Aside from the normal medical needs all dogs have, greyhounds, like most breeds of dogs, are predisposed toward some specific medical conditions. These conditions include:
-Bone Cancer (Osteosarcoma)
-Greyhound Bleeding Syndrome
Dental Disease: Greyhounds tend to have bad teeth. This is a combination of genetics and, in some cases, diet. Greyhounds should have dental examinations and cleanings on a regular basis. Some owners report that regularly brushing their hounds teeth with enzymatic veterinary toothpaste has greatly improved the dental health of the fast friends. Remember that greyhounds can have some trouble with anesthesia so select a vet who is greyhound savvy and has extensive dental experience.
Bone Cancer: Greyhounds have a predisposition for developing bone cancer. The cause is unknown, but it is speculated that this is due to genetics. The tumor is typically found in the long bones of the legs, but given its aggressive nature it will quickly metastasize (spread) to other parts of the body, most commonly the lungs. Traditional treatment is amputation of the affected leg, followed by chemotherapy, however these measures will only buy time and there is no known cure. Some larger veterinary hospitals may have clinical trials for experimental treatments available. If your hound is diagnosed with any kind of cancer it is best to consult with a veterinary oncologist (a vet who specializes in cancer treatment) as soon as possible to choose the best treatment option for your fast friend.
Pannus: Pannus is an autoimmune disease that causes the greyhound’s body to respond as if the eyes have been injured. In response to this signal blood vessels grow into the eyes in an attempt to heal the "injury" quickly. If left untreated pannus can cause the greyhound’s vision to be obscured. Signs of pannus can include a foggy appearance in the eye and your hound may wipe at their eyes as if trying to clear their vision. Pannus can be easily treated with prescription eye drops that will reverse and prevent the blood vessel growth.
Greyhound Bleeding Syndrome: This is a condition in which a greyhound’s blood values are normal but an injury or trauma causes them to bleed or bruise heavily. Bruising from blood draws can be prevented by the use of properly applied compression dressings. Bleeding during and after surgical procedures can be minimized by administering Aminocaprioc Acid (a.k.a. Amicar) prior to the procedure and during their recovery period. This relatively inexpensive medication can keep your greyhound from bleeding to death.
Corns: Greyhounds are one of the few breeds of dogs who develop corns. Just like in humans these are hard concentrations of skin tissue that cause extreme pain when the dog places their weight on the affected foot. These can vary in size, but corns the size of a dime have been reported in some dogs. There are a variety of folk treatments, but the only consistently effective treatment is to physically remove the corn (hulling) after it reaches a certain size. This process can be painful so it is recommended that you seek the advice of a veterinarian or experienced greyhound owner before you try hulling corns yourself.