Greyhound Living

This page will be chock full of ideas to help your greyhound with everyday living situations. It is intended to share ideas from others regarding unique issues some greyhound owners and other dog owners’ experience.

 

Veterinarian Care

Enough cannot be said about finding a qualified veterinarian for your greyhound. While some  mainstream veterinarians claim there is no difference between dog breeds, enough research has indicated that greyhounds are indeed a canine breed that needs special attention. The reason for this is their physiological makeup. It is different from most canine breeds. Greyhounds are much leaner than most breeds. Their red and white blood cell counts are certainly different than most breeds. A veterinarian  unfamiliar with these differences, could potentially mis-diagnosis and treat a problem. Some examples: Greyhound’s thyroid levels run about one half of that of other breeds. Not having this knowledge, a veterinarian could mistakenly mis-diagnose a greyhound with an under-active thyroid and potentially prescribe thyroid medication – do your homework! Find a vet that knows the greyhound breed! Below I’ve listed the website for Suzanne Stack, DVM, an authority on the greyhound breed. On her site, you will find discussions around blood panel differences and more importantly information on anesthesia. Anesthesia for greyhounds has different requirements and if not approached with the proper protocols when your greyhound goes in for either dentals or surgery, your greyhound could be at risk. Please be sure you get referrals or recommendations from your adoption group or other knowledgeable greyhound owners about qualified greyhound veterinarians in your area. It does make a huge difference! Sharing the information on Dr. Suzanne Stack’s website with your vet is also a great idea.

Suzanne Stack, DVM – http://www.greythealth.com/

 

Sleeping Quarters

The  greyhound has lived with their family members for thousands of years. It seems to be inherent in their bloodline to want to be with their family when they sleep. While some greyhounds like the security of their crates when sleeping, the majority of greyhounds prefer sleeping in the bedroom on a dog bed with their families. If you are sectioning off your greyhound from your sleeping quarters and he/she is whining, try a dog bed near your bed. This will almost always solve the problem because, you see, greyhounds see themselves as an equal member of the family.

 

Thunderphobia

For those of you who have ever had a thunderphobic or storm phobic dog, you know all too well what I am talking about. When the storm is about to arrive, your dog often senses the barometric drop in pressure. That starts the ball rolling with the fear response. Then the first clap of thunder occurs and your dog begins the panting, paces and/or tries to squeeze into an area of the house that is much too small for him to fit, all to hide from the ensuing storm. For the one thunderphobic greyhound I own, I’ve tried everything. We’ve often read or have been told to leave the dog alone, do not touch him because touching him or consoling him will only encourage this fearful behavior. I can tell you I’ve tried everything with my greyhound, from rubbing his fur with dryer sheets to diffuse static electricity from his fur to the thundershirt, to the pheromone plug-ins to Reiki. Reiki seemed to help him, but the bigger storms could not dissuade my greyhound from going into a full panic.  An interesting article, I read recently written by Patricia McConnell, PhD, animal behaviorist, led me to a new protocol I am willing to try next. It’s called CCC or classical counter-conditioning. Dr. McConnell  used what she calls “thunder treats” to recondition her dog’s fear response. Each time a threat of a storm was approaching with the barometric pressure dropping and well before the first clap of thunder, she would take her dog outside and do something he enjoyed like throwing a ball, so the falling barometric pressure was now associated with something the dog enjoyed doing. When the storm arrived, she would take the dog inside and give it a tasty treat each time she heard thunder. This helped to recondition the dog into thinking that thunder wasn’t so bad because he would get a treat each time he heard the thunder. This was done regardless of the dog’s behavior.  She used the term “thunder treats” to tell her dog that he was getting ready to get thunder treats. Eventually, her dog’s fear response diminished. Below is the full article. I think it’s certainly worth a try if you’ve tried everything else.

Suzanne Stack, DVM has a section on her website that addresses thunderphobia as well. The link to her website is above under Veterinarian Care. She’s considered an authority on greyhounds in the veterinarian community.

http://thebark.com/content/both-ends-leash-fear-reduction/