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Medusa Has Hip Dysplasia

Medusa wasn’t eating or drinking well. We thought she was just tired from several consecutive 24 miles runs. After a week of rest, she still wasn’t eating or drinking well and Greg noted her hunched back, so we brought her to the local vet.

We suspected either a back injury or obstructive bowel– although if it was the latter we didn’t know what she could have gotten hold of.

The vet took blood work and ex-rays. The blood work came up with abnormal white blood cells and a high UREA (?) level. The ex-rays were sent out to a radiologist.

We were extremely surprised to hear that the problem Medusa has is hip dysplasia with DJD (degenerative joint disease).

Medusa's Ex-ray

We got Medusa, Siren, and Kraken when they were around three months old (they are now 5.5yrs old). They come from Mackey/Forsberg lines.  The plan was for all three of them to be on my CB 300 and YQ 300 team in 2014– they would be around 1 year and 4 months old. Siren is the only one who made the cut. Kraken had, and has had all his life, chronic diarrhea; and Medusa just wasn’t very enthusiastic– she didn’t have the drive like her sister Siren did. I wonder if the problem all along was hip dysplasia.

According to the vet, the abnormal blood work doesn’t have anything to do with her hip dysplasia. He’s guessing the abnormal white blood cells has to do with worms (we found roundworm in Jack’s poo, so we’re worming all of the dogs. Strongid every ten days, 4 times).

We’ve put Medusa on 2.5mg of meloxicam 1X a day. The vet told us that eventually, more sooner than later, her left leg will break or come loose from the socket and that he can do surgery once this happens.

We’re really sad that Medusa will no longer be a sled dog because she liked to go and was a core member of the team.

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Run to Elmer’s Camp, Almost

Seven Stinkers and I had a great run today trying to find Elmer’s Camp. The temps are cold enough for Wayne, and he’s really enjoying these sub zero days, me too!

I decided to only take 7 dogs because I had no idea where I was going, and I wasn’t sure of the trail conditions. This was a good choice. The main trails have deteriorated since I was last out (1 day ago). I’m not sure if it’s because of overgrooming or snowmachiners who are out and about when they shouldn’t be (due to poor trail conditions). There were a lot of rocks on the trails as well as dirt.

Phanty was a champion leader and listened to my commands. What a good boy!

We traveled from our house to Hastings Heritage trail, turned right onto Bessemer, turned right onto Bowers, turned right onto Swordfingle– which is where  I though we’d find Elmer’s camp, but we didn’t. We turned right onto V lake trail and then I was getting concerned because I didn’t want to hit a major road (Upper Turriff).  When I saw the stop sign near Upper Turriff I said “Fuck,” but I saw a single snowmachine trail to my left, so took that. I had no idea where I was going. The dogs were having a great time, but since there weren’t any other signs of dog sleds or sled dogs, I thought I was on the wrong trail, so I found a tree to hook onto and turned the team around. We had gone 9.73 miles.

It was fairly easy turning them around, and off we went, headed back in the direction where we came from when I turned around and there was a dog team behind me! I stopped my team and asked where Elmer’s camp was and sure enough it was the way I was originally going.  At that point Stella (who was in lead) decided to turn everyone around and my dogs were tangled and saying hello to Brady’s dogs. Brady helped me untangle and off we went. As soon as we got onto the road, Brady and his fast team passed me.

I kept asking the Stinkers if they wanted to stop because our longest mush this year has been 7.11 miles, but they did NOT want to stop, so we mushed home– at total of 19.43 miles. When we got home, I souped them on the line and learned that Jack doesn’t like fish!

Jack and Ted are new to this mushing thing, and so far they are doing well. Ted’s a little slow, but he’s a Siberian, and that’s okay.

The line up was:

  • Phanty & Stella (Lead)
  • Siren & Wayne (Point)
  • Jack (Team)
  • Medusa & Ted (Wheel)
Our house to Elmer's Camp

Our house to Elmer’s Camp

Stinkers Almost Home

Stinkers Almost Home

Posted in Jack, Medusa, mushing, Phanty, Siren, Stella, Ted, Wayne | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rattles Moves Inside

One of our stinkiest dogs just moved inside– into the StinkyPup mansion. At 13 years old, Rattles has finally moved inside.

Rattles is very skinny, is not a good eater, and seemed depressed after his brother Simba died, so we decided it was time for him to move inside. That makes 12 stinkers who live inside and 18 who live outside.

Rattles has quickly learned to come in and out of the dog door, and the other dogs don’t seem to mind that’s he’s moved inside.


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Chevy/Spike Health Update

We brought Chevy and Spike to the vet today for checkups.


Back in June we brought Chevy to the vet because he was limping on his right foot. The vet took and ex-ray and said he had bad arthritis.  She gave him an injection of Legend (similar to Adequan) and I put him on Rimadyl.  This didn’t help, so I called the vet and asked if there was anything else we could do. The first time I called I didn’t get much of a response, so I called again and we changed his meds to meloxicam, gabapentin, and cartrophen, with a caveat that if the Legend didn’t work, the cartrophen probably wouldn’t work either. This turned out to be true.

Today we brought Chevy to the local vet, who immediately noticed muscle atrophy in Chevy’s right shoulder, so he took an ex-ray and found the bone just below his shoulder is decaying. This could be due to cancer, or something else?  The vet predicted eventually he would start dragging his leg. He said if this was a younger dog, he’d amputate the leg, but that type of surgery isn’t appropriate for a 13 year old dog. We’ll continue with the gabapentin and drop the meloxicam & cartrophen, and monitor his pain and discomfort level. The doc said he probably isn’t in pain.


We brought Spike in for a pre-dental, and she will have some dental work done in the near future.

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