Saturday, 7 December 2013

Keepin' on

After the death of 3 pups out of 7 due to parvovirus and the subsequent loss of their mother likely due to a bone blockage in her bowels we've had no choice but to move on and make an effort to train a younger female as lead dog. Fortunately for the pups that survived parvo, their mother passed after they had been weaned.  Right now we are working on one female with an older male who she knows and is comfortable running with.  As the vaccine we receive here for parvo & distemper is a live vaccine, if it is suspected that your pups have been exposed they are better left un-vacccinated for the duration of the incubation period of the virus (5 days to 3 weeks).  That alone is a tough call to make, though there is apparently a parvo test butt swab available that is simple to use, making the decision to vaccinate at the present time or not a much simpler choice.  In the future I will likely order the test swabs form Montreal or Iqaluit once we are expecting a litter.  To clarify all this, the first symptoms our pups showed were 24 hours after the vaccine, pointing to the fact that they had likely been already exposed to the virus and perhaps the vaccine pushed their immune system over the limit. It is impossible to say for sure, though the parvo test in the future will help us make a more informed decision.  For the most part Inuit Sled Dogs need very little medical interference from their owners, often times too much "care" can be detrimental in the long run.  The weak for the most part shouldn't survive, nor should the ones who display "fear aggression" or other negative social traits.  Parvovirus & distemper however are relatively new in the North and Inuit dogs have very little resilience them.  Despite the loss of some dogs we are really enjoying the training process and are subsequently learning more in the process.  Here are a couple of shots from the 5th of December.

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