Animals Helping Animals

Retired Racing Greyhounds are unique in several ways. Their larger blood volumes and universal blood types make them excellent candidates for humanely operated blood donor programs. Their extensive pedigrees, going back many generations, allow researchers to study genetic traits that may or may not be passed down to their offspring.

Blindness

The MRLT vision sciences lab at the University of California – Davis is currently working on a genetic study of Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) in Greyhounds. A degenerative eye disease, it affects the photoreceptor cells causing them to deteriorate over time, often leading to blindness. Although one of our Sanctuary triplets, Blind Truman, developed PRA at the age of one, neither of his littermates, Tootie and Taffy, has the disease. The triplets provided valuable data for this study and it’s our hope that their genes can shed some light on the inheritable nature of PRA. We are grateful to our vet, Dr. Tom Zulandt, for helping us draw the blood for the study.

As you can see from the above photo, these handsome triplets are happy to be living together.

Canine Cancer

Dr. Matthew Breen at the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State is studying differences in blood between dogs with cancer, healthy siblings of dogs with cancer and healthy non-siblings of dogs with cancer in hopes of getting closer to a cure. We were delighted that eleven of our Sanctuary Greyhounds were able to provide blood samples for this vital endeavor.