Call the Vet
Medical information that could save a life
Because Greyhounds have very little body fat, they absorb and metabolize many medications differently from other dogs.
- Anesthesia - A greyhound given the normal amount of anesthesia for another dog its size will almost certainly die as a result. As a rule of thumb, it only takes about one fourth of the dosage for a 70-lb. Greyhound that it would take for, say, a 70-lb. German Shepherd. Also, certain types of "standard" anesthesia medications should not be used on Greyhounds at all. Before having any surgery done on your dog, you MUST make sure your vet is aware of these things. Some veterinarians have an excellent reputation for being Greyhound-savvy. If you find out from friends that your vet has sufficient experience with them, that's fine. But don't just ask him/her and assume that a positive answer means the knowledge is really there. Educate yourself beforehand on what anesthesia protocols are recommended for sighthounds and then discuss them thoroughly with your vet. Far too many Greyhounds have been lost because of veterinarian's lack of experience with sighthounds. If your vet tries to tell you that there are no differences, look elsewhere!!!
You should find a good Greyhound vet (or at least one who is not just willing but anxious to learn) before you ever bring your first Greyhound home. You just never know when an emergency will come up and then it's a little late to be shopping around. Don't be afraid to ask your vet of his knowledge of Greyhounds.
- Flea and tick prevention - "Normal" flea and tick prevention products can be extremely dangerous to Greyhounds. Products containing permethrin (such as a flea collar) can be deadly. Products which contain pyrethrin as the active ingredient should be safe. We use and highly recommend Frontline (spray or drops) and Advantage (drops). Frontline is also effective on ticks. Advantage is not as effective on ticks, but if you have a serious infestation of fleas Advantage will get rid of them better. Frontline works fine for maintenance once you have the flea problem under control. Most of us use either one in the drops form. You simply open a small tube and squirt the drops between your dog's shoulder blades. It's a good idea to check the spot regularly for the next 24 hours and keep an eye on your dog because any dog can have an allergic reaction to any product. But most Greyhounds do just fine with these.
Frontline and/or Advantage should be available from your vet or from various veterinary supply catalogs, both printed and online.
Also keep in mind that insecticides used in your home or in your yard (as well as some weed killers) can be very dangerous for a Greyhound. Don't use them at all unless you absolutely have to. But if you do, check first to make sure that what you intend to use is reasonably safe for use around Greyhounds. If you use a lawn service, find out exactly what chemicals they use before they treat your yard.
- Heartworm prevention is a MUST! Since most heartworm preventatives also help control other internal parasites, you should keep your dog on it year round. But even if you do this, he should still be tested for Heartworms about every two years. Heartworms are very deadly to the large-chested, wind-sprinting Greyhound and heartworms can be spread by a simple mosquito bite.