At the Vet
New dogs for adoption arrive about every four-six weeks from tracks in West Memphis, Ark. and Birmingham, Ala. Their first stop is the vet’s office where each dog receives the following services:
- Teeth cleaned
- Nails trimmed
- Routine vaccinations
- Test for heartworms and four common tick diseases
- Treated with flea/tick preventative
- Microchipped for identification
Racing greyhounds are generally a healthy breed and susceptible to few of the genetic disorders that plague other purebreds. Because not all vets are current on greyhounds, and because you will be your hound’s caregiver, it’s important to understand what’s normal and what’s abnormal.
Vets unfamiliar with retired racers may mistake normal greyhound readings as signs of illness or disease or be unaware of health issues common to the breed. For instance:
|Greyhound Normal||Other dogs|
Hemoglobin/Red Blood Cell Counts – These are consistently higher than other breeds. Calcium, magnesium, thyroid (T4), serum protein, globulins and B12 are consistently lower than other breed normals.
Heart Murmur – More than 80 percent of greyhounds have a mild left-sided murmur due to the high viscosity of their blood and its speed of ejection from the heart (2-2.5 meters per second).
Blood Pressure – Higher than other dogs at 160-180, and even 200 mmHg.
Heart – significantly larger than other breeds (VHS 10.5 to 12 is normal)
Drug Responses – Because greys have a significantly lower level of an important liver enzyme, they can have an unpredictable response to drugs, especially when multiple drugs are administered.
Learn more about greyhounds and about current research involving the breed at: http://www.vet.ohio-state.edu/GHWP.htm