The Best Vets
The Pedigree® Stage Stop Veterinary Team Members were individually selected for their experience, knowledge and devotion to our sport. They are members of the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association, a group dedicated to the promotion, care and research of racing sled dogs.Several Veterinarians hold multiple “Golden Stethoscope” Awards. The Iditirod Official Finishers award the Golden Stethoscope to the trail veterinarian whom they feel has gone above and beyond the call of duty. The Pedigree® Stage Stop vet team has been extensively involved in many research projects devoted to the care of racing sled dogs and other working breeds.
Caroline Griffitts, DVM (Chief Veterinarian)
Caroline Griffitts DVM, DACVSMR, CVSMT
Dr. Griffitts received her veterinary degree from Cornell University in 1988, and then completed an internship in small animal medicine and surgery at Michigan State University. After several years working as an associate in mixed practice and working as a relief veterinarian for emergency clinics, she has owned a mobile house call practice based out of Loveland, Colorado since 1997. This gives her more flexibility to allow time for other interests such as traveling and sled dogs (combining these interests whenever possible). She is board certified by the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is also certified in veterinary spinal manipulation therapy. Caroline has been a trail veterinarian on many races, including the Iditarod, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, the Pedigree® Stage Stop, local sprint races in Colorado, the Yukon Quest, and the IFSS dryland world championships. She has been involved with the Pedigree® Stage Stop since its inception. For many years she has been involved with the North Hope sled dog kennel and race in Russia, giving dog care seminars, advising on kennel management, and serving as the chief veterinarian for the winter race since 2009, and the dryland race since 2013. She also has served as the chief veterinarian for the Kalevala Sled Dog Race in Karelia, Russia. She also currently serves on the Anti-Doping Committee for the International Federation of Sled Dog Sports. Dr. Griffitts is currently President of the International Sled Dog Veterinary Medical Association. The only three-time recipient of the Golden Stethoscope award, she received it in the 1999 Iditarod, 2000 Iditarod, and 2010 Iditarod.
Lanier (Lannie) Hamilton DVM
Lanier (Lannie) Hamilton finished veterinary school at Washington State University in 1991. She worked as an associate and subsequently owned a practice for her first four years of life as a vet in Lander, Wyo. The world called, however, and she eventually sold her practice and adopted a career as a relief vet to expand her horizons and see other parts of the country. She did a fellowship at Oregon State University in Large Animal Medicine and Surgery in 1998-1999. Currently she splits her time between Wyoming and Alaska. Pursuing her interest in athletic animals, she accompanied 11 dog teams by snow machine across Alaska on the 2000 Serum Run. In 2001 and 2002 she worked as an Iditarod veterinarian and helped out on the Denali 300 Sled Dog Race in 2002. She is excited to help with the Pedigree® Stage Stop, covering parts of her home turf, combining her love of the outdoors and animal athletes.
Veronica Devall, DVM
Veronica Devall, DVM — 2018 Race Veterinarian
Dr. Veronica Devall DVM, CCRT, CVA, CVC has been involved with sled dog races and sports medicine for many years. Stage races are her passion because of the combination of enhanced dog care and exciting racing strategy. She’s participated in the Yukon Quest as well as numerous Iditarods. Veronica is a member of the ISDVMA.
Veronica’s specialty practice in Calgary, Alberta, Canada is devoted to veterinary rehabilitation and integrative pain management for performance, working, and service dogs, along with retired geriatrics for those couch potato canine companions. She is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist and Veterinary Acupuncturist, Veterinary Chiropractor, and Veterinary Pain Practitioner. She has completed a veterinarian residency sports medicine program, and is eligible for appointed Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (DACVSMR). She loves hands on teaching and the ability to participate in progressive race dog care.
Dr. Devall brings an integrative approach to the vet team, and welcomes the opportunity to apply her therapeutic skills with the race dogs. Veronica was a dog handler in the in 2001 IPSSSDR race. Veronica has been involved with the Stage Stop Race for several years and she’s thrilled to be returning.
Monica Pacheco, DVM
Monica Pacheco graduated from the Madrid Complutense University College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997 and since that practices small animal medicine in her own clinic in Madrid, Spain. She loves winter time, sled dogs and outdoor sports. She has been a member of the Pirena sled dog race veterinary team since 2005,a stage stop race between Spain, Andorra and France, that crossed all the Pyrenees. She has been a trail veterinarian on the Yukon Quest and Finnmarksløpet several times, as well. Dr.Pacheco has been Vet Chief in 2013 and 2014 of Spanish National Championship, both Dryland and on snow. Nowadays Dr. Pacheco is one of ISDVMA Board Members and collaborates with
Dr. Caroline Grifffits on the IFSS Anti-Doping Committee. This will be her Third time is this wonderful race.
Laura Ravaschio, DVM
Dr. Laura Ravaschio graduated in Milan in 1987 after a stage in Lincoln College (NZ) where she wrote her thesis about sheep. She works parttime in her Small Animal clinic in the suburbs of Rome, but she often escapes to travel and frequently works as a volunteer, vasectomizing vervet monkeys in SouthAfrica, migrating reindeer in Lapland, watching gorillas in Rwanda or transhuming horses in Southern France. She has extensive experience with sled dogs and joined the vet teams for the Transitalia, Pirena, Race to the Sky, Finnmarksløpet, Yukon Quest, Femundslopet, North Hope, La Grande Odyssèe, ISSR, as well as many IFSS events. Laura is a member of ISDVMA, a Doping Control Officer for IFSS and Board Member of FISTC. Joining the Stage Stop team in Wyoming Laura remembers her introduction to sled dogs: her first taste in the sport was in 1991 when she was a Mars consultant (for 10 years) and Mars was sponsoring the first Italian sleddog race: Transitalia. Through sled dogs, Laura has met many special vets and mushers who introduced her to her other hobbies: geocaching and hot air ballooning.