Greyhound Bleeding Disorder

Among the many unique greyhound health issues is an uncontrolled bleeding disorder that can occur up to 1-5 days following an injury, a dental, or a surgery. The dog’s blood starts to clot normally, but then the clots start to fall apart, leading to the bruising.

Dr. Couto, formerly the head of the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine’s Greyhound Wellness Program, published an article about this several years ago. He reported that a drug called Amicar, or aminocaproic acid, would, in most cases, stop this uncontrolled bleeding. It is impossible to predict which dog may develop this bleeding disorder and it is unrelated to the severity of the surgery. We have seen this after dentals, routine spays, neuters, and amputations. One incident doesn’t necessarily predict bleeding after another surgery. This disorder is also seen in deerhounds and in Irish Wolfhounds.

It is important that you talk with your vet, both your normal vet, and your emergency veterinary clinic, about this bleeding disorder and make sure that they know where they can quickly access aminocaproic acid. Many vets who have a large greyhound practice keep this on hand, but most do not, and many have not heard of this disorder or the drug.

Here is a link to an article about this disorder and treatment. Please print this and give a copy to your vet and your emergency vet hospital:

This is a prescription drug and it is less expensive if you can get it through a compounding pharmacy. Barbara (510-506-6225, tries to have a supply on hand in case of emergencies, so if you have an emergency and can’t get this drug quickly, give her a call or send an email and she will try and get it to you. If you have a scheduled surgery, many vets recommend starting the drug either the day before surgery, or the day of surgery and continuing it for a total of 5 days. The normal dose is 500 mg every 8 hours for a dog under 75 pounds, 750 mg every 8 hours for dogs over 75 pounds.