• Veterinary facility hosts stuffed animal clinic

  • Piglet Morgan and twins Tigger and Tigger Morgan have been lifelong companions to 12-year-old Isabella Morgan and 10-year-old Bryn Morgan, so it was time for them to freshen up at the Fort Leavenworth Veterinary Treatment Facility’s Stuffed Animal Clinic Aug. 26-28.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Piglet Morgan and twins Tigger and Tigger Morgan have been lifelong companions to 12-year-old Isabella Morgan and 10-year-old Bryn Morgan, so it was time for them to freshen up at the Fort Leavenworth Veterinary Treatment Facility’s Stuffed Animal Clinic Aug. 26-28.
    “Isabella and Bryn have had Tigger and Piglet since they were infants, and when they get a lot of love, they need a little help to keep going on,” said Sarah Morgan, Isabella and Bryn’s mom. “I think (the clinic) is adorable. It is a really good way for kids to keep the stuffed animals they really like a lot fresh. Also, most people have pets and they take their animals to the vet, so it is sweet from a child’s perspective to be able to take their stuffed toys there, too.”
    Piglet and the Tigger Twins joined Everest the dog, owned by 3-year-old Brayden Horner, for the fourth annual clinic where they were treated with sutures and received reverse liposuction (stuffing) before they were returned to their owners with a clean bill of health.
    “(The clinic) gives (the children) an opportunity to see what happens in a vet clinic because some of them come through and they get to see where we put their animals,” said Alyson Jones, VTF operations assistant.
    When the “patients” come in, an intake form is filled out indicating the services needed. Then they stay in the clinic for a day or two to be treated.
    “It is an in-patient procedure,” Jones said. “It is really an opportunity to practice suture techniques, but we’ll take a look and we’ll do what we can. Sometimes, if it is too delicate and it’s not something we feel comfortable with, we’ll practice vet wrap techniques.
    “Then, (the owners) are called and told that their patient is ready for check out,” she said. “When they come back to pick their stuffed animal up, they’ll get a chart that has their intake form, an examination report to see what the doctor found when they looked at it, and a health certificate giving them a clean bill of health at the end.”
    Sutures are often the main services needed, which VTF Veterinary Assistant Jessica Mathys said is an important thing to practice, particularly for the active-duty technicians.
    “You never know if you’re going to be deployed and be called upon to help suture up a wound on a military working dog,” Mathys said. “This helps keep their skills fresh.”
    Jones and Mathys agreed the clinic is also about community outreach.
    Page 2 of 2 - “The (Command and General Staff Officer Course) just started and the more information we put out there, the more they will know that we’re here and available to them,” Jones said. “This is just one of those opportunities to get the word out.”
    “We open this up to everybody,” Mathys said. “It is nice, too, because a lot of times kids come in with their parents and their pets, but they don’t know what’s going on. When they bring their stuffed animal here with us, they can see that, yeah, we took care of it, and (they) got it back and nothing bad happened.”
    Mathys said she has fun being part of the stuffed animal clinic each year.
    “It is really fun and exciting when the kids come in and they realize they get the whole medical chart and exam,” she said. “Then, when they pick them up, they’re so excited to get them back and the health certificate. We all get emotional and teary sometimes just because it is so fun the joy you see on the kids’ faces.”
    The VTF, 831 McClellan Ave., is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 684-6510.
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