Manitoba

Emergency police K-9 health care now offered by Winnipeg paramedics

Paramedics who provide emergency care to the Winnipeg police tactical team are now trained to care for their furry coworkers.

Training provides peace of mind for K-9 handlers, police say

Dogs like Veyda will now be able to get emergency veterinary care on the way to the animal hospital, in the event they are hurt. (Warren Kay/CBC)

Paramedics who provide emergency care to the Winnipeg police tactical team are now trained to care for their furry co-workers.

Police announced Friday the specialized paramedics will now provide some veterinary care to dogs in the K-9 unit on the way to the animal hospital.

"There's always that unknown factor whenever you go to a call," said Sgt. Shawn Lowry of the K-9 unit.

"It's nice to know that if there is an injury and it's pretty severe … that they're there and available for us to give us some pre-care prior to us arriving at the veterinary hospital."

The paramedics are trained to assess dogs, care for wounds, sedate them, relieve pain, give injections, administer some medications including naloxone in case of exposure to narcotics, and provide basic life support.

They are also able to alert the veterinary hospital they are coming and provide an update on the nature of the dog's injuries.

Advance care paramedic Tony Tetrault shows some of the equipment he and other specially trained paramedics will use if a dog is injured in the field. (Warren Kay/CBC)

The risk of a dog being injured prompted the training, Ron Keelan of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service said.

"Thankfully our [tactical emergency medical] paramedics have not yet had to care for an injured dog, but there have been several high-risk situations where the potential is definitely there," he said.

Keelan said Winnipeg is one of the first jurisdictions in the country to train paramedics to help dogs.

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Corrections

  • We initially reported the training was done in partnership with the Pembina Veterinary Hospital, based on information provided by police. In fact, the Pembina Veterinary Hospital says it was not involved in the training.
    Feb 21, 2020 11:35 AM CT

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