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National Greyhound Adoption Program has been attending the North American Veterinary Conference since 1991 and the American Veterinary Medical Association Conference since 1998. In 1996 we opened our own surgical facility and currently see over 3000 greyhounds annually.

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.


NGAP previously did an extensive study on 500 greyhounds and found that 75% tested positive for Von Willebrand’s. We use a Bocul Mucosal test to determine the risk of post-operative hemorrhaging.

Every greyhound adopted was given a CBC and T4 test. Those results were given to the adopter and are also kept on file at our clinic.

A Greyhound’s blood work differs from other breeds in the following ways:

  • Greyhounds have more red blood cells (7.4 – 9.0)
  • Greyhounds have elevated Hemoglobin (19.0 – 21.5)
  • Greyhounds have elevated Packed Cell Volume (55 – 65)
  • Greyhounds have lower white blood count (3.5 – 6.5)
  • Greyhound’s platelet numbers are lower (120,000 – 160,000)

Chem Panel tests also reveal differences between the greyhound and other breeds:

  • Greyhound’s total proteins tend to run lower (4.5 – 6.0)
  • Greyhounds Globulin tend to run lower (2.1 – 3.2)
  • Greyhounds Creatinines run higher (.8 – 1.6)
  • Greyhounds Thyroid levels are usually lower (.05 – 1.7)


The greyhound has greater susceptibility to anesthesia due to low percentage of body fat and the manner is which the liver processes drugs; the liver metabolizes these substances more slowly, keeping it in their body longer, thus taking them longer to recover from drugs. The anesthetic agents used must wear off quickly. Barbiturates are NOT safe to use on greyhounds.

For general surgery we use 1:2 (v:v) Ketamine:Diazepam mixture 1ml per 6-10 lbs given intravenously. Sleep is almost immediate. The effects you see are different from those seen in other breeds. The greyhound does not endure total muscular relation. The eyes remain central with a strong blinking reflex. Intubation is moderately easy but the jaw is not relaxed. The dog looks awake and has muscle tone but is not struggling. We then maintain the dog on 3-4% Isoflurane, watching the eyes roll down and the heartbeat begin to decrease. In a few rare cases we may use 5% Isoflurane to start the procedure, but usually 2% is enough to go on with the surgery. All the greyhounds are given pain modification pre-op in the form of Rimadyl. Our general anesthesia procedures include neutering/spaying, toe, tail or leg amputations, dental extractions and vulva tucks. For leg amputations we use a heated table.

Post-operatively, after most procedures, the dogs are covered with an ice-water towel. This has eliminated any elevated post-op temperatures and the dogs awaken easier. Post-operatively, after leg amputation or other long procedures, with body temperatures of 97 degree, a heating pad may be used as well as being covered with blankets. In their awakening they may thrash for a few minutes while coming out of anesthesia and usually are on their feet within 15 minutes. In the few cases where we have seen a stressful awakening the dog is given an injection of Torbugesic 2mg, 1-2cc IM.

For many procedures we use Domitor/Antisedan. We administer .5cc Domitor and .2cc Turbogesic 2mg for most greyhounds. Given IV, the dogs are usually sleeping within 2-4 minutes. We recommend this anesthesia for ultrasonic teeth cleaning although many greyhounds can have their teeth touched up successfully without anesthetics.

We currently use Domitor/Antisedan for general surgery and will intubate after sleep occurs. Using these, the dogs awaken more quickly after the procedure is complete. We have used it with leg amputations.

We strongly suggest administering 75mg of Rimadyl prior to surgery to improve recovery time. Use Antiseden IV or IM when the procedure is finished. NEVER USE BARBITURATES.

Dantrolene is the only medication to use for malignant hyperthermia. NGAP covers dogs with a cold towel after most procedures and, due to this method, has not had a case of malignant hyperthermia in about ten years.


Greyhounds are sensitive to certain flea preventatives and medications.

Avoid flea collars and flea dipping. We recommend Vet Kem’s Ovitral Plus Flea Spray or their Flea and Tick Shampoo. The Adams line of flea products is also safe. Frontline and Frontline Plus are also greyhound-safe preventatives.

We recommend Interceptor as a preventative for Heartworm, Roundworm, Hookworm and Whipworm. For tapeworm we use Cestex.


When a greyhound’s T4 test is below 1.0 and it shows clinical signs including shyness and low esteem, we administer the supplement Soloxine and then monitor the dog to see if there is an improvement, both physically and behaviorally. We like to see levels between 3.5 and 4.0.

We have found that if the supplement is discontinued, the greyhound usually regresses back to its original condition.

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National Greyhound Adoption Program
10901 Dutton Road
Philadelphia, PA

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