K9 Tactical Combat Casualty Care and First Aid

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    • #91637
      Joe (G.W.N.S.)

        This will be a general overview of books, K9 specific medical gear, and training available. If their is sufficient interest we can go further.

        Whether just being able to treat the family pet post-event or stabilizing a gunshot wound to your Scout Dog, knowledge truly is power.

        The good news is most of the basics are the same between K9’s and people.

        K9 Medic: How to Save Your Dog’s Life During an Emergency

        K9 Medic is about learning how to take care of your dog in the event of an emergency. Author, Eric Roth is a paramedic for a busy 911 system and has been teaching people how to save the life of their dog by using paramedic first aid techniques since 2010. Since there is no 911 for canines, Eric takes his world as a paramedic and shows the reader how to apply it to dogs. One thing the book gives to the readers is confidence. Confidence that no matter what the situation involving their dog, they will not only be prepared, but be able to provide care for the best possible outcome. Content covers over 20 first-aid items including, first aid kits, torn pads, dog fights, seizures, broken bones, electrical injuries, muzzling, and bleeding control. There is special attention to choking, bloat, and poisons. Eric writes in a format very conducive for learning and you will be better prepared to an emergency involving your dog. K9 Medic is a must read and a book that any dog lover will enjoy.

        K9 Down: Emergency Medical Care Of The Police Working Dog

        K9 Down!

        Are you prepared if your canine partner goes down? Do you know what to do?
        Do the emergency personnel in your area know how to treat a police working dog?
        Is your tactical medic, fire department, rescue squad, or ambulance service, aware that many emergency treatments for humans also work on police canines?

        Most law enforcement agencies simply load an injured or ill police working dog into the back of an emergency vehicle and drive rapidly to the veterinarian. There are measures that can, and should, be taken to save the life of a police canine that officers, medics, and emergency personnel don’t do or don’t know about.

        K9 Down: Emergency Medical Care of the Police Working Dog is designed for canine handlers, tactical medics, fire department personnel, and Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel who may care for a police working dog who has suffered a critical injury or life threatening illness. Combining the principals of Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC), Tactical Emergency Medical Support (TEMS), and Advanced Life Support (ALS), this book is the only one of its kind that translates human pre-hospital care into canine emergency veterinary medicine.


        Assessment of the Police Working Dog: Primary Survey, ABC’s, Canine Physical Examination, and Vital Signs. Canine Airway Obstruction, Heimlich Maneuver, and CPR.
        First Aid and Advanced Life Support Treatment for Trauma, Shock, Wounds, Fractures, Burns, Environmental Emergencies, Bloat, Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion, Heat Stroke, Hypothermia, Frost Bite, Allergic Reaction, and Snake Bite
        First Aid and Advanced Life Support Treatment for HAZMAT Poisoning and Decontamination, Treatment for Ingestion of THC/Marijuana/Hash, Cocaine, Amphetamine/Methamphetamine, Opiates, Cyclonite Based Explosives (RDX, C-4, Semtex), Nitrate Based Explosives, Smokeless Powder, and Potassium and Sodium Chlorate Based Explosives
        Advanced Life Support Procedures: ECG Monitoring, Defibrillation, IV Access, Interosseous Placement, Intubation, Thoracentesis, and Advanced Cardiac Life Support/Emergency Medicine Compatibility and Dosages.
        Enhanced First Aid Kit Recommendations

        More later.

      • #91638

          Id hate to lose my dog and woe shall befall any man or beast that harms him.

          That being said he looks like a bad ass but is about useless when it comes to security. Unless it’s the postman or pizza boy.

        • #91639
          Joe (G.W.N.S.)

            Whether to buy a Kit or build one is a personal choice, most First aid kits are missing necessary items and can be over priced.

            Here is a good starter list.

            Thermometer – an indispensable part of a first aid kit. You can not accurately determine a K9’s temperature without a thermometer. They are especially important during warm/hot weather when you need to monitor for heat exhaustion. The digital ones are inexpensive and are more durable than glass thermometers. A K9’s temperature must be taken rectally.

            Bandage Scissors – used to cut bandage materials, remove bandages or for general cutting. They have one blunted end to prevent accidental cutting of the K9 and over-sized, curved handles to make them easier to handle.

            Needles and Syringes – you need to carry a variety of sizes of needles and syringes.

            Disposable Latex Gloves – many people in law enforcement always carry these but they are also a good addition to your first aid kit. They are useful if you have to clean a nasty or bloody wound and keep your hands clean when giving oral charcoal, etc…

            Hemostats – instruments that when clamped (closed) they lock and hold whatever they are closed on. They can be curved or straight.

            Muzzle – probably the most important item in your first aid kit. I am not talking about the muzzles you use in training, but the little nylon muzzles that snap at the base of the head behind their ears.

            These are easy on and off, easy to clean and are inexpensive. You should always have a muzzle in your first aid kit. You should also fit it to your K9’s head and adjust the proper tightness so it is ready when you need it.


            Gauze Sponges or Surgical Sponges – squares of absorbent cotton that are used to clean ears, clean wounds, place against wounds prior to bandaging, place under bandages to help control bleeding and to place under bandages to hold antibiotics against wounds.

            Soft Roll – this is a soft, absorbent roll of bandaging material that has multiple uses.

            White Surgical Tape – comes in several sizes but 1 in. and 2 in. are the most useful. It can easily be torn by hand to make the strips even narrower.

            Elastikon – a type of bandage material that has adhesive on one side and has cotton material on the other side. It is used for a supportive bandage over soft roll and has some mild adhesive properties against the K9’s hair.

            Vetrap – a wonderful bandage material that is easy to handle, sticks to itself but not the dog, can be torn with your hands many times and can be removed without bandage scissors as it doesn’t stick to the dog.


            Note: Research doses based on the individual K9’s weight.

            Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) – an anti-histamine that is excellent to use with many allergic reactions and bee/insect stings. Dogs take a higher dose of Benadryl than humans. Capsules and tablets are much easier to use with a K9.

            Hydrogen Peroxide – can be used to clean wounds. Hydrogen peroxide (H202) is used to induce vomiting. If a dog accidentally ingests a poison, you can give H202 orally to induce vomiting.

            Triple Antibiotic Ophthalmic Ointment Without A Steroid – an antibiotic eye ointment that should be used when you are concerned about eye irritation. It is also the topical antibiotic recommended to use for any facial wound or abrasion close to the eye – if the dog rubs the antibiotic ointment from the facial wound/abrasion into the eye, it won’t hurt the eye.

            Topical Antibiotic – includes many different antibiotics such as panalog, dermalone and animax. One of these is excellent to carry to use for topical use on wounds. They are not to be used on deep wounds, but on superficial wounds.

            Oral Antibiotic – to have an oral antibiotic always on hand, such as cephalexin.

            Antibiotic Solution – used to clean superficial wounds and lacerations. It is a solution, thus it is easy to just pour on the wound or pull up in a large syringe and flush the wound.

            Saline Flush – used to flush superficial wounds, road rashes/wounds, irritants from the eye (like dust or grass seeds) or just to get the hair wet so it can be parted for you to inspect an area for a possible injury.

            Activated Charcoal with Sorbitol – a thick, black messy liquid used to decrease the absorption of poisons or toxins from the intestinal tract after their accidental ingestion. After inducing vomiting where appropriate. Once the stomach is empty, you give the activated charcoal to help absorb anything that may have gave gotten past the stomach into the intestines.

            Prednisone – an oral steroid that has many different uses.

            Sterile Lubricant – used to lube the tip of the thermometer prior to use. Sterile lube can also be placed in wounds, such as road burns, after the wounds are flushed but prior to bandaging and transporting to the vet. The lube will help decrease the amount of debris and contamination that can get into the wound.

            QuickClot / Celox Hemostatic Granules – worthwhile products for treating bleeding wounds.

            The above books will have more details, don’t use human meds without researching them. Some are toxic to K9’s.

            There are other tools, items, and meds that maybe of use post-event. The above basic list is more about First Aid and stabilizing prior to transporting to a Veterinarian. Things like a skin stapler, IV’s, etc… maybe needed for SHTF situations.

          • #91640

              For reference purposes, Merck produces a number of reference manuals in both online and print versions (see your usual online bookstores) for:

              1. Animals (Vet and Pet editions available)

              2. Humans (for Medical Professional and Home Health Care):

            • #91641
              Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                For reference purposes, Merck produces a number of reference manuals in both online and print versions (see your usual online bookstores)…

                Excellent information for both our K9 friends and us! :yes:

              • #91642

                  They certainly are handy. :yes:

                  I used to have a (another) marketing job that involved regular interaction with all kinds of medical personal and the GPs often had the medical professional version on their desks. I have print versions of both the medical professional and vet editions – and reckon they are highly desirable on the survival reference resource shelf.

                  My sister has a Rough Collie dog that since early December 2014 was losing weight no matter what was done. She recently told me the range of symptoms and I checked through the manual and it nailed the condition (treatable) and noted the Rough Collie was one of the breeds that was susceptible to this pancreatic condition. The thing is the vet should have diagnosed this condition within a few weeks at most rather than 10 weeks later after multiple different failed expensive treatments while the dog suffered from steady loss of weight and the family stressed over the dog. :-(

                • #91643
                  Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                    The thing is the vet should have diagnosed this condition…

                    I view all Medical personnel as technical advisers, those that have a problem with that are discarded.

                    After spending significant time at Walter Reed and Bethesda recovering, I got pretty good at screening my Docs.

                    There are some truly remarkable ones out there, but finding the right one among many is difficult.

                  • #91644
                    Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                      One of my GSD’s recently had the heat (Florida) almost get him.

                      Being watchful of the symptoms and having a thermometer available allowed me to avoid not only a Vet visit, but possible death of my GSD.

                      I was able to rapidly cool him down. He was with my other GSD’s who had no issues. This shows that on any giving day different K9’s can experience the heat differently.

                      A recent news story has a Border Patrol K9 dying of heat injury.

                      Remember those that have K9’s as part of their family need to prepare for their needs as well.

                    • #91645
                      Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                        Some extra information for those with K9 friends.

                      • #91646

                          Not sure about K-9s, but in humans activated charcoal is contraindicated for substances such as acids (organophosphates) or alkalis, inability to swallow, and petroleum products. It might be worth checking to be sure how that relates to our canine friends. :good:

                        • #91647
                          Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                            Not sure about K-9s, but in humans activated charcoal is contraindicated for substances such as acids (organophosphates) or alkalis, inability to swallow, and petroleum products. It might be worth checking to be sure how that relates to our canine friends.

                            Like most things it’ll depend on type of toxin involved, so get training or at least have proper references such as The Merck Veterinary Manual and Merck Manual for Pet Health.

                            Questions to Help You Use Activated Charcoal Safely

                            Animal Poison Control Center
                            Emergency? Call our 24-hour diagnostic & treatment hotline:

                            Excerpt: Merck Manual for Pet Health

                            In organophosphate poisoning, certain nerve cells are overstimulated. Signs usually begin within hours after exposure but may be delayed for more than 2 days. Initial signs include excessive drooling, small pupils, frequent urination, diarrhea, vomiting, colic, and difficulty breathing, followed by muscle spasms and weakness, and finally nervousness, lack of coordination, apprehension, and seizures. Severity and course of poisoning is influenced mainly by the dosage and route of exposure. In sudden and severe poisoning, the primary signs may be breathing distress and collapse followed by death.

                            Blood tests can be an important diagnostic aid. Unfortunately, the results of the test do not necessarily correlate with the severity of the poisoning. Analyses performed after exposure may be negative because organophosphates do not remain long in tissues.

                            Specific treatment consists of atropine and the antidote pralidoxime (also called 2‑PAM) to reverse signs of organophosphate poisoning. Removing the poison from the animal should also be attempted. If the organophosphate exposure was on the skin, the animal should be gently washed with detergent and water. Vomiting should be induced if the animal ingested the organophosphate less than 2 hours previously. Vomiting should not be induced if the animal is depressed. Mineral oil given by mouth decreases absorption from the gastrointestinal tract. Activated charcoal is also helpful. Artificial respiration or administration of oxygen may be required. Tranquilizers should not be given.

                            Petroleum Products Poisoning

                            If the animal has bloated, the pressure should be released by passing a stomach tube if necessary to save the animal’s life. However, passing a stomach tube dramatically increases the risk of drawing the substance into the lungs. If the animal has not bloated, medications are given to cause emptying of the bowels, but there is no evidence that they improve prognosis. In dogs and cats, vomiting should not be induced, to avoid the risk of drawing the substance into the lungs. Activated charcoal can be used.

                          • #91648
                            Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                              One thing to remember, right now we have excellent medical care available, use it.

                              However in a “Post-Event” world there are many possible treatments for both people and K9’s that I would never attempt right now, but would be legitimate options in that SHTF context.

                              The hardest thing will be deciding when to act and when waiting and allowing patients natural ability to heal and run it’s course is the best option.

                            • #91649
                              Joe (G.W.N.S.)

                                With the recent discussion of pets and the injured in a home invasion GSD Rex. I thought it maybe worth bumping this Thread.

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