Local doctors, paramedics training to treat animals with critical injuries

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Quick work by officers in the field helped to save the life of Green Bay K-9 Pyro after he was stabbed Sunday, veterinarians tell Action 2 News.

Officers and paramedics are receiving special training to treat critically injured animals.

Dr. Steve Stroman is an ER and EMS physician at BayCare Clinic. If he needed to treat an animal with critical injuries, he's trained and able to do it.

In 2017, a state law passed allowing doctors and emergency crews to use their skills to help domestic animals.

"What that does is basically applies our human skills directly to K-9 specific things, and we're more interested in the working dogs police departments employ," Dr. Stroman says.

Stroman says six providers in Brown County have been through at least a basic K-9 course. They have a kit of supplies specifically for treating animals.

"There are many similarities, but it's a few small differences. For instance, airway care, CPR, started intravenous, giving medications," Stroman says.

The class teaches how to restrain an injured animal, medication dosing, and where to insert an IV

"It's the same exact technique. You just need to know where to put it anatomically, and we also use Intraosseous more often in dogs, where we use a drill that goes into the bone," Dr. Stroman says.

MORE COVERAGE: Green Bay K-9 Pyro sitting, standing and walking after stabbing

Dr. Lisa Peters works at Fox Valley Animal Referral Center. That's where K-9 Pyro is receiving treatment and 24-hour care. She helped push for the law.

Dr. Peters is now training paramedics in animal critical care. She created a portable reference guide.

"We get a lot of military K-9 studies back, and the studies show that in-the-field stabilization is going to offer them the best case scenario once they get transported to an emergency facility," says Lyn Schuh, CVT, Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Fox Valley Animal Referral Center.

The law isn't meant for people to call 911 if their pet is hurt. It does dictate that humans receive treatment before animals.

Dr. Stroman says local ambulance services and fire departments have agreed to use rescue squads for the transport of critically injured K-9s. More K-9 handlers and paramedics are requesting training.

"It's good knowledge to have, and to have that is near and dear to somebody," Stroman says.