Vet checks give the greenlight on Iditarod's top athletes


by Victoria Taylor

WASILLA- The iditarod Vet Check is not a typical Doctors office. It's a health pit stop along the road to Iditarod for the sports top athletes.

"They get heart and lungs listened to, thats a really important part of the exam and the feet are checked. If they have any indications of sore muscles or joints, that gets examined," said Musher Cyndi Gallea.

It's tough being an iditarod dog.practice, Love and check-ups are all part of performing in the last great race. Just like humans,not every k-9 enjoys the exams. Which is why it takes a specific set of skills to handle these dogs.

"We are laying the dog down on it's side which is kinda foreign to dogs so its gentle handleing, gentle restraints, also how to hook up the to run that machine. how to get a good clear reading so the cardiologist is able to read it," says lead veterinary technician, Jan Bullock.

Every competing dog has to complete this exam. ON Wednesday alone, more than 70 dogs are given the green light to hit the starting line Sunday.


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