The Yukon Quest veterinary team is gearing up for the 2007 Veterinary Checks taking place in both Whitehorse and Fairbanks this weekend, February 3rd and 4th.These checks provide mushers the opportunity to have each dog competing in the Yukon Quest thoroughly examined by veterinarians trained in sled dog care. It also allows the veterinary staff an opportunity to get to know the mushers and their dog teams and to proactively work towards a healthy and successful race.‘High standards of canine care are a core value of the Yukon Quest’, explains Julie Estey, Executive Director of the Yukon Quest. ‘We pride ourselves in our veterinary team and in the care they are able to provide on the trail. The cooperative relationship between the veterinary team and the mushers towards that goal is furthered during the Veterinary Check.’Head Veterinarian, Vern Starks has been communicating with the 2007 Mushers since race packets went out in October. ‘His goal is to advise mushers on the best care for their team throughout the training season,’ explains Estey. ‘Vern is a firm believer that good dog care requires year-round focus and he and his team are committed to helping the mushers achieve that.’During the Veterinary Check, each dog will receive a thorough examination and a microchip for identification. Data will then be logged in each musher’s Veterinary Book which is mandatory for each musher to carry on the trail. The book provides a consistent, reliable record of each dog throughout the race, allowing the veterinary staff to follow the progress and treatment of each specific dog.All rookie entrants are required to attend the 2007 Yukon Quest Veterinary Checks. Veteran mushers are welcome to attend or may have their team reviewed by a Yukon Quest sanctioned veterinarian to ensure their dogs are in good health.‘We are looking forward to the weekend,’ reports Dr. Starks. ‘It is a great time to interact with each of the mushers and their dog teams. I am always impressed to see the care and respect these mushers have for their dogs.’Veterinary Checks will take place from 8-4 this Saturday and Sunday at Summit Logistics in Fairbanks.
Racing in the ACE Race with Tonya Helm On this episode of the Mushing podcast,