Clinic serves HAFB pets

HILL AIR FORCE BASE — Hill Air Force Base has a full-time veterinary clinic equipped to treat your four-legged furry friends.

The Veterinary Treatment Facility is open to all DOD eligible CAC holders, active, retired, guard and reserve, living on or off base. The clinic is staffed by Army Veterinary Corps personnel, including chief veterinarian Dr. Melanie Swartz, staff veterinarian Dr. Lisa Kleist, veterinary technicians Raquel Harris and Tabitha Bernard and office administrator Shantel Freund.

The Veterinary Treatment Facility’s mission is to provide complete veterinary care for dogs and cats owned by eligible personnel, and to care for Military Working Dogs, Swartz said. Services include international and national health certificates, wellness exams, limited sick calls, vaccinations, deworming, bloodwork, heartworm testing, skin scrapes, ear and eye infections, fine needle aspirates and weight control.

Established in the 1980s and remodeled in 2012, the facility allows each veterinarian to treat approximately 10 to 15 pets per clinic day. Swartz said some of the biggest challenges facing pets today are weight control and financial issues.

“If pet’s diets are controlled and obesity prevented, they tend to live longer, healthier lives,” she said.

Swartz also said there is more to owning a pet then just supplying food and shelter. It takes money for preventive care, emergencies, dentals and grooming to keep your pets healthy.

“It’s heartbreaking to see an animal suffer, and an owner upset because they cannot afford to seek treatment,” Swartz said. “It is also heartbreaking to see military personnel abandon their pets when they PCS. A pet is a lifetime commitment”.

Pet owners should be vigilant about keeping hazardous foods and other items out of reach. For example, chocolate, nuts, grapes, raisins, unbaked yeast, onions, caffeine, lilies, alcohol, antifreeze, human medication and mouse poison can make your pet extremely ill and could even prove deadly. 

The clinic offers free stickers listing common substances that can poison pets. Overindulgence in “people” food and treats can also lead to stomach upsets and pancreatitis.

The clinic is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. If you plan to move to another state or overseas, please call as soon as possible for information and regulations regarding pet travel. Some requirements may take up to eight months.

For an appointment, call 801-777-2611.

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