We are so very grateful to have this dedicated group of veterinarians, veterinary technicians and veterinary students caring for the dogs! They put in long hours to make sure the dogs are healthy and well tended. When you look at the travel time, the long hours and the brutal weather, you realize there is only one thing that could make them do it: love for these beautiful, energetic dogs.
Chief Veterinarian Dr. Kathy Topham, DVM
Dr. Kathy Topham, DVM resides in Mantua, Ohio, and is a graduate of North Carolina State University. She is owner/practitioner of Pawsitive Results, a veterinary practice focused on Canine Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation. She has completed post-graduate training in Canine Rehabilitation Therapy, Veterinary Spinal Manipulation Therapy and Veterinary Medical Acupuncture. Dr. Topham’s spare time is spent biking alongside her husband, Dr. Phil Topham, as he runs their dogs; working out; occasionally riding her pony; and obsessively training and competing with their dogs in agility competitions. She has served as a trail veterinarian on the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, Gichigami Express, UP200/Midnight Run in Michigan, Race to the Sky in Montana and Grand Portage Passage. Dr. Topham has been the Gunflint Mail Run’s lead veterinarian and we’re glad she’s back!
Ms. Kris Ausland, CVT
Ms. Kris Ausland has been involved with sled dog racing since 2009 and this is her third year as a member of the Gunflint Mail Run Veterinary Team. She holds an Associate of Veterinary Technology degree and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She is an Iraqi Freedom Veteran and retired from the Minnesota Air National Guard after serving for 21 years. Her veterinary experience includes shelter medicine, working on a mobile surgical unit, emergency medicine, small animal practice, as well as rural area veterinary trips to help the less fortunate. Kris works as a Certified Veterinary Technician at the Duluth Veterinary Hospital. Her race experience includes the UP200/Midnight Run, John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, CopperDog 150, Apostle Islands, Gichigami Express and Gunflint Mail Run sled dog races. She has also run teams in the Ely Wolf Track Classic and the MidMinnesota races. Kris lives in Esko, Minnesota with her two teenage daughters, one dog and three cats.
Dr. Nadder Samari, DVM
Dr. Samari graduated from Iowa State University in 1992. He and his wife, Lee, opened Cedar Grove Veterinary Clinic in the summer of 2017, fulfilling a long anticipated dream. Their goal is to practice here full time. They have three grown children. Dr. Samari enjoys hunting, boating and the outdoors.
Dr. Phil Topham, DVM
Dr. Phil Topham lives in Mantua, Ohio, where it snows a foot at a time—but then it melts, so why shovel?! A graduate of the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine, he was originally drawn into sled dog medicine while living in Duluth in the late 1990’s. Dr. Topham is the sole proprietor of Phillip Topham Veterinary Services, a full-service veterinary relief business. While much of his professional time is spent focused on the routine problems encountered in a general small animal practice, Dr. Topham’s interest in the canine athlete has lead to additional training in physiotherapy and veterinary spinal manipulation therapy (VSMT) in an effort to improve his abilities to diagnose and treat patients. He is licensed to practice in 11 states, but lately Dr. Topham’s work has been closer to home in Northeastern Ohio. His hobbies include running and skijoring with the family dogs for exercise (well, they actually take him for a drag), traveling, kayaking, and waiting for the snow to melt. Dr. Topham and his veterinarian wife, Kathy, have 4 dogs, 2 cats, and 1 horse. Other races he has volunteered at include the Gichigami Express, the John Beargrease, the UP200/Midnight Run in Michigan, the Race to the Sky in Montana. Dr. Topham has made the trip from Ohio to Minnesota’s North Shore for the Gunflint Mail Run Sled and he is happy to be back again this year.