The reason for using a supplement is to overcome deficiencies within the diet that may occur due to the way food is processed, preserved and prepared. The greyhound’s body requires vitamins, minerals, trace elements and electrolytes to function – not enough, and the body cannot function optimally, too much and the body simply sends the excess out as waste.
Greyhounds have relatively thin skin and when in racing condition, very little body fat. This is great for helping them cool down after a run, but it also means that they are susceptible to cold weather. The need to maintain their vital organs at a fairly constant temperature means that the body has to work harder during the winter to keep warm. If the dog’s core temperature drops, its body tries to keep the important organs warm by restricting blood flow to skin and extremities. For the greyhound, being cold is not only uncomfortable, but it can mean that they lose condition due to the change in their energy requirements.
Heat Stress – panting, salivating, increased heart rate, listlessness, vocalisation/whining.
Heat Stroke – excessive or loud panting, thick saliva, vomiting, diarrhoea, wobbliness, strange behaviour, seizures, collapse, and death.
What can you do? Stop all exercise, move to a shaded or lightly air-conditioned area, provide plenty of cool water and provide plenty of ventilation to move evaporated fluid away and to drop the humidity levels. Gently cool the greyhound – they can lay on wet towels, be wiped down or hosed with cool water. Make sure if you are using wet towels or ‘Cooling Coats’ that they feel cool to touch and that there is a breeze or ventilation as these methods rely on evaporation for their cooling effects too. If they dry out or there is no ventilation then it’s similar to wearing a blanket or rug. Avoid using iced water on the greyhound’s body as this can cause the blood vessels in the skin to contract.
Found in the foot pads of the dog, corns are often seen as a circular area or ‘dot’ in the base of the pad. When they first appear, they can be quite small and may look just like a bit of foreign matter that has stuck in the pad. As they get bigger, they start to look quite characteristic – a circle that’s a different colour or texture to the rest of the foot pad. They are normally hard and often quite painful when pressure is applied. Usually the owner or trainer reports the greyhound has been showing signs of lameness that may be worse when the dog is on hard surfaces such as concrete or gravel. The most common cause of these is usually a reaction to damage or trauma, or due to a viral infection similar to the papilloma virus in humans.
Unfortunately bone cancer is usually a very aggressive and nasty disease and malignant cancers can spread from their initial location to other places in the body such as the liver and lungs. Osteosarcoma is a type of cancer that spreads very early in the disease, often well before any signs or symptoms from the original tumour are visible. Given this early spread, most dogs diagnosed with this disease have a very poor prognosis. Treatment options include pain relieving medication, amputation of the affected limb, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The Hydatid Tapeworm (scientific name Echinococcus granulosis) is one of a number of tapeworms that infect dogs. The reason this tapeworm is considered the most significant is that, unlike other tapeworms found in dogs, it can cause an extremely serious and life-threatening disease in humans. The Hydatid Tapeworm does not cause any serious disease in the dog, so you would not think it would be a problem in our greyhounds. The reason this tapeworm is so significant is because sometimes a human inadvertently becomes the intermediate host, ingesting the eggs of the tapeworm. Similar to the effect in sheep and cattle, the infected human can develop large hydatid cysts in their liver, lungs or even kidneys or brain.
The grass seeds or ‘awns’ come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but one of the most common ones to cause trouble is the seed from Barley Grass, which has a firm, sharp tip, and awns that fan out into a wedge. The sharp tip makes it perfect for piercing through skin, and the fanned awns mean the seed can only move forward, not backwards – similar to the action of the tip of a fish hook. If your dog is shaking its head more than once or twice, or if they are chewing, licking or rubbing at a particular area, do a thorough inspection straight away. If you are not sure, contact your vet for advice – often a quick visit to the vet at the start of a problem can save you a lot of money in the long run.
Pannus is a disorder that affects the eye of the greyhound, and will eventually lead to blindness if it’s not managed. It is not painful in its early stages, causes no discharge from the eye, and may be hard to see unless you look closely at your greyhound’s eyes in a good light. If it is not diagnosed or treated, the disease will slowly cover the clear part of the eye (the ‘cornea’) until the dog can no longer see. Pannus is a concern in greyhounds, not only because it causes sight loss, but also because the normal treatments for the disease can lead to the risk of returning a positive swab.
Even if your property is completely flea-free, your dogs can become infested if fleas are brought onto the property. This can be via a new dog coming into the kennels, through straw-type bedding (often infested from rabbits that live in hay sheds), or from yours or the neighbour’s cat that has been off wandering and has picked up a few fleas on their travels. Dogs, cats and rabbits all share the same fleas. Your dog may also pick up fleas when off your property. These days there are many ‘spot-on’ products that not only kill the fleas on the dog when applied, but go on working to kill the fleas for up to a month.