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Vet clinic helps make happy, healthy pets

Senior Airman Katherine Walters, 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs broadcast journalist, and her German Shepherd, Jodi, have been utilizing the Scott Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility for 2 years. Walters has greatly appreciated the amount of care and support her and Jodi have received at the clinic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Estevez)

Senior Airman Katherine Walters, 375th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs broadcast journalist, and her German Shepherd, Jodi, have been utilizing the Scott Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility for 2 years. Walters has greatly appreciated the amount of care and support her and Jodi have received at the clinic. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Estevez)

Dr. Twainna Hall, Scott Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility veterinarian, performs a general check-up on a dog Feb. 12, 2018, at Scott AFB, Illinois. The mission of the vet clinic is to conserve the fighting strength of military working dogs through coordinated, full-spectrum food safety and defense, veterinary public health, and veterinary medical care. The clinic also provides veterinary support for privately owned animals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Estevez)

Dr. Twainna Hall, Scott Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility veterinarian, performs a general check-up on a dog Feb. 12, 2018, at Scott AFB, Illinois. The mission of the vet clinic is to conserve the fighting strength of military working dogs through coordinated, full-spectrum food safety and defense, veterinary public health, and veterinary medical care. The clinic also provides veterinary support for privately owned animals. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Estevez)

Dr. Twainna Hall, Scott Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility veterinarian, and Melissa Duran, her veterinary technician, perform a general check-up on a dog Feb. 12, 2018, at Scott AFB, Illinois. A general check-up covers a variety of items including checking the animal’s teeth, spine, heart and lungs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Estevez)

Dr. Twainna Hall, Scott Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility veterinarian, and Melissa Duran, her veterinary technician, perform a general check-up on a dog Feb. 12, 2018, at Scott AFB, Illinois. A general check-up covers a variety of items including checking the animal’s teeth, spine, heart and lungs. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Estevez)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gregory Beam, Scott Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility NCO in charge, fills a prescription Feb. 12, 2018, at Scott AFB, Illinois. The vet clinic on base currently offer appointments for ill patients and patients needing vaccines, annual check-ups, and routine testing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Estevez)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gregory Beam, Scott Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility NCO in charge, fills a prescription Feb. 12, 2018, at Scott AFB, Illinois. The vet clinic on base currently offer appointments for ill patients and patients needing vaccines, annual check-ups, and routine testing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Melissa Estevez)

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. -- Animal lovers know all too well the power of having a good vet who can help keep our pets happy and healthy.

Thankfully, we have amazing doctors and technicians at Scott’s Veterinary Treatment Facility who do just that!

While their primary job is to care for the Military Working Dogs here, they also provide care for privately owned animals. I can’t imagine having a better team of professionals to help me with the first pet I’ve ever owned—Jodi, a German Shepherd I adopted from a former co-worker.

I had my fair share of pets growing up, but Jodi is the first dog I’ve had that was solely my responsibility and not my parents. I never really took into consideration that amount of money it took to care for a pet; and Jodi was no different.

Within just a few months, my husband and I slowly started to realize how much cost, time and effort goes into taking care of pet—everything from pet food, treats, toys, grooming and routine health care.

For any pet parent, the highest priority is their pet’s health and happiness. Luckily for me, the Scott Veterinary Treatment Facility is conveniently located on base and offers basic health care services for Jodi’s health care needs.

Since moving here in 2015, I’ve taken Jodi to the base vet to get her routine vaccinations and yearly checkups, as well as for any other issues that have arose in between.

Recently, the vet clinic underwent renovations to help them provide more services not only to the military working dogs on base, but also to privately owned pets.

Army Staff Sgt. Gregory Beam, Scott Air Force Base Veterinary Treatment Facility NCO in charge, said the renovations included a third exam room, a surgical suite and more space in general. He also explained that the renovations have allowed the clinic to provide more appointment times for privately owned pets.

I recently had the opportunity to experience the benefits of these renovations.

In December, Jodi had a little incident that caused her to have lameness in one of her hind legs. Like any other pet parent, I was frantic and worried about my girl because unlike humans, pets cannot communicate what’s wrong with them and it’s never a good day when your pet is ill or in pain.

After a trip to a local emergency veterinarian, the doctor recommended I take Jodi to her normal vet and confirm that she was healing properly.

Being the overprotective dog mom that I am, I called the vet a couple days later to get my girl in to be seen. Luckily, because of the renovations, I was able to get my girl in that same week, even with it being just before the holiday break.

I could have taken her elsewhere, which I have done before in emergency situations or if the base vet did not have any available appointment slots, but Jodi is regularly seen by the base vet, and I have built great rapport with them which makes me a little more comfortable taking her on base since they know her whole medical history.

Luckily, she was able to get seen before the end of the week by Dr. Twainna Hall. Since this wasn’t a usual visit, I was worried about the news I was going to receive. My previous experiences with off-base vets had caused me to worry about how the vets would respond to the situation and whether they would be receptive to my concerns.

To my surprise, Dr. Hall and Melissa Duran, her veterinary technician, were very reassuring and great with Jodi. They both were receptive to my concerns and gave me great information about alternative care methods. It ended up being one of the most positive experiences I have had at a vet clinic.

After we left that day with care instructions in hand, Dr. Hall called a few days later to check up on Jodi. A few weeks later, she asked about Jodi again while I was on a work assignment and happened to run into her. These gestures and the concern she showed demonstrated that the staff really cares about their patients and that as long as I’m stationed here, Jodi was in good hands.

Dr. Hall said she was proud to be able to serve the military members and their animals and provide them with the services they need. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for the staff at the Scott Veterinary Treatment Facility, and for having this wonderful benefit accessible to us here.  They truly help make the difference in our quality of life as well as our pets!