Vet clinic supports Andersen’s animals

Base Info
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam—Dr. Cathy Osten, Public Health Command District Western Pacific civilian veterinarian, examines a canine’s ear with the assistance of Pfc. Shelby Coldiron, Public Command District WESPAC animal care specialist at the Andersen Air Force Base veterinary treatment facility, Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariah Haddenham/Released)
ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam—Dr. Cathy Osten, Public Health Command District Western Pacific civilian veterinarian, examines a canine’s ear with the assistance of Pfc. Shelby Coldiron, Public Command District WESPAC animal care specialist at the Andersen Air Force Base veterinary treatment facility, Jan. 24, 2013. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Mariah Haddenham/Released)

Vet clinic supports Andersen’s animals

by: Airman 1st Class Mariah Haddenham | .
36th Wing Public Affairs | .
published: January 26, 2013

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The Andersen Air Force Base veterinary treatment facility is responsible for the health of Andersen's military working dogs, Department of Defense working animals and provides care to privately owned pets.

The veterinary treatment on Andersen is facilitated by U.S. Army animal care specialists. The Army is the only branch with trained veterinary technicians. Because of this, they work with other military branches to assure that all military working dogs and government animals are cared for.

"While we are responsible for government animal care, we also provide care to privately owned animals," said U.S. Army Sgt. Jared Donnell, Public Health Command District Western Pacific animal care specialist. "We facilitate approximately 25-30 appointments on a non-surgical day, and on surgical days, we usually perform approximately five surgeries and 12 technical appointments."

Whether the animal is governmentally owned, privately owned, or a stray, the environment of Guam can pose threats to the health of all animals.

"There is a large population of stray dogs on Guam," said Sergeant Donnell. "This makes it very important for owners to keep animals current on their annual vaccinations and heart worm prevention. Owners should also pay attention to the warm climate of Guam and keep their animals well hydrated and out of the heat when possible."

Guam's unique climate is also inhibited by Cane toads, which are toxic to dogs. Owners should remain vigilant for Cane toads and seek treatment immediately if their dogs come into contact with one. Cane toads can be recognized by their red-brown or olive-brown, dry skin. These toads also have distinct ridges above their eyes, which contain golden irises and horizontal pupils.

"If the situation is critical and on base, we will stabilize the animal and recommend the owner to follow up with off-base emergency veterinary care," said Army Sgt. Neil Domingo, Public Health Command District WESPAC Andersen branch veterinary facility noncommissioned officer in charge. "We are not emergency care. If there is an incident off base, we recommend that owners seek off-base emergent care."

For more information, contact the Andersen AFB veterinary treatment facility at 366-3205.
 

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