Sick as a Dog

Topics of interest concerning the health and well being of your greyhound.

The information contained on this page is provided as a resource for you and your retired racing greyhound. It is not intended to replace the advice of your veterinarian.

  1. How to Bandage a Tail
  2. How to Construct a Quick Stretcher
  3. How to Remove Belly Blackheads
  4. Temperature
  5. Warts


Happy Tail Syndrome – How to Bandage a Tail

Assemble the needed supplies:

  • One 4″ square gauze pad
  • Antibiotic ointment (Mycitracin/lidocaine)
  • Scissors
  • Bitter Apple Spray
  • Heavy-duty cloth adhesive surgical tape
  • Vet-wrap or Coban (3M product which looks like gauze but sticks to itself with a little pressure)
  • Cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper or paper towels

Get the dog to lie down. A helper is handy to keep the dog in a horizontal position–petting the head usually does the job.

Cut off the tuft of hair on the tail tip! (Yes, it makes the bandage stay on better if that strong tuft of hair isn’t pushing it downward–fear not, the hair grows back very quickly).

Unfold the gauze square to its 4″ size. Squeeze ointment into wound. Center the gauze square over the wound. Using a piece of the surgical tape, wrap it around the tail and tape near the top edges of the gauze. Be sure to get part of the tape ON the tail hair, to keep it from sliding down and off the tail.

Open the vetwrap, and wrap the tail starting from 2″ above the top of the gauze. Wrap toward the tail tip, COVER the tip, then wrap back toward the top edge. Stop there, cut off the roll of vetwrap, press the loose edge against the wrapped part so it “seals”. Take another piece of adhesive tape, and go around the top edge of the vetwrap, again catching a little of the tail hair as well as making sure the vetwrap is taped shut.

Slip the cardboard tube over the tail and cover the bandaged area. Using the adhesive tape, go around the top and bottom edges of the tube catching a little of the tail hair. This will provide some protection as the wound heals.

If done right (i.e., if you caught the tail hair with some of the tape) it WILL NOT slide off. If you see the dog beginning to chew or lick the bandage, spritz it with the Bitter Apple, and tell the dog “No, leave it!” A few times should do the job.

When it’s time to take the bandage OFF, gently slide the scissors tip under the edge of the tape/vetwrap and cut a little at a time, toward the end of the tail. There is NO way you can unwrap this method of bandaging, so don’t even try…just cut it off slowly.


How to Construct a Quick Stretcher

In an emergency try using a large zipper jacket and a pair of broom handles. Zip the jacket all the way and turn it zipper side down. Thread the broom handles through the inside and up the sleeves.


How to Remove Belly Blackheads

Taken from a posting on the Greyhound-L list
Sun, 2 Jan 2000
sent by Suzanne Stack, D.V.M.

After trying everything under the sun on these greyhounds with the nasty chest blackheads, I finally carted one of mine over to Dr. Tom Lewis, a board certified veterinary dermatologist, to give his expert opinion on treatment. He said just go with the Pyoben Gel or Pyoben Shampoo, nothing else is needed. It still took me quite a while to get rid of them all and I confess I squeezed out a bunch of them which I know you aren’t supposed to.

A dermatologist suggested trying Retin-A on the greyhound chest blackheads (comedones); my veterinary text actually lists Retin-A as a treatment option for feline chin acne. I said, “Oh, yeah, I tried Retin-A on myself after hearing a dermatologist on the Today Show say that it was the only PROVEN way to keep your skin young. But, I only used it a few times because it made my face peel.” “Exactly,” she said. “It keeps that layer off and therefore no old wrinkled skin OR blackheads.” She said there’s a new form of Retin-A called Renova that will not make your skin peel.



The normal temperature for a greyhound is between 101 to 102 degrees. If the dog’s temperature reaches above 103 degrees, call your veterinarian at once. Persistent high temperature can be as dangerous for a dog as it is a child. Since dogs sweat through their tongue and the bottom of their feet, some suggest submerging the dogs feet in alcohol to bring down the fever. This is equivalent to using an alcohol rub to bring down a child’s fever. Some suggest rubbing ice cubes on the feet and ears to bring down the temperature, but always consult with your veterinarian.



Although uncommon, these can occur in greyhounds. A lump or growth on a pad could be two things: A scar from an injury or a papilloma, a fancy word for warts. Warts are caused by a virus that usually enters the skin from a minor cut or abrasion. Most warts grow on the surface of the skin. However when they grow on the pads, the normal pressure of walking pushes the growth deeper into the pad forming a white, flat circular painful area. Sometimes they are very hard to see.


  • Limping with no apparent reason.
  • Difficulty walking or running on hard surfaces, but has no problems on soft surfaces.
  • Thickening area of a white, circular, painful area on the pad.
  • Area pads are sensitive to finger pressure.

Always consult with your veterinarian for treatment options. The following list is meant as an example, not a recommendation for treatment or products.

  • It may be suggested to use a Dr. Scholl or some other brand stone to carefully work down the wart. It does not cure the problem, but the dog can walk without discomfort.
  • One veterinarian suggested stimulating the immune system. He suggested a product called dimethylglcine (DMG). Supplementation has been found to stimulate the immune system to eliminate foreign pathogens such as viruses and bacteria.
  • Some suggest wart remover. I would find it hard to keep a greyhound from licking its foot. You would have to soak the foot for 20 minutes, dry and apply the corn remover and keep him from licking overnight. Not a workable idea for some hounds.
  • Another veterinarian highly recommends a product called KERASOLV from DVM Pharmaceuticals. This vet is one of my best resources.
  • Surgery: The book Care of the Racing Greyhound by Blythe, Cannon and Craig suggest surgery is best. Corns are best surgically removed and then cauterized by your veterinarian. The wound is closed with 1 or 2 stitches and then the foot is bandaged. The greyhound is given rest and limited walking exercise for 14 days. After two weeks, the stitches would be removed. Healing will have occurred in the deeper layers where the new growth resumes, but the outer layers of the pad do not heal with the suturing process. The application of a little super glue (cyanoacrylate ) will hold these edges together and protect the newly healed deeper basal layer from trauma until the new pads have developed. Large, deep corns composed of fibrous scar tissue resulting from extreme pad injury may not be amenable to surgery due to loss of the spongy fibro-elastic cushion of the pad. Amputation of either P3 or the toe may be considered in these cases. Especially if the lameness has been persistent and prolonged. (Taken from Care of the Racing Greyhound by Blythe, Cannon and Craig.)