[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                        June 26, 2009

Veterinary medicine about more than 
just dogs for exercise participants

By Spc. Francis Horton, The Real McCoy Contributor

FORT MCCOY, Wis. ó The Soldiers of the 422nd Medical Detachment (Veterinarian Services) worked with the 325th Combat Support Hospital (CSH) to keep Soldiers and animals healthy during Global Medic 2009 training.

Photo: Spc. Tasha Martin, a veterinarian technician with the 422nd, prepares a dog for X-rays. (Photo by Spc. Francis Horton)
Spc. Tasha Martin, a veterinarian technician with the 422nd, prepares a dog for X-rays. (Photo by Spc. Francis Horton)

"There are two missions for vets ó food sanitation and veterinarian services," said Chief Warrant Officer 4 Vincent R. Campbell, senior veterinarian technician with the 422nd.

Things to be considered for food sanitation are the source of the food, the maintenance of the machinery used to prepare it, and the transportation from source to site, he said.

This form of force protection is vital to the military. If the food isnít up to standards, Soldiers can get sick and the mission can become compromised.

Certifications must be obtained for anyone providing large amounts of food or even if they want to be a vendor on base, Campbell said.

"Sometimes you canít just look at the food and tell that itís bad," said Campbell.

On the other side of the detachment, the veterinarian technicians also take care of military working dogs, which are mainly used for sniffing out explosive devices in combat zones.

"We treat injuries, keep up on vaccines and the overall health of the dogs," said Spc. Tasha Martin, a veterinarian technician with the 422nd. 

Some of the preventative health care preformed is in the form of blood work and X-rays of the hips.

There also are humanitarian missions overseas working with herds of animals to provide healthcare and vaccinations, she said.

Martin has spent more time as an Army research technician at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C. but is happy for the training she is receiving here, she said.

So far, the detachment has had to deal with dog bites, which requires testing of the dog for rabies, animals injured from improvised explosive devices and broken limbs.

Some have been mannequins, but she also has worked with live dogs, drawing blood, taking them for X-rays and putting casts on legs.

"Training out of the (Combat Support Hospital) is good," she said. "I feel I can handle a working dog well."

(Horton is with the 363rd Public Affairs Detachment.)


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