Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Vaccination Vacation

Our great vet Cathrine Domij, DVM
preparing the shots
The time of the year has come. This year, the finances are extremely tight, so we decided to vaccinate now only a limited nr. of dogs from the main string.
Which meant one tough decision to make: Whom from the main string team to cut. And although we have 32 dogs training in the main team this year, out of which 24 are counted as the hottest adepts for the main race team members, we could afford to vaccinate only 22 of them right now. Talk about tough decisions! :)

As to why now, it is simply answered. In the past years we vaccinated in summer. Then we decided to go for the nasal vaccine against kennel cough, which is most effective if administered closer to the race time, as it´s potency peaks about a month after administration, so we moved the whole vaccination business to Christmas time. We thought we could also use some down time around that time of the year for ourselves.
But then came the bad autumns full of mud and ice. So this year we didn´t hesitate and Katka and I made a plan to give a call to our vet Cathrine, as soon as we see bad trails ahead.

After our unwanted and highly unpleasant icey adventure last Wednesday, we knew it´s time. So while the trails are under slippery ice and we are making the snow dances and phone calls to Odin and all the other Norse Gods, the kids got their shots and now have a vaccination vacation :)

As to how long they rest during such vacation. It´s been a topic of discussion among dog mushers for years. Our view point is that vaccinating strongly attacks the immune system. Although long distance sled dogs are well trained athletes in excellent condition and health, and our dogs have a great, natural feeding program containing a lot of immunity boosting supplements, we believe that their organisms need time of rest after the vaccination. Resting for five days, while running free in the dog yard, playing, stretching and enjoying just being dogs for a while is beneficial to them also mentally.
If the weather gets wiser and trails in at least tad better conditions, we will take the kids for a short run on Friday and again on Sunday, before diving back into the full training regime. 

I would like to express a big thank you to Cathrine Domeij, DVM. for her continuous support, help and friendship over the years!

If you´d like to help support our kennel and team during the 2012/13 race season and help us with some of the extensive expenses for dog health care and race preparation, which we take very seriously, please read the following info for options: 
Every tiny little bit helps tremendously and our gratitude is endless!

Thank You and Happy Trails!

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