Thursday, March 16, 2017

a new journey for Fleur the greyhound

The phone call said that she was young and so sick and exhausted that it wasn't safe yet to spay her, or even to give her worming tablets. Fleur was recovering from acidosis, but maybe we could take her on?

Acidosis? We had a vague idea this might have something to do with the shut down of muscles after maybe dehydration, or something, but a bit of research told us as much about how she must have been treated as it did about the condition. Please google 'acidosis in greyhounds' for the medical story, but the bottom line is that she was run so hard for so long in the heat that the build up of lactic acid was so great and her dehydration was so bad that she  had some sort of  melt down.

Apparently the trainer took her to the Vet sometime after this and told her that the dog was sick, and 'no good for racing', asking for her to be 'put down'. In fairness, I know that this isn't the normal behaviour of regular trainers, but regular trainers are not the ones responsible for the bad news that rescue centres and vets have to deal with.

We were told that she seemed depressed. People often seem surprised that dogs can be depressed, as though we humans have a monopoly. Black and other coloured dogs can have the 'black dog' too.

When she came to us she had vomited in two cars- it seems cars will be an issue for her for a while and my guess is that a car was the place where her dehydration kicked in and was exacerbated. She went quickly to the quiet corner prepared for her here by Julia and she lay absolutely motionless for some hours. On her first evening with us the breakthroughs were minor but significant. She gradually started to respond to quiet reassuring whisperings and stroking. We introduced Sooty (our adopted greyhound) to Fleur, and after some gentle (quite tender) sniffing and wagging of his tail, he decided that she needed help, and quietly lay down beside her for a while. Within a few hours they were poking about in the garden in parallel, looking for smells worth pondering.

Julia has always held that the best way to gain trust and confidence in a frightened dog is from really tasty  food given from the fingers. It seems to be working with this one too. This morning she seemed brighter, even wagging her tail in greeting us, and I know that the process of trust and recovery has begun. But it will take time.

Our previous fostered greyhound 'Tippy' is happily with a new family after more than four months with us. If you are interested in this issue, there are previous posts here on this blog under the tag 'animals'.

When she recovers she won't thank me for these unflattering photos. Three big areas shaved for intravenous needles, poor light so as not to trouble her, but you won't recognise her in a few weeks or months. If she survives, the eyes will no longer be vacant, the fur will be glossy and clean, her bones will be hiding and she will probably know how to strike a pose.


  1. She has pretty markings. Wishing all the best for her. I'd take her home in a heartbeat.

    1. Agree about the markings. Big progress overnight, she is definitely on the up.