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Type: Journal article
Title: Influence of the environment on body temperature of racing greyhounds
Author: McNicholl, J.
Howarth, G.
Hazel, S.
Citation: Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 2016; 3(JUN):53-1-53-13
Publisher: Frontiers
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 2297-1769
Statement of
Jane McNicholl, Gordon S. Howarth and Susan J. Hazel
Abstract: Heat strain is a potential risk factor for racing greyhounds in hot climates. However, there have been limited studies into the incidence of heat strain (when excess heat causes physiological or pathological effects) in racing greyhounds. The aim of this study was to determine if heat strain occurs in racing greyhounds, and, if so, whether environmental factors (e.g., ambient temperature and relative humidity) or dog-related factors (e.g., sex, bodyweight, color) are associated with the risk of heat strain. A total of 229 greyhounds were included in over 46 race meetings and seven different race venues in South Australia, Australia. Rectal temperatures of dogs were measured pre- and postrace and urine samples collected for analysis of myoglobinuria. Ambient temperature at race times ranged between 11.0 and 40.8°C and relative humidity ranged from 17 to 92%. There was a mean increase in greyhound rectal temperature of 2.1°C (range 1.1–3.1°C). A small but significant association was present between ambient temperature and increase in rectal temperature (r2 = 0.033, P = 0.007). The mean ambient temperature at race time, of dogs with postrace rectal temperature of or exceeding 41.5°C, was significantly greater than at race time of dogs with a postrace rectal temperature ≤41.5°C (31.2 vs. 27.3°C, respectively, P = 0.004). When the ambient temperature reached 38oC, over one-third (39%) of dogs had a rectal temperature >41.5°C. Over half of postrace urine samples were positive by Dipstick reading for hemoglobin/myoglobin, and of 77 urine samples positive for Dipstick readings, 95% were positive for myoglobin. However, urinary myoglobin levels were not associated with ambient temperature or postrace rectal temperatures. The mean increase in rectal temperature was greater in dark (black, blue, brindle) than light (fawn and white) colored greyhounds. The results suggest heat strain occurs in racing greyhounds, evidenced by postrace rectal temperatures over 41.5°C and postrace myoglobinuria. Risk of heat strain may be increased in higher ambient temperatures and in darker colored greyhounds. Further research into the incidence of heat strain in racing greyhounds, and longer term physiological responses to heat strain, are warranted.
Keywords: Greyhound; heat strain; heat stress; animal welfare; myoglobin; sport
Rights: Copyright © 2016 McNicholl, Howarth and Hazel. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
RMID: 0030050927
DOI: 10.3389/fvets.2016.00053
Appears in Collections:Animal and Veterinary Sciences publications

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