a resource for whippet owners & breeders
Breaks and Tears
Whippets charge around at such speed with so little thought for self preservation that it is hardly surprising they not infrequently inflict damage upon their ill protected bodies.
Skin Tears are common, often as a result of pushing through barbed wire or thorn bushes.
Evaluate the severity, if there is copious bleeding and the tear is large a stitch or a staple may be needed.
Small tears can be cleaned ,dried and kept clean with salt water until they heal. If in any doubt take your whippet to the vet for professional attention. If the skin damage is in an area, such as the groin or around a joint area, where it will open with movement, then your whippet will almost certainly need stitches.
If the tear is a result of an animal bite, maybe a squirrel or a rat it would be wise to obtain a course of antibiotics for your whippet.
Torn Stops result from hurtling around on hard ground, maybe a road, gravel or a dried rutted track. Often the skin can be completely ripped from the stop. Unless there are deep lacerations they normally heal very quickly with regular soaking in salt water. Several times a day is best to keep them clean and infection free.
You can prevent this happening if you know your dog is likely to be at risk, by using vetwrap around the stop or putting on special stop boots.
Broken Tails are not uncommon. The whippet has a long fine whippy tail which can get caught in a closing door, hit on a fence or broken in a freak accident. If your dog is in pain you should take him to the vet. Many vets want to amputate but the consensus among experienced whippet owners is to leave well alone, maybe with a bandage support or light splint of some sort. A cast is probably not necessary. It may not be perfect when it is healed but many a whippet has recovered with a slight kink which gives them no trouble in later life.
Unsurprisingly it is puppies who are most at risk from this injury.