipated due to my two passions – horseback riding and sailing. The horses, however, had to make way for sailing which proved to require more time. During my studies I got married and had my first son Kaspar who was born in 1989.

Becoming a veterinary was never clear to me although I had always loved animals. During my teens I used to work part time in a farm outside Helsinki, close to my parents summer home. Eventually this farm ended up being like a second home for me and I stayed there more and more. Not only to work, but also because I loved the atmosphere of the countryside. Another reason, of course, where the horses. I was allowed to ride as much as I wanted and during this time I seriously considered horseback riding as a profession – but my common sense won and I chose to pursue a veterinary career. I realized that neither my finances nor talent where enough to become a pro-rider.

Sailing and the sea have always been important to me. As most others I started with a light boat – with an optimist dinghy, later a slightly bigger light sailor – a Still 525 which is manoeuvred by three people. A few years later me and my husband bought a Swan 41, which we soon traded in for a bigger Swan 391 which we christened Shosana. With Shosana we sailed far and for a long time. Our longest streak in 1988 was during the Rolex Swan Cup. We departed from Porto Cervo, Sardinia, from where we sailed around the Mediterranean. The journey continued through the strait of Gibraltar on to Las Palmas in the Canary Islands. There we rested and equipped our boat for a few weeks until our voyage continued. We got enlisted in the Atlantic Race for Cruisers (ARC) over the Atlantic to Barbados. Once there, we rested for a week until we took the opportunity to cruise around the Caribbean for a few weeks. All this took us approximately 8 months.

After our little adventure I went back to Helsinki and completed my studies. I was finally a licensed veterinary. During my studies I did a lot of work for several district and state owned clinics in different parts of Finland. Mostly on weekends and holidays. But after my completed examination we moved to Copenhagen, Denmark, for family reasons. From there I commuted several times a week to Helsingborg Animal Hospital in Helsingborg, Sweden. I worked there for 8 years, between 1990 and 1998 with a few exceptions during which time I was on maternal leave.

Our second son, Benjamin, was born in 1991 and our third – a daughter – Ira-Okkulina was born in 1995. In 1998 we moved to southern Spain, mainly due to the fact that Ira-Okkulina had since her birth suffered from severe asthma and the doctors advised us to move somewhere with a hotter climate. Once in Spain I quickly got the idea of opening my own clinic. After endless paperwork and bureaucracy the clinic was up-and-running in 1999.

My spare time is usually spent on the family. Benjamin is, as his father, a skilful golfer. We try to play as much as possible. During my golfing heyday I had a handicap of 18. But now, whenever I play, I need about 10 extra hits per round.

Ira-Okkulina is an enthusiastic rider and has inherited my love for horses. Kaspar is very artistic and wants to pursue a career in fashion. I work out with Kaspar and Benjamin a few times a week. During our holidays we usually travel abroad. Every winter we go to the Finnish Lapland for a relaxing week of skiing and snow. And during the summers Finland is usually the destination.
To work as a vet on the Costa del Sol is very inspiring but can also be very stressful and tiring. As a counterbalance to my work I find that an active spare-time and the spirit of togetherness with my family is very important.
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