WHAT ARE THE MEDICAL IDIOSYNCRACIES OF GREYHOUNDS?
Greyhounds have some unique medical features and needs. Please read more in this guide by Dr. Bill Feeman, DVM and share it with your vet if they are not familiar with greyhounds.
WHAT IS REVERSE SNEEZING?
The most common cause of reverse sneezing is an irritation of the soft palate and throat that results in a spasm. During the spasm, the dog's neck will extend and the chest will expand as the dog tries harder to inhale. The problem is that the trachea has narrowed and it's hard to get the normal amount of air into the lungs. This is usually scarier for the owner than the dog.
HOW MUCH SHOULD MY GREYHOUND WEIGH?
An overweight greyhound is a sad sight indeed - don't let your greyhound turn into a 'sausage'! Greyhounds are lean by nature and their long, skinny legs don't need any extra pressure. You should be able to see a bit of the last two ribs and the points of the hips. One rule of thumb says no more than five pounds over their racing weight. Check with your vet if you're not sure about your dog's weight.
On the other hand, it's notoriously hard to keep weight on senior greyhounds. If your dog is too skinny (more than two ribs showing, prominent hip points), then it may be time to up their food intake or change to a calorie-dense food. Again, check with your vet for advice - sudden weight loss can be a sign of other health problems.
WHEN SHOULD I RUSH MY DOG TO AN EMERGENCY VET?
Examples of conditions that warrant an immediate trip to the emergency vet (or your regular vet if they're open):
IT'S NOT AN EMERGENCY, WHAT CONDITIONS WARRANT AN APPOINTMENT WITH MY VET?
Aside from normal preventative care, you might want to make an appointment with your vet if you notice one or more of these conditions:
WHAT ABOUT PET MEDICAL INSURANCE?
Some people find pet medical insurance very helpful with vet bills. GALT does not recommend a particular provider, but Reviews.com has rated a list of 22 pet insurance providers and has also reviewed the top 12 here: Pet Insurance Provider Reviews.
DOES MY DOG HAVE TAPEWORMS?
If you see white wiggly segments about the size of a grain of rice in your dogs fresh stool your dog probably has tapeworm. Tapeworm is contracted when a dog swallows an infected flea. Keep your dog protected with monthly flea & tick preventative! Tapeworm is treated with Droncit.
WHAT COMMON PLANTS CAN BE POISIONOUS TO DOGS?
These are some of the common plants that can be poisionous to dogs. For a more complete list, check here. Please contact your vet if you fear your dog has ingested something dangerous.
WHAT COMMON FOODS AND DRINKS CAN BE DANGEROUS TO MY DOG?
WHAT OTHER SUBSTANCES CAN BE DANGEROUS TO MY DOG?
Rule of thumb - if it would be dangerous to a toddler, it's dangerous for your dog! For example:
HOW CAN I INDUCE VOMITING IF MY DOG HAS SWALLOWED SOMETHING TOXIC?
One of the easiest ways to avoid problems associated with the ingestion of any of these products is to induce vomiting before the toxins are absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream. Veterinarians commonly use 3% hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. Hydrogen peroxide is readily available at any drug store or grocery store. A greyhound would need to swallow about two tablespoonfuls, or 25 to 30cc, to induce vomiting. If the dog does not vomit within 10 minutes, repeat the hydrogen peroxide dosage. It will cause them to foam at the mouth, but almost always works. Your veterinarian should be consulted to see if anything else needs to be done. If the poisonous substance was ingested more than an hour or two previously, some of the substance has more than likely already been absorbed, and you need to take your pet to the veterinarian or emergency clinic as soon as possible. If your dog has ingested anti-freeze, take them to the emergency vet immediately and do not induce vomiting.
WHAT IS CANINE INFLUENZA?
Canine influenza is a new contagious respiratory disease in dogs that started showing up in 2004 when it crossed over from an equine flu virus. Please see this CDC page for more details: Key Facts about Canine Influenza
WHAT ARE TICK BORNE DISEASES?
Texas is a high-risk state for ticks, and racing greyhounds in particular are at high risk for exposure across the US. GALT tests for and treats tick-borne diseases like Ehrlichia, Babesia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Lyme disease because they can have long-term effects on your greyhound's health. Chronic symptoms can include:
DO GREYHOUNDS SUFFER FROM "WHITE COAT" SYNDROME?
One study has shown that greyhounds may have higher blood pressure during vet visits.
HOW SHOULD I TAKE CARE OF MY GREYHOUND'S TEETH?
An annual dental exam and cleaning is highly recommended after your pet has reached one year of age. This consists of a thorough exam of the entire mouth, removal of plaque and tartar both above and below the gum line, and polishing of the crowns of all of the teeth. It is also important to follow a good home care program, which can extend the positive effects of the dental cleaning. Home care can consist of brushing your pet's teeth and special dental diets. Daily brushing is an ideal way to maintain oral health between annual professional dental cleanings. More Information
Our vets recommend a thorough, professional dental cleaning under anesthesia when it is called for. There are services which provide dental scaling without anesthesia, but there are detriments to this approach, detailed in this position paper.
IS EBOLA A RISK FOR PETS?
Fear is running high about Ebola right now, but the risk is minimal both to you and your pets. Please click on the link for more information about Ebola from a veterinarian. More Information
WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFORMATION ON GREYHOUND HEALTH?
Dr. Suzanne Stack has a very informative website, www.greythealth.com, with articles covering anesthesia, bloodwork, pain medications, hock fractures, lumbosarcal stenosis, osteosarcoma, pancreatitis, and more.
Another great resource is The Greyhound Health Initiative - Dr. Guillermo Couto's team's website, greyhound health initiative, has very informative and educational articles focused on improving the health of sighthound dogs worldwide through education, research, and accessibility for owners, adopters as well as veterinarians.