4 Deaths in a Week: Sled Dogs are dropping at an alarming rate this race season

4 Deaths in a Week: Sled Dogs are dropping at an alarming rate this race season
February 10, 2013 Micheal Ives

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The death toll is mounting for Alaska’s sled dogs.

The Anchorage Daily News reports a fourth sled dog has died in a race, this time a female named Roxy who was running the Norton Sound 450 on Nenana musher Aaron Burmeister’s team.

In one week’s time, four dogs have died in three races — two in last weekend’s Tustumena 200 on the Kenai Peninsula, one Thursday in the Yukon Quest and one in the Norton Sound 450.

Two dogs died of having fluids in their lungs, while another died of intestinal volvulus with bowel infarction.

While dog deaths occur rarely in the Quest and the Iditarod, mushing’s two thousand-mile races, they are all but unheard of in shorter races like the Tustumena and Norton Sound.

The Tustumena’s fatalities are believed to be the first since the race began in 1984.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.



  1. Author
    Micheal Ives 5 years ago

    Thanks for reading Margery…and great info! Sounds ugly. Sad to hear. I’m sure there will be more news as this gets investigated/looked into.

  2. Margery Glickman 5 years ago

    Jake Berkowitz’s dog died in agony.

    “Yes, volvulus is extremely painful. It is the twisting of the intestines, which partially or completely shuts off the blood supply to the affected area. I cannot stress enough that the individual is in agony from start to finish. It may take several hours before infarction (the damage caused by the lack of blood supply) occurs. Furthermore, death is not quick; it is drawn out, usually due to shock. The fact that this dog died of the condition meant that he had to suffer through the entire process of incredible pain and then shock.”

    – Veterinarian Nedim C. Buyukmihci, DVM, email to the Sled Dog Action Coalition on Feb. 9, 2013

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