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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sixteen Dogs to the Vet..... at Once!

Copper and Blue will only go in style; in the cab with the musher

Yep, there are fourteen sled dogs in there

We were lucky over the winter to have had no serious injuries with all of the miles the dogs ran. Towards the end of the season, Ilu had a bloody pad after running on a crusty layer of ice over the snow. The very next day it had healed well enough for him to be raring to go. Sweet Pea was put on antibiotics late in the season when she developed some infected scabs on her nose after digging around in a tree stump. This didn't affect her ability to work. That's it!

Now that we're home, I wanted to get the dogs to the vet for a routine exam, have blood drawn on each to test for heart worm, other parasites and Lyme Disease(called a 4DX test) and to weigh everyone. I hadn't weighed the Tuloon/Bazil puppies since they were eight weeks old and when we returned home they were already six months old! Tukisi and Isis needed to have additional blood drawn to test their thyroid function. Tukisi has been on meds for his hypothyrodism for months and it was time for a recheck and I am speculating that Isis has developed the diseased based upon her appearance and behavior. Rabies shots for the pups, Copper and Isis were also needed. Since Phoenix was having a difficult time keeping weight on this winter, I wanted to have additional blood drawn to test for any issues.

I was happy to hear that all blood tests came back negative except for Zulu who has had Lyme disease since I got him seven years ago. He has continued to test positive for the disease which is typical and we did decide to treat him with a 30 day round of antibiotics based upon some joint soreness he has been displaying. The thyroid results for Tuki and Isis will take a couple of weeks. Phoenix's blood tests were all normal and his difficulty keeping weight on seems to have more to do with his genetics and was something I was told I shouldn't be too concerned about unless he begins to lose his work ethic.

It seems that since we returned two weeks ago, many of my dogs have plumped up a bit too much from less exercise and the fact that I didn't cut their food back as much as I should have. Ilu was the heaviest at 84lbs and maybe 5 over optimum weight. Zala is 6 1/2 mos old and was the tiniest at 42lbs and she could actually put on a few pounds. Her littermates, Oken and Zodiak weighed in at 60lbs each! Phoenix at that age was 52lbs and he is know 68lbs at 2 years old and is underweight by about 5lbs. Based upon the comparison with Phoenix, it looks like my 6 1/2 month old boys are going to big! Zala, on the other hand, may be a tiny peanut like her mom. Peanut or not, she is filled with drive and personality and will be an excellent sled dog, just like her mom, Tuloon, that weighed in at 52lbs.

Even the two little mascots came along to the vet. Copper has been pretty constant with his weight at 12lbs and Blueberry actually lost a few and is now down to 20lbs. However neither one of these two had to do much work this winter and enjoyed three walks a day with extra time to play in the snow.

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