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Event raises funds to help cure cancer

Dark brindles, blues, light red fawns, and white and brindle ticks were but a small sample of coats seen at Greyhounds ROCK. The retired racers that recently gathered for a long weekend to support canine cancer research represented nearly all of the 18 officially-recognized Greyhound colors.

The 5th annual Greyhounds Rock symposium held at Fredericksburg Hospitality House and Conference Center the last weekend of October attracted more than 100 participants.

Though the event benefits Greyhound cancer research, it was open to all breeds and addressed canine topics applicable to the general population. Educational sessions included Colleen Pillar's Children and Pets; Jean Ussery of Animal Communications, LLC's What Might Your Dog Say; Chow Now's Raw Feeding 101; Rhonda Morey's Dealing with Grief; Ray Wong's Visual Tales of the Racing Greyhound; greyhound rescue organizations' Fostering 101; and an agility demonstration by Laurie Williams of Pup'N Iron.

Ohio State University Greyhound Health and Wellness Program's Dr. C. Guillermo Couto, DVM, conducted a keynote session that weekend. He is the founder of Veterinarians for Retired Racing Greyhounds and is a recognized leader in Greyhound cancer research and treatment.

Nearly 50 percent of all dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. For the racing sight hounds, 44 percent will die of cancer, with 50 percent of those Greyhound deaths attributed to Osteosarcoma, according to OSU.

Couto's program at OSU has developed protocols specific to the treatment of Osteosarcoma in Greyhounds. Amputation followed by chemotherapy is an accepted course of treatment, but Osteosarcoma can quickly metastasize to the lungs. In cases where cancer has spread, dogs are not candidates for amputation or chemotherapy.

Pennsylvania resident Barbara Heisey's eight-year-old Greyhound Bosha survived for more than 3-and-a-half years following diagnosis and still serves as a symbol of hope. His journey is used as an educational tool at OSU.

Couto listed several advances since last year: a novel post amputation chemotherapy protocol that has resulted in longer survival times in Greyhounds with Osteosarcoma; the use of Titanium prosthetic devices; the difference in blood gas results in Greyhounds has been recognized; new blood work reference ranges have been established for Greyhounds; and novel genetic studies in retired racers and AKC Greyhounds have been undertaken.

Ohio State provides a list-serv for Veterinarians for Retired Racers; free consultations and educational programs for Greyhound owners and veterinarians; and free chemotherapy for retired racers with cancer. To learn about internet support groups such as Circle of Grey, Hope for Hounds and Greytalk, which provide emotional support and tips on post-surgery care, visit . 

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Posted: 11/23/10


About the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State

Founded in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked fifth in the nation and includes more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students in the Departments of Veterinary Biosciences, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and Veterinary Preventive Medicine. The Veterinary Medical Center is one of the largest specialty referral centers in the world, with more than 35,000 farm, equine, and companion animal patients each year. A nationally-recognized ambulatory practice and teaching unit in Marysville, Ohio provides farm animal experience to every veterinary student, and the Food Animal Health Research Program in Wooster, OH focuses on detection, control, and prevention of disease. Located on the only campus in the country with a comprehensive medical center offering seven health sciences colleges, we admit up to 162 veterinary students per class, and offer a new comprehensive graduate program in Veterinary and Comparative Medicine as well as a unique Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health, in partnership with the College of Public Health.   


Last updated: 

Friday, May 4, 2012 - 2:46pm