Beargrease Vets on Alert with Warm Temperatures

Dogs more prone to overheating, dehydration in the heat.

DULUTH, Minn.- All the dogs taking mushers along the Beargrease trail, which is softer than usual due to warmer weather, calls for a big team of trained veterinarians.

11 vets and 7 veterinary technicians are stationed at each checkpoint, along with one EMT to check on the human mushers.

Vets say while they’re there for medical attention, mushers are usually the ones who know their dogs best.

“They’re very attuned to it, the way each dog moves, so they know whether they’re showing any signs of a sore leg or sore paw and they also monitor how they eat and snack along the trail,” said Head Vet Dr. Gregg Phillips.

According to Phillips, one of the worst things to happen to a musher is having to take a dog out of their team, causing them to carry the dog on the sled all the way to the next checkpoint.

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