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Back to Medications » Greyhound Racing Medications Are Regulated
Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Antibiotics, NSAIDS, topicals, steroids, poultices, hormones, tonics, astringents, and liniments are all used to treat infection, inflammation, soreness, swelling, whatever the trainer finds when examining the greyhound for injury. To not treat discovered injury would be negligent and could lead to a more serious condition. Treatment is for as short a duration as possible. Since greyhounds are to race "drug free", withholding guidelines, the time necessary for a drug to be removed from the body plus a safety time factored in, are published for legitimate medications. Veterinarians and trainers use these post treatment to ensure no residue remains when the dog is again ready to race. Over the last several years, positive urine samples for drugs in the U.S. have been close to 0.1%( Care of the Racing and Retired Greyhound, American Greyhound Council, First Edition, 2007, p. 429). Each state's Racing Commission authorizes the track veterinarian to collect urine from race winners, and others at his/her choosing. Tests are performed by certified racing chemists in approved laboratories. "Drug free" racing is enforced.

The only exception is the accepted use of methyl testosterone to inhibit the "heat cycle" in females training and racing. This is for both economic and safety reasons. It can be given simply by pill orally, usually twice/week, or by injection, if allowed by the state's Racing Commission. Breeders conscientiously breed the best to the best, so females show their heart and speed racing alongside the males. The choice of dam is economically just as important as a sire.

The first safety issue is for the females. Racing condition cannot be maintained when the female is in "heat" or estrus. Her body goes into pre-pregnancy mode and muscles relax. Then, if not bred, she may produce milk, another state in which her body conditon cannot compete. If allowed to cycle, a female could easily lose 2-3 months racing time as her body slowly gets worked back to race condition. This would be a major economic impact for each female racing.

The second safety issue is for the males. Undue stress and likelihood of fights would result from being attracted to females in "heat". Decreasing stress is a goal in the kennel, not increasing it. The use of testosterone in females is a practical and economic solution for the welfare of male and female racing greyhounds.

Penny Wick