Thursday, December 27, 2012

Vets approve international health passport for Santa’s reindeer

Posted by
December 21, 2012
Today, December 21, 2012, the president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) returned from a health check-up at the North Pole, declaring Santa’s reindeer to be healthy, free of disease, and ready for their Christmas Eve flight.

“The deer are in great shape, they’re healthy, and they’re ready to fly,” said Dr. Doug Aspros, upon his return to the United States.
In addition to supervising all of the business affairs of the association, the AVMA president serves as the official veterinarian of the North Pole. In this role, Dr. Aspros is charged with providing the yearly health exam for Santa’s reindeer.

The reindeer’s annual exam includes ensuring a health check about a month prior to their Christmas Eve flight to make sure they’re healthy and not showing any signs of disease, such as brucellosis, tuberculosis, or chronic wasting disease, that can be transmitted to other animals.

“It’s important that they don’t have any diseases they could give to other animals during their trip around the world,” said Dr. Aspros. “They also need to be healthy, so they’re less likely to catch any diseases themselves on that long flight.”

Once he determined the reindeer were healthy, Dr. Aspros filled out the official “North Pole Certificate of Animal Export” that provides Santa with the documents he and his reindeer need to travel.
Dr. Aspros will make a follow-up trip to the North Pole prior to Christmas to make sure the reindeers’ feet and legs are in good shape to take off and land on the rooftops and that they’re still ready for the flight. He’ll also perform a nose-check on Rudolph to make sure it’s good to glow.
During the flight, Dr. Aspros will be on call in case any emergencies arise. When they return to the North Pole, the reindeer will get one final exam to make sure they didn’t injure themselves or get dehydrated on their voyage.

Dr. Aspros’ next trip to the North Pole will come in the spring, when he and AVMA President-Elect Dr. Clark Fobian will provide the reindeer with their annual vaccines and perform any blood tests or other procedures that are necessary.

For kids who want to help the reindeer on their journey, Dr. Aspros recommended leaving a plate of graham cracker reindeer cookies, their favorite snack, for Santa to feed them between stops.
Dr. Aspros’ role as official veterinarian of the North Pole is similar to many veterinarians around the world who work with livestock and other animals that travel across borders and around the world (even if they do so in a less flashy way than Santa’s reindeer). Veterinarians play an integral role in insuring all of the world’s animals are healthy, free of disease, and pose no risk when traveling.

For more information about the role veterinarians play in global health, or to schedule an interview with Dr. Aspros about his role as North Pole Veterinarian, contact Michael San Filippo, AVMA media relations assistant, at 847-285-6687 (office), 847-732-6194 (cell), or For more information about the AVMA, visit

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sunrise at the farm


I took this photo yesterday morning,when for some crazy reason  I was up at  5 a.m.!  (I work evenings now, so normally sleep a lot later than that!)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Atticus eating supper

...yes, very exciting, I know!  But tonight is the first night he finished his dinner without deciding he was bored and wandering away before it was all gone.  I brushed him all over and picked up all his feet, and he's just as sweet as can be!  His mane is so fluffy, I was thinking of putting it in pigtails.   But I wouldn't want the other horses to laugh at him.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The new colt has arrived!

Atticus, my new colt (3/4 Friesian, 1/4 Quarter Horse) arrived yesterday from Wisconsin!  He will be one year old come August. I could not be more thrilled with him!  I bought him based on a video taken over the winter, when he was 5 months old and quite fuzzy, and now I see that he is very elegant and will grow up to be a gorgeous horse!  He has a very floaty trot, and that lovely upright Friesian neck.  He's black with a star and snip on his face.  I can see already that he will have the lovely long, thick, Friesian mane.  He also has little baby feathers on his feet!  I'm very excited to watch him grow up.

Grazing calmly
Teddy seems to have adopted him!

Mom came over to be here for his arrival... here are her Facebook posts on him!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A New Horse is Coming....

He is a Valentine's Day gift from my husband Greg.  He's 5 mos. old in these pics... born August 2011. He is 3/4 Friesian, 1/4 QH. His sire is an imported stallion, Redmer fan Unia-State.  His Dam is a Quarter Horse / Friesian cross. (Her sire is Danny).  He's from the same farm Magnum came from in Wisconsin, so I'm still working out the shipping. We need to come up with a name for his registration papers, and right now we are leaning towards "Atticus".

Monday, March 26, 2012

Springtime on the Farm!

The weather has been lovely, and we are all enjoying the respite from the cold.  The horses like to take long naps stretched out on the grass in the sun, the ducks have taken to wandering farm from their pond to search for tasty bugs and such in the grass, and the dogs are running around with glee.  The horses are really shedding their winter coats in earnest now, and although Teddy will still usually walk away from me if he sees a halter and lead rope in my hand, he will come up to me if he sees a hairbrush!  I've been using it to scrub him all over and get that loose, itchy hair off.  Maybe I should build a scratching post for the field... just a post with broom heads screwed in all over it!

My fruit trees are all starting to bud, the drakes are chasing the ducks, and the songbirds are busy singing and thinking about nest building.  I drained the pond (about 16,000 gallons, I believe) last week, shovelled out some of the accumulated muck and silt on the bottom, and refilled it, with the plan to get some koi.  After the flood last September, I didn't have any fish left... just a whole bunch of frogs and toads!  I'm still not certain if the ducks will eat the koi, but I think the fish are a lot faster than the ducks.  Besides, the ducks also spend time in the neighbor's pond and all around the farm looking for tasty snacks.

The daffodils are blooming, as well as the tulips.  The dogwoods are not yet in bloom, but probably will be soon.  I also need to clean up the vegetable garden and get ready for spring planting.  I'll probably do tomatoes, potatoes, bell peppers, strawberries (they are everywhere!), carrots, snap peas, and maybe lettuce.  Any requests / suggestions?