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Vet clinic supplies creature's comfort

Registered technician Patricia Wright gives chocolate Labrador Bridget a complete physical checkup before she moves with her family to Japan.(Air Force photo/Danielle Gregory)

Registered technician Patricia Wright gives chocolate Labrador Bridget a complete physical checkup before she moves with her family to Japan.(Air Force photo/Danielle Gregory)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla., -- The Tinker Veterinary Clinic hopes to provide the best possible care for Tinker pets at all times.

The clinic offers medical services as well as healthy living advice for pets and owners. They remind owners that a lot of animals can carry diseases that can be transmitted to them.

The clinic provides preventative medicine vaccines, treats minor health problems, spays and neuters, teeth cleanings, intestinal worms treatment and allergy medication. They recently started offering surgeries, and they are almost booked through the end of the year for surgeries.

"We are usually booked very far in advance and always recommend and off-base veterinarian for backup. Sometimes we have to have a pause in case a military working dog comes thru and has an emergency because our primary goal is to take care of them. So, if one of them needs something, everything else stops," said veterinarian Heather Cameron. "It is just like if a soldier were to come in with an injury to the hospital, everything would stop to take care of them."

Dr. Cameron said the clinic is a joint regulation through the Army, Air Force and Navy. All veterinary clinics in the military are run by the Army.

"The difference between us and an off-base clinic is that they have to run a business and pay their overhead. Their goal, for the most part, is to make money and stay open. Ours is not. We are funded by the Army," said Dr. Cameron.

Recent advances in technology have made it easier for owners to keep track of their pets. The vets install a microchip that is inserted under the pet's skin for tracking purposes, it isn't something that can be separated from the animal. A microchip is highly recommended for all pets.

In October, the clinic started offering a once a month Saturday clinic that opens the clinic half a day, Saturday mornings. Appointments will be on a first come first serve basis. The next Saturday clinic will be Nov. 15.

The clinic is located in Bldg. 1133 on the Navy side of the base and is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For appointments call 734-5780.