Author: IditarodTeam (102 posts)


The Iditarod launches new dog care initiative

Pike Dog Wellness First Initiative will provide Iditarod mushers with veterinary care funding for their race teams to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The Iditarod, to further cement its commitment to excellence in dog care and help out the mushing community during the COVID-19 pandemic, has launched a $50,000 fund in partnership with longtime Iditarod supporter …

City of Nome Mayor Richard Beneville passes

  The Iditarod is saddened to share the news of Nome Mayor Richard Beneville passing. Mayor Beneville embraced the Iditarod and supported the historical connection between Nome and the Iditarod sled dog race. He will truly be missed by the entire Iditarod Nation but his spirit will remain alive.     Listen to Mayor Richard …

Lance Mackey disqualified from 2020 Iditarod

The Iditarod has announced that, due to a failed drug test, Lance Mackey’s 21st place finish at the 2020 Iditarod will be vacated. Mackey’s urine sample taken in White Mountain, a standard operating procedure for the first thirty mushers arriving at the checkpoint, tested positive for methamphetamine. “Some may have expected, known, or like myself, …

You and Your Dog!

As Iditarod mushers and vets, we understand that all responsible dog owners know the basics behind good dog care. Providing your dog with the right food and a healthy balanced diet is an important aspect of keeping him healthy. So is regular vet care, clean and dry living quarters, plenty of fresh water, lots of …

Checkpoint protocol and dog care

by Stuart Nelson Jr., DVM Of a total staff of approximately 50 veterinarians, most will serve as “trail” veterinarians. These individuals will have a number of responsibilities at checkpoints along the race route. Of course, their primary focus will be on the examination, evaluation, and treatment of the canine athletes. A “senior” veterinarian is selected …

What is a Sled Dog?

by Stuart Nelson, Jr., DVM What is a sled dog? This question was addressed by the ISDVMA (International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association) board of directors at their recent meeting in Germany. The answer seems to be rather obvious, but as with most things in life, it is more complex than a superficial assessment would …

Volunteerism: how does one become a member of the Iditarod veterinary staff?

by Stuart Nelson, Jr., DVM “Volunteers” and “Volunteerism.” These words have received much media attention in the last few months. Our political leaders have been enthusiastically promoting the importance and significance of their roles in society, and the reason is obvious. Funding is not available for every good work that needs to be accomplished, and …

Thermal Concerns: temperature extremes and good dog care on the trail

by Stuart Nelson, Jr., DVM Veterinarians and mushers must be prepared to respond appropriately to temperature extremes as part of good dog care on the trail. Calm and sunny days on a snow-covered (reflective) landscape with moderating temperatures, can create an environment conducive to hyperthermia (overheating). In contrast, very low ambient temperatures combined with wind-chill …

Iditarod Returned Dog Care

by Stuart Nelson, Jr., DVM I have often been asked about dogs that are returned from the race. Long-distance sled dog races, such as the Iditarod, require mushers to finish with only those dogs who started the race. Although none may be added to the team after the start, they can be returned at any …

Early detection of a twisted stomach is essential to a successful outcome

by Stuart Nelson, Jr., DVM My medical topic for this month is the syndrome known as Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus or GDV. Uncomplicated gastric dilatation (distension) can occur as the result of swallowing air and/or overeating, but there is a great potential for rapid progression into a life-threatening emergency if the stomach twists on its long axis …