New vet offers expanded services, hours
October 27, 2011
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - A recently retired Soldier is filling a much needed post in the APG community by serving as the new veterinarian at the APG Veterinary Clinic.
Dr. Carol Bossone, who served in the Army for 26 years, said she is excited to help Soldiers, retirees and their Families in this new capacity.
"I get the best of both worlds," she said. "I love working with people, especially Soldiers, and I love animals. I like seeing the bond that humans have with their pets." On-post vet service saves money, time Bossone said the unconditional love shown by pets and the owner responsibility of taking care of a pet is a healing antidote in an otherwise stressful military lifestyle.
"A lot of people's pets are like Family to them," she said. "In military communities, pets are especially important as Soldiers and their Families usually live far away from relatives. Having a pet is a source of comfort. Also it has been proven that having a pet improves an individual's well-being by lowering blood pressure, reducing stress.
"My job," said Bossone, "is to make sure that the pets stay healthy so that they can continue
to help take care of us."
Bossone graduated from the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and the Uniform Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., where she obtained a PhD in physiology. She is also board certified by the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine.
Her military experience includes serving as a veterinarian at a veterinary clinic in Korea at the Osan Airbase for a year. While she was serving as lieutenant colonel for the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Chemical Defense, and previously, the Army Public Health Command. During this time, she also volunteered at the APG Vet Clinic for about for about six years.
"I would take leave to volunteer at the clinic so that I could keep my skills current and spend time with the animals," Bossone said. "I am glad that it is now my primary job. I always wanted to be able work with animals every day."
Even in Bossone's spare time, she is surrounded by animals. She likes to relax by spending time with her four horses, three cats, two birds and dog--her constant companions--at her farm in Plyseville, Md.
With Bossone on staff, APG's vet clinic is open for appointments for the first time (consistently)
This is a boon for patrons since, according to Bossone, clinic prices for vaccinations and other services are often cheaper than off post facilities.
"Being able to use the vet clinic is a benefit, like the using the commissary," she said. "For instance, we only charge $25 to microchip a pet which includes registration with the company.
Off post, that service can cost $65 or more."
Microchipping a pet is mandatory for APG residents, and if done on post, the family information on the microchip is updated annually, free of charge, and for the life of the pet, "so when a pet owner changes their address, there is no additional cost to update the system. They just need to notify the company, Home Again, of their address change."
Bossone said another requirement for pet owners living on post is that pets' rabies vaccines must be updated every three years and pets must wear a current APG rabies tag at all times.
Also, pets are to be kept on leash, under the owner's supervision and in control at all times when outside of the home or yard.
For questions about on-post pet regulations, residents should contact Picerne Housing at 410-
305-1075 or obtain a copy of the Picerne Resident Responsibility Guide for the full list of regulations.
Bossone said that pet owners have a responsibility to take get their pets checked up once a year and to stay current with all shots. Some vaccinations need to be given annually, some every three years.
"This is a big area for pets as well as people to contract Lyme disease," she said. "And if the pet spends a significant amount of time outdoors, in the woods, they need to get a Lyme disease shot more frequently."
In addition to giving vaccinations, the clinic sells heartworm and flea and tick prevention. In order to purchase the medication, pet owners must take their pet in for their annual checkup.
Pet owners should also keep in mind that some services are not offered at the clinic, to include surgeries, dental work and give emergency care.
"We have information and refer people to local vets that do these services."
For more information on services or to make an appointment, call 410-278--4604. The clinic is located on APG North across the street from Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic at Bldg. 2479 on Oakington Street. Office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Patrons can call to make an appointment.