Saturday, August 31, 2013

Is Fall Here Yet?

    The weather keeps playing with us - it was extremely hot earlier in August (when in the past we've already started training) and then it cooled off for about two weeks. I've been training for a 1/2 marathon myself, so I didn't stress too much about running - feeling certain we were on the road to cooler temperatures...and because a recent conversation with Scott reminded me that for the older dogs, they just don't need so many early runs. But I was glad the yearlings got a few runs before the temperatures and humidity rose - taunting us with rain and 60 degrees!
    I'm also excited to announce that in October, Urchin will be joining us from Alaska! For those who followed my adventures in Alaska, he was a yearling that became my main leader. He led a lot last year (again on a yearling team since he was a young yearling the winter I worked with him). All the dogs from Scott are excellent athletes and I look forward to having Urchin on the team again!
    This season should be interesting; the seven yearlings from S. Dakota are beginning to sort themselves out and I'll be working with four on the team, and then all extra dogs will run with Mouse's pups (Frost, Peppermint and Jingle) to give them as much mileage as I have time to give them this winter. They're just a few months too young to run with the "big dogs". In addition, although I'd love to race Mouse for a season, I think I'll be looking for some Razz or Mambo pups...unless I can get her back up to Alaska to get bred.
    Here's some pictures from our run the other day:
Mocha & Mambo leading us out, Jersey/Zoomey in point.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sled Dog Remedies

    When you have a kennel of dogs - whether they're sleddogs or not - accidents happen. A dog gets loose, a fight happens and even when it's not serious enough to require vetrinarian attention, there are things you can do to ease the wound healing. It gets even more important when you're in training and you want the dog back in training as soon as possible.
    Over the years I've used a variety of antiseptics and different herbal remedies, but there are two that have really worked well - for dogs or people!
    Since coming down from Alaska, I've started using Providine ointment. It sticks into those hard to get places, protecting and cleansing the wound. A must have for your first aid kit! Surprisingly, I had trouble finding it...but usually it's in the horse section at your feed store.
    But sometimes it's nice to flush out the wound and not leave an ointment in it. This spring Pudding had a strange sore/infection under her collar. I started with Providine and then switched to my new favorite antiseptic - 50% white Vinegar and 50% Hydrogen Peroxide, mixed with a little water. This stings less than Schreiners liniment (my previous favorite!) and softens the wound, while the Vinegar takes away the smell (as in Pudding's case).
    Another thing that I first realized in Alaska is how much more quickly wounds heal if you put the dogs on an antibiotic - up there they use Amoxicillin for everything. However, preferring a more natural/herbal approach I did some reading and have started using the following blend of herb powders (mixed equally): Garlic, Ginger, Slippery Elm, Comfrey and Chaparral. I add a little Cayenne as well (helps with shock/blood flow) and give 1tsp morning and evening for 10 days with amazing results.

    Of course, if the dog is seriously injured don't wait to take them to the vet! But for minor wounds this stuff has worked for me to help get my athletes back in training and to optimum health...