Greyhound blood differences.

Our Greyhound, Blue Bob came to us with gum disease which, unfortunately, means that every 6-8 months he has to go in to the vets for dental work. Whenever he does, we ask them to screen his blood to monitor his health. Every time, the bloods would come back with a significantly high creatinine level. At first, they were concerned about his kidney function but nothing would show up in his urinalysis to suggest there was a problem. Blue Bob is an extremely well muscled Greyhound so they put the high creatinine level down to this. However, a while ago, I was doing some research for a course I was studying and came across some articles about Greyhound idiosyncrasies. Greyhounds have some differences in their haematology that some vets aren't aware of. I was quite nervous of offending my vet by telling her this but when I did, she was very grateful and asked me to send her all the information I could. I'm glad I found this information as it spares Blue Bob the repeat blood tests he had to endure. Here is some of the information I have found.

  1. Greyhounds have a higher red blood cell count (RBC), 7.4 - 9.0, as opposed to other breeds which is 5.5 - 8.5.
  2. The haemoglobin level (Hgb) of a Greyhound is around 19.0 - 21.5, whereas in other breeds, it is around 12.0 - 18.0.
  3. The packed cell volume (PCV) is around 55.0 - 65.0, where in other breeds it is around 37.0 - 55.0.
  4. The white blood cell count (WBC) of a Greyhound is around 3.5 - 6.5, where in other breeds it is around 6.0 - 17.0.
  5. The level of platelets in the blood of a Greyhound is around 80,000 - 200,000, but in other breeds it is around 150,000 - 400,000.
  6. The creatinine level in a Greyhound is around 0.8 - 1.6, but in other breeds it is around.0 - 1.0.
  7. In addition to the above, Greyhounds also have a normal thyroid level which is lower than the reference ranges of other breeds. This often leads to hypothyroidism being over-diagnosed in the Greyhound.

If your vet is unaware of these differences, it may be useful to let them know for future reference. If nothing else, it could spare your Greyhound from having endless blood tests in an attempt to find out what is wrong.

By Fiona Reekie.

Print this page.

Back to help and tips page.