Search and Rescue Dog Medical Emergencies

If you are ever concerned about any potential medical problem that your dog may have you should seek professional veterinary advice. Under field conditions emergencies will occur, but much can be done to prevent these and reduce their impact. Most of all, your dog should be up to date on vaccinations and parasite control medication. You should only consider working your dog if he/she is fit enough to do at least as much as will be expected of him/her. A sound nutritional and exercise program is paramount to good health in dogs, as it is in humans. Working dogs should also always be maintained on their staple diet when working away from home. Changes in a dog's diet, including feeding unfamiliar snacks or treats, predisposes pets to diarrhea and other conditions.

As an owner or handler, you can help your dog by knowing it's normal resting heart rate and temperature. Owners and handlers should also be familiar with how to measure these and their dog's pulse and capillary refill time. Written copies of their dog's medical history, including vaccination status should accompany them whenever they travel. The dog's regular veterinarian can help demonstrate these procedures and provide this information.

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