Sick as a Dog
Topics of interest concerning the health and well being of your
The information contained on this page is provided as a resource for
you and your retired racing greyhound. It is not intended to replace
the advice of your veterinarian.
Happy Tail Syndrome - How to Bandage a Tail
Assemble the needed supplies:
One 4" square gauze pad
Antibiotic ointment (Mycitracin/lidocaine)
Bitter Apple Spray
Heavy-duty cloth adhesive surgical tape
Vet-wrap or Coban (3M product which looks like gauze but sticks
to itself with a little pressure)
Cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper or paper towels
Get the dog to lie down. A helper is handy to keep the dog in a horizontal
position--petting the head usually does the job.
Cut off the tuft of hair on the tail tip! (Yes, it makes the bandage
stay on better if that strong tuft of hair isn't pushing it downward--fear
not, the hair grows back very quickly).
Unfold the gauze square to its 4" size. Squeeze ointment into wound.
Center the gauze square over the wound. Using a piece of the surgical
tape, wrap it around the tail and tape near the top edges of the gauze.
Be sure to get part of the tape ON the tail hair, to keep it from sliding
down and off the tail.
Open the vetwrap, and wrap the tail starting from 2" above the top
of the gauze. Wrap toward the tail tip, COVER the tip, then wrap back
toward the top edge. Stop there, cut off the roll of vetwrap, press
the loose edge against the wrapped part so it "seals". Take another
piece of adhesive tape, and go around the top edge of the vetwrap, again
catching a little of the tail hair as well as making sure the vetwrap
is taped shut.
Slip the cardboard tube over the tail and cover the bandaged area.
Using the adhesive tape, go around the top and bottom edges of the tube
catching a little of the tail hair. This will provide some protection
as the wound heals.
If done right (i.e., if you caught the tail hair with some of the tape)
it WILL NOT slide off. If you see the dog beginning to chew or lick
the bandage, spritz it with the Bitter Apple, and tell the dog "No,
leave it!" A few times should do the job.
When it's time to take the bandage OFF, gently slide the scissors tip
under the edge of the tape/vetwrap and cut a little at a time, toward
the end of the tail. There is NO way you can unwrap this method of bandaging,
so don't even try...just cut it off slowly.
How to Construct a Quick Stretcher
In an emergency try using a large zipper jacket and a pair of broom
handles. Zip the jacket all the way and turn it zipper side down. Thread
the broom handles through the inside and up the sleeves.
How to Remove Belly Blackheads
Taken from a posting on the Greyhound-L list
Sun, 2 Jan 2000
sent by Suzanne Stack, D.V.M.
After trying everything under the sun on these greyhounds with the nasty
chest blackheads, I finally carted one of mine over to Dr. Tom Lewis,
a board certified veterinary dermatologist, to give his expert opinion
on treatment. He said just go with the Pyoben Gel or Pyoben Shampoo,
nothing else is needed. It still took me quite a while to get rid of
them all and I confess I squeezed out a bunch of them which I know you
aren't supposed to.
A dermatologist suggested trying Retin-A on the greyhound chest blackheads
(comedones); my veterinary text actually lists Retin-A as a treatment
option for feline chin acne. I said, "Oh, yeah, I tried Retin-A
on myself after hearing a dermatologist on the Today Show say that it
was the only PROVEN way to keep your skin young. But, I only used it
a few times because it made my face peel." "Exactly,"
she said. "It keeps that layer off and therefore no old wrinkled
skin OR blackheads." She said there's a new form of Retin-A called
Renova that will not make your skin peel.
The normal temperature for a greyhound is between 101 to 102 degrees.
If the dog's temperature reaches above 103 degrees, call your veterinarian
at once. Persistent high temperature can be as dangerous for a dog as
it is a child. Since dogs sweat through their tongue and the bottom
of their feet, some suggest submerging the dogs feet in alcohol to bring
down the fever. This is equivalent to using an alcohol rub to bring
down a child's fever. Some suggest rubbing ice cubes on the feet and
ears to bring down the temperature, but always consult with your veterinarian.
Although uncommon, these can occur in greyhounds. A lump or growth
on a pad could be two things: A scar from an injury or a papilloma,
a fancy word for warts. Warts are caused by a virus that usually enters
the skin from a minor cut or abrasion. Most warts grow on the surface
of the skin. However when they grow on the pads, the normal pressure
of walking pushes the growth deeper into the pad forming a white, flat
circular painful area. Sometimes they are very hard to see.
Limping with no apparent reason.
Difficulty walking or running on hard surfaces, but has no problems
on soft surfaces.
Thickening area of a white, circular, painful area on the pad.
Area pads are sensitive to finger pressure.
Always consult with your veterinarian for treatment options. The following
list is meant as an example, not a recommendation for treatment or products.
It may be suggested to use a Dr. Scholl or some other brand stone
to carefully work down the wart. It does not cure the problem, but
the dog can walk without discomfort.
One veterinarian suggested stimulating the immune system. He suggested
a product called dimethylglcine (DMG). Supplementation has been
found to stimulate the immune system to eliminate foreign pathogens
such as viruses and bacteria.
Some suggest wart remover. I would find it hard to keep a greyhound
from licking its foot. You would have to soak the foot for 20 minutes,
dry and apply the corn remover and keep him from licking overnight.
Not a workable idea for some hounds.
Another veterinarian highly recommends a product called KERASOLV
from DVM Pharmaceuticals. This vet is one of my best resources.
Surgery: The book Care of the Racing Greyhound by Blythe,
Cannon and Craig suggest surgery is best. Corns are best surgically
removed and then cauterized by your veterinarian. The wound is closed
with 1 or 2 stitches and then the foot is bandaged. The greyhound
is given rest and limited walking exercise for 14 days. After two
weeks, the stitches would be removed. Healing will have occurred
in the deeper layers where the new growth resumes, but the outer
layers of the pad do not heal with the suturing process. The application
of a little super glue (cyanoacrylate ) will hold these edges together
and protect the newly healed deeper basal layer from trauma until
the new pads have developed. Large, deep corns composed of fibrous
scar tissue resulting from extreme pad injury may not be amenable
to surgery due to loss of the spongy fibro-elastic cushion of the
pad. Amputation of either P3 or the toe may be considered in these
cases. Especially if the lameness has been persistent and prolonged.
(Taken from Care of the Racing Greyhound by Blythe, Cannon