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Cheat Sheet

Retired Racing Greyhounds For Dummies

Once you adopt a retired racing greyhound, ease the transition into your home for you and the dog by following basic training and care guidelines. Be on the lookout for certain symptoms that require a call to your greyhound’s veterinarian immediately and always keep a well-stocked first aid kit handy for your greyhound.

How to Have a Happy Retired Racing Greyhound

When you bring a retired racing greyhound into your home, you have to help him adjust to a new way of life. Be patient as you help your dog, he needs you to be the leader. These tips will help you and your greyhound to be healthy and happy:

  • Socialize your dog. Treat your Greyhound as though he has arrived from another planet. Your job is to teach him all about his new world. Show him that the natives are friendly. Make his new adventures fun. Take it slow if he’s anxious.

  • Teach your Greyhound basic manners. A quiet, well-mannered dog is a joy to live with and a welcome guest. Give your dog that benefit by training her.

  • Practice win/win learning. Make learning fun for your Greyhound by keeping it positive. Learning shouldn’t hurt. If you aren’t both having fun, you’re doing something wrong.

  • Learn to be a good leader. If your Greyhound trusts your leadership, he’ll gladly follow you.

  • Give your Greyhound a job. Just like you, he needs a reason to get up in the morning.

  • Learn to love your vet. Regular checkups can find illnesses early, while they’re still treatable.

  • Use grooming as a way to check your Greyhound’s health. Brush his teeth. Dental disease can cause serious health problems.

  • Prevent illness and injury. Get on your Greyhound’s level in the house and yard and look for potential hazards. Anticipate things thatmay cause him to bolt — such as fireworks, gunshots, or another loose or aggressive dog. Learn first aid so you’re prepared for an emergency.

  • Take your Greyhound with you on trips and be creative about activities you can do together. Use your imagination to think of places where you can take your dog and the things you can do together.

  • Make it easy for your Greyhound to be returned if he gets lost. Include an alternate contact number in case he escapes while you’re traveling and you can’t be reached. Consider a second collar in case he slips out of the first one.

When to Call the Veterinarian for Your Greyhound

Knowing how your greyhound behaves when he is healthy can prevent some emergencies. If your ex-racer greyhound does show any of the following symptoms, call your veterinarian immediately for help or so the vet can be prepared, if needed, for your greyhound’s arrival:

  • Any loss of appetite that continues for 24 hours.

  • Vomiting or diarrhea that persists for more than 24 hours, or any vomiting or diarrhea in a dog more than eight years of age.

  • Symptoms of bloat, such as unsuccessful attempts to vomit, rapid shallow breathing, a distressed appearance, and a painful or enlarged abdomen.

  • A first seizure, recurrent seizures, or any seizure that lasts more than three minutes.

  • Body temperature above 104 degrees or below 100 degrees.

  • A serious fall or blow to head, chest, or abdomen even if there is no apparent injury; any injury to the eye, no matter how minor; or any encounter with a moving vehicle.

  • Any open wound or injury in which bleeding continues for more than five minutes, despite your efforts to control it.

  • Difficulty breathing.

  • Collapse or unconsciousness.

  • Snake bite.

  • Heatstroke.

  • Poisoning.

  • Burns, no matter how minor.

  • Straining or difficulty urinating or defecating.

Items for Your Greyhound’s First-Aid Kit

To be prepared for an emergency or injury to your retired racing greyhound, make sure you have the following items in a first aid kit. Store the first aid items in a travel kit so you can easily take it with you when you and your greyhound venture out.

Dressings and bandaging materials in several sizes. Overnight sanitary napkins, to use in case of serious bleeding.
Blunt-nose scissors. Hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent.
An antibiotic, non-oil-based eye ointment. A soft muzzle.
Compressed activated charcoal. Sterile saline solution for cleaning wounds or washing eyes.
Cotton balls. A small hemostat or tweezers.
Splinting materials. KY Jelly.
A digital thermometer. A small, powerful flashlight.
A cheap pocket watch with a sweeping second hand. A notepad and pen to record vital signs.
Vetrap for protection during runs and for stabilizing injuries. A supply of smelling salts to ward off aggressive dogs.
A Quick Muzzle to protect yourself if necessary. Extra cotton leashes to restrain the injured dog and other dogs who may try to interfere or to secure the dog for transport.
A supply of water and a fold-up, collapsible bowl. A fold-up, collapsible blanket to use as a stretcher.
Several emergency space blankets. A small jar of beef baby food, in case you need to get a pill into a stressed dog.
A syringe or turkey baster to administer peroxide to cause vomiting in case of poisoning, or to administer liquid medications. Benadryl, Imodium AD, Enteric-coated aspirin, Tagamet, and Dramamine.
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