For the Dogs

The US military opened a new $15 million veterinary hospital Oct. 21 on the grounds of Lackland AFB, Tex., for the treatment and rehabilitation of military working dogs wounded in Afghanistan or Iraq or injured during training at the base. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the new facility, which replaces a cramped Vietnam War-era center, features operating rooms, digital radiography, CT scanning equipment, an intensive care unit, and rehab rooms with an underwater treadmill and exercise balls. There is also a behavioral specialist on staff. Lackland is home to training for the thousands of dogs used by all branches of the military and the Transportation Safety Administration. The dogs are an integral part of security operations, including sniffing for explosives. Many, such as Goro, an eight-year-old German Shepherd who died of natural causes earlier this year, have served multiple combat tours. According to AP, military working dogs wounded in combat get emergency medical treatment on the battlefield and then are sent to Germany for more care. Now, if necessary, they will come to Lackland for more advanced treatment.