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sandymere

Coursing thirst.

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Hi W, countryman, I’m a layman rather than a vet but your description would fit the classic symptoms of RMS, the two are the same in that RMS is often wrongly linked to lactic acid but it’s a complex area that many professionals struggle with.

I think that the nearer a dog is bred to sighthounds, especially greyhounds, the more likely they are to suffer with this type of problem. Greyhounds have been bred to push the bounds of a dogs physical capabilities and so they are more likely to cross into the danger areas. With most dogs, humans etc muscle contraction slows well before there is undue damage or lactic acid builds to dangerous levels. The process that slow the contraction is as yet unknown but likely a response to early damage signals, perhaps its the subconscious brain or just autonomic hormone related, bit like the heart speeding up when we exercise, we don’t think about it the body sorts it out for us. But as I’ve said the problem is that we seem to have bred sighthounds to the extent that the systems that should stop them running prior to the point of harm are a little blurred.

As you say fitness is key as fit systems are much better able to deal with and recover from the stressors of exercise, then good diet so that the dog gets the appropriate nutrients, not rocket science really.

I link to treatments but of course in the real world the ideal is rarely the reality. IV fluids and medication are the ideal but in the majority of cases the dog is lucky to get taken to the vet. The post was aimed at highlighting the problem and trying to get more taken for proper evaluation and treatment, whether that be diuretics as in your case or the full remit will depend on the vet but will likely be better than nought. Basically I kept reading about electrolytes drinks being some wonder treatment when the dog probably needed a vet not a drop of sugar water with a pinch of salt. Secondly lactic acid being present days afterwards didn’t make sense so again and seemed to muddy the waters. To my mind it’s easier to fix a problem that’s understood.

Regards Sandy

 

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Hyperacute Exertional Rhabdomyolysis

 

This form of disease is seen following a race or trial of an unfit Greyhound.During the exercise there are three end products of muscular activity:heat,energy output,and hydrogen ions(metabolic acids). the heat produced is carried away from the muscles by the blood flow and the energy output is seen as the work that the muscles perform during the run.Finally,under normal circumstances, the hydrogen ions produced during exercise are neutralized by buffers within the muscle cells and the blood stream.

 

When an unfit greyhound is sublected to excessive fast work, the is an enormous production of hydrogen ions in the form of lactic acid.This is because the Greyhound uses anaerobic metabolism(energy production using little or no oxygen) in the short races or trial distances of up to 700 to 800 yards.The energy source used by the Greyhound ultimately is derived from glucose and glycogen breakdown into lactic acid in the muscle cells.This production of lactic acid and associated hydrogen ions far exceeds the neutralising ability of the intracellular buffers of the muscle cell, and susequently,the cell wall enzyme systems becomes affected and inefficient.This allows water to be drawn into the cells which subsequently swell to the piont of wall disruption.Cell contents of muscle protien(red coloured myglobin) and electrolytes now leak out into the general circulation(blood) from whence they are filtered and excreted by the kidney.In addition,the swelling of the muscle cells puts a direct pressure on the small vessels that supply their blood and oxygen.The result is a decrease in the essential blood flow to the damaged muscle fibres.This swelling of the muscle cells also precipatates a lack of heat dispersion due to the reduced blood flow,which aggravates the existing process of destruction.

 

Treatment

Firstly intravenous fluids are essential to prevent shock and aid the kidney in flushing out(by diuresis) the myoglobin pigments.The fluids used should be balanced electrolite solutions that do not contain lactate as the effected muscle cells will already contain excessive lactic acid.

At he same time it is essential to neutralise(buffer) the large amount of lactic acid(hydrigen ions) in the muscles and general circulation and to prevent precipitation of the myglobinin the kidney tubles.This can be achieved by the intravenous administration of sodium bicarbonate solution(4.2%) at a level of 20ml/kg body wieght.

This should be repeated for 3 to 4 days.

 

All above is quoted word for word from the book i have already mentioned.

 

This condition obviously to a far lesser degree takes place every time a dog runs.

 

From the information it can also be seen where the benefit of using electrolites comes from and i think also why arnica is also beneficial due to its know benefits in reducing muscle sweling.

The advice given by people with regard giving bicarbonate of soda can also be seen.

 

Thanks Martin

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if your dog has acidoses he will loose weight over night be sore to the touch this is when you need to get to vet. mostly caused when dog has a grueller when not fully fit. ellectrolight drinks give imbalance in the dog can cause more harm than good they were developed for use in australia where dogs are racing in hot climate.one of the best greyhound vets there has been plunkit devlin told me to allways carry asprin if dog had grueller give him 2 straight away then 2 twice a day for 2 days after which i have done for over 20 years never had a dog go down with acidocis

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Oddser,you like myself have obviously found this thread very interesting,I have used aspirin in the past with the only dog I mentioned having problems,most greyhounds that are run on flapping tracks etc, are nowhere near fit and the same goes for most lurchers,there is a belief among most owners that running them hard is the only way of getting them fit,they must already be fit before any hard running which then takes you onto a whole new level of (match) fitness but I do believe that breeding from top dogs is a must,there are too many second class dogs being bred from and that then knocks on to poor examples of lurcher or greyhound that are prime examples for health problems.I would like to thank Sandy and Oddser also for explaining it in terms I can understand,I think this is an excellent thread that can benefit most lurcher owners,atb,WM

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Martin, I agree that IV saline is central to treatment but that is very different to giving none specific oral electrolytes, especially as with RMS as there’s likely to be high potassium, which is very bad, most dog electrolyte drinks contain relatively high amounts of this substance, as Oddser points out, this may well exacerbate the problem. Bearing this in mind I take it you would no longer suggest them in this scenario?

 

The arnica as I've said would not given orally as it would likely cause more harm than good, as a rub might help. Re Homeopathy doses, think I’ve done that already. So again I take it you would no longer recommend homeopathetic remedies for a sick dog?

 

RMS may present with acidosis or it may not, so intra-venous bicarbonate is not usually a first line treatment if one at all. Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of evidence that it is any better than a saline drip and in fact it may cause problems by worsening hypocalcaemia. As RMS may not come with acidosis and even if it does bicarb iv may cause as many problems as it helps and orally it would de-acidify the stomach which would likely to cause loose stools and so more fluid loss, I take it you would no longer feel it would be an automatic treatment?

 

So in conclusion Acidosis is not RMS or diagnostic of RMS, it’s a bit like a cough or runny nose may part of the symtomology of flu but not necessary or diagnostic of flu. IV fluids are the key treatment oral fluids next best. Treatment will depend on extent of damage and will be best lead by a vet and hopefully their management will not come out of a book from nearly 20 years ago.

 

Cool down, give a drink and take to vets, simple.

Regards S

 

 

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As Odesser who was given the advice to use asprin the advice given to me was from dennis beary respected greyhound vet and i bow to his knowledge and experience and will continue to give my dog arnica.

 

We all strive to keep our dogs fit and assist in any way to assist this and as long as there is no detrimental issue will continue manageing my dogs after work as i am doing as from experience i have had no further problems with acidosis.

 

It would be great if we could get one off the top greyhound vets to look at this debate not because i think i am right just to assist every one with regard management off dogs after work.

 

Thanks for a very interesting debate which has not thankfully been highjacked and degenerated into a personal slanging match.

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Greyhounds overheat because their mechanisms for losing heat are overwhelmed by the factors tending to warm them up

 

 

 

A greyhound loses heat by radiating heat from the skin, by losing warm urine, faeces and saliva, but mainly by evaporating water from moisture from the lungs, airway and mouth by panting. Think how cold you can get on a hot day by standing about wet after swimming, as the water evaporates from your skin

 

 

This system works extremely efficiently, but if the external pressures are too high, such as if the outside temperature is too high or high air humidity slows the rate of evaporation of moisture, then inevitably the control mechanisms will become overloaded and even more rapid panting eventually isn’t sufficient to keep the body temperature within the normal 38-39º range. Note that ONLY water and heat are lost during this process – not electrolytes

 

 

If the greyhound becomes dehydrated, its body retains more fluid to keep the important brain and kidney cells supplied, so less moisture is available to be evaporated for cooling. Temperature regulation spirals out of control, and by the time its body temperature gets to 41º, the life threatening changes of heatstroke are well established, resulting in staggering, blindness, disorientation, stupor or coma. By this stage many metabolic changes have taken place and specialised veterinary treatment is urgent if the greyhound is to be saved.

 

 

Prevention is always best:

 

Every greyhound should be well hydrated before travelling. Although the taste of electrolytes encourages greyhounds to drink more, the presence of any excess of electrolyte over actual requirements will tend to dehydrate without any of the other causes coming in to play. A splash of milk will work just as well to encourage water intake. Greyhounds are rarely electrolyte deficient unless they have had severe gut upsets, as food is full of electrolytes and the body takes what it needs, excreting the excess. Plain water is the ideal drink for hot weather as it replaces exactly that which has been lost. Once dehydration has set in, electrolytes will contribute to excessively high salt levels in the brain which are dangerous

 

 

Travel in a vehicle is a particularly high risk in hot weather; a greyhound may be excited, denied water, in direct sun in the back of a vehicle, and in high humidity with poor ventilation. Ventilation is often much worse in a vehicle away from the driver, who is anyway more shaded. If windows are left wide open, there is a risk of escape unless properly restrained, and of eye injury from high speed air flow with particles.

 

The best, most reliable method of providing ventilation is from a properly designed air conditioning system which controls the climate of the greyhounds’ travelling area, not just the driver’s section. Second best is the air management system, but you need to be aware that although this circulates air effectively, it does not cool or dehumidify it so it may not be sufficient in all circumstances. This enables greyhounds to travel with the windows closed, and controls temperature and humidity, but provision must always be made for a system or electrical breakdown to cover all eventualities. It is always best to park in shade, away from the excitement of seeing other animals passing by.

Heat loss from the skin can be speeded up by either spraying with a light mist of water, or draping with a wet sheet, and encouraging air flow over it to aid evaporation. Greyhounds with dark coats absorb more heat than lighter skinned ones, so a light coloured, lightweight jacket can reduce overheating in direct sunlight.

 

Treatment of suspected overheating:

 

If you are hot, and you think your greyhound may be, don’t wait for trouble but take action sooner rather than later. Put the greyhound in shade, increase the air flow, and dampen the coat as described. If you have a thermometer, take the greyhound’s rectal temperature so you can tell how you are doing.

 

Encourage plenty of cold water intake, and splash water in and around the face and mouth. A house plant spray works well for this.

 

Electrolytes should not be given at this stage unless a specific requirement has been shown by a blood electrolyte test at the time. If loss of electrolytes has not been proven, giving them at this time is likely to make dehydration worse.

 

Make sure you know the location and phone number of the nearest veterinary practice in case the situation worsens.

 

Putting the greyhound in an open chest freezer has been advocated, but there is a real risk of freezer burns to the feet and any wetted skin. Cold hosing of a very hot greyhound is very stressful to the heart – remember the icy cold water plunge in to an unheated pool on a hot day? It’s therefore much safer to act sooner and use more gentle methods of cooling.

 

You will know you are winning when the greyhound starts to shiver – the mechanism for keeping warm. Well done.

Do NOT leave it unattended

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i have copied and pasted this from the gbgb site which is governing body for greyhound trainers

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Electrolytes does not stop acidoses once it has taken hold, the dog needs a vet quick and to be put on a drip!

However, it can prevent it, if your dog is fit before a good run.

Given before and after hard running, it does help, if the dog as said, fit.

Nights out lamping big numbers, a rest now and then, with a small drink of electrolytes, helps a lot.

This is my experience on the matter.

WC, good point, about the breeding in dogs.

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Thanks Oddster I think that pretty well backs up what I have said. Save the electrolytes for yourself, the dog needs cooling, water and expert advice.

Regards sandy

 

 

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Feck that's an old one, would change a couple of point maybe but only in the fine detail. Heat is a killer especially with the double whammy at this time of the year with warm weather and unfit dogs, either will do it but both.

 

This is from the Journal of Nutrition.

 

The Nutritional Requirements of Exercising Dogs1,2

  1. Richard C. Hill3)

 

 

Heat is generated during exercise because work is an inefficient process and rectal body temperature usually increases slightly (2–3°C) after sprint or endurance exercise (Bjotvedt et al. 1993, Kozlowski et al. 1985, Nazar et al. 1992). Sled dogs increase their metabolic rate to maintain body temperature at rest when the ambient temperature is very low (Grandjean and Paragon 1993), but maintaining a low body temperature and losing heat are the overriding concerns of a dog during exercise. Heat is lost by radiation, convection and evaporation. Hyperthermia, therefore, becomes a major concern when both ambient temperature and humidity are high. At our laboratory, the body temperature of most greyhounds increases to only 41°C after a 500-m race in the early morning when the ambient temperature is ∼30°C and humidity is >50%. This increase in body temperature is unaffected by changes in dietary protein or fat but some dogs sporadically develop very high temperatures (>44°C) especially after afternoon races and when dogs are untrained (Bjotvedt et al. 1993, Nazar et al. 1992). This hyperthermia can be life threatening. Untreated hyperthermia may lead to collapse, shock, hemorrhage, widespread tissue necrosis and death (Bjotvedt et al. 1993). Hyperthermia also reduces time to exhaustion, increases depletion of muscle glycogen and high energy phosphate, and increases muscle lactate during endurance exercise (Kozlowski et al. 1985). Cold water baths and access to water immediately after a race limit the severity of hyperthermia but intravenous fluids are sometimes necessary to treat the most severe cases.

(

Edited by sandymere

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Paulus: were you going to pin this? Would be really useful, especially at this time of year, still warm, and with peoples' dogs not yet properly fit. Even fit dogs which are out running rabbit after rabbit during a night, can come unstuck if they get an unexpected long run on something which takes them a lot further than a bunny. The dog may be fine for repeated short runs on rabbits, but it is the sustained effort behind something else that can do the damage, especially if the dog has a big heart and pushes itself beyond its limits.

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An excellent read ,thanks for the link penny and paulus for bumping it up :thumbs:

Right so I had Toby at the vets this morning explained what had gone on i.e: drinking like there was going to be a water shortage and flooding the garden when having a pee but the pee was clear no yellow no red and all that had settled over the last 48hrs i told the vet what had maybe caused the symptoms and that I thought Toby was fit and what fitness regime I have gave him ....the vet did not think it would be anything serious maybe over heated she spoke about electrolites with me and said with what they use is more for dehydrartion and that Toby did not seem at all dehydrated ,so a urine sample was giving and i am awaiting the results , now with what i have read here a bit of too and throw from different parties my mind is well baffled as to what to give a dog in the situation i was in, some say recharge ,electrolites some just water then there is talk of b12 vits .....so what is the best prevention and curitive to these situations

 

thanks in advance steve

ps Toby is deer/grey/collie/grey x collie/grey/bed/whip

Edited by steve2507

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From that you posted above sounds like coursing thirst and in truth there is no real way to completely stop it as even the fittest of dogs can run into difficulties. Keep them fit and try not to over run them as far as possible but stuff happens. The main thing is to cool the dog down asap so that it doesn’t feel the need to keep drinking then watch it closely for any signs of the urine becoming darker or red/brown, deep muscle pain etc basically signs of rhabdomyolysis.

http://www.thehuntinglife.com/forums/topic/251490-rhabdomyolysis-part-2/?hl=rhabdomyolysis

Edited by sandymere
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