U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 20472

FOR: Dave Webb, Acting Branch  Chief, US&R Branch   640px-FEMA_logo.svg

FROM:  Tim Gallagher,  Operations Group Chair

SUBJECT:  Operations Group – Recommendation # K-9 08-01

DATE:          July 23, 2008

The following recommendation was brought to the Operations Group for approval.  The Operations Group voted unanimously to approve the recommendation and move it forward for approval and implementation.

ISSUE STATEMENT

  • There are no system guidelines for regular canine medical examinations

GENERAL BACKGROUND

  • Currently, system canines are not required to have annual medical examinations
  • There is a mechanism for post-mission veterinary checks, but nothing to ensure the maintenance of the canine’s physical condition.

RECOMMENDATION

  • The CSG, through the Search Work Group, recommends the adoption of specific guidelines for annual medical examinations for certified system canines.

PROGRAM IMPACTS / DOCUMENTATION CHANGES

  • Ensures that the health status of our canine resource is monitored and maintained.

FINANCIAL IMPACT TO TASK FORCES

  • Approximately $400/yr per canine

ALLIED WORK GROUP COORDINATION REQUIRED

  • Search Work Group

TIMETABLE FOR IMPLEMENTATION

  • Immediately

Annual Medical Recommendations for the Urban Search and Rescue Canine

  1. Complete Physical Examination – Annual
    • Based on the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) recommendations, this includes a patient’s history, temperature, attitude, hydration, mucous membrane color, capillary refill time, eyes (including pupils and retinas), ears, nose, mouth/throat, peripheral lymph nodes, heart, pulses, lungs/respiration, abdomen, urogenital system, skin, perineal and rectal exam, musculoskeletal system, and neurologic system.
  2. Blood Work – Annual
    • CBC, biochemical profile, heartworm test
  3. Additional Testing – Annual
    • Urinalysis, fecal exam
  4. Preventive Medications – Annual
    • Heartworm Preventative
    • Flea and Tick Control
  5. Vaccinations – Guidelines as per AAHA
    • Core Vaccines – Required
      • Canine Parvovirus (CPV-2, MLV)
      • Canine Distemper Virus (CDV, MLV) or recombinant rCanine Distemper Virus (rCDV)
      • Canine Adenovirus-2 (CAV-2, MLV parenteral)
      • Rabies 1-year (killed) or 3-year (killed) as per state legislation
  1. Highly Recommended Based on Outdoor Lifestyle
    • Parainfluenza Virus (CPIV, MLV-parenteral)
    • Bordetella bronchiseptica (killed bacterin or cell wall antigen extract, parenteral)
    • Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme borreliosis killed whole bacterin or rLyme borreliosis[OspA])
    • Leptospirosis (killed bacterin) – serovar specific for endemic types:
      • Leptospira interrogans with canicola and icterohaemorrhagiae
      • Also available with serovars grippotyphosa and Pomona

May require further diagnostics based on findings at physical examination