Story and photos by Cpl. William Smith
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs Office
The Fort Carson Veterinary Clinic recently expanded its services following an increase in personnel.
With the additional staff, the clinic has gone from strictly routine care and surgery to now offering dental care and many other services.
“Before, we just used to provide routine surgeries such as spays and neuters; now we offer dental and pretty much every other surgery that we do,” said Spc. Jennifer Dunlap, animal care specialist, Fort Carson Veterinary Clinic, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson. “I would tell people just to come in and get a consult with a doctor, and if they can’t do it, they will give them a recommendation of where they can.”
The clinic staff offers some tips about when to bring a pet to the clinic.
“Pay attention to your pet,” said Pfc. Chris Kilby, animal care specialist. “Get an idea of what is normal for your pet because each one is different, as far as how they act, and sometimes people don’t register something that has happened until two months down the road.”
Using the services at the Fort Carson Veterinary Clinic can save Soldiers and their Families money.
“We offer animal sick call,” Kilby said. “The consult is cool, because a lot of times if we can’t do the actual surgery, we can do some of the steps. Say, if there are 10 steps, we can do steps one through eight, so at least we can save them a lot of money. We can get them their blood work and their radiographs a lot cheaper here, and have that ready for them when they go to the specialty office. It can save them hundreds of dollars.”
The clinic also treats a wide variety of animals.
“We treat cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, mules, horses, ferrets and rats; if you want to check, just come in and ask or call,” Dunlap said.
The staff members suggest checking with them prior to moving to a new duty station to see what the pet requirements will be.
“The minute you know that you are going somewhere else, come in to the clinic and talk to the staff and see what you need to do because (some overseas locations) are very strict,” Kilby said. “There are time frames that are strictly enforced, and you won’t be able to take your pet, or if you do, then it will be quarantined anywhere from three to six months at the owner’s expense.”
They can also provide website addresses and help people find out what they need to do to be able to take their pets with them.
“It is on the person to make sure (they are) doing this,” Kilby said. “Every country is different.”
Per Fort Carson Regulation 40-37, pets residing on post must be registered with the vet clinic within 72 hours of arriving on post and micro-chipped within 30 days.
“We can’t help you if you don’t bring your pet in,” he said. “The biggest thing is we just want people to know we are here.”