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Taking care of your galgo

Please read this information carefully and present it to your vet on your first visit. It is important you locate a trusted veterinary clinic and find out if it has an out-of-hours service in case of emergencies. When you adopt a galgo, you will be given a vaccination booklet which contains details of your dog’s microchip, vaccines and de-worming. This should be taken along to every vet visit.

The galgo has slightly different requirements for anaesthesia to other breeds. The anaesthetic protocol detailed below is safe and reliable, providing a gentle induction and rapid recovery (provided the galgo has normal cardiopulmonary function).

PRE–ANAESTHESIA: (one of these two)
1mg IM Acepromacine 20-30 minutes before induction (epileptic or elderly galgos should receive Butorfanol, 0.2 mg/kg IM as an alternative)

Medetomidina (0.010-0.015 mg/kg) + Butorfanol (0.2 mg/kg) in the same syringe IM. If cardiac rhythm drops more than 30%, administer atropine. Atipamezol can be used to revert the effect of the Medetomidine.

INDUCTION: (one of the two)
Do not use Pentobarbital as many galgos need high doses to achieve sufficient anaesthesia which increases the risk of the procedure and also recovery is longer and unpredictable.

A combination of Diazepam (0.25 mg/kg) and Ketamine (5 mg/kg) in the same syringe IV is injected intravenously, usually when we use Acepromacine and Butorfanol as pre-anaesthetics.

Propofol (1-3 mg/kg) IV. We prefer this drug when we use Medetomidina/Butorfanol as pre-anesthesia

Isofluorane or Sevofluorane
Both are safe even for animals in critical condition or for lengthy orthopaedic interventions. It is very important to administer fluids intravenously during the anaesthesia. Atropine or glycopirrolate are not necessary unless the cardiac rhythm drops or there is excessive salivation.

Normal blood guidelines:
The normal values for a haemogram differ slightly in the galgo. The erythrocyte count is generally 10% higher than normal. The total leucocyte, platelet and protein counts are usually lower than normal. Results need to be interpreted very carefully.

General health advice

You should discuss a preventative dental care programme with your vet. Once your galgo’s teeth have been cleaned, it is better to prevent periodontal disease, tartar, etc.

If your galgo is urinating at home or asking to go out to more often than usual, please ask your vet to do a urine analysis before presuming it is a behaviour problem.

Galgos can suffer from heatstroke when exposed to high temperatures in summer. Symptoms include intense panting, bright red gums, collapse and a rectal temperature of over 40º. If you think your galgo is suffering from heatstroke, place him in a cool area and soak him in cold water. Call your vet immediately.

Galgos may suffer from competition injuries, such as tarsal fractures, damage to the ligaments in the toes, sesamoid fractures, injuries not commonly seen in other breeds of dog. In general, it is not necessary to anaesthetise a galgo in order to take an X-ray. Hip displasia is extremely rare in galgos.

Pyrethrin, permethrin and insecticides with growth regulators are safe for healthy galgos, as are the monthly applications of products such as pipettes

A galgo should only ever be let off lead in an enclosed, fenced space. Most galgos do not enjoy being left alone. When you leave your galgo alone, a Varikennel crate can be very useful at the beginning and helps him or her feel more secure. Teach children to respect the galgo’s personal space, especially when it is resting or sleeping. Galgos are very intelligent and a firm ‘no’ is sufficient to discipline them.

Always provide high quality dry kibble that can be moistened with tepid water. Feed your galgo twice a day and maintain its optimum weight to avoid future health problems. Please remember that galgos can become dehydrated very quickly. If your galgo vomits, refuses to eat or drink, call your vet promptly in order to avoid irreversible organ damage caused by dehydration.

In general, galgos are healthy dogs with fewer congenital problems than other breeds that have fallen victim to artificial selection for their aesthetics.

Good luck with your new member of the family. You have many years of satisfaction and enjoyment ahead.


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