Time we put
these rumors to rest….
I thought that
I had mentioned in diary entries over the summer
some of my thoughts on the problems my team
experienced in on Iditarod last year that kept me
holed up in Nulato for 24 hours, but since I have
been inundated with questions about that over the
last few weeks – I’m thinking I didn’t – or didn’t
do a very through job of clearing it up.
So let me do
The problem my
dog’s had with their feet on the Iditarod Trail last
year were not due to zinc deficiencies.
merely speculation thrown out at the time with no
testing to back it up. The vets and I were just
looking for things that might explain what we were
seeing in the dogs.
on it now, and with testing to back us up, we are
very confident that a zinc deficiency was not the
As to what the
problem was, I don’t know that I have a definitive
answer, but probably the extreme cold, maybe
something bacterial, and maybe the many pre Iditarod
‘race’ miles I had on the dogs played into it.
It was not a
foot problem like I’ve ever seen before – and I
doubt one I will see again.
I will be
doing a few things slightly differently on the race
this year, just to be extra cautious. They include a
bit more preventative booting and less pre Iditarod
I will also be
very quick to treat anything I perceive as being
less then perfect in the dog’s feet.
That is it
though - no dietary changes, no dog changes – I do
not believe any of those are called for. Remember,
this team had gone through numerous Iditarods and a
great deal of other races and training miles without
this sort of issue in the past.
I am confident
that this is a strong and healthy dog team. The
testing they have undergone the past week has just
backed up my beliefs. All the techs and vets working
on them have been very complimentary about their
condition – and I know the dog’s attitudes are top
We are good to