Veterinary military-civilian partnership aims to enhance lifesaving care to US Army working dogs

Press Release

In honor of K9 Veterans Day, BluePearl announced a new program in collaboration with the US Army Office of the Surgeon General and the US Army Veterinary Corps.

Military veterinarians

Photo courtesy of BluePearl

The new Veterinary Trauma Readiness and Operational Medicine Agility (Vet-TROMA) program was announced today, in honor of K9 Veterans Day. A partnership of BluePearl, the US Army Office of the Surgeon General and US Army Veterinary Corps, the program is a first-of-its-kind veterinary military-civilian partnership.

BluePearl, a member of the Mars Veterinary Health family of businesses, provides specialty and emergency veterinary care training to US Army veterinarians to enhance their abilities to treat Military Working Dogs (MWDs) combat casualties. The US Army Veterinary Corps provides medical and surgical care to more than 1600 active duty MWDs that deploy and can be injured like human military personnel. Vet-TROMA is an additional training experience available for US Army veterinary personnel to prepare them to provide lifesaving care to MWD’s at their time of greatest need.

Vet-TROMA is currently offered at 2 BluePearl hospitals near US Army facilities in Lakewood, Washington, and Cary, North Carolina, with plans to expand to additional BluePearl locations. US Army veterinarians complete 67-hours of didactic distance learning followed by an intensive 3-week clinical rotation at the BluePearl sites.

“US Army veterinary teams are often faced with trauma situations in which split-second, life-or-death decisions must be made,” said Richard Stone, DVM, chief medical officer at BluePearl, in a company release. “The advanced training offered through Vet-TROMA helps create more skilled and confident veterinarians—qualities that are necessary to care for canines in combat. We are already seeing the program’s impact in the field, and we look forward to growing this partnership and giving more options for US Army veterinarians to feel confident caring for Military Working Dogs injured in combat.”

Captain Abbey Calvo, formally a veterinary team leader from the 218th Medical Detachment (Veterinary Service Support), was the first Veterinary Corps officer to complete a clinical rotation with BluePearl as part of the Vet-TROMA program. During the onsite immersion, Calvo saw 105 emergency cases, including a dog with a gunshot wound to the chest, acute toxicities, and patients requiring blood transfusions—all which MWD’s may experience on the battlefield.

“Military working dogs are an irreplaceable asset to our military and loyally work to protect our service members, so I need to be prepared to save them if they get injured or become ill on the battlefield,” Calvo said in the release. “The training I received from BluePearl through the Vet-TROMA program was life-changing for me and the dogs I serve, giving me additional tools, I need to ensure I am ready to assist our canine counterparts when they need me most.”

The US Army Veterinary Corps was established in 1916 to care for the large number of animals used by the US military during World War I. The Army is the only military service that delivers veterinary support within the Department of Defense to include providing veterinary medical and surgical care to working animals, decreasing the potential for transmission of diseases from animals to humans, safeguarding the food supply for service members and their families, and supporting military research and development efforts. There are currently more than 800 US Army veterinarians on active duty and in the Reserves providing care to MWDs globally.


BluePearl announces first-of-its-kind veterinary partnership with US Army. News release. Blue Pearl. March 13, 2024.

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