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Greyhound Health issues, medical advice

Greyhound Anesthesia
For general surgery (spays, neuter, dentals, extractions, amputations and other procedures) on young, healthy greyhounds (under 10 years old), our typical anesthetic protocol is extremely effective.
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Greyhounds & Corns: 2014 Corn Treatment
Corns are unique to greyhounds. After 25 years of rescuing and adopting greyhounds, these footpad lesions have only been occurring for the last 10 years or so. Prior to corns, the only toe issues we would see involved wounds, foreign bodies in the pads, and sometimes congenital nail bed issues (Systemic Lupoid Onchodystrophy). Corns are new on the horizon, but pose a unique challenge. The cells making up these lesions are basically dead, so nothing will kill them. They just seem to grow out of the pad and cause lots of pain until they are removed. Removing them is easy. Preventing them from coming back is the problem.
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Bone Cancer / Osteosarcoma In Greyhounds: Accepting a Lost Cause
No one is perfect. Greyhounds, however, come pretty close. They are beautiful, elegant and gentle. They are the closest thing to a perfect dog. Unfortunately, their ability to develop bone cancer transcends that of almost all other breeds of dog. Osteosarcoma, or 'bone cancer', is an aggressive, life shortening cancer. There are options, but sadly, they often carry a poor prognosis and can be very expensive - think $5,000 to $15,000. It is important to be an advocate for your greyhound and educate yourself about both the prognosis and the financial investment before moving forward with a decision to treat or not to treat.
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How Spleen Size Affects the Body
There was some discussion previously on a vet blog regarding a greyhound that was not eating. Our staff veterinarian responded that loss of appetite could possibly be due to an enlarged spleen. Another vet dismissed the possibility because it is not uncommon for greyhounds to have enlarged spleens.
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Cystotomy: Bladder Stone Removal
Many large breed dogs do not have problems with bladder stones and as a non-veterinarian I am assuming that this may be because it is easier for stones to pass in large breed dogs since the passageways are larger. Breeds that are susceptible to bladder stones are mini schnauzers, dalmatians, shih-tzus, dachshunds and bulldogs. Bladder and urethral stones may be large or small, single or multiple, and may pass spontaneously or potentially obstruct the urinary tract. Stones in the bladder may also make it very painful for the animal to urinate as well cause blood in the urine.
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Toe Nail Care
Taking care of your dog's nails whether it be a greyhound or other breed is important to the health of their feet and their general well-being.
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A Spleen Can Be Your Worst Enemy
Greyhounds and other pets, as they get older, will often have internal organ failures that go undiagnosed and cause their health to decline possibly resulting in death. The vet may never truly know why, the client may never know why and the costs of continued diagnostic testing can become prohibitive.
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Internal Organs of Greyhounds: Examination and Comparison
The information presented below is not meant to be technical, but rather informative to a non-veterinarian reader. The intent is to present photographs of both normal and abnormal organs. Additional photos will be added.
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Malignant Hyperthermia: An Ounce of Prevention
On October 17, 2011, we were presented with a 10-year-old male greyhound who had just been seen at the University of Pennsylvania to have a test done. The test did not require an anesthesia protocol whatsoever but, due to anxiety, the dogs temperature rose to over 103°.
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Galgos & Anesthesia
Our facility sees well over a thousand greyhounds each year under anesthesia protocol and have, in turn, seen many galgos, or Spanish greyhounds. Over the years, we have found that galgos have a significantly slower recovery time from anesthesia than greyhounds under the same anesthesia protocol, under similar conditions and having similar surgeries.
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Inconsistent Eating: What do I do?
There are multiple reasons why dogs don't eat. Sometimes we just spoil them rotten and they will hold out for the delicious treats as opposed to their kibble but aside from this, there are also a variety of very medically technical reasons why dogs don't eat. Since I am not a veterinarian, we won't deal with those issues in this article. This article provides potential solutions to the problem. They may not work on every dog, but they do work!
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NGAP's New Laser Procedure for Extractions
National Greyhound Adoption Program has been utilizing the laser to treat greyhounds' mouths for many years. With the opening of our Dutton Road Veterinary Clinic, we now use our methods on other breeds of dogs and cats as well.
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Eating Without Teeth
Greyhounds with no teeth are not necessarily a common occurrence but greyhounds with only a few teeth certainly are. Most greyhounds' teeth will deteriorate as they age. They will get periodontal disease and may need multiple extractions or even may need all of their teeth removed. Extractions are good for your greyhound. Taking bad teeth out will not only make your greyhound's mouth healthy, but it will make your greyhound will feel better overall.
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Jawbone Exposure
Although it is uncommon, we occasionally see jawbone attached to some teeth when they are extracted - in particular, the canine - in cases of severe root exposure. We have never had any subsequent complications from the few cases we have seen and the jawbone will usually heal itself. Luckily, root exposure does not usually mean jawbone exposure.
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Exploratory to Splenectomy to Necropsy: Tizzy
On April 12, 2011 we did an exploratory surgery on Tizzy. Her history indicated that she had been losing weight for several months although she was eating regularly. An ultrasound indicated a 12-15cm mass. The adopters had a choice of paying $3000-$4000 to euthanize their greyhound at a specialty facility or paying $1500 at National Greyhound Adoption Program to perform an exploratory.
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When A Spay Becomes A Splenectomy
It was a fairly typical day at the Dutton Road Veterinary Clinic. Dr. Mahesh Patel, one of our staff veterinarians, had some free time so he began a spay procedure on Faith. Faith was a 4 1/2- year-old greyhound available for adoption at our facility.
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Norman's Black Teeth
Norman is a beautiful, strong, tall, white and brindle greyhound in beautiful condition. But don't ask Norman to smile, because if he does, you'll see that from his canines going back to his and molars were covered in black muck with little white tips. Dr. Berman had Norman's case and once Norman was unconscious on the table and we could get a really close look, she asked me how many teeth I thought he would have to be extracted. I answered that sometimes not as many as we might think.
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Corns and Canine Keratoacanthoma
Corns are so common in greyhounds, yet they baffle the veterinary community in regards to treatment and prevention. If someone has a sure fire method of eliminating corns, please let us know! We see so many cases of them!
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Separation Anxiety
We get many calls from adopters experiencing separation anxiety issues with their new greyhounds in the first few weeks they are in their new home. This is the first time their greyhound has ever been separated from the pack and they may be going into a home with no other dogs where sometimes no one is home for up to 8 hours a day! Because of this, they're not quite sure what to do with themselves. Some dogs will go to sleep and wait for you to come home, but others...may not.
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Canine Laser Therapy Works!
Therapy lasers have been around for a few years now and it is certainly easy to be skeptical of them. Wave a wand over a dog's body and it gets better? Like magic? It just sounds too good to be true!
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Don't Come Here For Sympathy
We recently saw a 7-year-old greyhound that had ten extractions a few years back. She came in for a routine teeth cleaning, but after a brief impromptu inspection of the teeth in the waiting room, I suggested that we would probably have to do multiple extractions yet again. Her owner was not particularly accepting of that statement.
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Thyroid Supplementation in High Doses
We have heard in the past that this high dose thyroid supplementtation will be adverse to the long-term health of your dog. With all of the years we have been using thyroid supp with has been ever increasing over the years, we have not seen tht to be the case. It is the belief of this writer that quality of life issues will supercede almost anything unless there is some immediate detrimental affect from this supplementation and we know that not to be true.
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What's More Important: The Toe or Being Able to Run with the Wind?
Corns are a greyhound's 'Achilles heel'! They just keep coming back! With Gemma, they came back with a vengeance. During two visits, it looked like she had a horn growing out of the pad of her toe. We were finally able to convince her owners that Gemma would be better off without her toe. That being said, I give you the writings of Jack and Mary Jo Bucceri:
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My God, That Hurts!- Root Exposed Canines
We assume that everyone loves their greyhound and wishes only the best for them. But if you let your dog get to the point where it has significant root exposure on its upper or lower canines, your dog will be in pain all the time and it will suffer endlessly - possibly until it dies from something else.
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Necropsy: Lymphoma
Lymphoma is cancer of the lymph nodes. Most of the time it inflicts only the internal organs and is not visible to the naked eye. But some of the time it is quite obvious and you can actually see swelling in areas where the lymph nodes are located.
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Scalibor Tick Collar Warning
Our sales representative from Intervet Schering-Plough suggested we carry a tick collar which they have been selling widely in Europe for several years and just released in the United States. We wouldn't agree to sell it to our adopters until we first tested it out on some of our own greyhounds.
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Healthy Kidney Diet
We currently have two dogs in kidney failure that are being treated at National Greyhound Adoption Program. Thanks to the substantial efforts put forth by their caregivers, both of these dogs are thriving, although we certainly do not know for how long. To look at them, you would never think they had a problem. Everyday seems to be a good day for them!
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Growth Removals
Recently, NGAP was presented with a non-greyhound that had significant growths all over its body. This was an excellent opportunity to show what one of our lasers can do!
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When A Cut Is More Than A Cut
In the past two weeks, we had two situations where greyhounds appeared to have small cuts on the surface of their skin when actually the cut went very deep into the flesh. Greyhounds will usually only bleed for a few minutes unless a blood vessel has been severed and although the bleeding may stop, you could potentially have a small wound with much more significant damage under the skin.
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Towel Collars: The Quickest Way to Make a Head Restraint
Many times an injured dog will find a ways to open sutures your vet spent so much time (as well as your dollars) doing or will lick it's wounds profusely, sometimes causing infection or irritation. One of the quickest, easiest and most effective ways to thwart this behavior is to make a towel collar.
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EFAC Is Now Available at NGAP!
Periodontal Health EFAC is a new product that I just recently learned about at this year's North American Veterinary Conference.
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When Your Greyhound Stops Eating
Many greyhounds may miss a meal from time to time, or even a whole day of eating. If you are worried about it, you need to do something about it!
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No Uppers, Bad Lowers...Teeth, That Is!
Normally the first teeth that have to be extracted in a greyhound's mouth will be the upper molars and premolars.
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Tales About Tails!
This is a tale about greyhound tails, more specifically, about 'happy tail'. Some greyhounds are so happy to finally be free to run for fun that they show their happiness with heavy duty tail-wagging! This furious and frantic tail-wagging can cause injury to the tip of the tail which can then cause significant 'blood splatter', in CSI terms!
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Incisors - Awfully Uncomfortable
If your greyhound has significant root exposure on its incisors, it can be ever so uncomfortable for your dog. Those teeth with significant root exposure will build up plaque and tarter, may become loose, and may truly need to come out. The sample photo shows a picture of at least four incisors that need to be removed.
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Explanation and Pricing of Procedures Done at NGAP

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A Digital Thermometer Can make the Difference Between Life and Death
Recently, a greyhound seen at another facility died after a routine corn removal and much associated pain and stress. They also used drugs that we do not use here. In analyzing what went wrong, it is my belief that the entire incident could potentially have been avoided if the adopter, seeing that her dog was in discomfort and distress once it returned home, had been instructed to take her dog's temperature.
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Who Gets Lost?
At this point, everyone should notice a pattern in the descriptions of those greyhounds that get lost. The first word I always see is 'shy'. In the case of Tangerine, who is currently lost, 'wary of strangers' fills the bill, 'do not chase' fills the bill, 'spooky' fills the bill.
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Determining Quality of Life
Quality of life for your greyhound is too often perceived as what the adopter would like it to be. Too often we let our beloved pets linger too long for our own personal benefit. If your greyhound is nearing its final days and you are having trouble determining the appropriate time to give your dog the final gift, it may help to ask yourself the following questions:
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What To Do If Your Greyhound Overheats
First, don't let it happen!
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Force Feeding Your Greyhound
In your greyhound's lifetime, you may encounter several instances in which it is appropriate to force feed your greyhound. Most greyhounds will permit you to force feed them.
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Greyhounds and Cavities
NGAP has been adopting greyhounds for twenty years and have run our dental clinic for almost as many. Needless to say, we have seen a LOT of greyhound teeth but surprisingly we don't see a lot of cavities!
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Ignorance is Bliss
Those of you that read the newsletters from the Ohio State University's Greyhound Health & Wellness Program have been given some terrible misinformation in the view of the National Greyhound Adoption Program. The Greyhound Health & Wellness Program, headed by Dr. C. Guillermo Couto DVM, has been in disagreement for several years with NGAP's philosophy of using thyroid supplementation to treat certain behavioral conditions that so many greyhounds have.
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How Your Gums Affect Your Heart
Scientists are increasingly observing a connection between oral health and heart conditions.
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Focusing on the Important Things
It is not uncommon for me to ask almost everyone that has a greyhound, "What is the most important impactible health issue for your greyhound?" Someone that doesn't know me may stop to think about it for a moment and, since I'm always so busy, I am quick to supply the answer rather than wait.
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Good Teeth
As you well know, we have written many, many articles that clearly show bad teeth. I felt it was time for us to show some good teeth for comparison! Included in this article are photos showing different areas of a greyhounds mouth as they should be. The gumline is the correct color of pink with just a minimal amount of root exposure on one upper molar. The canines look just perfect. If your dog's mouth is healthy, it should look like this.
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Your Greyhound's Toes
Toes can certainly be an annoying problem for greyhounds. Most often it's a corn or multiple corns on either one pad or multiple pads. Corn treatment is sometimes effective but often it is not.
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Is My Adopted Greyhound Getting Portly?
A clinic client brought her two dogs in and as they walk through the door I said, 'You're dogs are overweight!" To this, she replied, "Oh no, they can't be overweight! They look fine!" I said, "Wait just a minute."
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Don't Just Take Our Word For It
Lena, pictured with her owner Diane Irvin of Macungie, PA was adopted through First State Greyhound Rescue nearly eight years ago. Her teeth were...
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Greyhound T4 Testing and Hypothyroidism
Every greyhound adopted through National Greyhound Adoption Program is given a T4 test. The primary purpose of this test is not to determine if your greyhound is hypothyroid, but rather
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NGAP Dental Procedures: the Use Of Domitor Without Intubation
You always know when a particular protocol that you like works well when you have the opportunity to use it thousands of times with no complications or problems, whether during the procedure or after it...
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Why Greyhounds Bleed???
There has been some controversy in recent years regarding whether or not greyhounds bleed and to what extent during surgery or post-surgery. I believe National Greyhound Adoption Program is qualified to answer that in resounding terms based on our fifteen years of in-house surgical operation on greyhounds...
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When Limping Becomes Osteosarcoma
I wish I was wrong. After twenty years of caring for greyhounds, it appears that there are few exceptions to the rule. When an adopter calls us or comes to our clinic with a limping greyhound over the age of eight years old, that greyhound is almost always diagnosed with the same. Osteosarcoma. We can walk through the steps of diagnosis, but the outcome is almost always the same.
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Another Reason to Have Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaned
The picture below shows a whippet that had been found wandering the streets and was rescued by one of adopters. As we were performing a touch-up on the dog, we found that one of the molars was badly eroded and in need of extraction.
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Extraction Due to Blunt Force Trauma
Sunday night, June 7, I received a call from an adopter in New York about an altercation between his two greyhounds. One of them managed to smash the side of his jaw into some immovable object and the owner found that one of the dog’s canine teeth was pointing in an unnatural direction.
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Tetracycline Staining: Blazing Sweet
One afternoon, we received a call from an adopter who had recently added another greyhound from our adoption program to her home. She called to tell us how horrible this greyhound’s mouth was. Blazing Sweet was only 2-years-old and we had difficulty believing that one, we would have a greyhound with such a significant problem at age two and two, that we would have let it out our doors in such a condition.
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Greyhound Health: What Every Vet Should Know
Below is medical information appropriate to treating greyhounds. If you ever have any questions regarding the care of your greyhound clients, please do not hesitate to call us at any time.
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How Your Greyhound’s Mouth Impacts Your Wallet
Economic times are difficult at the moment and the thought of having a $700.00 bill for dental work may be more than your wallet can handle all in one shot. If your credit card is just about maxed out and your income stream is limited, your greyhound’s mouth may not be your top priority.
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Leg Amputation: Tigger
There are many different scenarios under which your greyhound may have to have its leg amputated. It may crash into a wall and have a fracture that is so bad that a leg amputation is the only option. Legs that have less damage can get screws, plates, wiring and a multitude of orthopedic procedures to correct the break so that it will heal correctly. Everyone must consider that factors such as age and cost before beginning either leg amputation or repair.
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Saving Your Canine’s Canines: Joe
We recently saw Joe, a 14-year-old greyhound, at our clinic. Although most of his teeth had been previously removed, he was now faced with extensive root exposure on his four canines. The two upper canines had approximately a ½ inch of exposed root each with significant plaque and tarter build-up.
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Fuzzy's Revere: Another Dental Tale
Recently we received some older dogs on a haul. Barbara from the kennel called me and said, “Mr. Wolf, do you know how old these dogs are?” Sure enough, I had requested a 6, 7, 8-year-old. Fuzzy’s Revere was one of those dogs. Born in 2001, she was obviously a brood, used to make more racing greyhounds and was sent to us in full blown heat.
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#1 Health Alert for Both New and Old Adopters-Piper
Your greyhounds teeth is the #1 impactible health issue in which you can make a significant difference and it actually starts before you bring a greyhound into your home. This is done by carefully selecting a greyhound that either has a good mouth to begin with or to adopt from a program that has done a really good job in addressing each of their greyhounds’ dental issues.
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Warning To All Dog Owners-Xylitol
Even if you don't have a dog, I'm sure you know
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The Gift of Life, The Gift of Death
Those of us who have adopted a greyhound have undoubtedly extended to that greyhound the “Gift of Life.” Surely, if it had not been adopted, it would have been euthanized in one way or another. It is our greatest hope that we have brought as much pleasure to its life, as it has to ours.
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Side Effects of Root Exposure
As they age, many greyhounds will suffer from extensive root exposure, especially on their upper and lower canines. This root exposed are has a texture like sandpaper in comparison to a tooth’s normal enamel covering and it has consequences you probably don’t even realize. I have yet to read anywhere where this common problem has been noted.
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Dental Touch-Ups
There is some debate in the veterinary community whether ultrasonic touch-ups on dogs not under anesthesia can truly be beneficial. When a dog is not under anesthesia, you are not able to get under the gum-line and do the backside of the teeth. We at National Greyhound Adoption Program have long believed that touch-ups are a valuable tool in stopping the progression of periodontal disease before it takes hold.
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Greyhounds...All Heart
Greyhounds are gentle, sweet natured, docile, affectionate and dedicated dogs; they are all heart, aren’t they. Did you know that they actually have some differences in their cardiovascular system compared with other breeds?
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Genericaly Called the Vulva Tuck
Everyone has seen people after they lost considerable amounts of weight where they have excess areas of skin hanging on their body. After substantial weight loss, people will then go in and have cosmetic procedures to get rid of this extra flab. With female greyhounds ...
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Greyhound Health Issues After Racing From Soup To Nuts
National Greyhound Adoption Program, although not the oldest adoption program in the United States, presently is the most diverse. We currently adopt approximately 500 greyhounds each year. We now will see many of them throughout their lives. We care for them coming directly from greyhound tracks and...
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A Letter About Timber and Electric Toothbrush
I'd been waiting till Timber was happy to stand up again for her teeth brushing with the electric toothbrush because her enthusiasm showed more clearly just how eagerly she awaited the treat.  She just loved the electric toothbrush and it helped her teeth and gum health enormously!...
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Greyhound T4 Testing and Hypothyroidism
Every greyhound adopted through National Greyhound Adoption Program is given a T4 test. The primary purpose of this test is not to determine if your greyhound is hypothyroid, but rather to establish a baseline of where your greyhound’s thyroid level is. A high percentage...
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Greyhound Dental Care
The diet of a racing greyhound includes high bacteria food (raw 4-D meat). This bacteria-laden food easily forms tartar and plaque on a greyhound’s teeth which, if not removed, will push back the gum lining exposing the root...
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