Sled dogs get their vet checks ahead of the 2023 John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon

Saturday, Mushers and their sled dogs were at the Black Bear Casino in Carlton for the annual vet checks.

The vet checks are very important for the canine racers, as they are used to make sure the dogs are ready for the start of the race. And they are used for vets to create baseline records for the race. Those medical records will be used across the race checkpoints to monitor how the dogs are doing during the race.

Veterinarians say the vet checks are the most important step leading up to the marathon.

Head Veterinarian Katie Neshek, says, “It’s what we compare everything to further down the race. They have a veterinarian record that they travel with down the trail. And we can look at it and say ‘this is historic, or this is a brand new problem.’”

The vets had to check out 60 individual teams and each team has between 6-12 dogs.