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Growth Hormones/steroids Given To Track Dogs?


Guest GreytMuse
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Guest GreytMuse

I took Steven in for a vet appointment (small eye infection) and the vet made an off-hand comment about the size of his muscles. He also noted that Steven was way more muscled in his front legs and shoulders than the majority of GHs he has seen. He said, "You know they have to be giving these dogs steroids to make them get this big." He also noted Steven's lack of butt-hair as another symptom of steroid use.

 

Is this true? Are some track hounds "doped up" like some human athletes to gain that competitive edge? Is there urine or blood testing on the track to check for this? If they are treated with these drugs, what medical ramifications are there long-term?

 

My vet is not really "grey savvy", and I'm almost willing to bet that I've seen more GHs than he has. :P I personally don't think that Steven looks any different than any other healthy grey who has been off the track for just 9 months.

 

 

 

Steven is the white/brindle boy shown here...best front shot I could find!

 

Picture137-1.jpg

Edited by GreytMuse
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Guest alannamac

I've read several articles regarding adoption saying that frequently the females will have a lot of discharge for several months post racing due to hormone shots that they are given at the track to "beef them up" to compete with the males.

With this in mind, I wouldn't doubt that they give it to males too.

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Guest GreyDogsRule

I'm sure someone that knows better than I will respond, but I think they take urine samples from the dogs regularly when they are racing. The females are given a steroid of some sort to stop them from going into heat.

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Guest KennelMom

Yes Greyhounds are tested for steroids and performance affecting drugs. If a trainer's dog comes up positive, it's big time trouble. Greyhound racing involves gambling so anything done to artificially affect the outcome of a race is highly illegal. I'm sure the "racing folks" will chime in with a more authoritative answer, but I believe the winning dog is always tested (tracks have "pee catchers" on hand for post-race testing) and other random dogs may be tested from a given race.

 

These dogs don't need steroids to be muscular and some dogs are naturally more muscular than others.

 

Females are given hormones to prevent them from coming into season.

 

Edited: Just found this from the GRA site - written by Martin Roper (on GT) and Dennis McKeon Linky

Greyhound racing is strictly regulated by the states where it exists. There is a state-approved vet and a state judge on premises, in addition to the track judge and other officials. Prior to weigh in, the greyhounds must pass before the judges and the vet on hand, all of whom have the option to examine and/or scratch any dog whom they feel is unfit to race for any reason.

 

After the race, urine samples are collected from the winner and/or the second place and last place finishers, with an additional random sample taken, depending upon the custom in the locality. Their urine is tested in independent, contracted laboratories, by means of ultra sensitive gas-chromatography. If any illegal substances are found to be present in the urine of the greyhound, the trainer is suspended and fined, and the kennel can be suspended, depending upon the decision of the judges at the hearing, which the offending parties must attend. A second offense can lead to the trainer's permanent suspension, and/or the revocation of the kennel's right to compete.

 

Incidentally, there has never been a successfully prosecuted criminal case involving a licensed greyhound professional and the use of illegal, performance enhancing or performance inhibiting drugs, in the entire history of greyhound racing in the USA.

Edited by KennelMom
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Guest Greyhounds4ever

 

 

Incidentally, there has never been a successfully prosecuted criminal case involving a licensed greyhound professional and the use of illegal, performance enhancing or performance inhibiting drugs, in the entire history of greyhound racing in the USA.

 

 

Just because there has been no successful prosecution does not mean the enhancing does not take place. Does anyone know how long it takes for the drugs to be cleaned out of the system before it is not detectable through urine testing?

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How long has the original poster's dog been retired?

 

If he got bulked up artificially, I would imagine he'd lose all that bulk in fairly short order.

 

I'd find a new vet.


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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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Just because there has been no successful prosecution does not mean the enhancing does not take place. Does anyone know how long it takes for the drugs to be cleaned out of the system before it is not detectable through urine testing?

 

 

Considering the dogs race every few days and for a steroid to be effective it has to be given in cycles, I don't think anyone is going to lay a dog up for that long in hopes he might be faster.

 

I suppose they could start giving the dogs masking agents etc... But at that point I think they'd spend more money on the drugs than what it's worth.

 

And no successful criminal prosecution also doesn't mean someone hasn't tried it and lost their job over it. It just means no one was criminally convicted of it.

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Small doses of methyltestosterone are used to keep the females from coming into season. It is too small a dose to give any competitive edge.

 

Other drugs like growth hormone or erythropoeitin (sp) are prohibitively expensive for the relatively low-paying greyhounds. Growth hormone retails at $2500/month (coworker's kid takes it). Many folks can't even afford it for their own kids.

Lynn

 

ETA... both of those dogs look like perfectly normal greyhounds. Hair loss has nothing to do with any steroids/HGH/EPO. There is a tremendous amount of physical variation among greyhounds. Those two dogs are nowhere NEAR the extremes.

 

Lynn

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Guest GreytMuse

Thanks for the very thought-provoking replies! I do tend to be naive about some rather obvious things sometimes, but this subject had truly never occurred to me!

 

 

 

 

 

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Jet didn't race. Her muscles, at almost 9 years old, are still much more defined and bulky than several greys I've seen. She's a muscular girl and it wasn't from steroids.

IMG_0214.jpg

 

I'm sure there may be some willing to risk it, but the random urine testing is pretty good at discouraging it. Penalties for being caught are pretty hefty.

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Guest LolasMom
Jet didn't race. Her muscles, at almost 9 years old, are still much more defined and bulky than several greys I've seen. She's a muscular girl and it wasn't from steroids.

IMG_0214.jpg

 

I'm sure there may be some willing to risk it, but the random urine testing is pretty good at discouraging it. Penalties for being caught are pretty hefty.

 

9 years old...that girl is buff! :)

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I'd get a new vet. Hope Texas folks will jump in and give you suggestions.

Donna
Molly the Border Collie & Poquita the American-born Podenga

Bridge Babies: Daisy (Positive Delta) 8/7/2000 - 4/6/2115, Agnes--angel Sage's baby (Regall Rosario) 11/12/01 - 12/18/13, Lucky the mix (Found, w 10 puppies 8/96-Bridge 7/28/11, app. age 16) & CoCo (Cosmo Comet) 12/28/89-5/4/04

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Guest fallinforgreys

I have a cousin that works for the University of Iowa Labratories and she does blood testing on all the Greyhounds that win races at the tracks near her. Just like any other athlete. She tests for steriods and any other hormones that would abnormal in a dog. She has never told me what happens if they do test positive, but I would assume there would some sort of ramifications.

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I see a big difference among musculature even in my own dogs, who have all been off the track for about 2-7 years now. They all get the same exercise here and at the adoption kennel, yet some are much more in tone than others and always have been.

 

Greys are muscular dogs in general, and certainly there will be some who are just born on the higher end of the muscle-tone spectrum, just as some people are.

Edited by SusanP
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Guest Spencers_Greyt

I'm thinking your vet doesn't know much about Greyhounds and you might want to find a vet that does as they do have special health needs and their blood tests and thyroid levels will be different from other breeds of dogs plus they need a special anesthetic from the commonly used type as well.

 

I know that at the Phoenix dog track they test the dogs for steroid use. They only test the winners though. They go through a pee test. Also, the lack of hair on the hind end is from a couple of thing, cage rub and low thyroid. Spencer is nakey in the back and is low thyroid. My foster, Clyde is not nakey.

 

The pic you posted looks like normal Greyhounds to me....

 

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Guest DaiyesDad

I have found that many female greys that raced mark worse than most of the boys. I have always thougth it was from the methyltestosterone that they are given. Our girl Daiye will even lift her leg to pee on a tree :rolleyes: Has anyone else come across this?

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Guest KennelMom
I have found that many female greys that raced mark worse than most of the boys. I have always thougth it was from the methyltestosterone that they are given. Our girl Daiye will even lift her leg to pee on a tree :rolleyes: Has anyone else come across this?

 

Our leg lift pee'r, Hanna, never raced. The girl we have that raced the longest (retired at 4) has never done anything remotely like lifting a leg or marking. She pee's once and she's done. Our other big-time girl marker also never raced. The rest of our girls, of mixed racing careers, aren't really big markers and I don't recall ever seeing any of them lift their leg like Hanna does.

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I have found that many female greys that raced mark worse than most of the boys. I have always thougth it was from the methyltestosterone that they are given. Our girl Daiye will even lift her leg to pee on a tree :rolleyes: Has anyone else come across this?

 

 

Apparently, that type of behavior has its origins in the womb. In litters were there are more males, the female pups are exposed to higher levels of testosterone in the womb, resulting in some male-like behaviors in female dogs. I'd imagine that even if there weren't more males than females in a litter, if a female shared a uterine horn with male littermates, she'd also have higher exposure. Weird, eh?

 

Also, the lack of hair on the hind end is from a couple of thing, cage rub and low thyroid.

 

Or nothing at all. There has been no conclusive cause found for Greyhound Pattern Baldness. :)

Edited by turbotaina


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Just because there has been no successful prosecution does not mean the enhancing does not take place. Does anyone know how long it takes for the drugs to be cleaned out of the system before it is not detectable through urine testing?

 

It takes 72 hours for anything not to be detectable in the urine tests. They test for EVERYTHING, including things that might MASK the use of any drug. Many times you will have to take a dog off the active list when they are taking medication (certain antibiotics), muscle relaxers, etc. Something as simple as Absorbine will show traces of ASPIRIN in these tests, which is on the list of illegal substances. We used Absorbine as a rub down AFTER they had raced.

 

At The Woodlands they urine test every dog that will pee before they go out on the track. They have a special room with a big sandpile. In addition, they test every winner after the race (if they didn't pee inside in the sandpile) and during a stakes race they test every dog - period.

 

The females are given Testosterone once a month to prevent them from coming into season. The amount they get is equal to about 1/8th of a CC.

 

You didn't have to tell me your vet doesn't know much about greyhounds - at least greyhound athletes - maybe ATHLETES in general, human or canine. :) Exercice builds muscle.

 

I used to travel to NYC on business frequently and would sometimes take the subway from midtown to our office. There were always a lot of people who had to stand in the aisles during the ride. You would see little old ladies who obviously had ridden the subway for years -- the muscles in their calves were HUGE. They looked like they had been on steroids.

 

Greyhounds are perfectly honed athletes! There is nothing more beautiful.

 

 

 

Ann

 

NewSiggy09b.jpg

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I've had Chloe since she was 5 months old. She's now 15 months old and a mix of AKC and NGA grey. She's just now starting to develop Greyhound Pattern Baldness on her thighs and sternum. Since I'm not working anymore, she's rarely ever crated. Also, some whippets develop the baldness too. From the reading I've done about it, researchers don't know definitively what causes the baldness, but they're leaning towards a genetic cause.

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As far as marking behavior: MANY bitches will be markers, Greyhounds or otherwise. They are also more sneaky about it, because they don't *have* to lift their legs (though some chose to do so.

 

Interesting aside: Leg-lifting in males is a learned behavior. Not all males do it, because they may not have seen another male do it. And some that are exposed to other leg-lifing males don't bother...

 

I've had Chloe since she was 5 months old. She's now 15 months old and a mix of AKC and NGA grey. She's just now starting to develop Greyhound Pattern Baldness on her thighs and sternum. Since I'm not working anymore, she's rarely ever crated. Also, some whippets develop the baldness too. From the reading I've done about it, researchers don't know definitively what causes the baldness, but they're leaning towards a genetic cause.

 

I've also heard that activity level can play a role (at least, that's another theory). More active Greys and Whippets (like racers, for example) are more likely to show the baldness.

 

Not that genetics is to be ruled out. I'm sure that is a factor, as well.

Sarah, the human, Henley, and Armani the Borzoi boys, and Brubeck the Deerhound.
Always in our hearts, Gunnar, Naples the Greyhounds, Cooper and Manero, the Borzoi, and King-kitty, at the Rainbow Bridge.

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Guest greytloves

I did not read all the posts, but wanted to add this:

 

I think a lot of times Vets use the knowledge that may have held true when they went to school and many, many years ago, it was a much more common practice to use steriods. Back when 'roids were cool for man and animal alike.

 

His input, may have been just something he had read or heard about back when he was learning and he was trying to find a reason for such big muscles. (I think they just have muscular bodies in general) wish I did!

 

Kind of like the anesthesia thing. No longer such a big deal as most Vets no longer use the drugs that used to cause all the problems for greys. Its begining to phase itself out.

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Guest taylorsmom
I took Steven in for a vet appointment (small eye infection) and the vet made an off-hand comment about the size of his muscles. He also noted that Steven was way more muscled in his front legs and shoulders than the majority of GHs he has seen.

You know, this is interesting. I had a vet comment on the heavier muscling my Taylor has in her front shoulders also, and what she said was that Taylor probably is more of a "puller" than a "pusher" when she runs--in other words, that her pattern of muscle use in running uses more of the front-end muscles as opposed to back end. Interesting. By the way, Taylor only ran 5 schooling races!

All I know is--I love her muscles, and wish that my shoulder muscles were as beautifully defined as hers are!!

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