Wellness check on Santa's reindeer? There's a veterinarian for that!
Dr Arce visited the North Pole to ensure the reindeer were in good condition to complete their journey around the globe this holiday season.
As “Santa’s official veterinarian,” Jose Arce, DVM, president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), took his annual “trip” to the North Pole to perform a wellness checkup on Santa’s 9 reindeer. He ensured they were up to date on their vaccinations and paperwork, free of illness and injury, and deemed them of good health to fly across the globe this holiday season.
“After a full examination and review of their medical records, I’m pleased to say that Santa’s reindeer are healthy, in great shape and ready to fly on Christmas Eve,” Arce said, in an organizational release.
The reindeer exam consists of a health check approximately a month before Christmas Eve to confirm they are not displaying any signs of disease (eg, brucellosis, tuberculosis, or chronic wasting disease) that may impact their ability to fly or cause other animals to fall ill.
“It’s important that we make sure the reindeer aren’t harboring any diseases that they could then potentially spread to animals in other parts of the world,” said Arce. “At the same time, making sure they’re healthy also means that they’re less likely to catch any diseases themselves on that long flight around the globe.”
Apart from delivering presents for children atop his sleigh, Santa is required to carry with him an official “North Pole Certificate of Animal Export." This paperwork enables him to freely cross borders and signifies to health officials that his reindeer pose no threat to animal or public health.
On Christmas Eve, Arce will make a follow-up trip to the North Pole to perform a final pre-flight checkup and examine the reindeer once they return in the morning, according to the release.
Arce’s role is reflective of the part that each veterinarian plays to ensure the well-being of all animal species, people, and the environment to make the world a healthier place for all types of life.
“Without my reindeer there simply would be no Christmas. Proper veterinary care ensures that, year in and year out, my team and I can safely deliver presents to boys and girls around the world. Dr Arce has definitely earned his place on my ‘nice list’ this year,” issued "Santa" in a prepared statement.
Learn more about Arce’s trip and get into the holiday spirit by watching his vlog showcasing his trip to the North Pole.
Santa’s veterinarian gives reindeer green light for Christmas flight. News release. American Veterinary Medical Association. December 13, 2021. Accessed December 14, 2021. https://www.avma.org/news/press-releases/santas-veterinarian-gives-reindeer-green-light-flight