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Injuries and Interventions on Transported Military Working Dogs Within the US Central Command

Spring 2022

Johnson SA, Carr C, Reeves LK, Bean K, Schauer SG. 22(1). 97 - 101. (Journal Article)

Abstract

Background: Limited veterinary care is available in the far forward environment, leading to human medical personnel being responsible, in part, for treatment of military working dogs (MWD). Though guidelines for MWD care exist, there is little research on the care and treatment of MWDs by human medical personnel. There is a lot of research on the care and treatment of MWDs. Methods: This is a secondary analysis of a dataset from the Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) Regulating Command & Control and Evacuation System (TRAC2ES) database within the US Central Command (CENTCOM) from 2008 to 2018. Within this dataset specific to regulated transport from locations within CENTCOM, we abstracted all entries involving MWDs and analyzed causes of injury, type of injury, and interventions performed on traumatically and non-traumatically injured MWDs. Results: Within our dataset, there were 84 MWD cases for analysis. Of those, 36 (43%) were transported for traumatic injuries, and the remaining 48 (57%) were transported for other medical ailments. The most common cause of trauma was gunshot wound (31%), followed by explosion (22%). The majority of trauma MWDs had injuries to the extremities (67%), and hemorrhage requiring intervention occurred in 25%. The most common interventions performed on traumas were analgesia (67%), antibiotics (31%), IV fluids (28%), and surgery (31%). The most common indications that occurred in MWDs treated for nontraumatic medical indications were gastrointestinal diseases (33%), followed by nontraumatic orthopedic injuries (21%). Conclusions: Of the MWDs in our dataset, most were transported for nontraumatic medical events. The most frequent intervention performed was medication administration for both traumatic and medical ailments. Our dataset adds to the limited body of MWD data from theater.

Keywords: military working dogs; surveillance; security

PMID: 35278322

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