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Permitted during competition
Guide to supplements and medications
The article below is for information only and shall not be considered as part of the
IFSS Anti-Doping regulations.
Knowing what is on a Prohibited List gives a good idea of what is allowed during competition. However it is best to check. The administration of medication, while under IFSS rules, may require oversight or completion of a medication administration report. Although these medications are allowed during competition to maintain dogs in good health, continued research should be done to determine factors in races that may predispose dogs to needing treatment, and thereby allowing races to change to minimize the need to use medications.
Certain medications such as antibiotics, ulcer preventatives, and thyroid medications may be allowed, but are controlled, and require completion of the appropriate veterinary form and approval by the Race Veterinarian.
General and specific examples of, under certain conditions, permitted medications:
1. Antibiotics administered orally
, including cephalexin, metronidazole and others. A
Veterinary Form1, Medication Administration Form must be filled out by the treating
veterinarian to indicate medication, dosage, and reason for treating. If antibiotic
treatment must be initiated on a dog prior to an event, the form should be filled out by
the attending veterinarian. The athlete must then bring the form to the race and submit it
to the Race Veterinarian prior to the event, at the veterinary check of the dogs or the first
team meeting. Upon review of the form and examination of the dog, the Race
Veterinarian has the right to prevent the dog from competing depending on the medical
condition of the dog or local, stricter, Anti-Doping Rules. It is recommended that the
athlete contact the Race Veterinarian in advance of the event.
2. Anti-ulcer medications
– H2 receptor antagonists and proton pump inhibitors.
Specifically the generic names omeprazole and famotidine have been studied in sled
dogs and are recommended. These two medications have been documented to be
effective in sled dogs for prevention of gastritis and ulcers. A Veterinary Form 1,
Medication Administration Form, must be filled out and submitted to the Race
3. Insect repellents
. Note! It is expected that these may be given up to a day or two before
competition due to travel and import regulations and therefore may still be in the
bloodstream at the start of competition. It is not anticipated that these would need to be
given during competition.
5. All topical wound or foot ointments or powders that do not contain
corticosteroid, salicylates, local anesthetic or irritant (such as capsaicin) or other
substances on the Prohibited List.
.Topical eye, foot, or wound ointments or drops containing antibiotics
allowed with completion and submission of a Veterinary Form 1 (Medication
Administration Form). Topical eye or foot medications containing low levels of
corticosteroids may be allowed for specific medical reasons, and require completion and
submission of Veterinary Form 1, and evaluation of the dog by the race veterinarian.
7. Topical massage liniments or oils that do not contain
a corticosteroid, salicylates,
local anesthetic or irritant (such as capsaicin) or other substances on the Prohibited List.
8. Thyroid hormone supplements
may be given orally if a Veterinary Form 2,
Authorization for administration of Thyroid Supplements is filled out and has supportive
laboratory blood tests accompanying it. Supplements will NOT
be allowed for low
normal levels. Test results must
be interpreted using the normal values for sled dogs
listed on the Veterinary Form 2. These values are different than standard laboratory
values. Post-supplementation blood tests must show that the dog is given an
appropriate dosage, not over supplemented, and does not have a high level post-
supplement using the sled dog values.
9. Reproductive hormones
, related substances, and their releasing factors,
antagonists, modulators and related substances as listed below
a. treatments to continually
suppress or delay the onset of heat cycles in bitches, under
veterinary prescription, unless such treatments contain testosterone or testosterone-like
substances (see WADA human Prohibited List). The athlete must be able to show a
veterinary certificate or Medication Administration Form, including the dog’s chip
number, covering the treatment from start.
b. The administration to bitches of prostaglandins or progesterone inhibitors such as aglepriston, under veterinary prescription, will be tolerated if required due to an accidental mating. However, a minimum observation period of 28 days, before the bitch returns to competition, will be mandatory in order to ensure that there are no adverse side effects on the bitch’s health. The athlete must, at any time, be able to show a Medication Administration Form, including the dog’s chip number, about this need of treatment. c. The administration of bromocriptine or cabergoline to suppress lactation in a bitch will be allowed. However, a minimum observation period of 28 days, before the bitch returns to competition, will be mandatory in order to ensure that there are no adverse side effects on the bitch’s health. The athlete must, at any time, be able to show a Medication Administration Form, including the dog’s chip number, about this need of treatment. d. The use of deslorelin implants in intact males or intact females for the purpose of contraception will be allowed. The athlete must, at any time, be able to show a veterinary certificate or Medication Administration Form, including the dog’s chip number covering the treatment. e. The administration to spayed bitches of estrogenic substances under veterinary prescription if required to avoid urinary incontinence. The athlete must, at any time, be able to show a Medication Administration Form, including the dog’s chip number, about this need of treatment.
. Gastrointestinal supplements
to prevent or treat diarrhea including prebiotics,
probiotics, fibers (including psyllium, beet pulp, pectin), clays (including smectite, kaolin,
montmorillonite, attapulgite), are permitted. Please note that many over the counter
preparations may have salicylates which would not be allowed.
11. Nutritional Supplements
such as glycogen replacement products (maltodextrin,
etc), vitamins, electrolytes, and antioxidants (including astaxanthin, Vitamin E) are
allowed when given orally and consumed by the dog willingly. No drenching is allowed.
Due to the potential for adverse side effects if these supplements are not used properly
(especially overdosing), a veterinarian should be consulted by the musher to be sure an
appropriate dosage is given, and that an over dosage is not given if multiple
supplements are used.
12. Preventative or restorative joint therapies
– only oral forms are allowed during
competition, including glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen, and hyaluronic acid. Again, a
veterinarian should be consulted prior to use of these products to be sure of appropriate
13. Herbal or “natural” medicinal products
a. Athletes, trainers, mushers and veterinarians are cautioned against the use of herbal and homeopathic medications, tonics, oral pastes and products of any kind, the ingredients and quantitative analysis of which are not known in detail. Many of these products can contain one or more Prohibited Substances. For example, many homeopathic or herbal tinctures may have an alcohol base. b. Persons administering a herbal or so-called natural product to a dog for health reasons or to affect its performance, having been informed that the plant origin of its ingredients do not violate the regulations, may have been misinformed. c. The use of any herbal or natural product to affect the performance of a dog in a calming (tranquillizing) or an energizing (stimulant) manner is expressly forbidden. d. IFSS does not test or approve herbal or natural products to verify a possible violation of the IFSS rules and regulations. Therefore a claim that the product does not violate the IFSS rules or is undetectable by drug testing is the sole responsibility of the manufacturer or individual making such a claim. e. The use of a herbal or natural product may result in a positive test result, contrary to the claim by the manufacturer or marketing agent. For example, many pharmacologically potent and readily detectable forbidden substances are obtained from plants, e.g. salicylates, digitalis, reserpine, cocaine, heroin and marijuana all have their origin in plants and may be regarded as serious rule violations. This warning is common to all major canine regulatory authorities. f. As the analytical techniques in the testing laboratory become more refined, the fact that these products have not been detected by testing in the past does not hold any guarantee for their safe use in competition.
Please also keep in mind the possible contamination of feed (particularly meat) by Prohibited Substances. Athletes and their advisors should discuss this problem with their feed supplier. Avoid buying products in retail outlets for which specifications are unclear or from retailers you do not know very well. This warning also applies to feed additives.
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