K9 Down – Life-Saving Emergency Training to Protect Working K9s

K9 Down is a highly specialized program designed for professional working dog handlers and emergency rescue personnel – anyone who may respond to canine health emergencies in the field. The course is tailored for police officers, firefighters, medics, search and rescue teams, military dog handlers or other canine handlers with specialized training.

Online Course:

The course lectures are available online in an attempt to accommodate even the busiest of schedules. A series of lectures will be presented on topics ranging from the normal canine physical exam to toxicities and heat exhaustion. You will need to complete each lesson’s quiz in order to obtain your Certificate of Completion. The course handouts and additional appendix items are available to download and keep for future reference in the field. Post questions and interact with other course attendees via the K9 Down Q & A Forum and Social Forum. Access to the online course will be issued once registration payment is received in full.

Skills Lab:

The K9 Down lab session builds on the techniques taught in the online curriculum, and is available to anyone who completes the online course and has a background which includes IV catheter placement, intraosseous catheter placement, chest tubes, injectable analgesia, intubation, CPR, etc; such as an EMT or medic. Students will get hands-on experience of techniques using scenario-based training. The class will be split up into small groups rotating through different topics and scenarios throughout the day. The online lectures and associated quizzes must be completed as a prerequisite to attend the corresponding skills laboratory sessions.

Lab sessions are scheduled on demand for groups of 16 or more. If you are interested in scheduling a lab session, please send an email to ceregistration@ncsu.edu.

Online Lecture Topics

  • Online Course Lecture Topics Overview (Subject to Change)
    • Introduction to the Operational Canine
    • Physical Exam/Know Your Dog
    • Intravenous Fluid Therapy and Interventions for Shock
    • Restraint, Oxygen Administration, Respiratory Emergencies
    • Anesthesia/Analgesia
    • Wound Management/Penetrating injuries
    • Gastrointestinal Complications
    • Smoke Inhalation, Burns, and Heatstroke
    • Toxicities
    • Preparedness
    • CPCR/BLS
    • Point of Care Ultrasound

Sample Lab Session Schedule

Techniques demonstrated: Physical exam, oxygen administration, restraint, catheter placement (A), bandaging, intubation (A), basic CPR, EKG, passing a stomach tube, and other stabilization techniques.  (A) indicates advanced laboratory session only.

Time Topic
0700 Arrival for Optional TIVA section Pre-Registration Required
0720-0900 TIVA
0900-0920 Introductions / Continental Breakfast
0930-Noon All Groups A-E - Physical Exam, Intubation, Catheterization Lab
Break (15 min)
1215-1330 Lunch (provided) / Course Review
1330-1500 Bandaging / CPR - Groups D + E Emergency Procedures -
Group A, B, C
1515-1630 Bandaging / CPR
Group A,B,C
Emergency Procedures -
Groups D, E
Break (15 min)
1645-1715 Closing Remarks / Guidelines / Hotwash

*speaker(s) and/or topic subject to change

Participants rotate through 3 stations of “scenario based” training. The stations include: 1) A scenario based toxicology session, 2) A models based smoke inhalation and CPCR session, 3) A models based blunt trauma scenario.  

Registration for the online course is $200 per person.  We do offer a group rate of $150 per person for groups of 3 or more (enter the discount code K9DGroup at checkout). Additional participants can be added at checkout.

Register Here

Click Here to view resources and to access to the latest Best Practices Guidelines for Canine & Feline Critical Care.

These guidelines are due to be published in the next edition of the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (JVECC), and they will be available as an Open Access article for 6 months post – publication. Please pass the word along as we all work together to improve the available care for these amazing animals.