11. Special Information on Anesthesia
Certain types of anesthesia and ways of administering the drugs can kill your dog. When your Greyhound was anesthetized for surgery, the veterinarian knew about their super sensitivity. Greyhounds need only 25% of a normal dose. This is because they are lacking certain enzymes, which break down the anesthesia in their systems. Administering anesthesia according to weight, which is the normal procedure, could be fatal for your dog. Discuss this with your veterinarian.
GPA/GO will recommend a vet who is knowledgeable about the unique characteristics of Greyhounds and anesthesia.
Special Information on Heartworms
You are given your first month’s dose of approved heartworm preventative for your Greyhound. Then you are to go to your veterinarian and purchase a supply. Heartgard Plus and Interceptor are recommended. NEVER use the Pro-Heart Six Shot!
Your Greyhound ‘must’ be kept on a monthly Heartworm preventative for the rest of its life. Canine Heartworm Disease continues to be a common problem. It is spread by the ordinary mosquito and can be found wherever mosquitoes breed. In theory, the best way to prevent heartworm is to keep your dog from being bitten by a mosquito. Unfortunately, mosquito control can never be 100% effective. Greyhound skin is thin and they do not have a thick coat, so a mosquito can bite them very easily.
How does a dog get Heartworms?
- Infected mosquitoes deposit Heartworm larvae into the dog’s bloodstream.
- Larvae migrate to body tissue where they continue to mature.
- Young adults migrate to the blood vessels of the heart and lungs.
- Mature females release microfilariae into the blood where they are picked up by other mosquitoes.
What happens when a dog gets Heartworms?
- Adult worms live in the pulmonary arteries and right side of the heart.
- Worms entwined about the heart valves interfere with the mechanics of the heart. In time, this extra burden causes right-side heart failure.
- Worms that form clumps in the anterior and posterior vena cava cause a disorder called vena cava syndrome. Signs of acute liver failure develop. They include jaundice, blood in the stool, swelling of the abdomen, and anemia. Collapse and death can occur within three days.
What are the signs of Heartworms?
Dogs can harbor heartworms for several years before showing signs. These signs vary according to the number of worms, duration of infection, and immune response of the host.
- Soft, deep cough
- Shortness of breath
- Intolerance to exercise
- The dog will tire easily.
- Appear unusually weak and listless
- Loose condition
- May bring up bloody sputum
- Chronic weight loss
- Labored breathing at rest
- The ribs become prominent and the chest starts to bulge.
- Congestive heart failure and vena cava syndrome are signs of advanced disease.
- Acute pulmonary thromboembolism can lead to collapse and death.
There is treatment for a dog with Heartworm, however it is very risky for the dog. There are serious side effects, and it is very expensive. PREVENTION IS YOUR BEST TREATMENT!