Tactical K9 Emergency Handbook: A Step by Step Roadmap for Common and Uncommon Emergencies


Term: Perpetual eTextink access 

Author: Maureen McMichael, DVM, M.Ed., Diplomate ACVECC 

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Be prepared for any K9 emergency in the field. This book is written for EMS personnel, police K9 handlers, non-handlers treating working K9s, SAR handlers, and civilians traveling with working K9s.

Remote locations, where many working dogs spend time, are often far from veterinary care. Injuries such as stabbing with severe bleeding can be immediately life threatening; triage first aid can make the difference between life and death.

This book provides a rapid, tactical, hands-on set of tools that can be viewed on a smart phone, tablet, or computer to provide both the novice and the expert with the techniques to keep a dog alive until arrival at a veterinary clinic. The book can be rapidly searched, is divided into sections for ease of use, and can be personalized with each dog’s normal values to assist the attending veterinarian.

There are over 90 emergency scenarios detailed with images, charts, and step by step directions for each potential condition. Each section has a tactical brief that gives concise directions on pre-hospital emergency treatment. Working dogs give selflessly: we should be prepared to save them too!


Dr. McMichael received her BS in Biology from Columbia University and her DVM from Cornell. She completed an internship and residency in Emergency & Critical Care Medicine. She is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and has held faculty positions at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Texas A&M University and the University of Illinois. She is an inaugural professor at the Carle-Illinois College of Medicine, University of Illinois.

Her Research interests include: Working dog health, the microbiome and gut health, transfusion medicine, oxidative stress in health and disease, treatment with antioxidants, pro-thrombotic states and coagulation testing. She has published over 75 peer reviewed articles, numerous book chapters, two emergency textbooks, and one eText.

She has been dedicated to keeping working dogs healthy since her first encounter with Bretagne in 2001. Bretagne was a Search and Rescue (SAR) dog from Texas that had traveled to the World Trade Center after 9/11. She was then deployed to the Utah Winter Olympics and Dr. McMichael worked with her handler to acclimatize her to the Utah Winter. Dr. McMichael has received special recognition from Texas Task Force 1 for her work with their K9s. In Illinois, she has taught K9 first aid, opioid reversal (e.g., Narcan) and CPR to SAR groups, bomb squads, SWAT teams, EMS teams, Arrow Ambulance personnel, firefighters and the canine handlers at the Springfield Police Training Institute. She was honored to speak at NAPWDA in Springfield, MA in June 2018.

She recently created a website to disseminate emergency care, legislative updates and safety information (www.workingdoghq.com), and partnered with Dr. Mitek to create an educational video on Opioid Dangers for Working Dogs (https://youtu.be/Al108zZF6nc). They are also working to draft legislation to allow EMS personnel to legally provide first aid to law enforcement K9s, and are planning to create and launch a database to track injuries (including opioid exposure) in LEK9s as well as to track veterinarians interested in partnering with EMS for the transport location of an injured LEK9, and they are working on a smart phone app that would streamline the transport of a LEK9 to the closest experienced veterinarian. If you are interested in updates on all of these projects please sign up for the email list at www.workingdoghq.com.

If you have any suggestions or questions please email Dr. McMichael at vet@workingdoghq.com. Due to the volume of email she will respond within one week.