Greyhounds have a unique physiology that makes them quite different from other breeds of dog. They can have sensitivity to certain drugs and anaesthetics. It is recommended that you take your Greyhound to a vet who is familiar with the breed. Keep your vet’s details close to your telephone in case of an emergency.
Click here for a list of NSW vets with particular interest and experience with greyhounds. Those notated with an asterisk * are member of a specialist group within the Australian Veterinarians Association called the Australian Greyhound Veterinarians (AVG). Member veterinarians have particular expertise in the health and welfare of greyhounds and some provide their services to owners, trainers and racing organisations.
• Larger heart and higher blood pressure than other breeds of dog.
• Blood is extra rich in oxygen carrying red blood cells and they have about 4% more blood than other dogs. (The special qualities of their blood makes Greyhounds highly valued as canine blood donors.)
• Body weight is only 16% fat which is less than half the amount of other dog breeds of similar size.
• High percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibres in their bodies aids speed, not endurance.
• Greyhounds run and hunt using their sight (60%), sense of smell (20%) and hearing (20%). Other dogs use their senses differently depending on what they were bred to do.
• Due to centuries of selective breeding, Greyhounds have very few inherited health conditions.
• Most common breed ailments are digestion related and they can be susceptible to bloat.
• Can be prone to some forms of bone cancer.
• Some Greyhounds can be fussy eaters and they are generally not prone to overeating and becoming overweight.
• Can have sensitivity to certain drugs (including some flea treatments) and anaesthetics.
See our health and safety fact sheets page for more information.