The Quick Canine Musculoskeletal Exam

Front Leg Flex

There is a lot that has to go into keeping an active dog healthy, but one of the most important in keeping a sled dog going strong is caring for the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia of musculoskeletal system. Watching the fluidity and smoothness of a moving dog (watching how it gaits) is usually one […]

Preventing and managing heat stroke in dogs


The number one rule is: Know your dogs. I have seen dogs unable to stand and in shock on a 45°F day after running on snow and I have seen dogs race hard at 50°F over a much longer distance, only lightly panting.  I have seen short-coated white dogs overheat while the black dog standing […]

Vaccination protocols for sled dogs

The goal of vaccination is to safely prevent infectious diseases that have potential to sicken or kill your dogs and prevent the spread of these diseases to other animals. There are some basic things to bear in mind:  An appropriate schedule for you dogs is highly dependent on where you live, where you travel with […]

So you want to breed your own winning sled dog team?

The luck of the draw is inherent in the genetics of canine reproduction. There are millions of possible combinations from the non-fixed portion of the approximately 19,000 genes (Ostrander and Wayne 2005) in the canine genome. It seems a daunting task to reliably breed sled dogs that can compete at an elite level, but there […]

Dental Care for Sled Dogs

If there is one area that all dog owners, including dog mushers, tend to overlook while trying to provide top quality care for their dogs, I would suggest that the inside of the mouth is among the most common.  We feed top quality food, spend endless hours bending over caring for feet, are quick to […]

Foot care for sled dogs in fall training

Attention to maintaining healthy feet in the first few weeks or months of training is a much needed, but often overlooked, aspect of animal husbandry.  What is needed in your kennel is largely governed by the surfaces your dogs train upon, the surfaces they spend the majority of their time living upon when not training […]

Managing intestinal parasites in sled dog kennels

Dawn Brown demonstrates a dog check on dog Telluride of Debora Summers kennels during the June 23 ISDRA Symposium in Anchorage.

Maintaining a kennel of healthy sled dogs requires a far different approach than what may be deployed effectively for a single house pet.  Large numbers of dogs grouped together, with exposure to other very large groups of dogs at races, on trails, and when traveling, are best served with fecal monitoring, and an ongoing rotation […]

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