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  • Author or Editor: Karyn Harrell x
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Objective—To determine the most common types of noncombat-related injuries or illnesses in military working dogs in a combat zone.

Design—Retrospective descriptive study.

Sample—1,350 patient encounters with military working dogs evaluated for noncombat-related reasons.

Procedures—Data regarding noncombat-related veterinary visits were collected on a weekly basis from 13 forward operating bases throughout Iraq from January 2009 through August 2010. Reporting facility location, patient identification, reason for evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment were recorded, and descriptive data were summarized.

Results—The most common noncombat-related disease processes or injuries identified were related to the dermatologic system (ie, primary [inflammatory] dermatologic disease; 338/1,350 [25.0%]), soft tissue trauma (284 [21.0%]), alimentary system (231 [17.1%]), or musculoskeletal system (193 [14.3%]).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Veterinary Corps officers need to be proficient not only in the management of combat-related injuries but also in the treatment of routine illnesses and injuries. Knowledge of noncombat-related diseases and injuries commonly incurred by military working dogs can be used for targeted training for individuals responsible for medical care of these animals as well as for equipment selection and protocol development.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association