Vet Checks for Beargrease Sled Dogs

Hundreds Required to get a Clean Bill of Health

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From the tip of their nose to the tip of their tails dogs running in the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon or mid distance race got a complete physical check-up.

Vets and veterinary students looked at their foot pads and wrists, listened to their hearts and checked out their lungs to find anything that could potentially hurt the pups while running the course.

“Certainly if we hear something that’s the heart or something that sounds like a lung problem, those are things that we can make recommendations,” Beargrease Head Vet Gregg Phillips said. “Maybe if you have an extra dog with you, you might think about leaving this dog behind.”

Mushers we spoke to say they are very grateful for the exams because ultimately they are concerned about the care of their dogs not just winning the race.

“You don’t want to ruin a dog, you don’t want them to get an injury that could affect them for the rest of their life,” said musher Martha Sortland. “Have them get injured and have that affect their moral and they don’t want to run again. So it’s very, very crucial.”

A team of veterinarians will also be on site at every check point during the race.

Beargrease activities will kick off January 25th at noon, the race starts at 2.

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