Military News

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Army supports man's best friend

by Airman 1st Class William Johnson
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

3/3/2015 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- People, mission and family are the priorities of the 436th Airlift Wing and when it comes to family, Team Dover does not leave anyone or any companion behind.

The Veterinary Treatment Facility on Dover Air Force Base, Del., consists of three active duty Army members and five civilians who are responsible for providing veterinarian services to more than 4,000 privately-owned dogs and cats and sees an average of 250-300 patients per month.

Army Spc. Sara McGlone, VTF NCO-in charge, said the common services provided are annual health and wellness visits, preventive care measures, and same day sick call appointments for established patients.

"We conduct annual and routine vaccinations and a vast amount of laboratory testing such as heartworm, ringworm, feline leukemia and fecal testing for intestinal parasites," said McGlone. "Heartworms and ticks are also pretty prevalent in this area, so we provide a lot of heartworm, flea and tick preventatives at their visits."

The VTF is also equipped to perform certain radiographic and ultrasonography functions. Other services include dental hygiene care and micro chipping.

Army Capt. Amanda Jeffries, VTF Officer-in charge and veterinarian, is expecting to expand their services even further in the near future.

"We are hoping to institute surgical capabilities within the next few months so we can offer even more services to the populace," said Jeffries.

When the patient's needs exceed the VTF's capabilities or services, they are referred to veterinarians in the local community who may be better equipped to provide the necessary care or treatment required by the patient. Services that require off-base support include major surgeries or care that requires overnight stays or hospitalizations.

"We actually have a great working relationship with our local veterinarians," said Jeffries. "The doctors are very happy to accept our workup of a patient and moves forward based on our diagnosis and perform the procedures necessary."

Bringing your cat or dog to the VTF also comes with its own set of advantages. The price of tests, vaccines and services are less expensive compared to off-base services and there is a greater chance of appointment availability.

"The military standardizes our cost, so we are able to provide these services at a substantial savings," said Jeffries. "For a physical examination alone, you are looking to pay almost 50 percent less than you would downtown."

The VTF also specializes in ensuring your pet is certified to travel overseas with permanent change of station orders. Pets must obtain a health certificate, rabies vaccination and be micro chipped before a PCS. Microchips from the VTF are compatible worldwide to meet requirements overseas.

"If you haven't met the necessities to PCS overseas with your animal, they will be quarantined as soon as they arrive in country," said McGlone. "This is why we urge people to contact us as soon as they receive orders so we can guarantee their animals are fit for travel."

The VTF is open from 8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information about services or to schedule an appointment, call (302) 677-5252.

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