Canine units, officers and their dogs, risk their safety to help protect the community. These dogs are not only a part of the team, but are also a part of the family. Handlers care for these dogs at work, as well as at home, taking care of their everyday needs when not on the job. In the field, canines are at risk of devastating injuries. Many handlers have limited ability to care for their canines in the field, but immediate care for critical injuries can be vital to survival. Aspen Meadow Veterinary Specialists (AMVS) has created a program to help educate handlers in triage medicine, so these handlers are able to offer immediate treatments should the need arise.
AMVS in Longmont will be hosting a first aid course for the canine units of the Longmont Police Department, the Westminster Police Department, and the Frederick Police Department on Wednesday, May 15th at 3:30. Dr. Crystal Connor, an emergency clinician at AMVS, dedicated her time to developing a program to teach canine handlers the basics of emergency triage. These courses are designed so handlers will be able to provide immediate treatments for their canines and other animals injured in the field prior to them receiving treatment from a veterinarian. “The hope is these animals will be given a better chance of survival knowing response personnel can take immediate action,” said Dr. Connor.
Officers will have the opportunity to learn triage skills, including taking vitals and bandaging, as well as procedures, such as restraint, administering injections and fluids and CPR. These skills can be utilized to help care for emergencies, including lacerations, smoke inhalation, heat stroke, toxin ingestion, and allergic reactions, prior to arriving at a veterinary facility. A team of doctors and nurses will be available to assist officers as they practice these procedures. In addition, AMVS will be donating a first aid bag to each of the police departments. This will come equipped with bandage supplies, fluids, catheters, syringes, and thermometers, as well as medications specific to the needs of each canine officer. If you are interested in this course, please contact AMVS at 303-678-8844.