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All about the Retired Racing Greyhound


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A Story Worth Telling


Dr. Guillermo Couto

Dr. Guillermo Couto received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) from Buenos Aires University, Argentina in 1976 and served as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology, Buenos Aires University from 1976-1981.  Dr. Couto entered residency in Clinical Oncology from University of California-Davis from 1981 to 1983.  He has acted as Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at the Ohio State University for 12 years.  Dr. Couto was also editor-in-chief of the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine from 1993-1998.  He received the Norden Distinguished Teaching Award in 1986 and was the recipient of the BSAVA Bourgelat Award for Outstanding Contribution to Small Animal Practice in 2000.  He has published over 300 scientific publications and book chapters in the areas of oncology, hematology, immunology and Greyhound medicine.  Dr. Couto is currently a Professor at The Ohio State University, College of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Couto’s research interests include clinical hematology, metastatic neoplasia, Chemotherapy, Hemostasis and greyhound medicine.

The Greyhound Health and Wellness Program (GHWP) at Ohio State University

Doctors examine greyhoundsThe Greyhound Health and Wellness Program (GHWP) was established because it was recognized that with the increasing popularity of retired racing greyhounds across North America, the numbers seen by veterinarians will continue to increase.  As a result, it was felt to be important that veterinaries, health-related professionals, rescue organizations, and owners recognize the physiological peculiarities of this breed.

The GHWP is primarily an outreach and teaching effort that incorporates basic elements of shelter medicine. To read more about the GHWP, visit their web site at

The first question that must be addressed is: why a Greyhound Health and Wellness Program? With the increasing popularity of retired racing Greyhounds, veterinarians are likely to evaluate dogs of this breed more frequently in their practice. Adoption efforts have made a positive impact on the number of Greyhounds that are killed every year due to poor performance in the racetrack; conservative estimates suggest that currently anywhere between 3,000 and 15,000 Greyhounds are killed every year in the US.

It is estimated that approximately 120,000 Greyhounds live in homes as pets, compared to 55,000 Greyhounds in racetracks. In the past few years, private Greyhound adoptions ranged from 15,000 to 18,000/year (Gary Guccione, National Greyhound Association, personal communication). Therefore, it is important that veterinary students, health-related professionals, rescue organizations, and owners recognize the physiological peculiarities of this breed.

2 greyhounds standing on the grassThe Greyhound Health and Wellness/Transfusion Medicine Service (GHWTMS) encompasses 2 different clinical services:

Although each portion of GHWTMS functions somewhat autonomously during day-to-day activities, their functions are closely interrelated and have common goals.


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