Luke Veterinary Treatment Facility keeps working animals; service member’s pets healthy

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A gentle rub against your leg, lick in your face and fur on your clothes — the tell-tale signs of owning a furry friend.

For most, pets are more than just animals, they are family members and for many government agencies, they are a vital part of the team.

The Luke (Air Force Base, Ariz.) Veterinary Treatment facility provides services to keep working animals and pets healthy within the comforts of the base.

“The primary reason our veterinary clinic is here is to provide support with anything health care related to the military working dogs stationed here,” said Army Sgt. Ivan Aburto, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron veterinary treatment facility NCO-in-charge. “However, we also provide our services to active duty, reserve, national guard and retired service members animals.”

Tarzan, a U.S. Border Patrol K-9, smiles for a photo before a routine visit to the Veterinary Treatment Facility at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Oct. 4, 2017. The vet clinic’s primary mission is to care for government owned animals, but they also provide services for military family owned cats and dogs.

The clinic only provides services on dogs and cats. They can be of any size or breed. Pets are seen by appointment only.

“Our team consists of two vets, three technicians and a receptionist,” Aburto said. “This allows us to provide anything from wellness exams, vaccinations, sick call examinations, laboratory services, ultrasounds, heartworm testing, nail trims, euthanasia procedures, over the counter products and prescription medication among other basic services.”

Limitations to services include x-rays, surgical procedures and dental cleanings.

Nicole Avci, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron veterinary treatment facility officer-in-charge, performs a routine checkup on Tarzan, a U.S. Border Patrol K-9, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Oct. 4, 2017.

An average of 150 animals are seen at the clinic monthly. The facility also specializes in the treatment of government owned animals with other agencies such as the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

Hours of operation are 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Tthe clinic is closed from noon to 1 p.m. for lunch. To schedule an appointment for your pet, call 623-856-6731.
 

Army Sgt. Ivan Aburto, 56th Aerospace Medicine Squadron veterinary treatment facility NCO-in-charge, draws a vial of blood from Tarzan, a U.S. Border Patrol K-9, during a routine checkup at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz., Oct. 4, 2017.