Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care – Most Recent



To compare the prevalence of types of trauma, mechanisms of injury, and outcomes among military working dogs (MWDs), operational canines (OpK9s), and civilian dogs (CDs) that sustained traumatic injury.


Retrospective descriptive analysis.


One hundred and ninety-three cases of MWD trauma, 26,099 cases of CD trauma, 35 cases of OpK9 trauma.



Measurements and main results

Medical records of MWDs that incurred trauma while deployed to the Middle East were identified, and information was extracted from these records. The resultant database was compared to CD and OpK9s in the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (ACVECC) Veterinary Committee on Trauma registry. All 3 groups showed similar trends with regard to type of trauma: penetrating injuries occurred most frequently, followed by blunt injuries for CDs and OpK9s. An equal proportion of blunt and blunt and penetrating traumas were observed in MWDs. Only MWDs sustained trauma from explosions, which accounted for 22.3% of injuries in this group. Animal bite/scratch/quilling and motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) were significantly more prevalent among CDs than MWDs (P < 0.01), whereas injuries from gunshot wounds (GSW) or a knife/sharp object were more common among MWDs compared to CDs (P < 0.01). No statistical differences in survival were observed between CDs and MWDs after excluding civilian dogs euthanized due to financial limitations.


MWDs, OpK9s, and CDs experience differences in injury type, mechanism, and outcome. Regardless, MWDs and CDs have good prognosis for survival to discharge after trauma.

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, Volume 31, Issue 4, Page 498-507, July/August 2021.Wiley: Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care: Table of Contents

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