Friday, March 27, 2009

Six Dogs Dead in 2009 Iditarod

Six Dogs Dead in 2009 Iditarod

First there was Victor, a 6-year-old dog on musher Jeff Holt's team, who died suddenly on March 10. A gross necropsy (the canine version of an autopsy) was completed, however, "no cause of death could be determined by the board certified veterinary pathologist."

Then, on March 16, a search pilot discovered that two dogs (whose names, Dizzy and Grasshopper, were not even included in the Iditarod advisory) on rookie musher Lou Packer's team had apparently frozen to death.

Next, on March 19, Maynard, a 5-year-old male on Warren Palrey's team, died on the trail late at night. His necropsy showed "pulmonary edema [fluid in the lungs] was present, which likely developed as the result of a cardiac abnormality." Maynard had been "working hard" on the trail for 11 days leading up to his death.

One day later, Omen, an 8-year-old male on Rick Larson's team, died on the trail between the checkpoints at Elim and White Mountain. As with Maynard, Omen's necropsy indicated that he died from a pulmonary edema.

The sixth dog, a 2-year-old female named Cirque, died during a post-race flight. Cirque, who was on musher Alan Peck's team, was discovered dead when after the plane was forced to land due to significant turbulence.

Please visit the Sled Dog Action Coalition's site to find out what you can do to end this deadly race once and for all.

Source of photo and information obtained from

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