Whitehorse Daily Star

Necropsy results show cause of death for Yukon Quest dog

More than a month after a sled dog died during the 2017 Yukon Quest,

By Marissa Tiel on March 16, 2017

Honda’s dog, Firefly, died of heart failure

More than a month after a sled dog died during the 2017 Yukon Quest, some answers about its death are available.

In a Yukon Quest press release, head race veterinarian Nina Hansen reported that the final necropsy report showed that the dog had an enlarged heart that was not consistent with athletic heart syndrome.

“This enlargement likely led to an acute and fatal arrhythmia,” the statement says.

Findings in the liver also confirmed acute heart failure.

An initial necropsy performed in Dawson City, shortly after the dog’s death, showed that it had ingested booties. The final report said that the booties were not the cause of death and were an “incidental finding.”

At 3:59 a.m. on February 9 as she arrived at the half-way point in Dawson City, Yuka Honda told a Yukon Quest race marshal that she was carrying an expired dog in her sled.

Preliminary results from a necropsy shared in a Yukon Quest press release on the morning of Feb. 9, showed that the dog, a six-year old male named Firefly, had an enlarged heart and had ingested several booties.

Honda scratched from the race the following day.

Firefly was the only sled dog to die in this year’s Yukon Quest.

In 2007, Honda’s dog, Jewel, died during the race. A necropsy showed the animal had choked to death.

Comments (1)

Up 0 Down 1

Lucy Shelton on Mar 17, 2017 at 10:59 pm

This race must end! What is the matter with you people? No dog should die. Since it is logical to assume this trend will continue, one can only conclude that the organizers, mushers, and spectators care more about the entertainment, and are willing to look the other way when dogs are likely to die in every race – or they would stop doing it. This is just not right. This senselessness must stop; this heartless, brutal race must end.

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