• 1.

    Hinchcliff KW, Reinhart GA, Burr JR, et al. Metabolizable energy intake and sustained energy expenditure of Alaskan sled dogs during heavy exertion in the cold. Am J Vet Res 1997;58:14571462.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Cantor GH. 1995 ISDVMA guide to sled dog necropsies. In: 1995 Iditarod Trail sled dog race musher's/veterinarian's handbook. Wasilla, AK: Iditarod Trail Committee, 1995;4753.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Bharati S, Cantor GH, Leach JB, et al. The conduction system in sudden death in Alaskan sled dogs during the Iditarod Race and/or during training. PACE 1997;20:654663.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Blake J. Sled dog myopathy. In: Schmidt KE, ed. The musher and veterinary handbook. 2nd ed. Wakefield, Mass: International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association, 2001;1314.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Byard RW. Sudden infant death syndrome. In: Byard RW, ed. Sudden death in infancy, childhood and adolescence. 2nd ed Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004;491574.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Davis MS, Willard MD, Nelson SL, et al. Prevalence of gastric lesions in racing Alaskan sled dogs. J Vet Intern Med 2003;17:311314.

  • 7.

    Maddison KJ, Shepherd KL, Hillman DR, et al. Function of the lower esophageal sphincter during and after high-intensity exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2005;37:17281733.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Widdicombe J, Singh V. Physiological and pathophysiological downregulation of cough. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 2006;150:105117.

  • 9.

    Parent C, King LG, Walker LM, et al. Clinical and clinicopathologic findings in dogs with acute respiratory distress syndrome: 19 cases (1985–1993). J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;208:14191427.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Crawford PC, Dubovi EJ, Castleman WL, et al. Transmission of equine influenza virus to dogs. Science 2005;310:482485.

  • 11.

    Davis MS, McKiernan BS, McCullough S, et al. Racing Alaskan sled dogs as a model of “ski asthma”. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2002;166:878882.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Davis MS, Willard MD, Nelson SL, et al. Efficacy of omeprazole for the prevention of exercise-induced gastritis in racing Alaskan sled dogs. J Vet Intern Med 2003;17:163166.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Davis MS, Willard MD, Williamson KK, et al. Sustained strenuous exercise increases intestinal permeability in racing Alaskan sled dogs. J Vet Intern Med 2005;9:3439.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Murray MJ, Schusser GF, Pipers FS, et al. Factors associated with gastric lesions in Thoroughbred racehorses. Equine Vet J 1996;28:368374.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Begg LM, O'Sullivan CB. The prevalence and distribution of gastric ulceration in 345 racehorses. Aust Vet J 2003;81:199201.

  • 16.

    Choi SC, Choi SJ, Kim JA, et al. The role of gastrointestinal endoscopy in long-distance runners with gastrointestinal symptoms. Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol 2001;13:10891094.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Moses FM. Gastrointestinal bleeding and the athlete. Am J Gastroenterol 1993;88:11571159.

  • 18.

    Simpson KN. Diseases of the stomach. In: Ettinger SJ, Feldman EC, eds. Textbook of veterinary internal medicine. 6th ed. St Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2005;13101331.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19.

    Simpson KN, Neiger R, DeNovo R, et al. ACVIM consensus statement: the relationship of Helicobacter spp infection to gastric disease in dogs and cats. J Vet Intern Med 2000;14:223227.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    Long RD. Treatment of common injuries in endurance racing sled dogs. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 1993;15:434437.

  • 21.

    Cantor GH, Nelson S, Vanek JA, et al. Salmonella shedding in racing sled dogs. J Vet Diagn Invest 1997;9:447448.

  • 22.

    Morley PS, Strohmeyer RA, Tankson JD, et al. Evaluation of the association between feeding raw meat and Salmonella enterica infections at a Greyhound breeding facility. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2006;228:15241532.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    Bartsch RC, McConnell EE, Imes GD, et al. A review of exertional rhabdomyolysis in wild and domestic animals and man. Vet Pathol 1977;14:314324.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 24.

    Valentine BA, McDonough SP, Chang YF, et al. Polysaccharide storage myopathy in Morgan, Arabian, and Standardbred related horses and Welsh-cross ponies. Vet Pathol 2000;37:193196.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25.

    Cellular adaptations, cell injury, and cell death: mechanisms of cell injury. In: Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N, eds. Robbins and Cotran pathologic basis of disease. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders, 2005;1419.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26.

    Piercy RJ, Hinchcliff KW, DiSilvestro RA, et al. Effect of dietary supplements containing antioxidants on attenuation of muscle damage in exercising sled dogs. Am J Vet Res 2000;61:14381445.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27.

    Piercy RJ, Hinchcliff KW, Morley PS, et al. Vitamin E and exertional rhabdomyolysis during endurance sled dog racing. Neuromuscul Disord 2001;11:278286.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    Burr JR, Reinhart GA, Swenson RA, et al. Serum biochemical values in sled dogs before and after competing in long-distance races. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:175179.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 29.

    Cullen JM, MacLachlan NJ. Liver, biliary system, and exocrine pancreas. In: McGavin MD, Carlton WW, Zachary JF, eds. Thomson's special veterinary pathology. 3rd ed. St Louis: Mosby Inc, 2001;81124.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 30.

    Turk JR, Root CR. Necropsy of the canine heart: a simple technique for quantifying ventricular hypertrophy and valvular alterations. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 1983;5:905910.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 31.

    Stepien RL, Hinchcliff KW, Constable PD, et al. Effect of endurance training on cardiac morphology in Alaskan sled dogs. J Appl Physiol 1998;85:13681375.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 32.

    Hinchcliff KW, Constable PD, Farris JW, et al. Electrocardiographic characteristics of endurance-trained Alaskan sled dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:11381141.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 33.

    Constable PD, Hinchcliff KW, Olson JL, et al. Athletic heart syndrome in dogs competing in a long-distance sled race. J Appl Physiol 1994;76:433438.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 34.

    Constable PD, Hinchcliff KW, Olson JL, et al. Effects of endurance training on standard and signal-averaged electrocardiograms of sled dogs. Am J Vet Res 2000;61:582588.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 35.

    Gunson DE, Sweeney CR, Soma LR. Sudden death attributable to exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage in racehorses: nine cases (1981–1983). J Am Vet Med Assoc 1988;193:102106.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 36.

    Cardiac arrhythmias and their electrocardiographic interpretation. In: Guyton AC, Hall JE, eds. Textbook of medical physiology. 9th ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co, 1996;149158.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 37.

    Cellular adaptations, cell injury, and cell death: morphology of cell injury and necrosis. In: Kumar V, Abbas AK, Fausto N, eds. Robbins and Cotran pathologic basis of disease. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders, 2005;1923.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 38.

    Parsons JP, Mastronarde JG. Exercise-induced bronchoconstriction in athletes. Chest 2005;128:39663974.

  • 39.

    McFadden ER, Awadski DK. Vocal cord dysfunction masquerading as exercise-induced asthma. A physiologic cause for “choking” during athletic activities. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 1996;153:942947.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 40.

    Eckart RE, Scoville SL, Campbell CL, et al. Sudden death in young adults: a 25-year review of autopsies in military recruits. Ann Intern Med 2004;141:829834.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 41.

    Maron BJ, Epstein SE, Roberts WC. Causes of sudden death in competitive athletes. J Am Coll Cardiol 1986;7:204214.

  • 42.

    Gelberg HB, Zachary JF, Everitt JI, et al. Sudden death in training and racing Thoroughbred horses. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1985;187:13541356.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 43.

    Kiryu K, Machida N, Kashida Y, et al. Pathologic and electrocardiographic findings in sudden cardiac death in racehorses. J Vet Med Sci 1999;61:921928.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Advertisement

Assessment of necropsy findings in sled dogs that died during Iditarod Trail sled dog races: 23 cases (1994–2006)

Michelle M. DennisAnimal Population Health Institute, Department of Clinical Sciences and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

Search for other papers by Michelle M. Dennis in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD, DACVP
,
Stuart N. NelsonIditarod Trail Committee, Mile 2.2 Knik Rd, Wasilla, AK 99687.

Search for other papers by Stuart N. Nelson in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM
,
Glenn H. CantorDiscovery Toxicology, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ 08540.

Search for other papers by Glenn H. Cantor in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD, DACVP
,
Derek A. MosierDepartment of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506.

Search for other papers by Derek A. Mosier in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD, DACVP
,
John E. BlakeInstitute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99775.

Search for other papers by John E. Blake in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, MVetSc
, and
Randall J. BasarabaDepartment of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

Search for other papers by Randall J. Basaraba in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD, DACVP

Abstract

Objective—To describe the character and frequency of causes of death and associated lesions in long-distance racing sled dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—23 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs that died during or soon after competition in the Iditarod Trail sled dog races (1994 through 2006) were examined for findings of gross necropsy and histologic evaluation of tissue samples. From the data, descriptive and comparative statistics were obtained.

Results—Recognized causes of death included aspiration of gastric contents (n = 4), aspiration pneumonia (4), acute blood loss secondary to gastric ulceration (3), and sled dog myopathy (2). A cause of death was not established for 7 dogs. Prevalent lesions among the study population included rhabdomyolysis (n = 15), enteritis (10), gastritis (10), aspiration pneumonia (8), and gastric ulceration (8). All dogs with aspiration pneumonia had concurrent gastric mucosal lesions. Subjective biventricular cardiac hypertrophy was evident in most dogs; other lesions detected frequently included centrilobular hepatic fibrosis, gastric dilatation, and mild cardiac myodegeneration and necrosis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Unexpected death is a rare event among conditioned sled dogs during competition in endurance races. Potentially life-threatening conditions of dogs that are associated with periods of long-distance physical exertion include aspiration pneumonia, gastric mucosal lesions, and severe rhabdomyolysis. Dogs that develop clinical signs suggestive of these conditions should be excluded from strenuous activities. Epidemiologic investigations are required to clarify the risk for death associated with these lesions in dogs competing in endurance races.

Abstract

Objective—To describe the character and frequency of causes of death and associated lesions in long-distance racing sled dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—23 dogs.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs that died during or soon after competition in the Iditarod Trail sled dog races (1994 through 2006) were examined for findings of gross necropsy and histologic evaluation of tissue samples. From the data, descriptive and comparative statistics were obtained.

Results—Recognized causes of death included aspiration of gastric contents (n = 4), aspiration pneumonia (4), acute blood loss secondary to gastric ulceration (3), and sled dog myopathy (2). A cause of death was not established for 7 dogs. Prevalent lesions among the study population included rhabdomyolysis (n = 15), enteritis (10), gastritis (10), aspiration pneumonia (8), and gastric ulceration (8). All dogs with aspiration pneumonia had concurrent gastric mucosal lesions. Subjective biventricular cardiac hypertrophy was evident in most dogs; other lesions detected frequently included centrilobular hepatic fibrosis, gastric dilatation, and mild cardiac myodegeneration and necrosis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Unexpected death is a rare event among conditioned sled dogs during competition in endurance races. Potentially life-threatening conditions of dogs that are associated with periods of long-distance physical exertion include aspiration pneumonia, gastric mucosal lesions, and severe rhabdomyolysis. Dogs that develop clinical signs suggestive of these conditions should be excluded from strenuous activities. Epidemiologic investigations are required to clarify the risk for death associated with these lesions in dogs competing in endurance races.

Contributor Notes

Presented at the 49th Annual Conference of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Minneapolis, October 2006.

The authors thank Drs. Karin Schmidt, Saroja Bharati, Beth Valentine, John King, Brian Summers, Barry Cooper, A. Morris Craig, Deny Albert, Scott Dolginaw, Patricia Talcott, Kathy Burek, Jerome Vanek, Robert Sept, Michelle Fleetwood, Ken Hinchcliff, Jean Dieden, and Alexander deLahunta for technical support.

Address correspondence to Dr. Basaraba.