Thursday, April 25, 2013



Do you realize that upwards of 25% of all racing greyhounds die of osteosarcoma (bone cancer).  I have had three greyhounds.  My first two died of that dreaded disease.  The third is two years old now and I am just hoping he has is graced with a long healthy life.

Do you realize that almost no AKC greyhounds die of osteosarcoma.  Almost none versus 25%?  These are basically the same dog with one big difference...the racetrack.  The race-death-profit making complex.

There are a number of theories but no proven reasons for this obvious disparity.  The two most likely suppositions are:

1. Racing greyhounds get osteosarcoma because of the injuries they regularly received when they are being run at such high levels of competition.

2. Breeding practices have ensured that the genes that predispose greyhounds to osteosarcoma are deeply ingrained in the racing greyhound gene pool.

I would guess both play a part.  I would also throw in all the other stress placed on these dogs, all the chemicals pumped into them and put on them, all the substandard food, all the time they spend locked up in small crates...and on and on.  Yes, I would guess it all plays a part.

But let's look at one obvious fact.  Greyhound training and racing leads to bone density changes and numerous micro fractures (not to mention the more serious fractures and injuries).  

DUH, could there be a connection to the osteosarcomas later in life?

Greyhounds are wondrous dogs who have done nothing to deserve the lousy fate they face in an industry, that like all other industries under capitalism are concerned with only one thing - profit.  Like workers in general, these dogs are viewed as just another commodity.  The difference is workers, being humans, can fight back.  Greyhounds cannot self organize, they can't form unions, they can't sabotage the track, they can't do any of this.  They are more like slaves, I suppose, then workers in that regards.

It's got to stop. 

The following is from Stop Greyhound Racing and it from 2012.

Study: Greyhound Training Causes Bone Density Changes and Microfractures

Researchers at Massey University in New Zealand just completed a five-year studyof issues related to the greyhound racing industry. Not surprisingly, their conclusions provide even more evidence that dog racing is cruel and inhumane.

According to an abstract for the study, which was conducted between 2007 and 2011:

“We identified that hock injuries were the single most important cause of catastrophic failure and dog loss. The combination of training practices, questionable feeding practices, and the suspicion of stress-induced fractures was also a significant cause of dog loss.”
In particular, the study found that training and racing on an oval track actuallychanges a greyhound’s bone density, and results in microfractures:

“An initial subjective assessment has revealed asymmetry between the bone density of the left/right central tarsal bones, as the result of track running, and increases in bone volume and density following training. Also, microfractures appear to result during training.”

Finally, and perhaps most notably, the study found that the bone density changes that take place during training may cause greyhounds to be predisposed to a later catastrophic injury:

“We are uncovering the early changes in bone that occur after the onset of training, and which may predispose it to catastrophic fracture later.”

Greyhound breeders often claim that catastrophic injuries are mere accidents they are not responsible for. In their own words, a broken leg is “no big deal.” This new study provides even more evidence that this is simply not the case. Catastrophic greyhound injuries are an entirely predictable result of this cruel industry. As long as dog racing continues, thousands of greyhounds will suffer broken legs and die on the track.

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