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...

COVID-19 Health Action Response for Marines continues to study long-term effects of COVID-19 on Marines

Article Around MHS
2/10/2022
Medical military personnel talking to a patient

A team composed of U.S. Navy medical personnel and civilian technicians based out of the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, assembled during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 to study the short and long-term effects that the virus has on Marines. 

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Does CSM Gragg Have COVID-19?

Video
2/9/2022
Does CSM Gragg Have COVID-19?

CSM Gragg demonstrates how to use a COVID-19 at home rapid test.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | At-Home COVID-19 Tests | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Getting up-to-date on your COVID-19 vaccine

Article Around MHS
2/8/2022
Military personnel giving the COVID-19 vaccine

The U.S. Guard Coast is that we have vaccines to help prevent serious illness if you contract COVID-19.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

DOD COVID-19 Practice Management Guide Version 8

Technical Document
1/31/2022

This Practice Management Guide does not supersede DOD Policy. It is based upon the best information available at the time of publication. It is designed to provide information and assist decision making. It is not intended to define a standard of care and should not be construed as one. Neither should it be interpreted as prescribing an exclusive course of management. It was developed by experts in this field. Variations in practice will inevitably and appropriately occur when clinicians take into account the needs of individual patients, available resources, and limitations unique to an institution or type of practice. Every healthcare professional making use of this guideline is responsible for evaluating the appropriateness of applying it in the setting of any particular clinical situation. The Practice Management Guide is not intended to represent TRICARE policy. Further, inclusion of recommendations for specific testing and/or therapeutic interventions within this guide does not guarantee coverage of civilian sector care. Additional information on current TRICARE benefits may be found at www.tricare.mil or by contacting your regional TRICARE Managed Care Support Contractor.

Recommended Content:

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

Oregon National Guard surging to support hospitals again

Article Around MHS
1/27/2022
Oregon Army National Guard touring a hospital

Hundreds of Oregon National Guard members are increasing support of hospitals throughout the state in their second hospital relief mission during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Readiness Capabilities

Public Health nurses offer insights on living with COVID-19 now, looking into future

Article Around MHS
1/25/2022
The Challenges of Living with COVID

One of the more challenging jobs for any public health professional is dealing with unpredictability inherent in outbreaks like the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Do You Have COVID-19? Influenza? Or is it RSV? Here’s What to Look For

Article
1/24/2022
Military personnel preparing a COVID-19 test sample for processing

Knowing the symptoms of COVID-19/RSV/Flu will help your medical treatment

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Children's Health

Medical Leaders Address COVID-19 Concerns During Family Forum

Article
1/21/2022
Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Jemuel Macabali, from San Diego, Calif., gives the COVID-19 vaccine to staff at Camp Lemonnier, in Djibouti, Aug. 13, 2021.

Top health leaders talk about the recent spike in COVID-19 infections and the impact on the military community.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Navy Hospital Corpsman steps into the breach in the war on COVID-19

Article Around MHS
1/18/2022
Hospitalman Hector Conde standing in front of a immunization office's refrigeration

First responders and those fighting on the medical battleground have earned well-deserved recognition for their efforts.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Critically ill COVID Patient Delivers Baby While on Heart-Lung Bypass

Article
1/11/2022
Retired U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Carlos Hernandez and his wife, Ashley, take a family portrait with their six children. Ashley is BAMC’s first patient to give birth while on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Hernandez, a Marine Corps spouse and mother of five, is BAMC’s first patient to give birth while on Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Recommended Content:

Women's Health | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

This is my Why

Article Around MHS
12/30/2021
Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Bullock poses for a photo after receiving his COVID-19 vaccination

Air Force Senior Airman Marcus Bullock stated his reason for getting the vaccine was to help his mother and son be able to have a play date again.

Recommended Content:

COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus & the MHS Response

Development of WRAIR’s Pan-Coronavirus Vaccine Shows Promise

Article
12/28/2021
A vial of spike ferritin nanoparticle WRAIR's COVID-19 vaccine

Series of preclinical studies supports the Army’s pan-coronavirus vaccine development strategy

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine | Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts

Immunization Experts are Central to COVID-19 Vaccine Program

Article
12/20/2021
Medical director at Fort Riley, Kansas receives a COVID-19 vaccination In his left arm from a tech in personal protective equipment.

Immunization Health Division at forefront of COVID-19 vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

Military Health System Marks 1-Year Anniversary for COVID Vaccinations

Article
12/14/2021
FEmale Marine gets COVID 19 vaccination in left  arm at Camp LeJeune in December 2020

More than 6.4 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered a year after first shots within MHS.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | COVID-19 Vaccine Efforts | Coronavirus and the COVID-19 Vaccine

So others may breathe - Navy Medicine Respiratory Therapist cares for COVID casualties

Article Around MHS
12/13/2021
Military Health personnel posing for a picture

Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Tessa Hazard, a respiratory therapist, recently deployed to Alabama as a member of a COVID-19 response team.

Recommended Content:

Coronavirus & the MHS Response
<< < 1 2 3 4 5  ... > >> 
Showing results 31 - 45 Page 3 of 24
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