21. Emergency Medical Considerations in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

  1. M. Christine Zink DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVP and
  2. Janet B. Van Dyke DVM
  1. Cynthia M. Otto DVM, PhD, Dipl ACVECC and
  2. Jennifer Brown DVM, Dipl ACVS, CCRT

Published Online: 28 JUN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118783443.ch21

Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

How to Cite

Zink, M. C. and Van Dyke, J. B. (2013) Emergency Medical Considerations in Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, in Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., West Sussex, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118783443.ch21

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 JUN 2013
  2. Published Print: 11 APR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780813812168

Online ISBN: 9781118783443



  • canine athletes;
  • emergency examination assessment;
  • head trauma;
  • musculoskeletal trauma;
  • neck trauma;
  • rehabilitation;
  • sports medicine


Working dogs and elite canine athletes are at risk for injuries or illness associated with performance and training. The basic approach to emergency stabilization is to address the most life-threatening problems first: airway, breathing, and circulation. Many of the problems that result in acute emergencies in these dogs will be the result of the environment in which the dog is working or performing. Traumatic injuries occur frequently and range from mild to life threatening. Prompt management of head trauma, ocular trauma, and musculoskeletal trauma is needed to optimize the chance for return to performance. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition resulting from environmental exposure, an inability to eliminate heat or excessive heat production from work or seizures. Prevention or early recognition is preferred; however, rapid cooling and advanced veterinary care are required for dogs that develop heat stroke. Other environmental factors that pose threats include toxins and envenomation.