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Investigation of tail injury at Lackland Air Force Base Training Kennels for Military Working Dogs – Presented by Marty G. Roache & Karen L. Overall

Tail injuries have been reported as an important cause of removing Military Working Dogs (MWDs) from operational work or training due to the need for medical treatment. Such removals adversely affect resource use and operational schedules.  The aim of this study was twofold.  Our first goal was to retrospectively identify demographic factors associated with tail injury in MWDs. Our second focus was  a prospective clinical study investigating the association between the presence of tail injury, the stage of training and kennel location.  Results of the retrospective study showed a significant correlation between purpose-bred dogs, sex, and breed with increased occurrence of tail injury. Results of the prospective study demonstrated a significant correlation between purpose-bred dogs and stage of training and tail injury. These findings are intended to be used to guide for future management to help prevent tail injury, reduce treatment time, and improve overall health and welfare of the entire MWD population, and other types of kennelled dogs, such as shelter and research dogs.

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