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Greyhound with a ton of health concerns

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Hey everyone, about 6 months ago we adopted two beautiful sisters "Winnie" and "Luna" - ex racers and 2 years old at the time. 

They both came to us with a ton of health issues and in a pretty bad way. They had be treated horribly. Luna had a serious UTI, ear infection and some other bits and pieces, all of which has healed and she is living her best life now. 

Winnie on the other hand came with a ton of stuff and has stayed in bad health, even with us literally throwing everything at it.

I thought i'd list some symptoms going on with the hope someone has some info or advise:

  • Her worst symptom is SEVERE crusty sore paws/nose( what we think is hyperkeratosis) It heals and then comes back (ears have fully healed now)
  • She has had infected anal glands (they got expressed)
  • She has red paws from licking
  • Smells yeasty at times
  • Loss of hair on her belly
  • Severe skin irritations from grass (itchy and flakey)
  • She did have growths (they have healed now)
  • Struggles with heat (pants even with a little heat)
  • Fairly lethargic
  • Moody
  • Her poo seems to clump together a bit before exiting at times (seems to be better on this diet)
  • She did fart a ton but has stopped since the new food

We thought it was steming from a really bad immune system so we have literally thrown everything at that - Her fur is like silk now, eyes are bright and teeth are white so something is helping in some area. We have tried a ton of different creams none have done much. We think she might have an allergy to chicken too so have stopped that. We have her on two immune boosters, vit c, tripe for the zinc, hemp oil, coconut oil, a pet naturopaths food diet.

Any help would be rad, 


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There are vets who specialise in dermatology and at this point I think you should ask your regular vet for a referral to one of those.  My old greyhound Ken came to me with similar issues with his paws and nose, initially this was treated as an infection but when it kept on coming back but then a new vet at the practice suggested he see a dermatologist who following on from some tests was able to diagnose it as muco-cutaneous lupus, an immune system issue.  She then prescribed medication which soon had him much more comfortable; after that he was kept permanently on vitamin supplements and antibiotics, which may sound alarming but was actually easy enough to manage.

Of course this is not necessarily what your girl has, though the dermatologist did tell us that she had seen the same issue in other greyhounds and whippets. But after six months it sounds as if you are your regular vet are stumped, so I would say it it is definitely time to see a specialist, which may actually  not be that difficult to arrange - here in London we saw one who was a university lecturer, but also did regular consultation visits at our local hospital.

Clare with Tiger (Snapper Gar, b. 18/05/2015), and remembering Ken (Boomtown Ken, 01/05/2011-21/02/2020) and Doc (Barefoot Doctor, 20/08/2001-15/04/2015).

"It is also to be noted of every species, that the handsomest of each move best ... and beasts of the most elegant form, always excel in speed; of this, the horse and greyhound are beautiful examples."----Wiliam Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty, 1753.

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Yes, it does sound a lot like Lupus or another/combo of auto-immune disorders.  This is fairly common in greyhounds.  See what kinds of specialists are available in your area and ask for a referral.  A dematologist maybe but definitely an internist that understand auto-immune disorders.  Don't be surprised if it takes a *really* long time to schedule an appointment.  Every vet I know is understaffed and overworked and doing the best they can.

Lupus and other diseases in this vein usually don't respond to allergy treatments or creams.  Some can be managed with OTC supplements, but some needs immunosuppressant drugs to really get on top of.  

Good luck

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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Agree with the above, I thought of lupus right away, or some other auto immune disorder. They can be tricky to diagnose and take a long time to get control of (you don’t “heal” most auto immune disorders, just manage the symptoms). Time to call in the specialists, I think. Good luck

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Welcome, Jonny, Winnie, and Luna! 

Agreeing with above posts.  Just as an example, I adopted a hound with gnarly nails who was being treated for a fungal infection; turned out to be an autoimmune disease -- pemphigus or Symmetrical lupoid onychodystrophy (SLO).  He responded well to treatment once he got the right diagnosis.

Other notes -- of course I do not know your dog and I am not a veterinarian, but just have general knowledge of 2 of your list of symptoms.  Just for your background info:

-- loss of fur on belly.  This is extremely common (almost universal!) in racing greyhounds.  Evidently a genetic thing; not much that can be done about it.  There can be some improvement with diet additions; sometimes change of seasons makes a difference.

-- struggles with heat -- also fairly common in greyhounds.  One of my current hounds starts panting when the temps reach 70F.  She continues active with the panting, it doesn't seem to bother her, but I am cautious with her in warm weather.


Ellen, with brindle Milo and the blonde ballerina, Gelsey

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, Nutmeg, and Jeter

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autoimmune issues- they are not easy to deal with. i doubt that you will be able to get health insurance. if you can find an old fashioned farm type vet that's a good diagnostician  they will be able to treat your dogs without you going broke.  steroids are generally what's used for autoimmune disorders. for that they are a godsend and pretty cheap. do budget yourself and you will be amazed at how old fashioned options can work. 

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