FORT BLISS, Texas – It was a cold Christmas day 10 years ago, when I was walking home from a neighbor’s house when I felt something clinging to my feet. I looked down and I thought a rat was scratching at my leg, but it turned out to be a little Chihuahua, said Helene Lobato, retired military spouse. I took the dog in and named her Sugar, she has been the queen of the house ever since that Christmas.
Sugar was taken to the Fort Bliss Veterinary Treatment Facility for her annual teeth cleaning June 4.
Pets like Sugar can receive wellness checks five days a week, but dental cleanings and other surgical procedures are only done only on Tuesdays because there is only one veterinarian at the treatment facility.
“It is overwhelming being the only veterinarian on post, not just for me but also for the staff,” said Capt. Kevin Sanada, veterinarian, Public Health Command District-Carson. “We constantly get calls from people wanting an appointment and we have to tell them we don’t have any appointments available.”
Since there is only one veterinarian on Fort Bliss, the treatment facility does not take walk-ins only appointments.
“We wish we could help everyone out, but with such a small staff we can’t," said Sanada, "but we do what we can.”
Being short-staffed, the clinic is still able to provide affordable, high quality service to the pets of the Fort Bliss community.
“The service we received was excellent, the staff was very professional and friendly, and the prices were very reasonable,” said Lobato. “The vet really enjoys treating the animals.”
Pet owners looking for a veterinarian who cares about the vitality of animals then the treatment facility is the place to go for veterinary needs.
“We take the health and well-being of the animals very serious,” said Sanada. “We do a through process of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up care.”
After about two hours of dental care, Sugar was able to return home with a clean smile and be “queen of the household.”
When the clinic is not treating animals, the staff performs sanitary inspections of military and commercial facilities in the El Paso area and provides services for the military working dogs.
Pets are seen by appointment only due to staff shortages. To schedule an appointment call the Veterinary Treatment Facility at 915-742-2266.