Category Archives: Greyhounds

Updated Hookworm Protocol

Hookworm image courtesy of the NIH Public Health Image Library #5205 and in the public domain. Used by permission.

Recently, I wrote about treatment of medication resistant hookworms in former racing greyhounds. Since that article was published, new research has been published and American Animal Hospital Association recommends a new treatment protocol. I’ll describe the new protocol after the break.

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Camp Dismal Meal Plan

Rocky has spent the first four years of his life on the farm, in training, and at the Jacksonville track racing kennels. Rocky arrived “rough as a cob and full of piss and vinegar.” He was a big fellow willing to test limits. And the only useful companion skill he had was good lead and door manners. So Rocky was starting from a pretty low training baseline but with sound temperament, intelligence, and desire to fit in. He had so much to learn, where to begin. You sort of figure that out as you go along. The adopter’s guides present things in an order pleasing to book editors. Your hound may have other ideas about what should be learned first. This article recounts how Rocky adjusted his eating habits to Camp Dismal norms.

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Rocky has Hookworms

Hookworms are pandemic in the US racing greyhound environment from farm to track and most racing kennels. Aggressive use of hookworm medications has resulted in the worms developing resistance to the more commonly used medications. Most greyhounds retiring from racing or displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic and Florida wagering ban closures will have an active hookworm infestation.

After the break I’ll describe what our local adoption agency is doing for new retirees, describe the treatment protocol, and the hookworm characteristics that led to the development of this protocol. The references include Greyhound Health Initiative papers (a bit scholarly), and and articles at Greyhound Friends and Ohio Greyhound Gathering and Adoption, two regional adoption charities. The Jennifer NG, DVM, article contributed to the OGGA website is a good lay introduction to contemporary hookworm management in greyhounds.

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Rapid advancement: Now Rocky the Restless

I don’t think I’m ever going to live down this roach. It was epic apparently. Oh, and there is video. Just not here. Moocher has threatened to work on that.

The roach. I’m good at it and quite animated in assuming the position.

I’ve had a promotion from Rocky the Gormless to Rocky the Restless. Apparently, I’m no longer dumb as a rock. I’ve learned my name, I have a bit of a recall, I’m kenneling, I’m getting my table manners down, and getting along with big sister, mostly. And I’ve mastered Missy’s wet Willie technique of rousing the Moocher to use the loo while he is asleep. Missy says this is really important!

The restless bit comes from my fascination with the blighter behind all the shinny surfaces at eye level. I keep barking at the blighter and asking to go out to run him off. Moocher is going crazy.

I’ll be 4 on May 27 so Moocher has another year of adolescent behavior to endure. Most of us grow up in year 5. Moocher would like to keep me playful. He takes advantage of my curiosity and playfulness to redirect me with a squeaky toy when I am making mischief.

There be photos after the break. And the link for the adoption charity nearest Bill.

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Rocky Promoted to Gormless

Twitter nicknames are somewhat important as user names can be reused for multiple critters in succession. I inherited my Twitter user name from Lord Nick which explains the @nickgreyhound1 bit. But although I look somewhat like Nick and I’m young like Nick was in the beginning, I’m definitely not Nick. I deserve my own Twitter nickname. Sadly, I don’t get to pick it, head Moocher does.

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Rocky Arrives

Ahoy, I’m Rocky, the Dismal Manor FUNGIE (don’t ask). On March 27 I was in a racing kennel at the Jacksonville, Florida track. On Saturday, I was loaded up on an airport shuttle bus become dog hauler and transported to GreytLove in Hanover, VA. The nice folks at James River Greyhounds found me a home at Dismal Manor with the retired Moocher and Missy.

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Nick 22 May 2006 to 03 December 2019

Nick was an incredibly brave greyhound and tried his best to be Nick to the end but a fall tore the skin over his hip. In an elderly dog, this injury is irreparable so it was time to let Nick go. This is a classic consequence of hip hyper–extension that tears the skin horizontally and can tear the joint capsule. So Nick left us at home on 03 December.

Nick was eating less than his maintenance

Nick was eating his full ration most days. He was a grazer and Missy was a Hoover-hound so I had to take up his leftovers and offer them later which was driving Missy wild.

I was feeding both dogs per the Canidae inactive adult guidelines. Missy is a bit smooth but Nick became increasingly gaunt. Eating most of his ration, Nick was not maintaining weight so I began to look for add-ins that he would eat. I took to feeding him 1/2 cup 3 times a day adding 50 grams of roast beef to one meal and a half-can of canned tuna to a second.

Nick was cleaning his bowl but still loosing weight. I was never successful at stopping this wasting. I’m firmly convinced that his metabolism changed as he aged.

No, they won’t let you know!

Greyhounds will keep on keeping on into overtime. Both Lance and Nick did so. They loose their super powers little by little and also their ability to do activities of daily living little by little. And the progression is one of hills and valleys rather than a steady descent. It was helpful to identify a terminal quality of life but Nick did not approach it linearly. Rather, he’d have good days and bad and good hours and bad. He could appear to be down only to nap for a couple of hours and hop up to follow me around as best he could. It is a myth that they will let you know when it is time.

Some fond memories

I miss my Snarky Puppy. Such a calm dog in kennel, Nick came home an absolute git. He thought the world centered around him and when he discovered that it didn’t, he’d get frustrated and go hose down something he associated with me. Taken to a reunion, he spent the whole time marking and barking at the other greyhounds in attendance. Nick would walk the neighborhood here at Dismal Manor, head in the trees shouting at the squirrels as they laughed at him.

As he completed year 4, Nick managed to shed his sapling ways and become an adult. Just in time for the car trip to Dismal Manor and the motel stay while we awaited our household goods. The marking stopped and a fenced yard let him dissipate some of the energy. Through year 5 and 6 Nick continued to torment squirrels, at first charging them but later stalking to close before the charge. I have a video of him stalking somewhere in the Wayback Machine.

When Missy joined us, Nick gave her one menacing only to be told to play nice. He quickly discovered she was a track fit, track fast 3 while he was nine. Nick would withdraw to the carport when Missy went ripping about the yard. After that one testing of limits, each would take the other’s wing as needed. Sadly, they never played together. But when one called Tally Ho, the other would come running to support. For late night turnout, they’d go together. The first would wait for the second to join.

Missy adjusts

Missy is doing well but she misses Nick’s company and support. She’s needing more play time and more cuddle time (an OK thing). She’s also driving the plan of the day. She raises sand when it is meal time and treat time. I’ve introduced some indoor ball play with the big fuzzy Chuck-It and give her evening treats in a treat puzzle toy.

Another?

Maybe. I’m 71 so my next would be with me into my early 80’s if I adopted a track hound. I also have the option of adopting a displaced hound. Our local rescue is winding down so James River Greyhounds is serving the 757. James River are better prepared to take a group of dogs from the track, house them, and distribute them. They affiliate with Greyt Love Retirement who operates a small kennel, has a hauler, and brings dogs to the area for adoption. James River sorts and places the greyhounds.

Blue Suede Shoes Update

Nick continues to experiment with footwear. In the previous episode, I mentioned that the RuffWear boots I bought 14 years ago were moving around so the slippery part was down. Upon investigation, I discovered that his boots were the old size L(arge. They are a good inch wider than his foot allowing them to roll.

Nick in original RuffWear boots

Since I bought those boots for Nut, RuffWear has redesigned the product line. The new boots are sized in 0.25 inch increments and sizing instructions are to measure foot width and buy the size closest to but smaller than the foot width measurement. Measure all feet to be shod and use the largest size. Nick measures 2.125 inches so he’d wear a 2.0.

So, today I ordered RuffWear Summit boots in bright green.

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