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Sled Dog Medicine

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					Sled Dog Medicine
          The orthopedic exam
• Need to know normal so you can tell abnormal.
• Lots of practice as you have an opportunity every
  time you take a harness off.
• Same way each time or you will miss something.
  Start at the toes and work up.
• Guy in the sky gave them 2 of everything so we
  can compare to a neighbor to see if it is a real
  issue.
• Watch the dog run and you know what the
  normal appearance should be.
             Ortho exam-cont’d
•   Range of motion.
•   Swelling.
•   Heat.
•   Reaction from the dog; wince, stops
    breathing, turns head, makes a noise, bites
    your face.
           Ortho exam cont’d
• Observe a moving dog from the front, the side
  or behind and they will show the same signs
  when limping.
• When a dog is painful it moves away from the
  hurt.
  – Head up on a front leg lameness.
  – Head down on a rear leg lameness
              Ortho-cont’d
• Dogs come into a checkpoint lame and leave a
  checkpoint sore.
• If in doubt, leave ‘em out.
• Remember the feet.
                     Feet

• Remember they have them and require
  attention. Need to know normal or you don’t
  understand the progression of splits, swelling
  and other issues.
• Use a headlamp-the best way to see a foot.
• Can definitely make a dog limp.
• Splits-medicating them depends on the
  severity of the split.
• Booties help and can hinder.
                      Splits
• Progression of splits
  – White lines- can intercept still with algyval.
  – Small splits-still can make a difference with
    stopping with correct attention.
  5 mm length or better need more work. Ointments
    and booties plus antibiotics. These can be treated
    and fixed during a race.
                  Feet-cont’d

• Medications for feet;
  – Ointments(salves such as Corona ointment, zinc
    oxide, thuja, betadine/povidone, etc.)
  – Powders
  – Antibiotics-clindamycin, cephalexin
  – Combos of ointments best if non water soluble or
    they freeze.
  – Clean the brown crud off the edges of splits or
    they just don’t get better.
  – No feet, no dog.
                 Wrist injuries
• How to detect them; decreased range in
  motion, swelling and heat.
• Painful on removing a bootie, putting one on.
• Treatment;
  – Massage, extension w/manipulation, liniment and
    pressure.
     • Wrist wraps, algyval, oils.
     • Anti inflammatory medicine if not racing
     • DMSO
          Wrist injuries-cont’d
• Many can continue in the race if caught early
  and treatment implemented along with
  adequate checkpoint rest.
• Time off or training usually 10-14 days.
              Shoulder injuries
• Triceps
• Biceps
• Pectorals

• Detect them the same as other orthopedic
  injuries-decreased range of motion, heat, pain
  and swelling.
• Head bob up.
• Place dog on line with injury to the inside.
       Shoulder injuries-cont’d
• Treatment;
  – Heat, massage and liniment during competition.
  – Shoulder jackets with pockets for heat packs.
  – Anti inflammatory medicines if removed from race
    or otherwise.
  – Rest-3 weeks for most.
               Neck injuries
• Range of motion with the neck. Nose should
  be pretty close to touching the shoulder with
  a very limber husky.
• Painful, heat, decreased range of motion,
  swelling.
             Rear limb injuries
• Start at the foot and work up. Always be
  consistent or you will miss something
  – Toes. Nails, foot pads, tendons behind foot and tarsus,
    sesamoids, tibia, knee, muscles of thigh (front and
    back), hip.
  – Isolate the injury. Find the “chestnut” swelling in the
    muscle with easy pinpoint finger pressure. Don’t use
    too much pressure. A light touch often tells more
    than lots of force on exam. Finger, pencil eraser.
  – Remember to look for rubs. Boy stuff in the groin,
    harness rubs in the armpit for both genders.
           Rear limb injuries
• Muscle injuries respond well to massage but
  you must do massage on a regular basis. Once
  or twice daily.
• Rest-2-3 weeks.
            Sled dog myopathy
• Muscle injury that leads to muscle cells releasing
  large amounts of myoglobin.
• Happens in the first 200 miles of a race most
  often.
• Dogs may urinate dark brown to red.
• Dogs will look hunched up or walk/run like a rat.
  Can be mistaken as an orthopedic injury.
• Can result in sudden death.
• Dog needs to be dropped ASAP, possible fluids
  and medications.
           Sled dog myopathy
• Could be related to dog housed in cramped
  setting for long period of time, high fat meal
  and then a lot of exercise.
• Monday morning disease in horses.
     Exertional Rhabdomyolysis
• Breakdown of muscle tissue that leads to
  myoglobinura. Red or brown urine.
• Dog is dropped and needs attention.
• Can be very painful in every muscle group to
  one group or no muscles showing pain. These
  are the ones to worry about
• Can be painful in the back
• Acute form can be fatal, sub acute affects
  performance-a short stride.
              Hyperthermia
• Dogs will be panting so furiously you think you
  can see their tail through their mouth.
• Body temperature over 104, usually over 106
  degrees Fahrenheit.
• Cooling with water, snow, alcohol on the foot
  pads until temperature is 103 or less.
              Gastric ulcers
• Dogs go off food, eat little.
• May stand over their dish and not do much.
• Vomiting but not always. Not always blood in
  vomitus.
• Dark, black stools.
• Prilosec 20 mg daily as preventative and
  treatment.
               Pneumonia
• Respiratory sounds.
• High temperature, often sudden onset from
  one checkpoint to the next.
• Coughing.
                 Frostbite
• Male parts.
• Recently nursing mothers.
• Ears.
• Treatment is covering the exposed part with
  fur. Antibiotics, cream.
• Prevention is the cure.
                     Diarrhea
•   Soft stool versus explosive stuff.
•   Appetite or no appetite.
•   Duration.
•   Blood present.
•   Fever.
•   Weight loss.
•   Drinking.
                Diarrhea-cont’d
• Treatment depends on severity;
  – Has an appetite and no fever- may do fiber in
    food, look hard at nutrition and duration of
    problem.
     • Chronic issue- rule out parasites, nutrition needs
       adjustments, bacteria.
     • Acute issue-spoiled food, stress.
               Diarrhea-cont’d
• Diarrhea with no appetite;
  – Evaluate for duration, fever and if vommiting
     • May start medicines at this point such as
       metronidazole, anti diarrheals like loperamide.
        – Remember that medicines can affect appetite.
             Diarrhea-cont’d
• Many cases of diarrhea are treated too
  aggressively. Look at diet, training level,
  stresses and see if adjustments there can be
  made.
                Bite wounds
• Pressure and cold stops bleeding.
  – Have what you need in your sled and anticipate
    bad stuff happening.
  – Bleeding can lead to death. Diarrhea usually
    doesn’t.

				
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posted:8/4/2011
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