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by DJ Kauffman Correspondent · April 13th, 2017


Marion Fire Station No. 2 hosted an Operational K-9 Handler and First Responder Course for emergency responders from several agencies on Fri., April 7, from 9 a.m. to noon. "The training was great," said Capt. Shawn Fluharty, who took the course for the first time.

According to Capt. Fluharty, their animal training included bandaging wounds, placing IV's, giving CPR, and checking pulses.

Veterinarian Dr. Lisa Peters, who is board certified in emergency and critical care of animals, taught the class. She explained the differences between human and dog airways during the session. She said in some dogs, the passageway is covered with a layer of skin and needs to first be moved aside.

She also showed photos of dogs with normal tongues panting to tongues far extended. Peters explained the farther out of the mouth the tongue on a dog hangs, the more it is in need of medical attention. Long tongues are a sign of dehydration or over-heating, so it is important to cool them down by getting them wet or moving them to a cool environment.

When placing an IV, Peters said a lot of taping is needed in order to keep the IV in place, since dogs tend to bite at them. And, the same material is used for animals as for humans, but the certification for giving a dog an IV may be different, Capt. Fluharty said. They have saved many animals from fires over the past ten years. And he tells kids most dogs are pretty smart and will usually follow the people away from a fire if they are able.
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