Skip to main content

Military Health System

Camp Zama veterinary medicine continues during COVID-19

Image of Two veterinary personnel wearing masks examine a dog. Army Cpl. Madison Green, and animal care specialist and Capt. (Dr.) Mary McLean, office in charge, both assigned to the Camp Zama Veterinary Treatment Facility examine Roxy, a shepherd mix. (Photo by Winifred Brown, Camp Zama, JAPAN)

Recommended Content:

Veterinary Service | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Staff at the Camp Zama Veterinary Treatment Facility in Japan have always worked diligently to gain the trust of their clients, and under recent COVID-19 restrictions, those efforts are paying off.

“I trust them,” said Carolina Chong, shortly after handing over her two dogs’ leashes to Army Cpl. Madison Green, an animal care specialist, so they could go in for their appointments without her.

The facility’s waiting and exam rooms are too small to accommodate proper social distancing under COVID-19 restrictions, so staff members check in pets at the curb and bring them in without their owners, said Army Capt. (Dr.) Mary McLean, veterinarian and officer in charge of the facility.

McLean said she understands why some owners may have reservations about separating from their pets, but the facility’s team does everything possible to make patients feel comfortable.

“We utilize low-stress handling techniques, have a wide variety of special treats to offer, and have been known to just sit on the floor and cuddle with a dog for a few minutes until we gain their trust,” McLean said.

Chong stated how she felt no anxiety letting Layla, an 8-year-old beagle, and Roxy, a 7-year-old shepherd mix, go in without her because they have been visiting the clinic for about a year, and have bonded with staff members.

“Layla absolutely loves it here,” Chong said. “She comes in and she tries to jump out of the car. They’ve just been great. You can tell that the staff really love the pets.”

McLean said the clinic has remained open throughout the pandemic, but for safety reasons, personnel made evolving adjustments to some services based on staff and equipment availability.

“When a majority of our staff was forced to work from home, we began offering telemedicine appointments when appropriate,” McLean said. “Because our patients can’t tell us what’s wrong, veterinarians rely heavily on a physical exam, so veterinary telemedicine may have more limitations than our human counterparts.”

The best way to accommodate physical exams was the curbside check-ins and pet-only visits inside the building, McLean said, and they have worked well.

The clinic is a part of Public Health Activity – Japan, which falls under Public Health Command – Pacific and Regional Health Command – Pacific, McLean said. The clinic’s primary mission is to provide full-service veterinary care to Military Working Dogs across all branches of the Department of Defense.

Usually, however, MWDs are a healthy population, so for the team to keep their veterinary skills sharp, the facility relies on military pet owners to trust them to care for their animals, McLean said.

“The more experience we can gain from treating a variety of ill animals, the better prepared we will be to care for our MWDs if they become sick or injured,” McLean said.

The facility offers a variety of services, including routine preventative care through annual exams and vaccinations, health certificate exams, quarantine exams, laboratory services, surgery, radiology, acupuncture and dental care, McLean said.

Three Soldiers and three civilians staff the facility, McLean said, and two staff members, including herself, are veterinarians. The other, Dr. Isao Yoshikawa, is a Japanese local national.

“Doctor Yoshikawa has been a huge help finding specialists to refer some of our patients to,” McLean said. “Most commonly we make referrals to oncologists for chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or cardiologists for an echocardiogram if a heart abnormality is heard.”

The team also includes military food inspectors who are responsible for ensuring a safe and wholesome food supply by performing inspections of food vendors, such as commissaries, child care centers and dining facilities, McLean said.

Located on Camp Zama, the staff also provides support to Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Sagami General Depot, Sagamihara Family Housing Area, and Camp Fuji, McLean explained.

“From the joys of a new puppy to a heartbreaking diagnosis, we have to be ready to help our clients through a variety of emotions,” McLean said. “Every day offers unique challenges, and I love watching the Soldiers and civilian staff work together as team to accomplish our unique mission.”

You also may be interested in...

Naval Medical Research Center Joint Study with Mount Sinai Uncovers Differences in COVID-19 Immune Response between the Sexes

Article Around MHS
12/5/2022
Amanda Cherry, research assistant, performing diagnostic testing at NMRC

A collaborative study between researchers at Naval Medical Research Center and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and Princeton University has highlighted immune response differences in the coronavirus infection responses between male and female patients.

Recommended Content:

Medical Research and Development | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus

Tactical Combat Casualty Care Training Benefits All Warriors

Article Around MHS
11/15/2022
Military nurses with Canine Tactical Combat Casualty Care dog

Tactical Combat Casualty Care training is not unique to the active-duty nurses and medical technicians from the 72nd Medical Group, however, what is unique is training in Canine Tactical Combat Casualty Care Training.

Recommended Content:

Tactical Combat Casualty Care Course (TCCC) | Education & Training | Veterinary Service

Collaborating In the ER: Reservists Assist, Learn in Community Hospitals

Article Around MHS
10/20/2022
Military medical personnel in medical training session

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic–when there were no vaccines, a shortage of health care workers, and hospitals were beyond capacity– the U.S. health care system needed help. Here's one of many ways the Department of Defense answered the call.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Time to Get Your Flu Shot and Your COVID-19 Booster, Too

Article
10/14/2022
Senior MHS officials and medics from the Pentagon stand together Oct. 13 after receiving their flu shots and bivalent COVID-19 boosters.."

It's flu shot time. Get your COVID-19 booster at the same time.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Immunizations | Coronavirus

Prevent the Spread of Influenza and COVID-19 Viruses Within Your Community

Article
10/11/2022
A person getting an injection on their arm.

As families return from summer vacation and students return to school, the influenza (flu) season is approaching while the COVID-19 pandemic is still on-going.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Immunizations | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit

Animal Care Specialist Provides Valuable Training to Military Working Dog Handlers

Article Around MHS
8/31/2022
Military personnel in animal training session

Animal care specialist provides valuable training to military working dog handlers

Recommended Content:

Veterinary Service

NY Army Guard Army Reserve Medical, Veterinary, Personnel Team Up with South Africans Military to Provide Care in Rural Villages

Article Around MHS
8/18/2022
Military medical personnel examine a patient

Fifteen U.S. Soldiers, including five from the New York Army National Guard, provided medical care to about 3,000 South African villagers in the Richards Bay area, along the eastern coast of South Africa, 100 miles northeast of Durban, during a medical readiness exercise in July.

Recommended Content:

Veterinary Service | Global Health Engagement | Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief

Consolidated Department of Defense Coronavirus Disease 2019 Force Health Protection Guidance

Policy

Consolidates and updates the Department’s guidance regarding vaccination verification, vaccination status, COVID-19 testing, surveillance and screening testing, personnel protection on-site mask requirements, (e.g., DHA military medical treatment facilities, meetings, travel), and the protection of personally identifiable information.

COVID-19 Moderna and Pfizer Vaccines

Publication
8/17/2022

Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines are available. Moderna includes two doses, 28 days apart. Pfizer includes two doses, 21 days apart. Remember to mark your calendar and schedule time for your second dose

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines | Types of COVID-19 Vaccines | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

COVID-19 Moderna Vaccine

Publication
8/17/2022

Moderna and mRNA vaccines are available. Moderna includes two doses, 28 days apart.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines | Types of COVID-19 Vaccines | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

COVID-19 Pfizer Vaccine

Publication
8/17/2022

Pfizer mRNA vaccines are available. Pfizer includes two doses, 21 days apart.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Get to Know the COVID-19 Vaccines | Types of COVID-19 Vaccines | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Learn the Most Recent Age Requirements for COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters

Article
8/10/2022
A man fist bumps a child.

The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to get your vaccines and booster shots.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy Expands Access to MHS Care

Article
8/10/2022
Infographic featuring Lt Col Legault

MHS has Telemedicine Privilege by Proxy: A fast, efficient process that enables providers to file one application and get permission to virtually treat patients anywhere in the MHS.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Telehealth Program

Whole Health System Approach to Long COVID

Publication
8/1/2022

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Health Administration is leading an effort to equip health care providers with a Veteran-centered Whole Health System approach to caring for Veterans with Long COVID, also known as post-COVID-19 conditions.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Information for Military Treatment Facility Directors | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Coronavirus

DHA-IPM 20-004: Department of Defense (DOD) Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Implementation

Policy

Establishes the Defense Health Agency’s procedures to implement instructions, assign responsibilities, and prescribe procedures for the DHA’s implementation of the DOD’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program.

<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 1 - 15 Page 1 of 23
Refine your search
Last Updated: August 15, 2022
Follow us on Instagram Follow us on LinkedIn Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on YouTube Sign up on GovDelivery