Saving Mikey

Saving Mikey
7th February 2024 Moriah Aharon

Since the outbreak of the war at the beginning of October 2023, the Koret School’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) in Beit Dagan has been treating dogs and other pets belonging to evacuees from the North and South. Initially, the VTH concentrated its efforts on treating traumatic injuries from the specific events of the war. However, in light of the ongoing financial difficulties of the evacuees, the focus has now shifted to more general treatments for pets with medical conditions.

The costs for providing this care is currently being partly absorbed by the VTH, which is fully committed to providing first-rate veterinary clinical care for sick animals. It is anticipated that there will be a need to continue to provide treatment for the pets of evacuees for the next 2 years, by when it is hoped that most of the evacuees will have been able to resume their normal lives — meaning returning to their homes and their jobs.

Mikey is a dog in the IDF’s ‘Oketz’ Canine Unit. In November 2023 she suffered traumatic injuries in Gaza when a grenade exploded very near her. She was transferred to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) in Beit Dagan, the clinical arm of the Hebrew University’s Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, where she was hospitalised for 50 days, undergoing several complex surgeries for eye, leg and brain injuries, plus treatment for pneumonia. Due to brain damage, it was unclear if Mikey would be able to walk again.

From admission (left) through physiotherapy (center) and to recovery (right) at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Mikey: From admission (left) through physiotherapy (center) and to recovery (right) at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital

The VTH and Mikey’s commanders contacted a human hospital in Israel and asked if she could be treated using hyperbaric oxygen therapy, an approach that has been used to treat soldiers with brain injuries. Thanks to the huge emotional investment and perseverance of the VTH team and the soldier to whom she is assigned, Mikey is now back on her feet.

This news story about Mikey was shown on Israel’s Channel 12 TV station.


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About the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine

Founded over 20 years before the establishment of the State of Israel, the Hebrew University has been a partner in the monumental efforts to build a society that today stands at the cutting edge of medical research, agricultural sciences, high-tech innovation, and artistic creativity. This includes the Hebrew University’s leading role in the development of veterinary medicine in Israel. In 1985, it established the country’s first — and still only — veterinary school, the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, which is today a key player in all aspects of Israel’s veterinary and animal services.

The Koret School is a center of excellence for veterinary education, veterinary medical treatment, and research whose mandate is to:

  • educate and train highly qualified veterinarians, emphasising Israel’s climatic, zoological, and environmental conditions as they relate to animals while equipping them to meet present and future veterinary challenges.
  • promote and improve animal welfare worldwide.
  • improve companion animal health and the quality of veterinary care provided to companion animals in Israel.
  • provide first-rate veterinary clinical care for sick animals.
  • advance preventive measures against animal and human diseases.
  • improve public health in Israel and around the world by conducting research of animal- and vector-borne diseases.

The School has two main locations: a three-story research building on the University’s Rehovot Campus which was built in 2010; and its clinical arm, a state-of-the-art Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH), in nearby Beit Dagan.

The Koret School is home to over 200 veterinary professionals and technicians; 268 students of veterinary medicine; some 120 master’s and doctoral research students; multiple research grants and projects; a faculty that includes several members who are internationally recognised experts in their fields; and a bustling teaching hospital in Beit Dagan that is manned by a devoted team of 35 board certified veterinary specialists and provides a 24/7 emergency service.