AVMA approves Christmas flight for Santas reindeer

Santa’s reindeer are healthy and clear to hit the skies this Christmas Eve after receiving a clean bill of health from the president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Rene Carlson, AVMA president and official veterinarian of the North Pole, returned from the North Pole last week after performing a health check-up on all nine of Santa’s reindeer, according to the AVMA.

Just like veterinarians who perform regular examinations and preventive care to keep companion animals healthy, Carlson performs annual check-ups on Santa’s reindeer to make sure they are healthy enough to fly on Christmas Eve.

As a part of the reindeer’s annual exam, Carlson checked the animals to make sure they are healthy and disease-free so that they won’t transmit diseases such as brucellosis, tuberculosis and chronic wasting disease to other animals.

"It’s important that they don’t have any diseases they could give to other animals during their trip around the world," Carlson said in a news release. "They also need to be healthy, so they’re less likely to catch any diseases themselves on that long flight."

Carlson filled out health certificates for all of the reindeer to make sure that Santa can legally fly them into the countries around the world and prevent any unnecessary delays.

"The last thing we want is Santa getting stopped at a border, right?" Carlson said.

View the video of Carlson giving the reindeer a clean bill of health:

Carlson will make a follow-up trip to the North Pole before the Christmas Eve flight to check that the reindeer’s hooves and legs are healthy enough to take off and land on the rooftops. She will also perform a nose-check on Rudolph to make sure his nose is "good to glow."

"I can assure you that all of them are in healthy condition and are all ready to go for Christmas Eve," Carlson said.

After the flight, Carlson will give each reindeer a good exam to make sure they didn’t injure themselves and to check that they are not dehydrated or weak. She also helps the elves feed the reindeer their post-trip treats and food so that they can rest after their long journey around the world.

Carlson said she will be on call during the reindeer’s Christmas Eve flight in case of emergency, which she says thankfully has never happened.

Carlson will visit the North Pole again in the spring, when she and AVMA President-Elect Doug Aspros will give the reindeer their annual vaccines and perform any necessary blood tests and procedures.