Suzanne Stack, DVM
OLDER GREYHOUNDS NEED LOW PROTEIN "SENIOR" DIETS.
With greyhounds, we're usually trying to keep weight on the
oldsters, not off them.
Low protein diets may cause muscle wasting and weight loss.
Greyhounds with high
creatinines are going into kidney failure and need low protein
creatinine does not equal kidney disease if the BUN and urine
concentration are normal.
A 2000 Auburn study found that greyhound creatinines normally run up to 1.6X "other dog" creatinine.
diarrhea should be switched to high fiber food (i.e. W/D).
approach often backfires with greyhounds, who do better on meat
Grain based diets or the simple switch from racing diets to kibble are often the cause of diarrhea.
BARF (Bones And Raw
Food) diet is dangerous, not adequate, etc.
willing to do the research and "cooking," BARF is superior
Other benefits - clean teeth, firm stools, may help with allergies.
alabama Rot only happens
to track greyhounds from eating the raw 4D meat.
strain of e. coli that causes Alabama Rot is found in everything
from apples to alfalfa sprouts.
Feed several small meals
daily / feed from raised feeders / make him eat slow / to prevent
mostly genetic and much more common in show (AKC) greyhound lines.
Racers gobble one meal daily from a bowl on the floor and rarely bloat.
Greyhounds are sensitive dogs.
Unless they're doing something for him there that you can't do at home, he'll likely eat better at home where he's happy and you can bribe him with tempting cookery.
Take him in for daily rechecks if needed.
The fecal is negative -
he doesn't have worms.
are often negative, especially for whipworms.
If a greyhound has had diarrhea ever since he came off the track, de-worm with Panacur before doing further diagnostics. Don't have the $1,000 case of whipworms.
GET SO MANY VACCINATIONS AT THE TRACK THAT ADOPTION GROUPS SHOULD
to count on vaccines that were supposedly given - requirements vary
tremendously from state to state.
I prefer 2 consecutive years of "known shots," then go to every 3 years if that is your preference.
Dogs need booster
vaccines every year.
veterinarians and a majority of veterinary schools have safely gone
to every 3 year vaccinations.
Yearly dentals are the
best way to keep your greyhound's teeth healthy.
Brushing at least every other day is the best way to keep your
greyhound's teeth healthy.
BARF, chewies, turkey necks - all is preferable to knocking off tartar once yearly while the dog spends the other 9-10 months with dental disease.
Dentals should be done when needed, but should not be the
mainstay of dental care.
Do all you can to save
bad teeth - you don't want to lose them.
Bad teeth hurt - get them out of there!
Bad teeth form a nidus for infection which can damage kidneys and heart valves.
Dogs with bad teeth often feel like new dogs once they're extracted.
His heart is enlarged.
greyhound heart is normally much bigger than the heart of other
An ultrasound can differentiate normal from diseased if in doubt.
His heart rate is
The greyhound's heart rate is slower than other dogs - again, due to
60-90 is normal at rest, it may be faster if excited (like at the vet's office).
His blood pressure is
Greyhounds often run blood pressures on the high end of normal
They can be higher if excited - again, an important consideration at the vet's office.
He needs a complete cardiac workup for this heart murmur.
murmurs (I & II) are common in greyhounds - they are almost always
Take a chest x-ray if concerned (where you will see a "big heart!").
Your greyhound has
Greyhounds have a higher HCT or PCV than other dogs, normally in the
50's - 60's.
HCT or PCV can easily go into the 70's if they're dehydrated.
Actual polycythemia vera is a very rare disease.
are abnormally low.
Greyhounds can normally run low platelets - all the way down to
80,000 - 110,000.
Ehrlichia can lower platelets (also lowers WBC and HCT/PCV) - titer if in doubt.
We need a bone marrow
biopsy to see if this low WBC is cancer.
Greyhounds normally run lower WBCs (3,000
- 10,000) than other dogs (7,500 - 15,000).
An Auburn study of 50 retired racers (March 2000 Compendium) found a range of 1,800-14,600.
He can't have a TBD
(tick borne disease), we don't have those around here.
have a disproportionate incidence of TBDs due to their years on dog
farms and in racing kennels, sharing ticks with greyhounds from all
over the country.
Ehrlichia can take 5-7 years following a tick bite to show symptoms.
That ehrlichia titer is
too low to treat.
ehrlichia titer - the severity of signs does not always correlate
The alternative is waiting for a bleedout - there is too much to lose.
Veterinarians working with adopted greyhounds should maintain a high index of suspicion for ehrlichia.
Imizol is safe but not familiar to many veterinarians.
Imizol is labeled to kill babesia but also kills ehrlichia.
A low T4 means she needs
to be on thyroid supplement.
Greyhounds normally run lower T4s than other breeds (about half is a
good rule of thumb).
They should not be on supplement unless there are clinical signs - too many greyhounds are needlessly on lifelong supplement.
Use half of the normal dog dose.
Sick dogs commonly have low T4s ("sick euthyroid") - the dog is not hypothyroid.
Bald butts are because
of bald thigh syndrome is unknown.
Bald thighs are seen with both low and high thyroid levels.
Bald butts are from
laying in crates at the track.
Greyhounds who have never been crated or to the track have bald
He has a
(symmetrical lupoid onychodystrophy) aka "pemphigus" is the
autoimmune condition that causes greyhounds to lose multiple nails.
Treat as directed in Care of the Racing Greyhound.
This female is the first
hermaphrodite I've ever seen! / This female has cancer.
"button" at the vulva is clitoral hypertrophy from testosterone
given at the track to keep females out of heat
Skin hemangiosarcomas in
greyhounds are highly malignant.
hemangiosarcomas in "glabrous" (ventrally "nude" breeds such as
greyhounds and Italian greyhounds) are solar induced and have a
lower potential for metastasis.
I don't want to amputate
(or euthanize) for bone cancer. I'll just make him comfortable for
as long as possible (or . . . amputation is not the end of the
cancer is a constant, throbbing pain - the most intractable pain in
The pain is not well controlled with meds - if it was, veterinarians wouldn't recommend amputation.
Amputation is done simply to get the dog out of pain, it will not increase survival time.
Only adding chemo will make him live longer.
If not amputated, be generous with pain meds and be ready to euthanize.
I don't want to give
Rimadyl, Deramaxx, etc. for bone cancer - it might damage his liver.
become hung up on the possibility of side effects - bone cancer does
not have a long term. Give what it takes to keep him from hurting.
Combine meds (NSAIDs, narcotics, Ultram, Fosamax, etc.)
She's not in pain - she
just limps, has never cried out.
If she does not put the foot down, it hurts!
Poor appetite, panting, shaking, can't get comfortable, stops participating, and mostly, "that look in her eye" - all are signs of pain.
Pathologic fractures (the bone breaks at the weak spot) are excruciatingly painful - euthanize before this can happen.
Dogs can't take Tylenol.
/codeine is one of the most common pain meds given to bone
END WEAKNESS IS PROBABLY HIP DYSPLASIA.
dysplasia is rare in greyhounds.
Hind end problems are most likely lumbosacral stenosis in older greyhounds.
We sent the x-rays to a radiologist and he can't find a reason why she's limping either.
things that cause limping aren't seen on x-rays (soft tissue, neuro,
A good orthopedic exam is key - an orthopedic surgeon is a good bet for finding obscure lamenesses.
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