The Breed with Unusual Blood

Said in our best Dracula voice, “Let’s talk about blood.”

Greyhounds are very special in the blood department, so much so that their blood work can be deceptively “normal” or “abnormal” if one isn’t familiar with the differences. For starters, Greyhounds have significantly more red blood cells than other breeds. Their normally low White Blood Cell count can also lead to “jumping to conclusions syndrome” if cancer is suspected because of a “low WBC.”

Greyhound platelet numbers are lower on average than other breeds. Total proteins tend to run on the low end of normal, and creatinines run higher than other breeds as a function of their large lean muscle mass. In fact, a study at the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine found that 80% of retired Greyhounds they sampled had creatinine values up to 1.6 times as high as the top of the standard reference range for “other dogs.”

Some believe that Greyhound WBCs, platelets, and total protein are lower to physiologically “make room” in the bloodstream for the increased red cell load.

There are many sources on-line that investigate Greyhound blood in depth. Here’s a larger version of the image seen here:

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