Emergency Room For Pets (Animal Hospital 22)


When life happens it’s always unexpected and almost never within normal business hours. That being the case it’s important, at least in my opinion, to have a plan for when the unexpected happens. This is how I stumbled upon Animal Hospital 22, a veterinarian which offers emergency services.

Until today I didn’t have much to say about Animal Hospital 22. I had not taken the dogs there before because we had been using another vet. Early this morning, however when our youngest best friend woke up having what seemed like a seizure we decided that a trip to the puppy emergency room might be necessary. Immediately I knew who to call and dialed the number. It became clear that Animal Hospital 22 was foreigner friendly with prompts in both Japanese and English on their phone line. After getting the after hours emergency number we called and were greeted by a female English speaking staff member. She took all of the important information about the situation and directed us to come in.

Finding the location of Animal Hospital 22 was very easy. It is located down 81 and off 329 on the left before the A&W (map and directions are available at the link in the beginning of this post). The facility was also easy to find due to it’s size and the sign that clearly said Animal Hospital 22 on it. We went inside and were immediately taken into the exam room. The doctor, a nurse and translator were all there to assist in explaining what had happened. Once the basic exam had been completed the explained our options which would include a blood test. Blood was drawn and tested on the spot. It took us only about 15 minutes of waiting for the results. When the results came back the staff explained every detail (in Japanese and then translated into English) and answered every question that we had. We were given a prescription and moments later were cashed out and ready to head back home.

The experience was. . . well I don’t want to say pleasant because going to the ER with your seizing dog is much less than pleasant . . . let’s just say it didn’t suck as much as it could have. The thing that stood out to me was how well everything was explained. The doctor could have simply said “there is nothing that showed up on the blood work” but rather went into details about what each result meant. The doctor and translator also were happy to answer any and all questions that we had about the situation without making us feel rushed or like we were inconveniencing them in any way. Even though we had been there at 430AM it might as well have been noon with the kindness and understanding that the staff offered.

Animal Hospital 22 is open 365 day a year from 9AM to 12Noon and 4PM to 10PM every day. The business hours are the best that I have ever seen at a vet’s office. Translators are available to ensure that you can communicate your problems to the doctor effectively. Paperwork is also in Japanese and English. There is also pet boarding available as are special events throughout the year for pet lovers and their pets.

For more information please don’t hesitate to click the link above. Also please feel free to post your experiences in the comments below.

Note: For those of you who may be wondering our boy Smokey who was in need of the emergency room visit is doing just fine although he did give us quite a scare. 


Yesterday’s News: PET Bottle falls from Osprey

It seems as though there is always some type of military related news going on recently in Okinawa. Whether it is the position of the people related to the Osprey or the misconduct of a United States Military member it seems like there’s always something. From my experience there are foreigners (as well as some Japanese people who do not live in or travel to Okinawa) out there who seem to have trouble wrapping their heads around why some of these issues are concerning to those who are in Okinawa. For that reason I figure that I would take a moment to share with you my thoughts on the topic as someone who lives here long term as a non-military person.

PET Bottle falls from Osprey – The Facts: 

According to an article in JapanToday on Tuesday February 5th a PET bottle fell from an MV-22 Osprey during a training flight near Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan City. The bottle was 22cm long bottle (aprox. 8in) and was said to have landed outside the base. Officials from the prefectural government of Okinawa then delivered a letter of protest to the US Marine Corps which urged them to ensure that this type of incident does not happen again.

Before we go any further I want to take a moment to explain some  of what you just read above. Firstly I think it’s important to explain just what a PET bottle is. A PET bottle is a recyclable plastic bottle with a twist cap. In the US we usually just call them plastic bottles but here  in Japan they have a name of their own. Just like in the US they come in various shapes and sizes. As mentioned above the article the one that fell from the Osprey was about 8 inches in length.


Second I want to take a moment to talk about Ginowan City. Ginowan City is where Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is located. The city quite literally hugs the entire base with neighborhoods immediately outside the fence line on all sides. The city is also quite dense for such a small island with about 12,500 people per square mile. In comparison that’s about the same population density of Boston Massachusetts which has about 12,700 people per square mile.


What’s the big deal: 

One would think it common sense that an object falling from a plane would be a big deal or at least something to raise an eyebrow at. Unfortunately for some people out there this is not the case. Now, I am not going to get into a science discussion about the amount of force and what damage could or could not have happened as a result of this PET bottle falling out of the plane. In my opinion there are too many details such as the actual weight of the bottle and how much contents were remaining to even begin making those kinds of exact estimations. However, I do feel that it’s safe to say that an object such as a PET bottle would have some type of impact when falling from an aircraft which, if I remember correctly, can fly at a minimum of 500 feet up.

Under the (relatively safe)  assumption that a PET bottle falling from a plane at a minimum height of 500 feet in the air could potentially cause some sort of damage and/or injury there are concerns that those living in the area have. One of the concerns is what would happen if some type of damage had been caused. Unfortunately this is an area which is made very grey. If you’re living in the Ginowan area chances are your lease contains a clause stating that the housing agency and/or landlord is not responsible for damage due to military aircraft. This may also be the case elsewhere, however, I have only lived in Ginowan during my time here. On the other hand you may think that this is because the US Military would compensate for any damages however this is most likely not the case. In fact this has been a topic of discussion for some time here in Okinawa based on various agreements as stated in the Status of Forces Agreement however it is most recently noted during the time that the Osprey were first deployed here to Okinawa. Prefectural Officials of Okinawa voiced their concerns however they were not answered and the story got little coverage.

Is this really an Osprey Issue: 

There’s no denying the fact that this PET bottle having fell from an Osprey just added fuel to the already blazing fire. However, there is no denying that a bottle falling from a plane could have happened from any of the many military planes we have flying above us here in Okinawa. I even found myself chuckling at the statement in the JapanToday article which mentioned that the incident was due to “human error”. Of course it was human error, I mean I’m not Osprey engineer but I’m thinking that the PET bottle falling was not a result of poor construction of the aircraft itself.

It happens: 

What it all boils down to is that this was an accident. I honestly don’t believe (although I suppose it’s not entirely impossibly) that a Marine was up in the Osprey wondering the uproar he or she would cause of they dropped a PET bottle out the rear hatch. This being said just because it was an accident doesn’t mean that there is no reason for concern from the residents. It’s the same type of concern a mother has the first time that she lets her teenage son drive his little sister to ballet class. As they say “it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye”.

I also don’t believe that this accident should be disregarded by the US Military either. After all, they are under scrutiny with the Osprey as it is and it would be in their best interest to ensure that they go the extra mile so that they do not cause any more reason for the people to dislike them. Unfortunately even in the short time that they have been here on the island that has not been the case.

See the articles:

JapanToday: Okinawa’s gov’t complains after PET water bottle falls from Osprey