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Oklahoma State University

Teaming Up to Help Canine Officers

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Drs. Rachel Burke and Lara Sypniewski
Drs. Rachel Burke (left) and Lara Sypniewski trained police officers on CPR, wound management and heatstroke prevention for working canines.

Drs. Lara Sypniewski and Rachel Burke recently teamed up to work with local police departments to train canine handlers in working dog tactical field care.

“The goal of these training sessions is to increase awareness of common injuries and diseases in the working canine and promote best practices in pre-hospital care for the canine officers,” explained Sypniewski.

Officers were trained in basic life support (CPR), wound management, and heatstroke.  Each participant performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation using canine manikins.  In addition, officers were given the opportunity to join in a simulation that allowed them to practice wound and hemorrhage bandaging techniques.  Finally, during these hot summer months, officers were trained to recognize heat stress with much time focused on preventative strategies for these hard working canines.

Sypniewski and Burke presented training to the Enid Police Department and the Tulsa Police Academy. They plan to reach out to other Oklahoma police departments to provide this educational opportunity for all police canine teams.

Sypniewski is the Henthorne Clinical Professor of Small Animal Medicine at Oklahoma State University’s Center for Veterinary Health Sciences. She is a trained acupuncturist and canine rehabilitation practitioner. Burke is a 2018 graduate of the veterinary center and is employed at Tulsa’s Animal Emergency Center.

Dr. Rachel Burke demonstrates CPR techniques on a dog manikin.
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