First-Aid Courses

Dr. McNamara strives to offer first aid training free of charge to as many canine handlers as possible, wherever there is interest and demand for his seminar. Since Dr. McNamara is a practicing surgeon, in addition to his training work with local K-9 units, his ability to conduct first aid seminars is limited by his available time.

To ensure quality and to provide the highest level training possible, Dr. McNamara conducts all courses himself – so every canine handler has access to a Board certified veterinary surgeon, familiar with the issues critical to K-9 handlers and their partners.

This course is a full-day event. The morning session comprises a lecture-style slide presentation, which addresses topics and issues of importance to the canine handler. Normal physical examination parameters and trauma logistics are reviewed, along with recognition of a variety of medical and surgical conditions. For each situation appropriate basic first aid techniques are discussed. The afternoon session consists of additional presentation and discussion, followed by an informal question and answer session. All participants receive a notebook containing relevant course information for note-taking and future reference.

Topics covered in the K9 First-Aid course include:

  • Basic animal assessment:
    • Normal parameters for the dog, differentiating from the abnormal
    • First aid kit preparation and trauma logistics

  • Recognition and emergency treatment of the following conditions:
    • Burns, heat stroke, hypothermia, dehydration
    • Upper airway obstruction and smoke inhalation
    • Head trauma/ocular emergencies
    • Poisoning from commonly encountered agents
    • Orthopedic emergencies – fractures, luxations
    • Gunshots, stabbings, penetrating foreign bodies, major lacerations

  • Other medical/surgical problems:
    • Arthritis management, strains, sprains, and ligament tears
    • Vomiting/diarrhea

Dr. McNamara’s First Aid Training courses are generally held in one full-day session; maximum enrollment is typically 25-30 handlers, from either single or multiple jurisdictions. Although there is no charge for the training, cover for any out of pocket travel expenses is requested. Training seminars are planned by Dr. McNamara in conjunction with host agencies, to address any specific needs or situations encountered by an agency’s handlers. Dr. McNamara schedules K9 First Aid Training courses as his availability permits, limited by the demands of being a practicing surgeon in a high volume practice group.

For more information about attending or hosting a K9 First Aid Training course, please contact us.