for a Speedier Recovery
Greyhounds are sensitive dogs that
recover quicker in their home environment. As soon as the hospital
isn't doing anything that you couldn't be doing at home, get him
out of there! If need be, you can schedule to return for daily
progress checks with the doctor. If home care is possible, it's a
mistake to leave a greyhound in the hospital "til he eats." He'll
eat much quicker at home where he's happy and you are able to cook
him up something more tempting than hospital prescription diet.
Many sick greyhounds who won't touch a bowl of food will polish
off single bites placed one at a time in front of them on the
Because of their docile nature, just
about every greyhound can be force-fed using the following
technique. This is a lifesaver for ill dogs who don't feel like
eating but is never to be used on a vomiting dog.
Buy a firm, rubbery brand of canned
food. All Hills and Iams products work well for this (except A/D,
too sloppy). The only "store brand" I can do this well with is
Pedigree Puppy. If you're trying to put weight on, buy the most
fat, protein, and calories you can find if there are no dietary
restrictions. Hills N/D cancer diet at almost 600 calories per can
is a great choice. If not N/D, try to find a puppy formulation.
Puppy formulations, on average, contain 1/3 more calories than
Put cans in fridge so that contents
become firm. Using a butter knife around the edges, shake the can
and work the roll of canned dog food out in one piece. (you can
also open both ends of the can and just push it out one end) Put
on a plate and slice into 5-6 slices like you would jellied
cranberry sauce. Cut each slice in half.
Back the greyhound into a corner so he
can't leave (if he's down, just sit next to him). Standing over or
beside him, stick each half-slice as far back in throat as
possible and down the hatch. Yum, yum.
It's important to do it just as
described with the refrigerated, sliced food. Canned food
"meatballs" become too mushy to feed easily. It only takes a
minute or two to feed a can this way.
Just feed one can in each sitting, but
feed 3-4 cans daily as needed to maintain weight and keep the poor
greyhound from going any further downhill. Don't let anyone talk
you into a feeding tube. There is absolutely no need for this in a
greyhound as just about every one of them will allow this method
(they hate to see you coming after a while, though). It would take
you hours of tube feeding gruel to get the contents of 3-4 cans
into the dog.
The big bruises and hematomas that
greyhounds are prone to following dog fights and surgeries
(particularly amputations) dissipate much more quickly with a
hydrotherapy regimen. Twice daily (more is better) for five
minutes run a warm shower hose or in summertime, the outside hose,
over the wound. It is OK for sutures to get wet on these ugly
Use large sized t-shirts or long
shirts with sleeves to cover wounds wherever possible as
greyhounds do so poorly with Elizabethan collars. Tube tops work
great for neck bandages.
Avoid general anesthesia and surgery
to repair by using Nexcare Waterproof bandaids on torn ears.
Ex-pens (exercise pens) are far better
than crates for injured/broken greyhounds whose movements need to
be restricted for long periods of time. They are lightweight and
versatile, so that you can move the greyhound to the center of
activity rather than him being stuck wherever the crate is. Be
sure to buy one that simply unhinges between two panels so that
you can open it up wide for him to go in and out rather than
having to push him through the door opening that some ex-pens
have. 3' is the ideal height - it's over his head so he won't try
to jump but it's easy enough to reach over to take bowls and toys
in and out. Pet Edge (the old New England Serum) sells their good
ProSelect model for $47.
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