UPDATE: Flight blamed for death of sled dog also sent 2nd dog to emergency room

Published: Mar. 12, 2017 at 3:51 PM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A dropped dog traveling on the same flight blamed for the

also showed apparent signs of hyperthermia.

That dog, from the team of rookie Justin High, was treated and released Saturday at a pet E.R., according to an Iditarod spokeswoman.

Conditions on the Friday flight led to the possible hyperthermia, or overheating, death of Scott Smith's Smoke, according to an Iditarod news release. Iditarod officials announced changes to their transportation procedures as a result. (See original story below.)

Channel 2 asked the Iditarod today if any additional sled dogs were traveling in the same plane and/or required medical care.

Race spokeswoman Bri Kelly said a dog dropped by High also displayed symptoms of hyperthermia.

"Justin’s dog was observed and released yesterday to his wife (Jaimee High)," Kelly wrote in an email.

In a Facebook message, Jaimee High said the dog, Stout, spent most of Sunday inside the family's home.

"We are going to do follow up blood work tomorrow and again in a month to make sure we have no internal damage," Jaimee High wrote. "He is eating and drinking like nothing even happened."

She continued:

"It's a freak tragedy I will be working with ITC (Iditarod Trail Committee) on how to go about fixing this issue so future dogs don't overheat when being transported. Justin is still on the trail and just need good vibes to get him safely to Nome."

ORIGINAL STORY: Iditarod says it is changing procedures for transporting dogs by air after heat death

Iditarod officials say they are changing their procedure for transporting dogs following the

that suffered hyperthermia conditions Friday during a flight.


A necropsy of Smoke, a husky that had been “dropped” or placed in the custody of the Iditarod in Manley Hot Springs by musher Scott Smith, included findings that were “consistent with hyperthermia." The Iditarod said more testing was needed into the animal’s death.

“We hadn’t anticipated that dogs could overheat while in transport at altitude and in winter conditions. Unfortunately, we’ve now learned that they can,” Race Marshal Mark Nordman said in a statement provided today by the Iditarod.

An Iditarod spokeswoman did not respond to questions from KTUU today about whether additional dogs had traveled in the same plane as Smoke, and if so, the condition of those dogs.


A spokeswoman for the race said she was working to determine if other dogs were on the flight and received medical treatment.

As a result of the death, the Iditarod is making certain changes to how dogs are transported to Anchorage when mushers leave them at checkpoints for various reasons. Dogs will no longer be transported while wearing dog coats, race officials said.

Organizers also will attempt to provide cool cabin temperatures and increased ventilation during flights, according to the news release