Yukon Quest officials on Neff dog necropsy, Campeau rescue
A dog that died on two-time Yukon Quest victor Hugh Neff’s team, leading him to step out of this year’s race, apparently choked on its own vomit, but Quest officials say musher Jason Campeau’s dogs are doing well after he was medevaced from the trail.
Cristina Hansen, the Quest’s chief veterinarian, said Saturday that a necropsy showed aspiration as the preliminary cause of death for Boppy, a 5-year-old male on Neff’s team that died early Friday near Clinton Creek.
“It’s when a dog vomits and inhales at the same time, so the stomach contents get inhaled into the lungs,” Hansen said. “A dog can aspirate a small amount and live, but if a dog aspirates a large amount it will die quickly.”
Neff scratched from the 1,000-mile Fairbanks-to-Whitehorse race Friday night in Dawson City.
Cases of dogs aspirating are rare on the trail, Hansen said. The Quest’s last dog death due to aspiration was another of Neff’s dogs, Geronimo, during the 2011 race. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported that Neff had been making repeated attempts to ascend Eagle Summit at the time.
Quest officials didn’t have further details Saturday on the specifics under which Campeau requested assistance Wednesday afternoon, before he was flown to medical care by a U.S. Army helicopter crew. Hansen said that after his withdrawal, race officials had examined his dogs which were all in good health; they were flown to Dawson City on Saturday.
The News-Miner reported that Campeau had fallen onto ice near Two Rivers and suffered a concussion, before collapsing Wednesday on the trail near Eagle Summit.
On Saturday night, race standings showed mushers Allen Moore, Paige Drobny and Matt Hall leading a dozen of the race’s 16 remaining teams that have left Dawson City. Seven mushers including Neff have scratched and two others including Campeau have been withdrawn.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.