Monday, February 20, 2017

Canadian Challenge: Vet Checks are Underway

194 dogs will be passing through the Archie Anderson Pavilion at the PA Exhibition grounds today.
Vets will be checking each dog over carefully ensuring that the athletes are in top condition for the race ahead of them.

Dog trucks line up outside the pavilion
Photo Credit: Rod A. Young

Dogs stretch their legs while they wait their turn
Photo Credit: Rod A. Young
Earl Stobbes team waits patiently
 Vets have volunteered their time today working many stooped over hours, from checking 776 feet, to 388 shoulders.  Listening to each heartbeat and jotting down many notes on each dog.
Dogs are also scored on a scale from 1 (too thin) to 5(too fat).  Most mushers hope for a 2.5 scoring.
Each dog this year was marked with green to show that he was given the all clear to race tomorrow.

These same vets follow the race, meeting up with each team as they come into the checkpoints.
Getting to know the team ahead of time helps them determine how well they are faring on the trail.  The dogs health and safety comes first at the race.
Dogs always come first.

I met three of these amazing ladies at the 2015 race and can say with all honesty that they took care of each dog as if they were their own.  They remembered each and would check on them throughout the race.   It left me with confidence that if anything were to go wrong help would be available quickly.  

Ruth Anderson is the head vet and this year will be her 10th with the Canadian Challenge, she also brings with her the experience of having been a vet at the Yukon Quest in 2006.
The assistant Vets also bring with them past Challenge experience, Katherine Robinson, Jessie Peck and Romany Pinto will all be found at each checkpoint as well.
This is a good opportunity for the vet to answer any questions
Photo credit: Jim Williams

Heart rate is checked
Photo Credit: Jim Williams

The following photos are Randy Mackenzie's dogs from the 2015 race  
Ruth checks gums for hydration

shoulders, and all major joints for range of motion and any soreness

Feet, checking for splits between the pads and overall health

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