With the protection of our working dogs being the hot topic on everybody’s lips it seemed an appropriate time to look again at canine first aid and how we as handlers can have better peace of mind.
We all think of humans when it comes to first aid and how we treat and care for an injured person before paramedics can attend. As dog handlers I am sure we all think about the health and welfare of our canine partners above our own but are we really prepared for every eventuality? A human first aid kit in the van and being a qualified human first aider maybe as prepared as it gets.
We were introduced to MEDIK9 when founder Alice wrote her article in August. http://www.k9workingheroes.co.uk/health/do-you-have-the-right-emergency-kit/ How do those that are out there operationally feel about the need for a canine first aid kit?
The MEDIK9 “High risk” kit attaches easily to utility belt and equips handlers with a comprehensive canine first aid kit to deal with minor and major injuries straight away. The pouch has a wide range of items inside and although it is very full it isn’t at all cumbersome. Equipped with everything from a thermometer to wound clotting gauze the kit is full of essential items that aren’t unfamiliar if you know your way around a human first aid kit. The kit provides a broad spectrum of items to enable you to deal with everything from a small cut to deep lacerations.
PC Dave Wardell, handler of PD Finn who was stabbed on duty shared his thoughts on handlers carrying a canine first aid kit “I like the look of the MEDIK9 kit. If we are going to put the dogs in harms way, we need to be given the equipment and knowledge to help save them should something go wrong. Something that fits neatly on the belt might be a good idea. I think this incident has made lots of handlers step back and think.”
PC Wardell also made comment that the handlers on his section had undertaken some canine first aid training that he found incredibly useful when attending to PD Finn’s injuries.
Veterinary surgeon, Simon Newbery has these words of advice for operational dog handlers
I think the important issues that we teach handlers are;
• Have a main kit in vehicle/kennel
• draw from this modular components to fit the operational deployment eg firearms, drugs search, explo, body dog etc into K9 IFAK
• make sure kit is checked every time you deploy
• don’t carry more than is needed, cover basics to get K9 back to more substantial car
• practice with kit
• Multiple uses of each item
• colour code eg Red haemorrhage control, Blue Airway, everything in ziplocks/ vacuumed freezer sealed bags
Simon G. Newbery BSc(Hons) BVetMed MSc Forensic Science MRCVS
The main piece of advice Simon offered was that canine first aid kits should focus on “Life saving treatments”.
The MEDIK9 high risk kit offers this level of equipment and with some adaptations for specific needs and situations it certainly a worthy addition to any dog van/utility belt.
The guys MEDIK9 can bespoke kit to adapt to your needs. www.medik9.co.uk
“They take care of us, lets make sure we’re prepared to take care of them”
Ali Charnick, Ecology Dogs / @ecologydogs / www.ecologydogs.co.uk