3 Dangerous Winter Activities for Dogs: Essential Safety Tips from Tier 1 Vet

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Three things you do not want to do with your dogs during the winter months.

I’m Dr. Sean McPEck, CEO and owner of Tier 1 Veterinary Medical Center. So as we know, it’s difficult to keep our dogs in shape. Staying active in the winter time can be difficult, but having worked multiple years here in Alaska, working emergency, some of the things that we commonly see where dogs are coming in injured is when owners like to take their dogs: 1.) Out with them while they are using ATV’s. Snow machines. Side-by-sides.

The vehicles, as great of an idea as it seems like it may be, having your dog run next to you to get them some exercise, many times what ends up happening is that dog gets distracted. It wants to get over into the compact snow or just veers off in front of you and ends up getting hit and gets run over. Severe injuries ensue.

2.) The big one that we see, we see a lot of lacerations on the the Achilles. On the bottom part of the flexor tendons. Even into the side of the dog, is when people want to take their dogs with them, downhill skiing or snowboarding. That momentum, if all of a sudden the dog decides to stop for some reason, is in front of you, it’s very difficult to change direction.

And those skis will just go right in and lacerate and cause some pretty severe injuries. Now, there‚Äôs a difference with skijoring. You’ve got some control over it and the dogs that are trained to skijor are very motivated to keep that momentum going forward. Very rarely do we see any injuries associated with skijoring. 3.) The big one. Families love to get out on the pond or the lake that’s frozen and they want to take their dog with them.

It can look very entertaining, but it is a orthopedic injury waiting to happen. Whether that dog gets a cruciate rupture in the stifle or the knee, they splay-leg out and get hip injuries, muscle pulls, or they end up falling over and jamming the side of their hip, hip dislocations, etc., even head trauma. So avoiding those was my recommendation for having a safe and productive winter.

Dr. Sean McPeck

A 2010 Graduate of Colorado State College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Sean McPeck developed his leadership as a Sniper Team Leader and Veterinarian with the US Army Special Operations, 75th Ranger Regiment.

Dr. McPeck has multiple combat deployments, totaling almost 2 years in combat theaters of operation.

He is the recipient of the Combat Action Badge, and is Ranger, Sniper, and Airborne qualified. While serving as an officer in Special Operations, Dr. McPeck was repeatedly recognized for his Honor, Integrity, Courage and Selfless Service in the name of the United States. He was recognized with not one, but two, Meritorious Service Medals.

Under his leadership, Dr. McPeck worked with Working Dog handlers, and canine units, to detain and seize enemy combatants. The canines that Dr. McPeck worked with are credited with savings thousands of United States soldiers deployed in combat areas.

Dr. McPeck authored The RCAP, Ranger Canine Athletic Program, which was the 1st comprehensive Military canine conditioning program.

His specific training and certification classes for Dog handlers to be proficient in Canine Tactical- Combat Casualty Care, and knowledge of current medical equipment and procedures, which led to the successful life saving interventions by handlers in real world operations.

Dr. SaraRose McPeck graduated from Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine in 2010. A Massachusetts native who attended Becker College for her undergrad, Dr. McPeck has lived and worked around the country and even the world. She served four years in the United States Army as a Veterinary Officer, during which she was stationed in Fort Benning, Georgia, and completed a 12-month tour in Afghanistan.

Her time serving in the Army provided her the experience as the primary veterinarian for over 350 Military Working Dogs, in which she provided all emergency, trauma, surgical, critical, and primary care. In addition to caring for animals, she trained, mentored, and led six Non-Commissioned Officers and twelve junior enlisted Soldiers, giving her not only impressive veterinary experience but also exceptional interpersonal and leadership skills.

As a Veterinary Corp Officer, she received a variety of awards, including a Bronze Star, a NATO Medal, a GWOT Medal, two Army Accommodation Medals, among many others. She gained experiences in which she exemplified impressive leadership skills and the ability to adapt to both clinical and combat support situations. Her years of experience serving our country and in veterinary medicine have equipped her with the knowledge and skills to provide exceptional care to our patients.