Whiteman’s Veterinary Corps: Protecting our furry friends

Dr. Joanna Kuecker, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson, exams Avery’s ear,  at the Veterinarian Clinic Oct. 19, at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The vet plays an important role in Whiteman’s mission when it comes to healthcare of MWD dogs. Avery is assigned to the 509th Security Forces Squadron K-9 unit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt) (Released)

Dr. Joanna Kuecker, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson, exams Avery’s ear, at the Veterinarian Clinic Oct. 19, at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The vet plays an important role in Whiteman’s mission when it comes to healthcare of MWD dogs. Avery is assigned to the 509th Security Forces Squadron K-9 unit. (U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt) (Released)

Tech. Sgt. Robert Van Hulle, 509th Security Forces Squadron kennel master, holds Avery, 509th SFS military working dog, while Dr. Joanna Kuecker, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson veterinarian, does an initial exam Oct. 19 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The primary of the veterinarian clinic is to assist in the healthcare and well-being of the military working dogs. Avery arrived here Oct. 18 from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where he received his basic training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt) (Released)

Tech. Sgt. Robert Van Hulle, 509th Security Forces Squadron kennel master, holds Avery, 509th SFS military working dog, while Dr. Joanna Kuecker, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson veterinarian, does an initial exam Oct. 19 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The primary of the veterinarian clinic is to assist in the healthcare and well-being of the military working dogs. Avery arrived here Oct. 18 from Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, where he received his basic training. (U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt) (Released)

Tech. Sgt. Robert Van Hulle, 509th Security Forces Squadron kennel master, holds Avery, 509th SFS military working dog, as Dr. Joanna Kuecker, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson veterinarian, does an initial exam Oct. 19 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The Vet Clinic is designed to meet the needs of the military working dogs and military families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt) (Released)

Tech. Sgt. Robert Van Hulle, 509th Security Forces Squadron kennel master, holds Avery, 509th SFS military working dog, as Dr. Joanna Kuecker, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson veterinarian, does an initial exam Oct. 19 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The Vet Clinic is designed to meet the needs of the military working dogs and military families. (U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt) (Released)

U.S. Army Specialist Ashley Klingman, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson, injects a microchip in Meko, a feline, Oct. 17 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The Whiteman Veterinarian Clinic is available for dog and cat vaccinations, microchip and nail trim. (U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt) (Released)

U.S. Army Specialist Ashley Klingman, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson, injects a microchip in Meko, a feline, Oct. 17 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The Whiteman Veterinarian Clinic is available for dog and cat vaccinations, microchip and nail trim. (U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt) (Released)

Dr. Joanna Kuecker, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson veterinarian, exams a specimen sample in a microscope during her shift Oct. 17 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The Whiteman Veterinary Clinic is available to eligible military ID card holders and is open 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday (U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt) (Released)

Dr. Joanna Kuecker, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson veterinarian, exams a specimen sample in a microscope during her shift Oct. 17 at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo. The Whiteman Veterinary Clinic is available to eligible military ID card holders and is open 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; and 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Friday (U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt) (Released)

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. -- "Man's best friend" is more than just a catchphrase to many pet owners. The adage holds especially true to the Team Whiteman's Veterinary Corps who work to meet the mission of three faucets.

"The primary mission is the medical support of the military working dogs," said Dr. Joanna Kuecker, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson veterinarian. "On a U.S. Army installation, the Veterinary Corps has another primary mission that involves food safety and inspection. The secondary mission of the Veterinary Corps is to support the military family by providing preventative care to the pets of military members and retirees."

On average, the clinic is open for patient examinations three days a week and sees 15-30 patients per day depending on the type of patient examinations scheduled, according to U.S. Army Specialist Ashley Klingman, U.S. Army Public Health Command District-Carson.

"Currently we offer routine vaccinations, microchips, heartworm tests and diagnostics for intestinal parasites and other zoonotic diseases," Kuecker said. "Depending on our schedule, we can manage minor sick calls such as skin conditions, ear infections and gastrointestinal diseases."

Over time, with proper funding, the veterinary clinic hopes of offer diagnostic radiology, routine in-house blood work tests, minor surgical procedures and dental services, according to Kuecker. Currently, the clinic has no equipment to meet these needs.

"The facility is a step in the right direction and I enjoy meeting new patients and their pets." Kuecker said.

Individuals with PCS orders to overseas locations should contact the clinic for information and requirements about importing pets.

In some cases, it can take as long as eight months to prepare a pet for entry into a country. For additional information, contact the Veterinarian Clinic 660-660-2667.