Shaw vet clinic cares for pets
By Airman Nicole Sikorski, 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published August 14, 2012
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Held by a leash or in a carrier, pets sit in the waiting room of the Shaw veterinary clinic.
The veterinary clinic at Shaw provides basic preventative medication and minor sick call for cats and dogs of active-duty members and retirees. The clinic treats about 70 to 100 patients per week here at Shaw.
The Shaw vet clinic also works closely with the 20th Security Forces Squadron military working dogs, to ensure their health and readiness to deploy.
"My favorite part about being a military vet is the working dogs," said U.S. Army Capt. Emily Pearman, Fort Gordon Public Health Command district veterinarian. "Especially when you send them off to deploy and (you see them return in good health). I also enjoy seeing them get adopted and go off to a life on the couch."
The clinic also prepares pets to PCS overseas and provides education to pet owners about rabies.
The clinic currently employs one active-duty officer veterinarian. The rest of the staff at the clinic consists of civilians, and two active-duty enlisted veterinarian technicians. Because of the few veterinarians and veterinarian technicians in the Air Force, the Army often provides veterinarians and technicians to work on Air Force bases. Pearman is the first military vet assigned at Shaw since the clinic opened in Feb. of 2011.
According to Pearman, pet owners on Shaw greatly value the health of their animals.
"As a vet on Shaw, it's rewarding to see how much other people appreciate their pets, and how much they make them a member of the family," Pearman said.
If a medication is available at the Shaw clinic, Pearman will prescribe it for patients. If it is not carried, patients may use an online pharmacy. As pets are not considered dependents, the pharmacy at Shaw does not provide their medications. Tri-care does not support medication for animals.
The clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for over the counter sales by appointment only. On Wednesday the clinic is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for clinic days. On Thursday it is open from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for surgeries.