Alaskan Mushing CE Experience
Sports Medicine of Working Canines & Exercise Physiology
A well-conditioned working dog is a magnificent athlete, capable of activities far beyond the scope of an average family pet. The upregulated physiology of an elite athlete dictates what a veterinarian should consider ‘normal’ during a physical exam and what sort of diagnostic and therapeutic measures are most appropriate to address clinical problems.
This event provides veterinarians with a comprehensive overview of how dogs develop into elite athletes and covers the implications of those morphological and physiological adaptations on the veterinary care of working dogs through 18 hours of lectures and case-discussion. Attendees will learn how to help owners of canine athletes get the best performance out of their dogs through conditioning and nutrition and how to better diagnose and manage diseases that are common in working dogs.
During the afternoon of the first day, all attendees will learn how to handle sled dogs, including harnessing and other preparations, before taking a 1 ½ - 2 hour wilderness ride to get familiar with the experience of travelling by dogsled. This will be the preamble for a longer half-day sled dog trip on the second day, during which the attendees will be able to drive their own sled and team of dogs through the Susitna Valley of Alaska. This event will be held at Happy Trails Kennels, run by four-time Iditarod Champion Martin Buser in Big Lake, Alaska, 1 ½ hrs north of Anchorage International Airport. Attendees will be provided with the unique opportunity to get hands-on experience with some legendary canine athletes that compete each year in the famous Iditarod Sled Dog Race. Most of the dogs at the kennel will be actively training for that race during the event. They will however take some time from their arduous training program to give event attendees a taste of what it is like to race these impressive athletes.
And for the very adventurous attendees, there is the incredible opportunity to take an amazing all-day trip driving their own team on the 4th day of the event. Nothing compares to the experience of leaving civilization behind and traveling through the snow-covered Alaskan countryside on a sled pulled by some of the most elite athletes in the world – the racing Alaskan sled dog.
Alternative optional whole day outdoor activities will be on offer for the 4th day, such as flightseeing around Denali or guided glacier hiking/climbing tours etc.. Regardless of whether you choose to mush, fly, climb, or hike, you will see parts of Alaska that very few ever get to see!
*This event fee includes two wilderness sled dog rides (1½-2hrs & 4hrs), a wine & cheese reception, a course dinner, refreshments, lunches on each day, extensive lecture notes and a RACE-approved certificate of attendance. The event fee does not include flights, travel to and from Happy Trails Kennels (event location), accommodation and any of the outdoor activities on Day 4, including the all-day wilderness sled dog ride. Attendees can book the all-day wilderness sled dog ride as an optional extra through VetPD. All other outdoor activities on Day 4 need to be booked directly with each provider listed under the ‘Travel Information’ tab.