Results of a web-based health survey of retired racing Greyhounds

J Vet Intern Med. 2007 Nov-Dec;21(6):1243-50. doi: 10.1892/07-063.1.


Background: Adoption of retired racing Greyhounds has become increasingly popular during the past decade. To date, research has focused on the physiologic and clinicopathologic peculiarities of Greyhounds but there is little published information on disease prevalence in the breed.

Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the prevalence of disease in retired racing Greyhounds.

Animals: In this study, 747 Greyhounds were used.

Methods: A standardized survey method was used, and survey responses were collected by an Internet survey. Owners could answer a survey for every Greyhound that they had owned since January 1, 2005.

Results: Of the 692 eligible participants, 441 (63.7% response rate) completed surveys for 747 Greyhounds. The mortality rate for Greyhounds within the 2-year period was 15% (113 of 747 died). The most common cause of death reported was cancer (66 dogs, 58%), and the most common type of cancer listed as the cause of death was osteosarcoma (28 dogs, 25%). The most commonly reported groups of diseases or disorders were skeletal (232 dogs, 33%), skin (197 dogs, 28%), digestive (132 dogs, 18%), cancer (94 dogs, 13%), and endocrine (85 dogs, 11.9%). Forty-five percent of Greyhounds diagnosed with cancer and 6% of the overall population had osteosarcoma.

Conclusions and clinical importance: The results of this study can be used by veterinary researchers to continue to investigate the most common diseases in this population. As more retired racing Greyhounds enter the pet population, the results of this study will help educate veterinarians and owners about the most prevalent diseases in the breed.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Dog Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Dogs
  • Internet*
  • Prevalence
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*
  • United States / epidemiology