Army Vets care for pets
By Tech. Sgt. Tom Czerwinski, 45th SW Public Affairs
/ Published May 12, 2010
PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The Patrick Air Force Base Veterinary Clinic, a 45th Space Wing mission partner, is run by the U.S. Army Veterinary Command. Operating with a staff of four active-duty soldiers and eight civilians to carry out its mission, the Vet Clinic's schedule can be dog-eat-dog.
Their mission is to provide family pets in the Patrick community with accessible high-quality veterinary care and services at the lowest possible cost.
"We see up to 100 dogs and cats here per week, and they most commonly come in for vaccinations," said Jocelyne Lasiste, office manager.
The clinic's staff performs a wide variety of services for pets to include microchipping, all types of vaccinations, blood testing, dental cleaning and skin treatments.
"Other services include, blood testing for heartworm, diabetes, rabies and distemper in dogs, and in addition for cats we test for feline leukemia and feline immune deficiency syndrome or FIV, which is feline AIDS," said Ms. Lasiste.
Some of the most popular services are vaccinations for both dogs and cats and over-the-counter treatment for fleas, skin care, ear cleaning, dental hygiene and joint care.
Authorized users of the Vet clinic are active-duty military and military retirees and reservists on active-duty orders. According to Ms. Lasiste, authorized users save up to 35 percent by using the base vet clinic as opposed to using off-base veterinary services.
"That's a big savings," she said. "And that is why business is good here, and has been this way during my 23 years working here."
With four civilian veterinarians employed through non-appropriated funds the clinic can perform minor surgeries at least three days a week; to include spaying and neutering for dogs
and cats and dental cleaning.
The clinic also treats the 45th Security Forces Squadron working dogs, providing vaccinations and health certificates for when the dogs deploy, according to Ms. Lasiste.
Veterinary services are not the only functions of the of the U.S. Army detachment there. They perform vital food inspections on and off base.
"We inspect food and services at Shades of Green, the military recreation hotel near Disney, and various other Army organizations around the state," said Sgt. 1st Class Greg Adams, Veterinary Service NCO. "Also we are responsible for inspecting commercial facilities off base that provide prepared or partially prepared foods, such as the base dining facility."
The Patrick Vet Clinic is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and is closed the last Friday of each month. Appointments can be made by calling 321-494-6080.