Grit in Pad

An all too common Greyhound Story

When I was at Vet school, I remember one of my professors saying, “there are dogs and there are greyhounds and greyhounds are not dogs”. As I spent more and more time with these ‘not dogs’ at home and in Vet School, I realised this to be true indeed!

Greyhounds are very different to your standard dogs, they have different ranges for their blood parameters, they never rupture their cruciate ligaments, they will break a leg and not cry ….but you cut their nails and they will let out the famous greyhound shriek of death! They can run at 60kmph for 30 seconds and then sleep for 20 hours a day….. They have terrible dental health and bald thighs and they need special anaesthetic protocols. I can go on and on but let’s cut to the chase of this article; one other thing that differentiates Greyhounds from other dogs is their thin skin and this leads to a very peculiar condition in greyhounds referred to as “Grit in Pad”.

Grit in Pad is a uniquely Greyhound occurrence.

An unsuspecting greyhound walks over a small pebble or a microscopic piece of glass and this glass or pebble (or Grit as we like to call it), gets embedded in the pad and slowly with time, makes its way into the fat of the pad. This microscopic piece of foreign material causes a lot of pain and the greyhound starts to limp. The key historical description from owners is that the greyhound is ok when walking on soft surfaces such as grass, but is quite lame when walking on hard and uneven surfaces. As a greyhound vet when I hear this I always think ‘Grit in Pad or Corns’ (another greyhound peculiarity).

Unfortunately, one of our patients recently had this grit in pad problem. Slim is a beautiful, 34kg brindle boy who came is extremely sore in his hind limb. He could barely put his foot down even in grass the poor thing. He limped into the clinic on three feet and I brought him through to my consult room and gave him a through physical examination. On squeezing his paw pads from the sides, he let out that iconic greyhound shriek of death! Right then I knew that it was not his hips or knee or ankle, the problem was in his pad. Since we could not see a corn the most likely culprit was Grit in Pad.

To confirm my suspicion, we took X-rays of his affected pad and lo and behold, as expected we found some foreign material in his pad. He was booked in for surgery the very next day. I must at this point say that finding a grain of sand in a greyhound’s paw is like looking for a needle in a haystack! The only help a veterinarian has is two X-rays to triangulate the location of this needle so we don’t hack into the haystack.

I never know how long it will take me to find the Grit in a Greyhound’s pad. Sometimes its minutes if we are lucky and sometimes it can be hours. In Slims case we were able to find a piece of Grit quite easily, we then took him back to X-ray and ……. found that there was still more Grit in the pad! Bugger. After some effort we found the second piece of Grit (it was so tiny!!) and confirmed there was no more pieces with an X-ray.

His pad was stitched up and bandaged for three weeks. Slim has now completely recovered and wears hot pink booties when going out for a walk to protect him from further grit in pad. We wish Slim a speedy recovery and hope that we never see him for this condition again and he will be protected by his hot pink booties!


We love greyhounds here at Lynbrook Vet! Check out Slim’s video story here:

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Lynbrook Vet IconLynbrook Vet

14A/10-30 Northey Road, Lynbrook

4.9 450 reviews

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    My 5 y.o. dog just had her first health scare with some tumours, and Lynbrook Vet helped us through the testing and removal process so kindly.They laid out all our options and were transparent about probable outcomes, minimising costs where … More they could.They checked-in with me throughout her surgery day with phone calls, texts and photos (non-surgical!) and patiently answered all of my questions at pick-up.I have taken my dog to Lynbrook Vet since adopting her 3 years ago, and continue to go there after moving further away because they are so wonderful.The staff in reception are always friendly and helpful and happily assist with all of our needs.It's nice to attend a clinic with a great culture, where the animals, and their humans' peace of mind, are their top priorities.
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    Very kind n friendly staff , very helpful and help my little one get solve
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    I could not recommend both Lynbrook Vet and their sister vet Berwick/Clyde Vet any more. It is the best vet you will ever experience. We were desperate to find a vet to look after out little boy (he's a ragdoll cat who stopped eating … More and is also dealing with CKD) after being unhappy with our previous vet. We were recommended by our local community to take him to Jess who is working now full time at Berwick/Clyde Vet which has recently opened and her care (along with all the other nurses there), love, how switched on they are was one of the greatest experiences we've ever had. We thought that maybe something bad had gone wrong with his kidneys, but it was immediately picked up that one of his tooth was infected which explains the no eating (this wasn't picked up by the previous vet). Our little boy had to stay over night with a drip before going under and having 4 teeth removed. He's about to be 13 so this was a stressful situation with him going under. We were sent frequent updates with photos in the morning, during the day and just before we picked him up. They called me right before the procedure, during the procedure and right after to confirm everything was okay and if there were any updates. They knew exactly what to do and how to best keep him safe during this procedure. When we picked him up we were taken through all his blood work, x-rays and documents in elaborate detail so that we understood what everything meant and what was going on. They have even put us on a 6 month plan to get him to be as happy and as healthy as he can be when we return a week later for a free dental check up to see how his mouth is healing. We were given an aftercare plan. Pain medication that they had already been pre made!! I got a Toutube link texted to me that explains what exactly happened during the procedure. We were also given a tooth fairy certificate!!! (this vet is so extra I can't deal). This vet goes above and beyond, we saw a HUGE improvement the following day (he is SO MUCH HAPPIER) it felt like our little angel was at daycare and I could not recommend going to this vet enough! THANK YOU so much. We are eternally grateful for looking after Oscar so thoroughly.
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    1000% recommend!!!! This is such a stunning vet, everyone is so friendly and forthcoming, we have been seeing them for the past 4 months with our little staffy boy Stitch! He loves it there as everyone loves him and gives him all the attention … More he needs, we have had nothing but incredible service from all the staff there. Stitch went in today for a procedure and we felt so happy and safe leaving our boy there, everyone cares for your pet, like they are family. It’s truly the best experience we have ever had with a vet.It’s a definite must, as when your little ones aren’t feeling the best they make you feel better because they keep you in the loop every step of the way!We also did puppy pre-school through them which is incredible as well as he now associates the vet with such a happy feeling we never have him worried about the vet visit… and besides that all the love and care he gets when he walks through the Lynbrook vet doors!Truely amazing

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