At The Greyhound Health Initiative we recognize the need for a dedicated health organization for sighthounds and the importance of programs that address their unique needs as well as that of their owners, trainers, adopters, and veterinarians that love and care for them.
Unfortunately, retired racing greyhounds are among the large breeds of canines that are most likely to get osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Finding a cure is part of our mission, but while we work to find that cure we are offering our members free carboplatin up to twice per year per member. This program is limited to just our members until we have raised enough funds to make it available to the public.
Because we are not a pharmacy we cannot actually distribute the drugs ourselves, so we will simply reimburse your vet/oncologist for the cost of these drugs. To receive full coverage we ask that they order them from Amatheon Pharmaceuticals to help us control our costs. If they choose to use drugs from their own supplies or a different pharmacy, we will reimburse up to the current rates from Amatheon.
Carboplatin is the best drug for the treatment of osteosarcoma, and the only one we cover. Some vet’s like to use an alternating protocol of carboplatin and doxorubicin, but that is actually less effective in greyhounds.
Aminocaproic Acid (Amicar™)
Due to their unusual physiology, greyhounds (and some of their sighthound cousins) can suffer from delayed post-operative bleeding. This can be catastrophic as the bleeding may not start for 24-48 hours after the surgery, long after you’ve brought your fur kid home from the vet. The bleeding can happen with a relatively “simple” surgery, like a tooth extraction, or something far more complex like a spay/neuter or a leg amputation. Aminocaproic acid (brand name: Amicar™) being administered for five days starting the morning of the procedure has been proven to reduce or even prevent this kind of potentially life-threatening condition. We offer our members a full course of carboplatin free, up to twice per year per member and recommend Amatheon Pharmaceuticals as an inexpensive source for this lifesaving drug, but any compounding pharmacy can make aminocaproic acid.
Blood Bank and Blood Donor Program
NOW SIGNING UP NEW DONORS!
The Greyhound Health Initiative is committed to educating veterinarians and the public on the life-saving uses of blood components in pet dogs and cats. Did you know that Greyhounds are referred to as “universal blood donors”? While not technically accurate, it is true that 70% of Greyhounds have a blood type that allows their blood to be used in all other breeds. Our blood bank will supply blood products to veterinarians and emergency clinics to help them respond to emergency cases and everyday situations. By becoming a blood donor, your greyhound will help save the lives of other dogs!
Click here or on the Blood Bank link in the menu bar above to learn more.
Four Legs for Hounds Program (4L4H)
Severe, career-ending injuries can be part of the lives of actively training/racing Greyhounds. Unfortunately, for most of these dogs these injuries often equate to the end of their days. During his tenure at Ohio State University, Dr. Couto created the Four Legs For Hounds (4L4H) program, a partnership with the track vet, Dr. Lori Bohenko, at Wheeling Downs racetrack in West Virginia that allowed dogs that would have otherwise been euthanized to be transported to OSU for life- and limb-saving surgery.
Depending on the type and severity of the injury, the Greyhounds undergo surgery within 24-36 hours of arrival. Costs of treatment are shared between the track and funds donated to the vet school for this express purpose. After medical or surgical treatment, dogs are rehabilitated and placed in permanent homes with the help of local adoption groups.
This program proved so successful at OSU that we want to replicate it with every racetrack around the country (reportedly, leg amputations fell dramatically and track-side euthanizations fell to about one per year). We will be working with track veterinarians, nearby veterinarian practices with appropriate surgical capabilities that are willing to take on the treatment, and adoption groups that can help with fundraising and placement.
UPDATE: Due to the continued re-prioritizations of programs at OSU, we are currently reviewing other facilities to help with the original 4L4H program.
The Greyhound Health Initiative programs will range from providing sighthound healthcare via a network of veterinarians who will participate in continuing sighthound-specific education (CEUs), Online diagnosis and consultation to owners and veterinarians, and setting up future blood banks and chemotherapy programs to offer life-saving assistance, to offering hope for greyhounds after career ending injuries through emergency care an orthopedic surgery. Interested in learning more about our education and sighthound healthcare or how you can help? Contact us today, or learn how you can become a member!