Dr. Dubro Zerajic, a veterinarian and equine acupuncturist, based for many years in Aurora, Ontario, died on August 26, 2016, after a lengthy illness. He would have turned 79 on September 6th.

Born in the former Yugoslavia, Dr. Zerajic emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, after graduating with a veterinary degree from the University of Zagreb during the mid-1960s. He became a board certified veterinarian with the Ontario Veterinary College, and went into practice with Tony Calverley in 1973, then opened his own practice in Aurora five years later.

Dr. Zerajic was a pioneer in the field of equine acupuncture, having discovered the therapy in 1968. With his scientific background, he was unable to accept the Chinese explanation that acupuncture worked by correcting imbalances in the flow of energy through channels known as meridians. His own research revealed that the acupuncture points corresponded to nerves or nerve-endings, and this realization led him to study physiology, specifically what each nerve does when stimulated. In 1978, he travelled to Japan to study for a brief time with Dr. Kirisawa. Upon his return, he practiced his technique on his own horses and began to incorporate it into his veterinary practice.

Dr. Zerajic treated many Thoroughbred horses at Woodbine Racetrack. Among his most famous clients, were Hall of Famers Glorious Song (1980 Horse of the Year) and Bold Ruckus (Canada’s leading sire 10 times), both of whom he treated for muscle tightness.

Though semi-retired the past several years, Dr. Zerajic continued to see his long-time clients, focusing mainly on consultations and acupuncture.

Andrew Dalnoki had been friends with him since 1970, when they rented a farm together north of Toronto. “Dubro was a totally dedicated horse lover and veterinarian who spent his whole life for the horse. If a vet couldn’t find what was wrong with a horse, Dubro did.”

“Dubro knew a lot more about acupuncture than anybody else and had a very inquisitive mind. He was always reading the latest research. He had an innate sense – a special gift if you like – to find problems. He had amazing knowledge and experience.”