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Blood gas analysis and cooximetry in retired racing Greyhounds


  • Supported in part by TALENTIA Scholarship Program (Zaldivar-Lopez), Junta de Andalucía, Sevilla, Spain.

  • The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to
Dr. Sara Zaldivar-Lopez, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, the Ohio State University, 601 Vernon L. Tharp St, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. Email: Submitted March 24, 2010; Accepted December 4, 2010.


Objective – The purposes of this study were to evaluate the oxygen affinity of hemoglobin (Hb) in healthy retired racing Greyhounds via cooximetry, and to establish reference intervals for blood gases and cooximetry in this breed.

Design – Prospective clinical study.

Setting – University Teaching Hospital.

Animals – Fifty-seven Greyhounds and 30 non-Greyhound dogs.

Interventions – Venous blood samples were collected from the jugular vein and placed into heparinized tubes. The samples were analyzed within 30 minutes of collection using a blood gas analyzer equipped with a cooximeter.

Measurements and Main Results – Greyhounds had significantly higher pH, PO2, oxygen saturation, oxyhemoglobin, total Hb, oxygen content, and oxygen capacity and significantly lower deoxyhemoglobin and P50 when compared with non-Greyhound dogs.

Conclusion – These findings support the fact that this breed is able to carry a higher concentration of total oxygen in the blood. As reported previously, this breed also has lower P50 and, therefore, high oxygen affinity. In light of recent findings suggesting that in certain tissues a high affinity for oxygen is beneficial, this adaptation may be of benefit during strenuous exercise.