Training and Conditioning

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 …

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 …

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 …

Jeff Deeter on Training for the Cold

Jeff Deeter is used to the daily routine of running sled dogs in the elements. The weather in and around Fairbanks this winter may help this veteran Musher and his team.

ACL type injuries found to be rare in sled dogs

by Stuart Nelson, Jr., DVM Many of you may have experienced knee injuries, including ACL tears. You know what I’m referring to! Ouch! For those of you who may not be aware, the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is critical to normal function of the knee joint. This structure, most commonly referred to as the cranial …

Iditarod dogs enjoy top notch wellness care

Iditarod dogs enjoy wellness care uncommon among dogs and even most humans. They are currently undergoing extensive preventative exams that include full blood workups and electrocardiograms to ensure they are Iditarod fit. It is with much irony that detractors have used a disinformation smear campaign stating, “if an Iditarod dog is lucky enough to survive …