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Old 30th May 2010, 20:55   #1
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Hi Folks. I Am In The Final Stages Of Planning For A Trip From Kochi To Leh And Back In My Xylo With My Wife And Ginger (my Labrador) As Crew Members. Expected Date Of Departure Is 3rd Week Of Aug 10. The Route Is Placed As Attachment. Will Be Grateful For Any Kind Of Participation And Advice To Make This Event A Success.
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Old 31st May 2010, 00:42   #2
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A few quick comments:

- Nicer route to go from Ahmedabad via Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Suratgarh, Sriganganagar, Bhatinda & Faridkot to Amritsar, instead of via Jodhpur. You can halt at Jaisalmer or Bikaner.

- Do you really need to service your car so early, other than simple cleaning of air filters and some cursory check-ups?

- Why halt at Panipat? If you leave Manali early, you could make it to Agra late night

- Agra/Indore route is going to be battered after teh rains, expect slow progress and delays due to bad roads/traffic jams especially between Shahjahanpur and Dewas.

Check out on high-altitude issues for Ginger with animal doctors. We humans have medicines like Diamox and lots of water - what should dogs do in such conditions?

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Old 31st May 2010, 16:25   #3
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@floydisgod, I would like to comment on your plans of carrying Ginger, since he is a Labrador there are some conditions due to which more frequently bought breeds have altitude related problems.

1. Get a medical check-up done through a competent doctor
2. Usually for Ginger and similar breeds like Crunch (my Retriever), they become restless, drink less water and they lose appetite
3. Dogs like humans take time to acclimatize, also since retriever breeds pant a lot it causes them to exhaust their lungs
4. If Ginger is unwell are you ready to come back to a lower altitude, also in his enthusiasm to be with you he wouldnt know the boundary between good for him and bad
5. Carry him till Delhi or even still Shimla, there are places or kennels which act as caretakers and Ginger should be happily waiting for both of you

I once carried with me both my retriever and Tibetean Mastiff, though Retriever handled easily till Rohtang but beyond that it was troublesome, he would wander out of jeep like a drunkard, but Mastiff managed it pretty well, he also went on few trips to Joshimath. So in all you need a mountain dog and Ginger will be stressed and he may not be able to tell you!
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Old 31st May 2010, 21:46   #4
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thank u, hvkumar and ushuaia, for the wonderful insight into issues with ginger and the route. for someone such as i, totally uninitiated into the finer aspects this trip has to offer, your inputs are invaluable. one query is that since our ascent is rather gradual in terms of the number of days this trip is spanning, wont that help in ginger's acclimatisation? further the servicing input has been given by an avid roadie who has even suggested changing fan belts pior to the climb i.e. in amritsar and changing it back to the original fanbelts in agra. i am not sure of the reasons. going only on face value.
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Old 31st May 2010, 22:01   #5
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Acclimatisation! Although many talk about the Manali-Leh route, I prefer the Srinagar-Leh route, simply because teh ascent is gradual. In the Manli-Leh route, you go from 2000 m in Manali to Sarchu (typical halt) at 4200 m. AMS hits you hard. On the other hand, if you going on the Srinagar route, you move from 2000 m in Srinagar to 2700 m in Kargil and then 3500 in Leh, which is easier for acclimatisation.

I never heard of anything so daft as changing the fan belt. Normally, in old carburettor engines, all they do is to alter the air screw settings for better air flow; ECU engines automatically recalibrate to ambient conditions. Don't do anything with your engine settings.
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Old 1st June 2010, 10:04   #6
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@floyd , kumar sir is right, don't do much to your engine, I assume its Xylo then you shouldn't have much trouble.

Also for the uninitiated HV sir is Dragon Slayer, for almost above a year I have been following most of his trips. If I may use the work 'Prolific Highwayman' all our major route tips come from him.

Ok, now lets focus on Ginger's Holiday plans,
- All hotels may not be comfortable with the idea of a pet traveling, this would limit your options, make sure you check and be candid with the hotels, this would ensure you know your options before hand

- I consulted my Vet and as per him Labs do have problem but you should limit their physical activity at high altitude, ensure you dont drive rashly at bends coz it disorients them, adding to the trouble

- Ensure you take him for heavy activity, like swimming or intense activity sessions on ground before leaving for high altitude, ensure you are with him and dont leave him alone if he goes along, his mood has a lot to do with how he feels (Don't laugh at me, its proven)

- Watch out of any signs of loss of appetite and make sure he drinks lots of water, do ensure he is prepared for cold climate, though labs have double coat making them literally waterproof, but ensure he has his winter jacket you can get these with big Vets in Delhi and Chandigarh

- Srinagar Leh route should be beneficial, see if you can find a vet in Leh, get him checked, at high altitude passes make sure his activity is limited.

- Take AMS med for Ginger (limited dose dependent on his weight), but remember most importantly "He will follow you till the end of this earth, while you understand, he may not, this is what makes you supremely responsible for his being".

I dont want to sound paranoid, enjoy to the hilt, but be careful.
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Old 1st June 2010, 10:15   #7
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@floyd - Congratulation & best wishes for your trip; Kochi to Leh is something really great; just asking out of curiosity, is this any motivational or just a leisure holiday trip? Also, if you've reworked your trip based on the suggestions provided here would like to see the new plan. Tks.

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Old 1st June 2010, 10:48   #8
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Do not take diamox unless you are sure you are not allergic to sulpha.
Not exerting, and taking it easy, drinking lots of water should take care of acclimatization woes.

Mostly tourists who need to be hospitalized do this.
They land in leh via flight on day 1 with permits in hand.
Day 2 they take a taxi to pangong, and then end up in the hospital at tangste which has all facilities to take care of patients with mountain sickness.

If you are driving to leh, you should be okay.
spend atleast a full day in leh to rest.
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Old 1st June 2010, 12:33   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floydisgod View Post
Hi Folks. I Am In The Final Stages Of Planning For A Trip From Kochi To Leh And Back In My Xylo With My Wife And Ginger (my Labrador) As Crew Members. Expected Date Of Departure Is 3rd Week Of Aug 10. The Route Is Placed As Attachment. Will Be Grateful For Any Kind Of Participation And Advice To Make This Event A Success.
Hey you know what, Ginger is the name of our dog also. But he is a Lhasa Apso. Anyway, wish you luck for your journey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ushuaia View Post
@floydisgod, I would like to comment on your plans of carrying Ginger, since he is a Labrador there are some conditions due to which more frequently bought breeds have altitude related problems.

1. Get a medical check-up done through a competent doctor
2. Usually for Ginger and similar breeds like Crunch (my Retriever), they become restless, drink less water and they lose appetite
3. Dogs like humans take time to acclimatize, also since retriever breeds pant a lot it causes them to exhaust their lungs
4. If Ginger is unwell are you ready to come back to a lower altitude, also in his enthusiasm to be with you he wouldnt know the boundary between good for him and bad
5. Carry him till Delhi or even still Shimla, there are places or kennels which act as caretakers and Ginger should be happily waiting for both of you

I once carried with me both my retriever and Tibetean Mastiff, though Retriever handled easily till Rohtang but beyond that it was troublesome, he would wander out of jeep like a drunkard, but Mastiff managed it pretty well, he also went on few trips to Joshimath. So in all you need a mountain dog and Ginger will be stressed and he may not be able to tell you!
You love dogs dont you? This post of your is a great insight for animal lovers. Tell me if I have a Lhasa Apso ( actually born in Tibet, but lived in plains) Will he still be able to cope with high altitudes??
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Old 1st June 2010, 12:51   #10
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@Floyd going a wee OT

@Deky, yes almost all my life had them; pure bred (Retriever, Alsatian, 2 Tibetan Mastiff, Boxer, Apso) street mongrels (got one from Gaddi Shepard's during Triund Trek) , just about any of them, lemme come to your query.

- Not just coz he is born at high altitude, a dog's gait too decides a lot. if you have a connection with your Ginger (Deky's) you'll find they come to life in bursts, this is something their altitudinal genes come to fore.
- You'll find them brooding for quite sometime, or in other words moody.
- Go ahead but make sure your climb is gradual and you have a good vet's check-up behind you also some basic meds for fever like Crocin, Stemtil for vomiting also carry some winter protection, I got creative and ripped my dad's old North face for his jacket and he used to love it.
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Old 1st June 2010, 13:31   #11
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A friend of mine actually moved his dogs to leh. they were fine. Not sure which breeds though!
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Old 1st June 2010, 13:48   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
A friend of mine actually moved his dogs to leh. they were fine. Not sure which breeds though!
Maybe He followed what we follow, I mean the rules of acclimatisation too for the dog. Like just tied him up/ kept him indoors, for 2-3 days so he could get used to the oxygen levels?

@ USHUAIA: No I am not taking him to Leh, it was just a querry that came to my mind when I saw this thread. Thanks.
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Old 1st June 2010, 16:57   #13
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dear bhpians
thanx a ton for the wonderful inputs on the route and ginger. i have modified the route as adviced by Mr HV Kumar and the amended route is placed as attachment. the route has been planned considering that i would be doing the bulk of driving with my wife pitching in whenever possible. further, Ginger would need breaks in between to stretch his legs. that break would serve to stretch my back considering my lower back problem(i would be driving with a belt and lumbar support). As suggested by Mr HV Kumar i dont think i can drive from manali to agra in one stretch.

is anyone on this forum aware of a portable oxygen cylinder that could be used enroute.

i am planning to do the trip in Aug 10. most of my accommodation is being arranged with the army enroute.

thanx again guys
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Old 1st June 2010, 18:25   #14
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The schedule looks doable, but remember that it requires early morning starts (say, by 5 am), minimal halts and hard day's drive till 7-9 pm. IN Ldakah region, drive times are always unpredictable thanks to landslides and weather.
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Old 1st June 2010, 18:38   #15
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@Floyd. This is great that you are taking Ginger with you for this trip, and yes, I love the name.

With dogs, the signs of AMS is very apparent. These symptoms include: listlessness and/or a change in tongue color. Your dog may also demonstrate unusually lazy behavior and simply not want to do anything but sleep. The tongue actually becomes "mildly dusky". So please check Ginger for these symptoms. Oh, and one more thing. Other than AMS, dogs are also prone to Motion Sickness. So please take the curves easy. Else Ginger will feel disoriented.

Carry an extra large bowl for Ginger and fill that with water. Feed water at regular intervals and refill regularly.

Take care and have fun. Be safe.

BTW, we will meet somewhere in the mountains of Leh and I will love to meet Ginger (and you too) there.

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