The body of knowledge about greyhound health, welfare and safety expands every year through scholarly and clinical research, much of it funded or otherwise supported by the AGC.
The AGC maintains an on-line library of published international scientific research related to greyhounds. The “International Greyhound Research Database” includes more than 19,000 separate citations. It is edited by Linda Blythe, DVM, and Morrie Craig, both internationally recognized scientists and researchers in the field of greyhound health.
The research documents fall into three general categories:
- Clinical research by veterinary practitioners that treat greyhounds on a daily basis;
- Institutional research by veterinarians or animal scientists on problems germane to the greyhound racing industry; and,
- Human medical research by physicians and scientists using the greyhound as a model for human disease.
The purpose of the database is to promote the international exchange of useful scientific information that can benefit greyhounds and humans alike.
The AGC and other greyhound racing organizations have initiated or helped to fund a number of clinical research projects to benefit not just greyhounds but all canine breeds.
Since 2003, racing industry organizations have committed nearly $300,000 to scientific research aimed at developing a more effective vaccine for kennel cough, a common respiratory disease affecting virtually all dog breeds.
Kennel cough can develop anywhere several dogs are housed together, including homes with more than one pet dog. Racing greyhounds are routinely vaccinated for kennel cough, but mounting evidence suggests that existing vaccines are marginally beneficial and do not provide lifetime protection.
Work has been completed on the formulation of the new vaccine, with clinical trials and efficacy studies yet to be completed.
The AGC has also provided financial support to clinical research conducted by the Morris Animal Foundation on the subject of osteosarcoma, or canine bone cancer, one of the most common forms of cancer in dogs. The research focuses on how radiation and chemotherapy might be used to ease pain in dogs suffering from this debilitating disease. The Morris Foundation is the world’s largest funder of animal research.
Greyhound racing organizations also support a variety of veterinary research programs to address issues related to greyhound health, welfare and safety.
Every year since 2002, the AGTOA has joined with the Texas Greyhound Association to sponsor a veterinary conference on racetrack surfaces. More than 100 track representatives usually attend the conference, which is designed to share information about how to maintain track surfaces in the best way for minimizing injuries to racers.
Industry organizations also fund veterinary studies into other aspects of greyhound health, including:
- The physiological effects of racing
- The incidence and prevention of orthopedic injuries
- The effect of specific medications or drugs on racing performance
- The effect of track surfaces on injuries and prevention
- The effect of nutrition on racing performance