The Expeditionary Medical Facility (EMF) veterinary services led a Canine Tactical Combat Casualty Care (TCCC) training with Navy security Military Working Dog (MWD) handlers at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, Jan. 6, 2023.

The EMF veterinary services used their training canine to simulate MWD battlefield trauma so the handlers could practice realistic point-of-injury care.

During the training, the MWD handlers focused on assessing and treating for massive hemorrhage, airway, respiration, circulation, and head injury and hypothermia, also known as the MARCH method. MARCH is used by TCCC-trained individuals to address the most life-threatening injuries first. The only difference for canine casualty care is an extra “M” in the beginning to represent muzzling the MWD first in order to avoid unintentional biting during treatment.

“I am the only veterinarian in theater, so I’m not always going to be there when a dog gets injured,” said U.S. Army Capt. Lizzy Everham, expeditionary medical facility veterinary services director. “The handlers will be the first line of care, so it’s really important for the handlers to know their point-of-injury care procedures and protocols in order to save the dog’s life.”