Editorial: We’ve Moved!
Historic Ceremony in Kangiqsualujjuaq
Passages: Heiko Wittenborn
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Point of View: Veterinary Service in Nunavik
Chinook Project: Summer 2011 Report
Unikkausivut: Sharing Our Stories
Making a Mitten Harness
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The Fan Hitch, Journal of the Inuit Sled Dog, is published four times a year. It is available at no cost online at: http://thefanhitch.org.
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Preparing a Makkovik dog for surgery, Amy Lowe (l) and
Courtney Dwyer (r) inject an anesthetic through a catheter.
Photo: courtesy Jae Lightfoot from Makkovik
Chinook Project 2011: Return to Northern Labrador
by Marti Hopson, DVM
For the last six years the Chinook Project of the Atlantic Veterinary College, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island has had a mandate to bring veterinary support to remote areas of Canada’s North. In June 2011, we once again traveled to Northern Labrador, Canada. This team, included five veterinary students: Marisa Herzog, Christina Zeoli, Courtney Dwyer, Amy Lowe and Christopher McLaughlin; technician Melissa McGrath; and veterinarians Dr. Marti Hopson, Dr. Nicole Cummings and Dr. Becky Jackson. Dr. Cummings of Massachusetts, had participated in the project in 2009 as a student, and was back to help out as a vet.
We traveled to Natuashish, where the stray dog population is a problem. This was the site of our 2010 project and it was great to see some of the dogs we had neutered last year still doing well. This year we were again able to see a combination of owned and stray dogs. We spayed and neutered approximately 60 animals as well as performed other surgeries and administered booster vaccinations to those dogs we had seen last year.
After four days of surgery clinics in the local fire hall, the team traveled to a second site, Makkovik, a small coastal town. The community support here was incredible! Local residents had lined up over 70 animals for us to see. Cats, dogs, ferrets and a wild rabbit were our patients in the Community Centre. Dogs from other remote communities arrived by boat and plane to see us. During our four-day stay we were well fed and well entertained!
On the final day of the project, as we passed through Goose Bay we were able to visit and vaccinate members of a sled dog team, including a litter of puppies. In total, 210 animals, including 130 spay and neuter surgeries, were seen in eight days of clinics.
The 2011 Chinook Project in Labrador was a huge success thanks to the generous support of the Makkovik Council (with representation to the Nunatsiavut government), Air Labrador, the IAMS Company, Pfizer and Novartis biologics and medical/surgical supplies.
The Chinook Project has received funding to continue its work for at least three years and looks forward to future trips to Nunavut and Labrador.