Page 25 - Chiron Spring 2018
P. 25

 On the 22nd and 23rd February 2018 personnel from 1st MWD Regiment, the Defence Animal Training Regiment and Army HQ came together for a veterinary clinical skills training event at St George’s Barracks, North Luffenham. The event, hosted and organised by Major Viky Tannahill, a Reserve VO in 1st MWD Regt, was well attended by 20 Veterinary Officers and 12 Veterinary Technicians, from both Regular and Reserve cohorts. The event offered an excellent opportunity to brush up on theoretical veterinary knowledge and practice skills, particularly those relevant to the military environment. In addition to key clinical learning, the event also provided an important platform for integration of various Regular and Reserve veterinary personnel across the RAVC, fostering useful professional working relationships for the future.
The key theme for the weekend was management of the severely injured Military Working Dog (MWD) and we were fortunate to have invaluable guidance from relevant experts in the field, including Lt Col Kelvin Wright RAMC, an emergency medicine consultant from 306 Hospital Support Regiment; Captain Dave Stewart, a Reserve VO from 101 MWD Sqn; and Professor Gayle Hallowell, from the University of Nottingham. A range of topics were covered during the day and a half course including; management of shock, general fluid administration, intra-osseous (IO) fluid administration and analgesia. Each topic provided a chance to refresh current knowledge or learn something new, thus ensuring the RAVC remains at the forefront of veterinary advancements, and possesses the information and skills they require to perform vital life-saving treatment to our sick or injured MWDs in both the home or theatre environment. Lt Col Kelvin Wright provided a particularly
interesting insight into the management of human patients; it was pleasing to note the remarkable cross-over between the species and his involvement highlighted the numerous opportunities for sharing of information between the medical and veterinary fields.
In addition to the spectrum of informative lectures there was an opportunity to look at, and reflect on, a number of real case studies. These case studies promoted interesting discussion between the group and further exchange of ideas based on previous experience and current scientific best practice. The focus of the second day was IO fluid administration with an initial theory session covering basic principles and IO techniques in humans and dogs, followed by a practical session using human models, and the infamous K9-Hero, a canine training mannequin. The opportunity to put theoretical learning into practice was particularly important, as being competent at delivering veterinary care is a core function for those in the RAVC.
The two Troops in 101 MWD Sqn; Crimea and Boer named in order to recognise the RAVC links with campaigns, serve as a historical reminder, coupled with the Centenary of the Great War this year, outline how essential it is that such coordinated and efficient veterinary provision is available at all times to MWAs in Defence. Key battle winning capabilities such as MWDs remain today, highlighting the need for those trained within the RAVC to keep their skills and competencies up to date.
Whilst there have been numerous advancements, and modernisation since the RAVC received its Royal prefix in 1918, many similarities remain, including the principle aim for personnel to ensure the health and welfare of the working animal,
and also the involvement of both Regular and Reserve Veterinary Officers. At the outbreak of World War One there were 364 AVC officers (Regular and Reserve), during the Great War a further 1,306 were commissioned and by 1918 almost half of the veterinary surgeons in Great Britain were serving in the AVC. In addition to officers, the expansion of other ranks rose from 934 to 41,755.
Overall the training event was interactive and informative, with thanks to the speakers and particularly to Major Viky Tannahill for organising and delivering such a successful event.
Lt Beck practicing IO fluid administration - K9 Hero
Veterinary Officers and Veterinary Technicians from the RAVC
RAVC Veterinary Clinical Skills Training Event

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