Two puppies receive their vaccinations and an exam Tuesday at the Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph veterinarian clinic. These required vaccinations are given every three to four weeks until puppies are 16 weeks of age. (U.S. Air Force photo by Melissa Peterson) (Photo by Melissa Peterson)
Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas —
Services at Joint Base San Antonio veterinary treatment facilities are being expanded to provide more comprehensive care for beneficiaries' pets.
U.S. Army Public Health Command, which governs veterinary services supporting Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps facilities, announced that the transformation of veterinary clinics is being supported with the employment of additional veterinary health care providers and the worldwide use of ROVR, the Department of Defense's Remote Online Veterinary Record system.
"Over the past several years, Army veterinary care has expanded from vaccination and deworming clinics to complete wellness and medical care focused on comprehensive disease prevention with early diagnosis of problems and appropriate treatment," the announcement states. "Veterinary treatment facilities have become hospitals designed to take care of all your pets' health needs."
The transformation also includes a restructuring of some VTF fees to generate enough revenue to cover operating costs.
Army Capt. Ambre Gejer, veterinarian and officer in charge of the JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph veterinary clinics, said services at military VTFs will more closely mirror those at civilian veterinary clinics.
One important change is that a veterinarian will see each pet at every visit in addition to providing a comprehensive wellness examination each year, Gejer said.
At the JBSA-Randolph clinic, a veterinarian is on duty Monday-Thursday each week, when appointments are scheduled, she said. The clinic is also open Friday for over-the-counter sales.
The JBSA-Lackland and JBSA-Randolph facilities remain wellness clinics for dogs and cats with services that include vaccinations, deworming, blood work and treatment for minor problems involving pets' eyes, ears and skin. The JBSA-Fort Sam Houston VTF also has X-ray capabilities, but no JBSA facility provides emergency care for privately owned animals, Gejer said.
"I want to encourage people to make appointments with us for preventive medicine needs," she said. "If they have pets with emergency needs or chronic diseases, they should establish a relationship with a civilian facility for continuity of care."
ROVR was implemented a year ago at JBSA facilities as part of a beta test, Gejer said. In May, the remaining military facilities throughout the world became part of the shared online system.
"ROVR benefits pet owners because written records are no longer required," she said. "It unifies veterinary services and continues the veterinarian-client-patient relationship even when military families move from one location to another. It provides communication and continuity.
"It's also a searchable system that is a fantastic database for study purposes," Gejer said.
ROVR tracks the health of pets throughout their lives and will also allow veterinary experts to monitor animal diseases that can pose a threat to public health.
Clinic hours at JBSA-Randolph are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Friday; clinic hours at JBSA-Lackland are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday. For more information and to schedule an appointment, call the JBSA-Randolph VTF at 652-3190 or the JBSA-Lackland VTF at 671-3631.