Veterinarian, AVMA president René Carlson green lights Santa's reindeers
Carlson, who was dubbed the official veterinarian of the North Pole, reportedly returned last week from a check-up at Santa’s headquarters. Carlson declared all of Santa’s reindeers to be healthy, free of disease and ready for Christmas Eve, AVMA reports.
The reindeer’s annual exam includes ensuring a health check about a month prior to their Christmas Eve flight to make sure they are healthy and not showing signs of disease. Foot problems and lameness can be common to reindeer, she says.
"It's important that they don't have any diseases they could give to other animals during their trip around the world," Carlson says. "They also need to be healthy, so they're less likely to catch any diseases themselves on that long flight."
Carlson completed an official North Pole Certificate of Animal Export for the reindeer, and she is planning a follow-up visit just before Christmas to make sure the reindeer’s feet and legs are in good shape for their holiday duties.
Carlson says she will be on call for Santa in case any reindeer emergencies arise. She will also perform a post-Christmas inspection to make sure the reindeer weren’t injured during their annual excursion.
In the spring, Carlson and AVMA President-Elect Dr. Douglas Aspros will visit the North Pole again to administer the reindeer’s annual vaccines, AVMA says.
See a video of Carlson’s visit to the North Pole here, or photos here.