Kids Ask A Question About Santa’s Reindeer, Vets From All Around The World Respond

Horse Vet Corner is a Facebook group where people ask equine-related medical questions which are then answered by professional veterinarians. However, recently, one woman’s children found themselves concerned about Santa’s reindeer’s health. Kids are smart, and they sure understand that eating too much candy can cause some serious health issues, therefore, they asked their mom whether reindeer can get sick because of their nutrition. Not knowing where to turn for the answer, mom took it to Facebook, where she hoped a vet could comment on it. She probably did not expect that her post would blow up like this, and many vets from all around the world took time to address kids’ concerns.

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One woman’s children were very concerned about Santa’s reindeer’s health

Image credits: Hans Splinter

“I posted a question that the kids had about reindeer nutrition on Horse Vet Corner, just hoping it didn’t get deleted because it kind of stretched the rules for that group. I was absolutely blown away by the response I got,” Maggie Knox shared on her Facebook.

“Dozens of large animal vets on five continents responded, telling us about a global organization called “E.L.V.E.S.- Emergency Landing Veterinary Expert System” that checks the reindeer’s metabolic and provides water, feed, and electrolytes along Santa’s route. It is much like our P&R’s at NATRC. My inbox is full of messages, and it’s been really sweet to read all the responses. People are offering their barns and pastures as emergency LZ’s, and the whole thing is making me fall in love with the equine community for the umpteenth time. What a trip!” the young mom said.

So she asked veterinarians whether they can get laminitis due to overeating candy canes, cookies, and carrots

Image credits: Maggie Knox

She noted that the question is not an emergency by any means and is “a bit unusual.” Maggie went on to say that her children are worried that Santa’s reindeer can get laminitis due to “overeating candy canes, cookies, and carrots.”

The vets took the question very seriously, and replies started flowing from all around the world

Image credits: Maggie Knox

Image credits: Maggie Knox

Image credits: Maggie Knox

“Very good and valid question,” a veterinarian named Paula Williams replied. “I can understand the concern with such high levels of sugars, however, what we have to remember is that Santa’s reindeer are highly tuned athletes and have a feat of phenomenal endurance to achieve, thus requiring an easily utilizable source of energy. That said, carrots or hay would be more highly recommended than candy canes. Also, around the world, there are many veterinarians on call and checking these athletes. We are also ready to attend as a priority any health issues en route.”

“The reindeer have already undergone extremely stringent health checks prior to takeoff.”

“I am very humbled to be part of the team supporting the reindeer on the Australian leg. As they enter our airspace from New Zealand, there are several of us across this vast continent.”

“The group is known as E.L.V.E.S.,” Paula continues. “The Emergency Landing and Veterinary Expert System and is a worldwide organization.”

Maggie was blown away by the awesome reply from the professional Aussie veterinarian. She said that the kids “will easily be able to relate to “P&R checks” for the reindeer.”

Other veterinarians also joined in, confirming that the E.L.V.E.S. organization is ready for the reindeer arrival

Image credits: Maggie Knox

“Checking in from the middle of the USA – Illinois, to be exact. Today, we are taking extra time to ensure our protocols and supplies are in order. We will be at the ready as part of E.L.V.E.S.,” one vet wrote. Other vets “checked in” from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Switzerland, and Spain. The organization’s members from all around the world confirmed that they are ready and good to go for Christmas.

Image credits: Maggie Knox

Image credits: Maggie Knox

Image credits: Maggie Knox

People found the replies from vets wholesome and awesome

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