Canine Field First Aid Class
It is important to not only know first aid for any human injuries that may occur in the field, but also know first aid for the canines working with us. In July, our team was invited to Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists (SLVS) for our first Canine Field First Aid Class, presented by several SLVS technicians. We spent the morning learning about how to handle basic splinting, canine restraint, snake bite safety, and heat stress injuries out in the field. This class taught our team what to watch for in our canines when working, and what to do if we suspect a problem. Once field first aid is given, our canines can be safely transported to a veterinarian. Our goal in this class was to teach our team how to handle
specific situations safely so that if we are a great distance from a veterinary facility we can assess the situation and begin to stabilize the pet for transport to a facility that can provide the proper treatment.
The very knowledgeable technicians from SLVS volunteered to spend their Saturday teaching us and walking us through all kinds of things and assisting us in hands-on practice. Each team member was able to practice safely restraining a canine to prepare for a situation in the field where we may need to restrain a pet for a health check or for medical care to be given. This kind of knowledge will not only prevent harm from coming to the canine, but also the team members helping give medical care to the canine. Our very own Watson was a trooper in allowing the entire class to practice restraining him for care.
We were able to learn how to properly place a quick splint or bandage a canine’s leg. This will be important if our canine is
injured in the field with either a broken bone or laceration. Our model for this was Monster, one of the technician’s dogs, who was patient enough to get bandaged multiple times. Then we learned how to use a SAM Splint on one of our own team dogs, Watson. He was a good sport as well.
Then everyone practiced making and placing a muzzle on our team mascot,
Phoenix, and Rocket. This is important since even the most docile and loving dog can get upset and snappy when in pain.
If we are out in the woods and our canine hurts his paw, our team is now able to asses the situation confidently, place a “quick field muzzle,” safely restrain, and apply a simple bandage so that we can safely return to base and then seek medical attention from a veterinarian.
We are delighted to be able to work with the wonderful people at Sugar Land Veterinary Specialists, and look forward to our next training.