Interventions Performed on Multipurpose Military Working Dogs in the Prehospital Combat Setting: A Comprehensive Case Series Report

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Reeves LK, Mora AG, Field A, Redman TT 19(3). 90 - 93 (Journal Article)

Introduction: The military working dog (MWD) has been essential in military operations such as Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). MWDs sustain traumatic injuries that require point of injury and en route clinical interventions. The objective of this study was to describe the injuries and treatment military working dogs received on the battlefield and report their final disposition. Methods: This was a convenience sample of 11 injury and treatment reports of US MWDs from February 2008 to December 2014. We obtained clinical data regarding battlefield treatment from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) database and supplemental operational sources. A single individual collected the data and maintained the dataset. The data collected included mechanism of injury, clinical interventions, and outcomes. We reported findings as frequencies. Results: Of the 11 MWD casualties identified in this dataset, 10 reports had documented injuries secondary to trauma. Eighty percent of the cases sustained gunshot wounds. The hindlegs were the most common site of injury (50%); however, 80% sustained injuries at more than one anatomical location. Seventy percent of cases received at least one clinical intervention before arrival at their first treatment facility. The most common interventions included trauma dressing (30%), gauze (30%), chest seal (30%), and pain medication (30%). The survival rate was 50%. Conclusion: The majority of the MWD cases in this dataset sustained traumatic injuries, with gunshot being the most common mechanism of injury. Most MWDs received at least one clinical intervention. Fifty percent did not survive their traumatic injuries.

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