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A new article on Veterinary Practice news offers some interesting updates for our greyhound’s health.

Veterinary oncologist Guillermo Couto, DVM, founded the Greyhound Health Initiative in 2014 to build awareness in the veterinary community about the breed’s unique health issues. Since then, the organization has worked to educate veterinarians and help greyhound owners.

 

Raising greyhound health awareness

The Greyhound Health Initiative helps educate the veterinary community on the breed’s unique health issues

By Audrey Pavia

When veterinary oncologist Guillermo Couto, DVM, first noticed the medical idiosyncrasies of greyhounds, he was serving as a professor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

During his tenure, he observed a large number of retired racing greyhounds that developed osteosarcoma. Couto also realized this ancient breed had unusual physiological, hematological, and cardiovascular characteristics, which were likely an adaptation to chasing prey.

In response, Dr. Couto created the Greyhound Health and Wellness Program at the university, which focused on research into the breed’s unique issues. He also established a financial assistance program to help adopters of retired racing greyhounds with veterinary bills and provide free chemotherapy for those undergoing treatment for osteosarcoma. But when Couto left the university in June 2013, the program started to fade.

Although he was retired, Couto wanted to continue his work helping greyhounds and their owners. In January 2014, he founded the Greyhound Health Initiative (GHI) in Dublin, Ohio, with the goal of building awareness in the veterinary community about the breed’s unique health issues. Since then, the nonprofit organization has worked to educate veterinarians about conditions seen in greyhounds, while also helping greyhound owners of both retired and active racers.

Unique greyhound issues

Simply put, greyhounds are unlike any other dog breed. This truth, as mentioned, was the driving force behind Couto’s desire to create GHI.

According to Couto, from a hematologic standpoint, these athletic dogs have higher packed cell volume (PCV) and hematocrit (HCT), hemoglobin concentration, red blood cell count, and whole blood viscosity than other breeds. A healthy greyhound has a HCT of 50 to 63 percent, something that in a dog of any other breed would result in a presumptive diagnosis of polycythemia or erythrocytosis (a term used to describe a high red blood cell mass).

Because greyhound-specific issues are still mostly unknown among many veterinarians, GHI is building awareness within both the veterinary and adoption communities,” said Greyhound Health Initiative executive director Brian Collins.

Further, the white blood cell (WBC), neutrophil, and platelet counts are lower in greyhounds than in other breeds. Most normal greyhounds have WBC of 3-5X109/L, with neutrophil counts as low as 1.8X109/L; a typical platelet count in a healthy greyhound is 80-120 X109/L. Although we do not know the mechanism for this, species of mice with very high HCT have similar hematologic features.

In addition, greyhound eosinophils lack the characteristic orange granules seen in all other breeds; the granules do not stain, thus resulting in the appearance of cytoplasmic vacuoles. These “vacuolated PMNs with bilobed nuclei” can frequently be confused with toxic bands.

And that’s not all. According to Couto, the serum biochemical profiles in greyhounds also have values that are typically outside the reference range for dogs. Mainly, the serum creatinine concentrations are high (1-2.2 mg/dL), and the total serum protein (5-6 gm/dL) and globulin (1.8-2.5 gm/dL) concentrations are lower than in other dogs; low serum acute phase protein concentrations account for the lower globulin concentration. Depending on the instrument used, other values may also be outside the reference range for dogs. Serum calcium (both total and ionized) and magnesium are lower than in nongreyhounds. The results of venous or arterial blood gas analysis and cooximetry in greyhounds also yields results outside the reference range for dogs.

Greyhounds do not metabolize drugs like other dogs do, Couto noted. Their concentration of hepatic cytochrome P-450 enzymes (CYP) is significantly lower than in other breeds, thus accounting for erratic metabolism of some drugs when polypharmacy is used.

 OSTEOSARCOMA IN RETIRED RACERS

The term relative risk (RR) describes how much more likely a breed is to develop a disease, in comparison with a group of mixed breed dogs. If the RR is 2, the breed is twice as likely to develop that disease. The RR for osteosarcoma in greyhounds is 17. This is likely due to several gene mutations recently described.

 

Programs that help hounds

To continue reading this article please click on the attached link to be directed to Veterinary Practice News site.

https://veterinarypracticenews.com/raising-greyhound-health-awareness/

 

 

 

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Supporters!

We would like to launch the International Sighthound Health & Wellness Conference poster to the community and we encourage you to share share share!

Registration goes LIVE on March 31st!

A reminder though, space is VERY limited, so book as soon as you can. Accommodations information will be announced shortly.

 

We would like to launch the International Sighthound Health & Wellness Conference poster to the community and we encourage you to share share share!

Registration goes LIVE on March 31st!

A reminder though, space is VERY limited, so book as soon as you can. Accommodations information will be announced shortly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Preparing to take blood samples of Wheeling greyhounds after a race are from left, Dawn Hudson, Kelly Kontur and Dr. C. Guillermo Couto of The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine Greyhound Health and Wellness Program. (Photos by Stan Pawloski, Times Leader Wire Editor)

 

Last year the Wheeling Island Racetrack and The Ohio State University  formed a joint venture targeting the wellness of greyhounds.

With support of the West Virginia Racing Commission and Wheeling Island, the investigative study was conducted in July (2011) at Wheeling by Dr. Couto, Dr. Bohenko and a group of veterinarians and students from Ohio State University.

 

Dr. Bohenko said the study had three goals –
provide health screens for 120 greyhounds,
test for tick borne and heart worm diseases and
the effects of exercise (racing) on blood work.

“Through this joint effort, we are trying to learn more about these greyhounds and what makes them tick,” Dr. Bohenko said. “This is the first time a study of this magnitude using actively racing dogs has ever been conducted. Mostly retired greyhounds have been used in the past.”

The greyhounds in the study had blood drawn on three occasions – the day before they were scheduled to race, immediately after their race and one to two hours after the completion of their race.

In addition to tests for heart worm and tick borne diseases, Dr. Couto and his staff did complete blood counts (CBCs), serum chemistry profiles (liver, kidney function, etc.) and blood gas analysis (BGs). The heart worm and tick borne disease tests all were negative.

“It’s a good reflection on the care these greyhounds receive,” Dr. Bohenko said. “It also points out to people who want to adopt them that there are no problems.”

The above article is an excerpt from The National Greyhound Association’s websiteIf you are interested in reading Stan Pawloski’s entire article on the Greyhound Program Click Here.

The Ohio State Greyhound Development Fund is constantly looking for additional sources of funding for this project.  If you wish to make a donation, please visit Greyhound Health and Wellness Fund

Or send a check to The Greyhound Health and Wellness Program, 6012 Vernon L. Tharp St., Columbus, OH 43210.

 

 

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GALT, Inc.–3 Amigos

 

  4 Legs 4 Hounds Program is a partnership between Wheeling Island Racetrack & Kennels and the Ohio State Veterinary School Greyhound Wellness Program to rehabilitate greyhounds that suffer career ending leg fractures.

 

 

One of the most common racing injuries that will usually end the career of a racer is the broken hock. Usually the right back leg is the most vulnerable due to the stress on the first turn.

 

This partnership is two-fold:

 

First, to improve the health status of racing greyhounds through an investigative study.

Secondly, to significantly decrease or eliminate euthanasia due to catastrophic fractures. 

Wheeling Island Racetrack pays for all medical bills to repair the broken legs, then the greyhounds  become a ward of  Greyhound Pets of America (GPA).  From there the greyhounds go to adoption organizations which find adoptive homes for them to enjoy their retirement in.

 

 

 

The Ohio State Greyhound Development Fund is constantly looking for additional sources of funding for this project.  If you wish to make a donation, please visit OSU Greyhound Health & Wellness website.

Or send a check to The Greyhound Health and Wellness Program, 6012 Vernon L. Tharp St., Columbus, OH 43210.

For more information  “Celebrating Greyhounds” magazine Spring 2012 issue offers an in depth article on the program.

 

 

 

 

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Lucho is having difficulty walking with us and the other dogs…..this is my solution!

 

 

Here is Lucho’s story:

He is a galgo from Spain who had been stray for a long while.  His right rear leg was injured badly and, after he was finally captured, it was determined that it had to be amputated.  He wasn’t doing well at the rescue facility but his luck changed when Forever Home Greyhounds, from New York, decided to bring him back to the U.S.  I had agreed to adopt him, sight unseen, as I already had one galgo that I brought back from Scooby Medina the year before.

Lucho had a bout with leptospirosis and was recovering well, then took a downturn.  He was diagnosed with leishmaniasis, a protozoal infection transmitted primarily by sand flies.  We don’t see it often here but it is very common in Spain.  The disease can’t be cured but it can be managed.  He is being treated by Dr. Couto at Ohio State Vet School.  Leishmaniasis is a wasting disease so the muscle in Lucho’s remaining rear leg isn’t very strong.  To make matters worse, his back is arched and his pelvis twisted from whatever happened to him in Spain.   He goes up and down several steps to go out into the fenced backyard and he can get on the sofa but he is unable to go for a walk with the other three dogs.  Since he’s VERY vocal if we leave him home alone and walk the others, I decided that I must find a way to take him along…..and here he is in all his glory!

Chris Mosey
Lucho’s mom

 

 

 

 

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Everyone go bid on these great items! The auction is put on by Greyhound Trust and Alliance, all

proceeds are being donated to OSU’s Greyhound Health and Wellness Program.

 

http://auctions.weblite.ca/houseofearl/index.php?-action=list&-table=products&product_categories=11

The creation of Greyhound Trust & Alliance or GT&A came about when a a small number of greyhound friends wanted to help bring awareness to Canadian Greyhound Owners about Canine Cancer and to support Canine Cancer Research for the Ohio State University Greyhound Health and Wellness Program (GHWP). Cancer is one of the primary causes of death for our canine companions.

For information on OSU/ Dr. Couto’s Greyhound Health & Wellness Program go to:

https://greyhound.osu.edu/

For more information about Hope for Hounds Organization go to:

http://www.casualbling.com/Hope_for_Hounds.html

For more information on Greyhound Trust & Alliance go to:

http://greyhoundtrustalliance.webs.com/aboutus.htm

 

 

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Everyone go bid on these great items! The auction is put on by Greyhound Trust and Alliance, all

proceeds are being donated to OSU’s Greyhound Health and Wellness Program.

 

http://auctions.weblite.ca/houseofearl/index.php?-action=list&-table=products&product_categories=11

The creation of Greyhound Trust & Alliance or GT&A came about when a a small number of greyhound friends wanted to help bring awareness to Canadian Greyhound Owners about Canine Cancer and to support Canine Cancer Research for the Ohio State University Greyhound Health and Wellness Program (GHWP). Cancer is one of the primary causes of death for our canine companions.

For information on OSU/ Dr. Couto’s Greyhound Health & Wellness Program go to:

https://greyhound.osu.edu/

For more information about Hope for Hounds Organization go to:

http://www.casualbling.com/Hope_for_Hounds.html

For more information on Greyhound Trust & Alliance go to:

http://greyhoundtrustalliance.webs.com/aboutus.htm

 

 

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      Many of OGGA’s greyhounds are brought from the West Virgina tracks.  The information in the article below  is wonderful news to all of us at OGGA that have an interest in racing greyhounds health.

 

 

It’s been a busy summer at Wheeling with some ground-breaking off-track developments.

Wheeling Island Racetrack and The Ohio State University have formed a joint venture targeting the wellness of greyhounds.

The partnership is two-fold – first to improve the health status of racing greyhounds through an investigative study, and secondly to significantly decrease or eliminate euthanasia due to catastrophic the program from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, Dr. Lori L. Bohenko, West Virginia Racing Commission state veterinarian, played a major role in launching the undertaking at the Wheeling racetrack.

CLICK HERE to continue reading the entire article.

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Retired from Racing, not from Life

Second Edition

By True North Greyhounds

The Retired from Racing, not from Life Art Book is a fundraiser for OSU’s Greyhound Health & Wellness Program (GHWP).
The book is a compilation of art & photography featuring Greyhounds. Fifty contributors from around the world, generously donated their talents to raise money & awareness for the Greyhound Program.
100% of the proceeds are sent from the publisher to the GHWP.

The art book is 80 pages & features art & photographs from 50 contributors.
The finished size is 7″x7″.
It’s available in both soft and hard cover.

About the Author

Retired from Racing not from Life
Canada

The Retired from Racing, not from Life Art Book is an extension of True North Greyhounds (TNG). TNG is a Canadian non-profit organization which raises funds for various Greyhound related charities world-wide. Our mission is to create a happier & healthier future for greyhounds globally.

 

Click here…To order Retired from Racing not from Life

Click here…True North Greyhounds website

Click here…for Retired from Racing not from Life Facebook page.

 

 

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Dr Guillermo Couto with Bosha a 3 year cancer survivor.

 

ABC6 in Columbus did an interview with Dr. Guillermo Couto, head of the OSU Greyhound Wellness Program at the OSU Veterinary College.

Click here to check it out

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