Online veterinary service simplifies record-keeping for pets

Capt. Erin C. Stough and Lance Cpl. Anthony Chiccino, a military dog handler, stretch a German Sheppard's leg during a physical in the Combat Center Veterinary Treatment Facility on Dec. 4, 2013.


By ERIC A. BROWN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: June 20, 2014

The busy PCS season is here, and many military members moving to new assignments with a furry or feathered companion in tow may soon find they have just a bit less to carry thanks to a new system for veterinary records.

Although its acronym may alarm the feline friendly, the Remote Online Veterinary Record, or ROVR for short, aims to collect and manage a pets’ health information electronically. Similar to servicemembers’ individual digital health records, this online database may make pets’ all-too-familiar green record jacket a thing of the past.

Wiesbaden’s Veterinary Treatment Facility chief Capt. Ericka L. Carroll said the system integrates all 144 military veterinary facilities worldwide, meaning that pets’ medical records can be automatically transferred to the new treatment facility when a military family makes a permanent change of station move.

Standardized pricing for services across all veterinary facilities is also being implemented, so prices in Europe, for instance, will be adjusted to reflect those established by the Veterinary Services Central Fund, Carroll said.

However, transferring records into the system may take some time, as records cannot be automatically moved from the old system into ROVR, Carroll said. “As patrons make appointments, our staff creates a new file in ROVR from the information in our old system,” Carroll said.

Pet owners should bring records from off-post veterinarians when they visit a military facility so those records can be scanned into ROVR, Carroll said. But she recommended that people keep paper copies of those records.

“Being in the military means lots of moving and thus seeing lots of different veterinarians. To ensure all your pets’ medical records are kept up-to-date and organized, I recommend owners keep copies of all visits and laboratory work organized by date in their own files and bring it with them to appointments,” Carroll said. “This will ensure the veterinarian has copies of all relevant information for your pet.”



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