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About NE Ohio Greyhound Rescue, Inc.
Our High Standards of Care for the Retired Racing Greyhounds in our Program
Retired racing greyhounds are generally healthy, however, some may have digestive and skin problems, parasites including fleas, ticks, and intestinal worms, ear, dental or urinary tract infections, and may have skin wounds, orthopedic injuries or heart murmurs. These problems are treatable with good quality husbandry and medical intervention and once treated, do not impact on a retired racer’s ability to be wonderful pets and companions.
As soon as the retired racers enter our program they are immediately bathed, and any parasites are removed. They receive top grade veterinary approved flea and tick prevention, and intestinal de-wormers. They are started on a bland diet and slowly transitioned to a high quality food and given nutritional supplements for their skin, digestive system and joints. Shortly after arriving at NEOGR, Inc., the dogs are brought to our vet, Dr. Amy Wolfgang at Brightwood Animal Hospital for a full physical exam, bloodwork, parasite tests, and any vaccines needed. On physical exam, Dr. Wolfgang looks for evidence of fleas, ticks, ear or skin infections and checks for problems with the eyes and looks for evidence of dental disease. She listens to the heart for evidence of a murmur and examines legs to look for orthopedic injuries. We test at least one fecal sample to look for intestinal parasites that are infectious to other dogs and people and also run a heartworm test and start them on heartworm prevention if negative, or treat for heartworm infection, if positive.
We draw a blood sample to check their blood cell counts and organ functions and to see if they are affected by tick borne diseases. Exposure to parasites can affect blood counts and we need to make sure that the liver and kidneys are functioning well before placing them under anesthesia for spay/neuter surgeries and dentals. These blood tests allow us to check for serious, yet asymptomatic, undetected health problems that could make anesthesia more risky and cause a retired racer to become sick at a later time. By doing this bloodwork, we can be more confident about doing anesthesia, and can also screen for and treat diseases early before they become more serious. Some of the greyhounds that we take in are already altered, but if we need to spay or neuter, we use only anesthesia that is safe for greyhounds and human grade monitoring systems, including EKG, blood pressure, and pulse oximetry to ensure their safety while they are asleep. They also have a tube placed into their throat to assist breathing if needed and an IV catheter where they receive fluids to prevent dehydration and to keep their blood pressure regular during the procedure. We also clean their teeth while they are asleep. If we discover that a retired racer has a medical issue, we preform additional diagnostic tests, treat the problem and do frequent follow-ups with Dr. Wolfgang to insure that the greyhound is recovering properly.
While waiting for their forever homes, the dogs in our program receive regular grooming, which includes frequent nail trimming, ear cleaning, and teeth brushing. They are kept current on heartworm/intestinal parasite prevention 12 months of the year, and are given exercise and socialization with other dogs and people. We give each of the greyhounds in our care basic training and teach them house manners (stairs, housebreaking, etc.). We firmly believe that providing a stable home environment is best for all newly retired greyhounds.
Our high standards of care go above and beyond the norm, and can be costly but without proper preventive care (thorough physical exam, parasite screening, bloodwork) and without proper anesthesia and intra-operative monitoring, the risks of undiagnosed diseases and surgical complications are very high. Bloodwork and physical exams help to assure that a dog is healthy upon adoption. If problems are found, early detection of diseases through the health screening saves money for the adopter and prevents unneeded suffering for the retired racers. Giving a newly retired racer individualized care, training and attention makes the adoption process easier on both the dogs and their new families.
We do our best to help greyhounds in a variety of ways. On Friday, January 24th 2014, Dr. Amy Wolfgang came over to draw blood from 11 healthy greyhounds. The blood was sent to Dr. Matthew Breen at the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State. Dr. Breen is studying differences in blood between cancer dogs, healthy siblings of cancer dogs and healthy non-siblings of cancer dogs in hopes to get closer to a cure. We are so thrilled that the greyhounds at NE Ohio Greyhound Rescue, Inc. could help in this important endeavor. Special thanks goes out to Dr. Amy and the greyhounds – Stone, Momma Levity, Boo Boo, Bear, Mulberry, Spider, Riker, Ace, Danny, Sparkles, and Shamrock!
Our Special Needs Sanctuary
Senior and Special Needs dogs have a very special place in our hearts. After caring for several “special” greyhounds in the past, we realized that these dogs give to us more than we could ever hope to give back to them. They have taught us patience, kindness and unconditional love and have served as our role models when dealing with pain, disease and aging. They have taught us that obstacles are never insurmountable with a little elbow grease, attitude adjustment, knowledge, insight and creativity.
We have recently created a sanctuary program, taking in seniors and special needs dogs that are not easily adoptable due to advanced age and/or medical issues. These dogs are given the highest standards of care possible. They receive age-appropriate annual blood tests and vaccinations, fecals and regular wellness exams, and are treated for any/all medical issues. We work with dogs with behavioral issues and do our best reduce the fear and anxiety which underlies much of “bad behavior.” We work with behaviorists, traditionally trained veterinarians and holistic practitioners to give each dog their best chance at a happy life. Sometimes, we are able to find the perfect home for a special needs dog. Those that are not adoptable have a safe and comfortable environment to live out their remaining years and receive all the love and attention they deserve.
We are a non-profit, tax-exempt organization under section 501 (C) (3) of the IRS code and all donations and mileage are tax deductible. One hundred percent of all donations are used for the vetting, feeding and welfare of the greyhounds in our care. There are no paid employees. We rely on donations and grants to help pay for the top quality food, supplements, veterinary services and other items needed to run our sanctuary the right way. No dog is ever denied what they need to be as happy and healthy as possible.
NE Ohio Greyhound Rescue, Inc. is registered with the Ohio Department of Agriculture as an Animal Rescue, and follows all rules and regulations set forth in accordance with the Ohio Revised Code Section 956.06.
We have years of experience caring for dogs, especially greyhounds, but we never stop learning new things. The dogs teach us much about life, love and the keys to what’s really important.