Caring for the animals which help keep us safe
Darius the horse is in military hospital. The equine patient is suffering from a nasty gash to his upper right leg, which vets say appeared one day after he had been out in a field.
Luckily, he is now in the caring hands of Private Katrina Hilton, a veterinary technician at the Animal Defence Centre, in Melton.
The base is the home of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, which mainly deals with dogs and horses.
Pt Hilton will tend to Darius' wound every day until he is fit to go back to operational duty.
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The ailing horse is just one of hundreds of injured animals brought to the Leicestershire base for treatment.
Major Claire Budge, a vet on the site, takes four-legged casualties from all over the world, including those hurt by bomb blasts and bullets while on tour on the frontline.
"We've got one in at the moment – a dog who broke his leg in Afghanistan," said Major Budge.
"But we don't see many really serious injuries – I've only seen two in the 18 months I've been here."
"We're more likely to see things such as skin disease, back problems, arthritis and gastrointestinal disease."
She said most of the frontline regiment and camp vets are more than capable of dealing with wounded dogs.
"They can usually handle most situations. The handlers even carry extra morphine and sutures for their dogs in their kit."
Major Budge said the centre is capable of dealing with most serious blast and shooting injuries.
There is also hydrotherapy treatment, physiotherapy and state-of-art surgical apparatus to help nurse the furry patients back to full health.
But the lifesaving work performed by Army vets is not always enough, and a number of search dogs have been killed in the line of duty in the past few years.
Detection dog Theo died from a seizure in 2011 after his handler Lance Corporal Liam Tasker was killed in Helmand Province, in Afghanistan, by a Taliban sniper.
But those who do make it back to the UK are in good hands.
Another patient who is under the care of the team is eight-year-old German shepherd Gina – a protection dog with suspected arthritis in her back.
She was given a full examination this week, being sedated and x-rayed before being put back in her kennel to come round.
But the confirmation of arthritis means that Gina won't be back on operational duty.
"She'll live out her days here now, most probably," said Lance Corporal Joe Knight, another veterinary technician.
"She'll help the trainers and make them look good – she's been round that course so many times she can do it in her sleep!"
Other dogs, such as Gina, which have either been injured or are getting to the end of their careers, are rehoused.
Base commander Lt Col Richard Pope said: "All of the dogs injured in Afghanistan have either been deployed back there – or if they're not fit for duty we rehome them.
"We also retire the dogs at about seven or eight years old, but some can go on for longer, it depends on the dog.
"We manage to rehouse about 99 per cent of our animals – that includes the horses. People even call us and ask us if we have any for sale."
The centre does sell its animals, through the process of a sealed bid.
"We can't tell you how much they go for, as then people would know what to bid," said Lt Col Pope.
As well as their own animals, which are being trained at the 360-acre site, vets at the centre get regular visits from Household Cavalry horses from London.
The centre can cater for up to 370 horses at any time.
"We get lots at a time sometimes," said Pt Hilton.
"They come up here on a respite break and we look at their health and see if they need anything doing."