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Are Greyhounds A Very Health Expensive Breed?


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Guest lupegirl8

Hey I'm new here and looking into possibly adopting a grey next year when I finally move to pet friendly housing. So far they seem like the perfect breed for me. My only concern is I was snooping around this forum and found a post where someone said that greyhounds are one of the most medically expensive breeds there is. I was quite confused as I had not read anything like this in all my greyhound reasearch (which has been quite extensive). On the contrary, I had read that they are typically very healthy; long lived for such a large dog and virtually free from the congenital issues that plague many purebreds.

 

So I guess I'm just looking for clarification. Was the person's statment correct, or had they perhaps just had bad health luck with their greys? I understand that all dogs will have expensive health issues from time to time, and I certainly intend to have a dog emergency fund at the ready before I adopt, but I'd rather not get a breed that is highly prone to expensive medical complications. My family had a greyhound/lab mix (favored the greyhound quite a lot) when I was younger and she was always a robust healthy dog apart from occassional nicks becasue of her thin skin.

 

Thanks for any clafification you guys can give me!

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I think that they are generally a very healthy breed. After all, a sick dog doesn't race and doesn't earn it's owner any money. They can have health issues, as any large breed dog, and sometimes they are expensive. Cancer treatments, heart isssues, digestive problems - these seem to be the most prevalent. Also, if you aren't comfortable treating your dog at home for small scrapes or open wounds from their thin skin, you can run up a big vet bill quite quickly.

 

You might look into pet insurance. Several companies are good and will pay for most maintenance and annual appointments, and a good chunk of larger health issues. Do a search on the forum here for the many threads on the different types.

 

Remember too, that you are looking here in a forum where people are coming to look for meical advice. There will naturally be a concentration of ailments (and the money spent on them) than in the general population.

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Guest lupegirl8

Also, if you aren't comfortable treating your dog at home for small scrapes or open wounds from their thin skin, you can run up a big vet bill quite quickly.

 

What does treating a dog for scrapes or wounds at home entail exactly? I would assume just cleaning it with an antiseptic and antibiotic ointment and covering/binding it somehow (maybe a gauzepad and atheletic tape)? Unless there's some special procedure for greyhounds that I don't know about?

 

I keep turtles and do almost all their health care myself, only occassionally consulting with a vet when I need prescription antibiotics. This is mostly out of necessity since there are few vets that are profficient in caring for non-traditional pets (it is extremely frustrating to be halfway through an appointment and realize that you know more about your pet's health care needs thany your vet does) and those that do are quite pricey. So I've become quite handy with Betadine, Neosporin, and home treatment in general. I don't think treating greyhound wounds would be far out of my reach.

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After six greys and thousands upon thousands in vet bills and specialists I would have to agree that they are an expensive breed. Maybe I just got all the wrong ones.

 

Notable standouts were my first grey, Girl, who died at 4 of Immune mediated hemolytic anemia after blood transfusions and a lot of time in the ER.

 

Rex had terrible LS at age 6 and finally went to many specialists who later said that he went to what they thought was GME - it was his spine and brain that took him. ETA - I forgot about his horrible corn problem when posting last night.

 

Bella cost me well over $2,000 and we're still not sure what she had but she was falling down and bleeding out so it was time.

 

I had my wonderful Buddy just over a year before lymphoma took him. One vet's initial prognosis was two weeks to two months and he was gone in 16 days.

 

Harley and Buck were fairly healthy. In fairness Poodle did cost me a ton after his pancreatitis and diabetes at age 10 but before that it was just yearly check ups. I have had Barkley the terrier mix 4 years now and had the vet run up his total costs last year. They were just over $600 total.

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According to my insurer, they must be incurring vet bills because their premiums for greyhounds have just doubled ! most of the greys I know have incurred vet bills in relation to skin tears from doing zoomies and hitting objects, or for teeth issues. There was also a girl I know who broke toes lure coursing (2 on a back foot and one on a front).

 

Barbie cost a lot of money because she had a skin lesion/fistula on her back foot which took surgery and expensive imaging and specialist appointments to diagnose. We probably could have done it cheaper, but that is what insurance is for, right? I wanted the best vets on it because she was lame and her most favorite thing in the world is walking and running. She's also a bad tooth dog so she gets regular dental attention and extractions.

 

Barbie had to visit the vet after a spectacular zoomie crash which resulted in grazes and bruising, she pulled up lame so I had to get someone else to check for broken bones etc.

 

I've had Mouse for a year and aside from weepy eyes (conjunctivitis) she has not had any issues (touch wood) but she is only 3.5 so we shall see what the future holds.

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You also probably should know that greyhound owners might be part of the issue as well. They do have thin skin but in most other ways not really different than other breeds. Greyhound owners are typically extremely devoted and willing to/chose to treat many big illnesses.

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You also probably should know that greyhound owners might be part of the issue as well. They do have thin skin but in most other ways not really different than other breeds. Greyhound owners are typically extremely devoted and willing to/chose to treat many big illnesses.

 

I am interested in this perception. I've met plenty of hounds with rotten mouths and other issues that are not dealt with the way I would ! I'm not sure if there's a significant difference between hound owners and owners of any other type of dog here in Australia.

 

It might be that dog owners who have insurance spend more on vets..... because it's not their own money ;) I know that applied to me!

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Guest lupegirl8

So forgive me if I'm being ignorant but two more questions for you guys:

1) About how much should one expect to pay per month for pet insurance? (just ballpark)

2) To be safe, how much would you say someone should have in their pet emergency fund specifically for a greyhound?

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I've had 15 greyhounds and to be honest, I really didn't spend much over their yearly check ups and teeth cleaning until they became senior hounds. I spent $2,500.00 on my boy that I just lost trying to treat his health issues but he was an exception to the rule in my home any way, so if you're planning to put money back, I would have a savings account that you add to every month so you have the funds available if necessary.

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I've had three and didn't find them particularity expensive. The most expensive vet bills occurred when they ate something that I shouldn't have left within their reach; for example, $2300 when Loca ate a bottle of vitamins.

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On the whole they are a healthy breed, apart from the risk of osteosarcoma. This risk is a common one in all breeds of large, long-boned dogs, but there seems to be a higher incidence in American greyhounds than over here in England. If you are unlucky enough to choose a dog who later develops osteosarcoma things can get very, very expensive, very quickly if you choose to pull out all the stops.

However, if you and your vet decided to treat him or her using palliative treatment until things become too bad at which time you put the dog to sleep, costs are very much lower.

 

 

I am interested in this perception. I've met plenty of hounds with rotten mouths and other issues that are not dealt with the way I would ! I'm not sure if there's a significant difference between hound owners and owners of any other type of dog here in Australia.

 

It might be that dog owners who have insurance spend more on vets..... because it's not their own money ;) I know that applied to me!

 

 

I do think there are two things to consider here: one is that yes, many greyhound owners (including me) will do anything possible to give their dogs the best possible quality of life. I'm considering stem cell treatment for one of mine at the moment if he proves to be a good candidate. This would be to treat a hip erosion. I have to say that I know more greyhound owners than people with other breeds who would go to those lengths.

However, the other thing to bear in mind is that in a forum like this 1) frequent posters are usually very committed to their hounds, and 2) you see all the problems concentrated in one place.

 

And people without problems tend not to post much except in 'Cute & Funny'! ;)

 

I've had 15 greyhounds and to be honest, I really didn't spend much over their yearly check ups and teeth cleaning until they became senior hounds. I spent $2,500.00 on my boy that I just lost trying to treat his health issues but he was an exception to the rule in my home any way, so if you're planning to put money back, I would have a savings account that you add to every month so you have the funds available if necessary.

 

Yep. Our first greyhound was a youngster of around 2 years old when we got him and was very, very healthy up until he became a senior. He cost us quite a bit then, as many aging dogs do. We also took on a five year old girl later who was super healthy until she got cancer at the age of 10 and it was all over within a few days. Since our vet missed it, it cost us a bit more than it should have done because we chose to request a referral, but taken as an average over her life the cost was not horrendous.

Jack, who we took on at 10 years didn't cost us much until his last emergency visit and hospitalisation, bless him. And the thing to remember is that when large dogs get problems, you get large bills. From the cost of antibiotics to an MRI, everything is multiplied upwards to take into account the size of the dog. When you need anything from toothpaste, multivitamins, shampoo, etc, to coats and collars and beds, everything will need to be in a bigger size.

And finally, how much they cost you can depend a lot on the owner. I'm not talking about imponderables like bone cancer (osteosarcoma), but about whether you're willing to brush their teeth regularly, which will help to avoid a trip to the vets for a dental, and whether you plan a lot of exotic holidays without your dog, leaving him in an expensive boarding kennel. And to some extent, whether you take steps to avoid preventable accidents.

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So forgive me if I'm being ignorant but two more questions for you guys:

1) About how much should one expect to pay per month for pet insurance? (just ballpark)

2) To be safe, how much would you say someone should have in their pet emergency fund specifically for a greyhound?

 

In UK money (x1.7 for US$) Peggy's Petplan Insurance is around £35 per month on a 'For Life' Policy which includes repeats of the same illnesses that covers per year: £4K per vet fees, £750 Complemetary treatment, Advertiseng/Rewards £250, Boarding feeds £250, Third Party Liability £1 Million, Emergency repatriation £500, Quarantine and loss of documents £1,500.

There is an £85 'excess' payment on the vet fees meaning that minor treatments don't usually get covered. They also won't pay for specialist food unless it is food that dissolves kidney stones. In Peggy's case they've paid for emergency surgery on a Knee and a part-Tail Amputation.

The situation with dental work is ambiguous and they say they wont pay: "The cost of dental treatment unless your pet had a dental examination carried out by a vet in the 12 months before the clinical signs of the injury or illness were first noted.

 

You have to take out what I consider an expensive policy to get all those benefits and keep them provided the insurance cover isn't interrupted. (Insurance is a business first and foremost.

 

So if you don't have insurance you really need to ring fence about £5K. Hopefully 'll never need it. Most vets now insist on being paid by the client as the treatment progresses, Petplan in the UK is one of the few that will work with vets and pay them for you.

 

Are Greys particularly injury prone? Apart from Peggy's knee episode (not seeing a rock between her and a squirrel) I wouldn't say she's been any worse than any of the other dogs I've had. Bear in mind that they are sprinters and may have suffered a bunch of pre-existing injuries that an insurance firm won't take onboard. And they WILL get into trouble off-leash in a heartbeat if you're not vigilant. They're not good swimmers due to their high muscle/fat ratio either. Osteosarcoma is also over-represented in them as it is in some of the other large breeds too.

 

Getting a dog that remains vet-free is mostly a lottery. Look and listen carefully to what the adoption group people tell you about the dogs most recent vet check-up.

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My insurance premiums for two hounds with a $50 annual deductible (not per incident) is about $110/mo for two dogs. One has not met her deductible in the 2.5 years she's been insured. One had enough claims paid out last year to cover his premiums for several years. He didn't meet his deductible in years before or yet this year. Yet... :lol

 

 

Getting a dog that remains vet-free is mostly a lottery.

 

This has been my experience.

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Mine have been no more expensive than the retrievers and mutts that came before. In fact, the two most expensive dogs I've had were both mutts.

 

:nod I don't feel mine have been more expensive than my non-greyhounds have been over the years.

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They're not good swimmers due to their high muscle/fat ratio either.

 

 

 

They can be good swimmers - Sid loves swimming! Jeffie can swim but doesn't much like it, possible because of the muscle:fat ratio plus the fact that they don't have waterproof coats - he gets very cold, very quickly, even in warm water. He's skinny. Sid is a more solid dog, has a thicker coat and more body fat and doesn't seem to get so cold.

 

I think they need to be taught to swim. But I would want one of mine to fall into a fast-flowing dyke, that's for sure!

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Guest IrskasMom

I only ever had Greys and so far they have cost me a big Bundle ( that is exactly why I have just one ) . The Love I have for them outweighs everything. I do believe Greyhound Owners are a little over the top with their " Baby's " . Me to .

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You can never know. My mongrel cost me over $15,000 in vet bills. Tore his ACL, required major surgery, got a bone infection from said major surgery, almost died, needed more surgery, etc.

 

You have to be an educated consumer of vet services. If you're one of those people who gets emotional and says "do whatever it takes to make him better" and allows your vet to subject your dog to tests (many of which often have zero impact on the outcome or treatment--just give your vet information at your expense) and treatments that cost of fortune but do little for your animal, count on spending a lot more than if you ask questions before agreeing to things.

 

One question of my vet saved me a couple of thousand dollars when my George was diagnosed with LSS. She wanted to do an MRI to confirm. I asked if knowing FOR SURE would change his treatment since there was absolutely no way I would subject a dog to spinal surgery, and she said no, it wouldn't. So why would I spend over $2,000 on an MRI?

 

I think we tend to forget that at the vet, we are a customer in addition to the owner of a pet. You don't have to do everything your vet wants to do.


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I think whatever breed you get, allow more money over the long term for vets bills etc then you think you need. I have both of my hounds insured but my older one has costed me loads even though she's insured (due to huge excess etc). It's easy to calculate food bills etc for them but I would personally allow for more than you think for vets bills.

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Mine have been no more expensive than the retrievers and mutts that came before. In fact, the two most expensive dogs I've had were both mutts.

agreed....it's a matter of luck and your vet. some vets go for testing every and anything, some are excellent diagnosticians and can call it. i know a dog, non-greyhound, who just ate a toy- injured it's intestines- $1900 later..he's fine. heart worm meds, flea and tic preventative, kibble, obedience classes, a coat or two are the basics. i put the insurance $$ away and save it for a rainy day...A.K.A. accident(staples their skin rips easily)

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I've only had greyhounds, so I don't have any basis for comparison. ALL of our dogs have cost us rather large amounts of money toward the end of their lives--Buddy ended up having lymphoma, but we didn't know that till after we treated him for LS. He also scratched his cornea--twice--and ended up with pannus, so we had specialist vet bills. Rascal managed to lacerate herself while sleeping a few months after we got her--not making this up--and she ended up with hemangiopericytoma in her later years. Ruby--who was probably the most 'cost-effective' dog--injured herself at age 11, and we got her back on her feet (she had a neck injury and was completely immobile till we found a chiropractor), but she only lasted another 8 months. All three of them died at age 12. Jack was only 7 when he died from complications from lymphangiactasia--he developed blood clots from the pred he had to take and we never got his disease regulated :( .

 

We've had our share of miscellaneous lacerations which required stitching, too. And dentals.

 

But with all that said, as my fifth greyhound, Phoebe, is at my feet waiting for her walk--I would not have any other breed. :wub:

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I've had 2 greyhounds in my life, and in my experience, I wouldn't call them an overly expensive breed. Gia ended up with Osteo, and we went the full amp and chemo route, and if I recall, that came to somewhere in the 5k - 7k range, with insurance paying back about 3k. Po'boy's had no real medical issues (knock on wood), so other than a few hundred here and there for scrapes and scuffles, he's a fairly cheap date. I will say I've got the benefit of an awesome vet who knows my capabilities and will tell me based on descriptions and photos if a scrape or cut is something I should be able to handle on my own, or I should bring in for. I guess in the long run, having sent an American Bulldog through a 25k experimental brain surgery/cancer treatment (which was covered by the University study, thank doG), and putting the two cattle dogs through about 10k in treatment after my housefire, a few thousand here and there doesn't seem like a major expense over a lifetime.

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I agree that it is a bit of a gamble -- any dog of any breed can be expensive. My first dog I adopted as an adult was a Dalmatian with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. She cost me a fortune. My first Greyhound, Mandy, had terrible corns that ended up costing me quite a bit over the years, especially towards the end, when we did acupuncture and physical therapy. My Sammy is pretty solid and healthy, but I had to spend quite a bit to beat back the hookworms, which is certainly not unique to Greyhounds.

 

Sammy's insurance through Petplan is $40 a month, but there are many options that can raise or lower the price (deductibles, percentage paid, limits, etc).

 

I wish you luck in your research about adopting.

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I think everyone else has covered most things. I would just add, prices for care are definitely different based on geographic location. I have been lambasted on here multiple times for what I spent on care for Aquitaine. I agree completely that it was extremely expensive but I live in Manhattan. EVERYTHING is very expensive. I took her to a Cornell vet one year at Grapehounds, they ran every test in the book, we were there for 5-6 hours and it cost me less than $500. By those numbers, nope, not expensive at all!

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