SP Kennel's close association with Dr. Mike Davis, celebrated canine researcher from Oklahoma State University, has created an unusual opportunity this summer. Those of you who read the blog regularly will remember that Dr. Davis has worked for years with Iditarod veterinarians to increase overall health in long distance racing dogs. He has also studied insulin absorption and fitness levels in these dogs in hopes of equating the results to the treatment of human diabetes.
Dr. Davis is now working with the US Armed Forces to assess and improve the physical endurance of bomb-sniffing dogs, used primarily in current Middle East conflicts. And he has enlisted the help of SP Kennel to test the effects of varying electrolyte levels and different exercise regimes on overall canine endurance. We are honored to be part of this research.
To adhere to US government specs, the SP Buildings Department (this means Allen, with a little help from Doug) built a separate research building with 18 individual kennels. Each kennel has an indoor space and an outdoor space connected by a 'doggie door'. Each kennel houses one SP dog. These trail savvy canine athletes, who can find the way from Anchorage to Nome, are currently trying to figure out what a 'doggie door' is for!
The research building was completed last week (just before Allen departed for his annual salmon fishing adventure), the 18 research dogs moved into their new kennels and 3 veterinary researchers showed up to collect baseline blood samples from the research dogs.
|SP Kennel Building Department at work|
|Vet Tech Christa, Ryne and Spoog begin research project|
Everyone at SP is thrilled that Ryne Olson is back from her early summer travels. She will be responsible for helping Dr. Davis, Aliy and Allen implement the daily procedures that are critical to the research.
The research protocols began in earnest yesterday. The project is under way. Next week we will post an more in-depth explanation of the elements of the research project. Suffice it to say that a part involves the dogs running free along the trails in Two Rivers. They are having a blast!
|What is this 'doggie door' for?|