ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — Update: March 21
A board-certified veterinary pathologist has determined that Oshi, the five-year-old female on Richie Beattie's team, died as a result of pneumonia according to a release from a public relations firm representing the Iditarod.
The cause of the pneumonia could not immediately be determined. The release says that additional tests are being conducted and the final necropsy study will be released in 30 days.
A dog from the Iditarod race team of Richie Beattie died Saturday night at a local animal hospital in Anchorage.
According to a press release from the Iditarod, Oshi was a five-year-old female. The initial diagnosis of the dog's cause of death is aspiration pneumonia.
Beattie finished the race on Thursday, March 14th at 10:01 pm. When performing post-race checkups, Iditarod veterinarians noticed Oshi displaying signs of pneumonia. She was then stabilized and airlifted out of Nome to Anchorage on Friday, March 16th at 4:13 pm.
With this death, according to rule 42 of the Iditarod official race rules, Beattie has been withdrawn from the race. He is fully cooperating with Iditarod officials.
Beattie was a contender for Rookie of the Year, as he had the fastest finishing time of all the rookies on the trail this year, making it to Nome a little more than an hour ahead of his nearest rookie competitor, Ed Hopkins.
PETA issued a statement on Sunday, March 17.
In the press release, PETA executive Vice President Tracy Reiman said in part "Oshi was just like any family's dog, but the Iditarod forced her to run until she choked to death on her own vomit, just like so many dogs before her."