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Written by IFSS Admin Tuesday, 30 April 2013 12:37



The I.S.D.V.M.A. European Symposium ??will take place on November 6th and 7th ??2013, at the "Sala Galmozzi" conference hall in Bergamo, Italy.

For the first time an I.S.D.V.M.A. meeting will take place in Italy, with a "symposium" format, shorter??than the Official Biennial Meeting and Conference but not less ??important for the scientific quality of the presentations.

During the two days of the Symposium, international speakers will offer state-of-the-art lectures about different aspects of sleddog medicine.

The Symposium will be held in??Bergamo, Italy , a people-friendly city, rich in art, history and monuments, enclosed in the walls of "Citt?? Alta", the old part of the town, high on the hilltop, preserved just the same as it was five centuries ago.

Bergamo is not far away from other well known italian wonders, such as Milan, capital of the fashion industry, Venice and Verona, charming romantic cities and the Alps, the highest mountain range in Europe.

For more information on the symposium go to:

Sleddog Sports: A Veterinarians Story

Written by IFSS Admin Friday, 12 April 2013 12:08

Straight from the Vets mouth!
Monica Pacheco Duran from Spain tells her story...

There are many different parts to the world of Sleddog Racing.. Athletes, Organisers, Race Marshalls, Spectators, are just some of the people who help to make Sleddog racing a great sport. Without the veterinary team in attendance, Sleddog sports would not be where it is today;??

Monica Pacheco Duran from Spain is an attending veterinarian at different Sleddog races all over the world. From long distance races such as the ??Yukon Quest,?? in Alaska and Canada to Finnmarkslopet, in Norway. She has also attended on stage races like Pirena, in Spain, and at sprint races; "on snow" and "off snow". Monica also frequently attends at National Sleddog Racing Championships in Spain. Monica is a member of the I.S.D.V.M.A (International Sleddog Veterinarian Medical Association. ??In this article Monica invites us into the world of her Veterinary work at Sleddog races, in her own words:

???As a good sleddog veterinarian said to me time ago: " Everywhere there is a dog, there must be also a vet".....and this is exactly what happens at every sleddog race around the world. The vet team an a national or international sleddog race, World Championship or whatever other sleddog competition is very important. Our goal is always the same: the dogs must run happy and save, and we are there to help the mushers to finish the competition with all dogs in good health. The health care of the dogs is in our hands!

The conditions of work on a sleddog are completely different from those at a normal practice: low temperatures, being in the middle of a campground far away from civilisation makes the vets work under difficulties for diagnosing: we have only our stethoscope, thermometer, our hands and our knowledge.

A vet team has different work to develop at a sleddog competition and must be available during 24hours of the competition. The work of the Vet Chief usually starts days or months prior to the start day, organizing the vet team, organizing the veterinarian supplies to carry to the race and organizing the paperwork together with judges and the Race Marshall.

On the previous day of a race or competition, the vet team works hard: it is needed to control all the vaccines books of the dogs participating on a race and organizing all the microchips forms the athletes have to give at the pre-race vet checks. At most of the competitions, there are also individual physical examinations for the dogs to be sure they are in good shape to run.

When the race starts, some of the vets are on the start line to control that all the dogs are all right. There might be also some last time injures, like dog bites, wounds, nail broken...and maybe a dog cannot take the start.

Some other vets are on the finish line, to control how dogs arrive and check those on the sack pack. It is very important to read the microchip of all the dogs to check all of them are at the race with the right athlete or musher and in the right class as the athlete indicated beforehand on the microchipping form.

Finally, when a team arrives, the vet asks ??the musher if he/she has noticed any problem on a dog. Then, a quick vet check is done on all the dogs on a team and if a problem is detected, this dog or dogs must be checked again later on the dog yard or stake out. If the problem is a serious one and the dog needs?? intensive veterinary care, the vet team organizes how to move the dog to the nearest vet practice or vet hospital.

Any dog who is not in good shape to continue a race or finish a competition must be dropped and controlled by the vet team until the finish of the competition. Usually these dogs are given to the handlers with instructions on their care.

To sum up, it must be said that we like our work helping the mushers to take care of their dogs during competition, to answers their doubts about dog care, and?? veterinarian care during the training season...we are their friends and a part of their team: we like to help them to arrive on the finish line with dogs on good shape!!!???

Monica Pacheco, DVM

ISDVMA Board Member'

Note: Pictured is Yukon Quest race veterinarian Monica Pacheco Duran and?? Lance Mackey, of Fairbanks, on Monday, Jan. 4, 2013, in Pelly Crossing, Yukon.

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