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					         Volume 1, Issue 3                                         From the desk of
           Winter 2004

                                                        Marci Anderson, President
                                          Happy Holidays to all of our greyhound adopters and friends! By now, everyone is in the bustling
                                          season of shopping and scurrying from place to place. I would like to offer a few reminders of what you
                                          can do to keep your greyhound(s) in a happy holiday mood. While I know that many of you would claim
                                          your greyhound(s) to be intelligent, I have not come across one who can read a calendar yet to know
                                          that the holiday season is here. But your canine(s) willce4rtainly know 6things are different around the
                        Greys’ Praise
                                         house.
                                         Holiday Plants: Holly and mistletoe are extremely poisonous when eaten. The lovely poinsettia may not
                                         be truly poisonous, but its milky white sap and leaves can certainly cause severe gastric distress. With
                                         so many hybrid varieties available each year, the best approach is to keep the plants out of your pet’s
STEEL CITY GREYHOUNDS




                                         reach.
                                         Electrical cords: Holiday lights mean more electrical cords for kittens and puppies to chew. Be sure you
                                         have the cords secure and out of the way.
                                         Candles: Lit candles should never be left unattended and that is especially important if left at kitty’s eye
                                         level or within puppy’s chewing zone. An exuberant tail, a swat of a paw around candles and hot wax
                                         can quickly become disastrous. Anchor candles securely and away from curious faces and feet.
                                         Pine needles: Check around holiday trees frequently. Ingested pine needles can puncture your pet’s
                                         intestines if sharp enough.
                                         Holiday trees: Make sure your tree is well secured. If you have a tree-climbing cat or large dog with a
                                         happy tail, anchor the top of the tree to the wall, using string, cord or rope. Preservatives often used in
                                         the water in a tree stand can cause gastric upsets, so be sure it is inaccessible or not used. Avoid sugar
                                         and aspirin additives in the water as well.
                                         Ornaments: Sharp or breakable ornaments, dreidels, and even aluminum foil should be kept out of
                                         reach. String objects, especially tinsel and ribbons, are to be safeguarded at all costs. They are thin and
                                         sharp and can wrap around intestines or ball up in the stomach.
                                         Stress and company: With everyone coming and going, watch out for open doors and sneaky pets.
                                         Make sure your pets have collars and tags on in case of escape. Ask guests to keep an eye out for pets
                                         under foot and remind them that sometimes your normally friendly dog or cat may be less willing to deal
                                         with enthusiastic children and rooms full of unfamiliar people. Provide a special quiet place with a
                                         blanket and fresh water for your pet to retreat to when the festivities get too stressful.
                                         And lastly, my favorite of all… The Counter Surfer: Never underestimate the power of your sighthound’s
                                         scenting ability. Even if foods are out of sight, your greyhound can seek out the most scrumptious turkey
                                         dinners and counter surf with lightning speed. We do not want a repeat of the infamous “Christmas
                                         Story’s” turkey dinner scene with the neighborhood hound dogs frolicking over the family turkey on the
                                         kitchen floor.          Have a Happy New Year


                                                                                    important part of the Dewey experience and the vendor tent was
                                                                                    bigger and better than ever!
                                        By Kyle Catanzarite
                                                                                    Again this year, Steel City Greyhounds volunteers provided dog
 The sun was shining brightly as hordes of greyhounds and their                     sitting service to shoppers who wanted to surprise their hounds with
 humans converged on Dewey Beach, Delaware during the beautiful                     Dewey mementos and fashions. This hard-working group raised
 fall weekend of October 8—10. The hounds came in all sizes and                     $300 in donations!
 colors, eager to meet and greet each other with plenty of sniffing
 and an occasional “roo”!                                           If your hounds have already reached the beach, be sure to plan
                                                                    early to return next year. If your hounds have not reached the
 This was the third year that Steel City Greyhounds was represented beach, and you’re wondering “Dewey or don’t we”...join the “we do”
 at this amazing gathering of hounds from the U.S., Canada and
 beyond. There were greyhounds everywhere….on the sidewalks
 and boardwalk, on the beach, in the water, in the stores, and in
 hundreds of hotel and motel rooms. It was a wonderful time for
 greyhounds and the people who love them.
 There were several educational forums dealing with health issues,
 training and nutrition, to name a few. Shopping is always an

 Note: If you do not want to continue to receive this newsletter, please contact Sue Ballard at antje11b@hotmail.com
                                                                        these parks. I’m willing to bet most all of them could have been
                              DOG PARK SAFETY                           avoided.
                                by Kyle Catanzarite                    Finally, be aware of the physical signs that your greyhound is
                                                                       stressed. In the summer, wait until evening to visit the park and
                        For all of us who have welcomed a be sure your dog is well hydrated. Respond immediately to signs
                        greyhound into our hearts and homes, of distress. Remember that heat stroke may result in death.
                        there are few things in life more
                        exhilarating than watching our beautiful If you are considering taking your greyhound to a park, or have
                        hounds run for the first time. Without been there already and welcome some advice on how to keep
  question, their grace and speed are beyond compare in the your hound safe, here a few suggestions:
  canine community.
                                                                       *Go to the park on a weekday when it is less crowded. The
  If you were like me when I brought my newly adopted greyhound greater the number of dogs, the greater the opportunity for
  home, one of the first things you wanted to do was take it to an conflict.
  enclosed area to see it run off-lead. My early experiences
                                                                       *Keep your greyhound on a leash and walk into the enclosed
  included taking my greyhounds to the horse ring in North Park
                                                                       area. If other dogs come running to “greet” your dog, be sure the
  where they took off on the sandy surface, hugging the fence as if
                                                                       interaction is positive before unleashing it.
  they were back at the racetrack. We also made occasional trips
  to Frick Park where my hounds ran and played with a variety of *If there are obvious signs of aggression once your dog is off
  dogs. I was very naïve back then about the inherent dangers of lead, do the smart thing and leave the park. Muzzle your dog only
  dog parks. I was very lucky, and still feel fortunate today, that my if all of the other dogs in the park are muzzled. I feel strongly that
  greyhounds were never injured as a result.                           all dogs in parks should be muzzled to avoid injuries.
  Dog parks seem to be gaining in popularity lately and I have          *Be sure your greyhound has been treated for fleas and internal
  noticed in the past several months that business is booming at        parasites at least several days before going to the park.
  North Park and Hartwood Acres, with all canines great and small
  in attendance. I think dog parks can be great fun for humans and     *Before you let your dog off lead, look around the park for obvious
  canines alike, if common sense and caution prevail!                  hazards, including holes in the ground, steep terrain, wet grass,
                                                                       mud and trees. If the ground is muddy, your greyhound can slip,
  Even though dogs have been domesticated for more years than I fall and become injured seriously. Limit your visits to the park to
  can count, the pack mentality of their ancestors influences many dry days and even then, watch for mud puddles from recent rains.
  of their behaviors. A dog that is normally docile and friendly in a
  home environment can suddenly become very aggressive when *Take cool water for drinking and a few towels to wet to keep your
  in contact with unfamiliar dogs. While much can be understood greyhound cool. You may also need a towel to clean dirty paws
  from body language, many people don’t recognize the messages before the ride home.
  the dogs are sending to each other until it’s too late and a serious *Do not feed your greyhound immediately before or after a trip to
  injury occurs.                                                       the park to avoid the risk of bloat which occurs most often in
  In addition to the interaction between dogs, there are other deep-chested dogs. If not treated immediately, this critical
  important considerations that must be taken into account before condition may result in death.
  you unleash your dog in the park and let it run with wild abandon. Finally, have fun, have fun, have fun! Exercising caution and
  Uneven terrain, holes in the ground, wet grass and trees are using common sense will result in a “greyt” day in the park for
  among the dangers that can spell disaster for your greyhound. everyone.
  I’m curious as to how many injuries are sustained by dogs in


                                                                      from Greyhounds affected with osteosarcoma. In addition,
Genetics and Osteosarcoma                                             we are collecting blood samples from healthy Greyhounds
Dear Greyhound enthusiast, Eight thousand to 10,000                   who are over 6 years old and have never been diagnosed
cases of a malignant bone tumor called osteosarcoma are               with cancer. To participate in the study, Greyhound
reported in dogs in the United States annually,                       owners can simply request a collection kit from us, take
representing a very significant health concern. Sadly, in             their dog to their own veterinarian to have the blood
the majority of cases, spread of the tumor through the body           samples drawn, then send the sample back to us along
and death follows within a few years. Osteosarcomas                   with a copy of the dog’s pedigree. We would greatly
affect all dogs, but the disease frequency is considerably            appreciate your help with this study. If you would like any
higher in large and giant breeds, including the Greyhound.            further information about the study or collection process,
It has been suggested that genetics may play an important             feel free to contact me.
role in this disease. Our group of scientists, funded in part         Warmest regards, Kenine E Comstock, Ph.D
by the AKC Canine Health Foundation, have initiated a
project to identify the genetic risk factors for osteosarcoma.        University of Michigan, 5121 Cancer Center,
We expect that this study should lead to considerable                 1500 E Medical Center Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48109
improvements in treatment of osteosarcoma. In addition,
our findings will allow the development of genetic tests for          734-647-7417 (phone)        —    734-647-5470 (fax)
osteosarcoma that could be used to eliminate carriers from
breeding populations, eventually reducing the frequency of
this devastating cancer. We are collecting blood samples

Page 2                                                                                      VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3
                                                                            It was January 23, 2004, the
                                                                                coldest day of the year,
                                                                                when we picked up the
                                                                                 newest member of our
                                                                                 family. Iruska Dick was
                                                                            his racing name, but with a lot    Tuxie
                                                                            of thought and help from my
                                                                               sister’s 4th grade class, Tuxedo Dick Lighting Paws
We adopted Derry this past July. Derry is red brindle. It took us a             DeGroot was re-named. Coming up on our 1 year
few weeks to get him used to walking with us, but now he LOVES                “gotcha day,” we are so happy to be a part of the
his walks and greeting our neighbors. On one of our walks, one        greyhound adoption community. The first few days were an
of our newer neighbors came out and watched us walk by. The           adjustment period for everyone, including our cat Saffron
next day, my husband was cutting the lawn next to the people that     Beans. However, Tuxie mastered the steps within a month
watched us walk by. They came over and asked if that was us           and by the beginning of spring, managed to consistently
walking the skinny tiger!!!!                                          make his way from his playroom downstairs to the bedroom
He politely informed them                                             for bedtime! His favorite treat is his peanut butter Kong and
that we have a greyhound,                                             his Scooby Doo Treats, and his two best friends are Saffron
not a tiger!                                                          and Molly the sheep dog.
Have a greyt day!                                                     What did we ever do before him? Tuxie has brought so
                                                                      much to our home, families, friends and our community. It is
Susy Durso                                                            a wonderful feeling to come home and see his smiling face
                                                                      and broken tail wagging at us. He is a true gentleman (even
                                                                      waiting for Saffron Beans to descend the stairs before him),
     Derry and friend Neal                                            and a dog with the biggest heart (he once picked up a
                                                                      squeaky toy to demonstrate it to Molly before placing it back
                                                                      in front of her), who can’t give away enough hugs! Thank
                                                                      you Steel City for helping to make Tuxie a part of our family.
                                                                                           Joe and Kelly DeGroot

                                                               responding to any of the medications. We picked her up from
                                                               the Emergency Clinic late Monday evening to find that not only
                                                               was her belly still so swollen, but that her legs had swollen to
                     By Paul & Kathy Spurgeon                  about three times their normal size. She had been bleeding into
                                                               the skin, and her underside was totally black and blue. Her
Note: Aja was adopted from a greyhound group who was eyes were very glassy and we weren’t sure if she recognized us
unwilling to print this story.                                 at that point. That evening we were told her chance of survival
This is our heartbreaking story about a beautiful two-year old was not good.
female greyhound we adopted on February 1, 2004. WZ We took her home and spent most of the night holding her and
Playstation was her racing name. You’ve never seen such a trying to make her comfortable. The following morning we took
happy and more playful greyhound gal. We renamed her “Aja” her to our own vet. She was suffering and in distress. Through
from the 1977 Steely Dan song.                                 our tears we said our good-byes and let her go, knowing there
Aja stole our hearts from the start and took over our lives with   was not hope in saving her.
her funny ways and non-stop energy. She loved to run in the        While at the Emergency Clinic that weekend, Aja had been
yard with our whippet, Dylan, and she most certainly enjoyed       tested for Lyme Disease, Erlichiosis, and Rocky Mountain
her baby pool on a hot summer day.                                 Spotted Fever.      Those results were negative.        Although
We had what we thought was a healthy, exuberant grey, but          regrettably, we did not confirm the diagnosis, the emergency vet
that all changed over Labor Day weekend 2004 when we had to        told us Aja most likely had a tick-borne disease called
rush her to the Veterinary Emergency Clinic in the wee hours of    BABESIOSIS, and was likely a “carrier” of this disease. She
Sunday morning. Her belly was distended and hard. We               was in what they call the “chronic phase” of the disease. In this
feared it might be bloat, but didn’t see any other signs of that   phase over a period of a few months or years your pet can get
condition. With Dylan by our sides, we waited several hours for    ill quickly and die suddenly, often their condition is never
the emergency vet to come out to talk with us about her            identified. There are some subtle signs to look for but, sadly,
condition. When she told us about Aja’s very serious situation,    we didn’t see them or realize what they were. For example, Aja
we were in total shock and disbelief. This couldn’t possibly be    had a nosebleed in late July that was dismissed by another
happening to our girl! Aja was diagnosed with liver disease and    veterinarian as being “nothing to worry about.” A nosebleed is
a blood-clotting disorder. Her platelet count was extremely low.   one of the symptoms of a tick-borne disease like Babesiosis. In
She was jaundiced and had a fever, and was immediately             hindsight, we should have insisted the vet perform
placed on an I.V., given two antibiotics, Vitamin K and another    comprehensive testing when Aja experienced this nosebleed.
medication for her stomach.                                                       (Continued on page 4, see “Aja”)
We left Aja there for the remainder of the weekend to see if she
would improve. Sadly, she only got worse as she was not

   VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3                                                                                                       Page 3
                  STEEL CITY

              6890 Fifth Avenue               Ferrari LOVES motorcycles. I know this because when we go for our runs, he always
             Pittsburgh, PA 15208             turns to look at them when they go by. So it was no surprise that he stopped to gawk
             412.362.2470 phone               at our neighbor as he rode by on his BMW on one of the last warm days of the year.
               412.661.5211 fax               It was even less surprising that he wanted to chase after it, and it didn’t seem like it
         info@steelcitygreyhounds.org
                                              was going to be a big deal, so Dan trotted along...which soon became a gallop, and
                                              them an almost all out sprint after the bike. Ferrari was fixated on it, and didn’t see
         The “Best New Hounds” in town.       the thin tree that was coming up between the two sprinters. It suddenly became a
                                              matter of holding on or letting go, and in a last second decision, Dan had to let go of
                                              the leash, and Ferrari tore off after our friend on the motorcycle—who was clueless as
                                              to what was going on.

For any of you who know our galgo Ferrari and his wild             screamed in terror, so my first thought was that I might have
behavior, you can imagine our immediate reaction: Dan and I        broken his leg. Darrin and Leah are both veterinarians, so they
took off after him, with our neighbors Darrin and Leah (and their  were quick to look him over and make sure he was OK. He
Lab/Rottweiler mix) in hot pursuit. Darrin let his dog loose to    walked off the limp almost immediately, and we think his cries
chase down Ferrari and hopefully rein him in. We live about a      were mostly out of surprise. He didn’t know we could all move
half mile off of Route 19 in Wexford and it is quite busy there.   like that and I didn’t think we could either! In less than ten
We all hoped that Ferrari wouldn’t follow our usual running loop,  minutes Ferrari was bounding through the living room ready to
but we didn’t know what he was going to do.                        terrorize our little apartment again, like nothing happened.
                                                                   Darrin suggested that I give him an aspirin to relieve any aches
I saw a car starting up the hill and started to panic, because
                                                                   he might have, so I hid it in peanut butter.
people come up that hill really fast sometimes, and they aren’t
looking for kids on bikes, much less greyhounds running loose! There are probably a lot of people that think we’re bad owners
The car was actually a blessing, because Ferrari likes cars with a bad dog. Ferrari is a challenge, that’s for sure, but we
about as much as he likes motorcycles. It stopped him long love him for his wild ways, and wouldn’t have it any other way.
enough to hear Dan order him to sit (with a few expletives for We might be able to live without the destruction of the clothing,
emphasis…), and the Lab to come up and nip him in the butt chewing the pillows, eating our food when we turn our backs, his
and turn him around. The two dogs ran together in front of the lack of concern for anyone in his path, and those moments
car, and then Ferrari decided he wasn’t ready to be caught. He when he gets away from us, but he is what he is...we’ll just have
darted away from Dan, and then it was Darrin’s turn to try and to keep working with him. Two things keep us from staying mad
tackle him. Ferrari broke that tackle like Hines Ward going for at him for too long...first, if he does something bad, it’s probably
the first touchdown during the game that we had just watched. because we didn’t put our stuff away or out of reach. And
My turn...and Ferrari heads for a tree line around the corner. I secondly, we taught him to “shake pay” and he knows he’ll get
was close enough to grab his leash, but I wasn’t sure I got it...I praised if he does it...even when not on command. So when
had to throw myself at him Joe Porter-style, and hope that I he’s naughty, he’ll come stand beside one of us, and extend his
could catch him with a straight-arm. I didn’t and rolled on top of paw with a pathetic look on his face. No one could stay mad
my wild child to make sure that he wasn’t getting away. Ferrari with THAT effort.

(Aja continued)                                                      vomiting, spontaneous bleeding, depression or weight loss.
After consulting with the Emergency Vet and                          For a more complete listing, please visit these websites for
reviewing all the information, we have come                          more information:
to realize that tick-borne diseases are far                          www.geocities.com/bo freddy/tick fever.htm
more commonplace than many greyhound                                 www.njgreyhounds.org/li2.asp
owners realize. Some vets will tell you it’s
                                                                     www.greytalk.com Wonderful forum for exchanging
not a problem for this area. However, these                          information on any issue related to greyhounds.
diseases are spread not only by ticks, but
from an infected mother dog to her pups, by                          ProtaTek Laboratory in Chandler, AZ is one of the labs in the
blood transfusions from an infected dog, and because these           country that is uniquely specialized in the diagnosis of tick
greys are moved around the country so much, often taking the         borne diseases. They offer a special discounted fee for
ticks with them. Studies done by the University of Illinois in the   diagnosis of all four tick-borne diseases to
early 1980’s established the existence of Babesia on                 make testing affordable to the greyhound owner. Please have
greyhound farms in Mississippi, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, and        your veterinarian contact them at (480)545-
West Virginia. According to this study many of the blood-donor       8499 for additional information. We wish
greyhounds transported from kennels in West Virginia are             your greyhounds long and healthy lives. Do
testing positive for Babesia.                                        everything you can to save yourselves from
We strongly recommend that greyhound owners become                   having to endure the pain of losing them
familiar with the symptoms of tick-borne diseases (Lyme,             unnecessarily to a tick-borne disease not
Erlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Babesiosis)           caught in time. We share this information
and have their greys tested at the first sign of trouble. Some       with you in memory of our Aja.
symptoms include lameness, fatigue, loss of appetite, fever,
Page 4
                                                                                     VOLUME 1, ISSUE 3

				
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