Connect the Dots – Iditarod Edition

Most of you born before the era of the smartphone are likely familiar with “connect the dots” – a form of puzzle containing a sequence of numbered dots. When a line is drawn connecting the dots, the outline of an object is revealed.

As a sled dog enthusiast of nearly two decades, I am the proud owner of the Iditarod edition of Monopoly. Today, I realized that there is another Iditarod edition game that we can all play. What do the following images have in common? Let’s connect the dots.

Mitch Seavey uses Wintergreen oil on his dogs.
Wintergreen oil is a methyl salicylate topical.
Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as salicylates (aka Witergreen oil) are prohibited in the Iditarod.

On, it states that, “the Seavey family business and competition in the Iditarod race depends heavily on the wellbeing of their four-legged partners,” and,  “Young Living’s essential oils and products helped these four-legged champions run to win.”

It’s there in plain daylight for all of us to see regarding a 2017 Iditarod team testing positive for a prohibited substance:


There’s also medical articles regarding methyl salicylate toxicity, which we are looking further into. Just to give you a preview, though: mild chronic salicylate intoxication (salicylism) syndrome includes symptoms that are all too familiar in Iditarod dogs, such as lassitude, mental confusion, drowsiness, sweating, thirst, hyperventilation, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. (Gilman, A.G., T.W. Rall, A.S. Nies and P. Taylor (eds.). Goodman and Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 8th ed. New York, NY. Pergamon Press, 1990., p. 651] *PEER REVIEWED*)

Could dogs who collapse and sometimes die on the trail, or asphyxiate on their own vomit, be victims of methyl salicylate toxicity? It’s entirely possible, especially since dogs lick and (therefore) ingest any topical ointments applied to them.

We’re looking for more input as we explore this correlation – we encourage any mushers and/or veterinarians to contact us at



One thought on “Connect the Dots – Iditarod Edition

  1. Pingback: Seavey’s problem – Craig Medred

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