General Alerts

Date Subject Summary Link
31/12/2021 Previous General Alerts To view previous general alerts published by GRV, change the "View Year" drop down option to 2020 (or earlier years) and select the "View" button.
02/08/2021 PrimeSafe and Agriculture Victoria Statement: Indospicine in pet meat - Warning to dog owners Test results have confirmed pet meat processed at the Maffra & District Knackery Pty Ltd as the source of indospicine, which caused the recent cluster of liver disease and dog deaths in Victoria.

Horse meat is emerging as the focus of the investigation into the indospicine toxin found in pet meat products. Indospicine is a toxin to which dogs are especially sensitive. PrimeSafe and Agriculture Victoria are now aware of a consignment of horses that came to Victoria to be processed for pet meat from the Northern Territory where the Indigofera plant that contains indospicine is known to grow.

PrimeSafe and Agriculture Victoria advice to dog owners remains that fresh or frozen raw pet meat sourced from Maffra District Knackery between 31 May and 3 July, should not be fed to dogs. All kinds of pet meat fitting that description should be considered at risk of indospicine contamination, due to the blending of pet meats, including products described as beef and kangaroo pet meat.

Their joint statement of 30 July 2021 is attached.
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23/07/2021 Agriculture Victoria Fact Sheet - Indospicine toxicity in dogs A recent cluster of cases of liver disease in dogs has been traced to a toxin known as indospicine. Indospicine is found naturally in some plant species and can accumulate in the tissues of grazing animals, which may then be inadvertently fed to dogs, leading to illness or death.

On a precautionary basis, Agriculture Victoria are advising that dog owners should not feed fresh or frozen knackery meat, especially kangaroo meat, sourced from the Gippsland area between 31st May and 3rd July.
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22/07/2021 PrimeSafe and Agriculture Victoria Statement: Dog liver disease cluster An investigation into a cluster of dogs with liver disease in Gippsland (and Greater Melbourne) has identified the plant toxin indospicine as the cause of liver failure.

PrimeSafe and Agriculture Victoria advice to dog owners remains that fresh or frozen raw pet meat sourced from Gippsland between 31 May and 3 July, should not be fed to dogs. Their joint statement is attached.
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16/07/2021 Veterinary Fact Sheet - Neospora caninum in dogs - FAQs This FAQ explains the importance of appropriate identification and management of Neospora caninum on greyhound breeding, rearing and training properties, and in retired greyhounds. Pdf Icon
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16/07/2021 Veterinary Fact Sheet - Skin, Hair and Nails FAQ This FAQ discusses the care of, and common ailments, affecting greyhound skin, hair and nails. Pdf Icon
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16/07/2021 Veterinary Fact Sheet - Puppy Nutrition - FAQs This FAQ is an addendum to the Veterinary Fact Sheet “Nutrition” , which addressed a broad range of topics, including the components of food (macro and micronutrients), how to select a good quality food, the risks of raw meat and food toxicities. This document provides additional information on the nutritional requirements of growing puppies after they are weaned. Particular attention is given to calcium and diseases associated with deficiencies or excesses. Pdf Icon
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07/07/2021 RECENT REPORTS OF DISEASES IN DOGS IN VICTORIA GRV wishes to make participants aware of recent reports of different diseases amongst pet dogs in Victoria, and to notify GRV of any suspect cases via vets@grv.org.au or (03) 8329 1100

Acute hepatopathy (liver disease) cases in dogs

A cluster of cases of acute hepatopathy in Victorian dogs fed pet meat (particularly in Gippsland) has recently been identified by the PetFAST system (an initiative to identify health problems potentially associated with pet food). Whilst these cases are being investigated as potentially associated with pet food, no definitive link has been identified and this is a precautionary alert. Dogs that have eaten pet meat and have acute onset of vomiting, inappetence, excessive thirst, or jaundice should contact their veterinarian as soon as possible and notify GRV. It is recommended that any dog with an acute hepatopathy receives intensive supportive care and diet change.

Acute gastroenteritis cases in dogs

A cluster of cases of highly contagious gastroenteritis was reported in media over the weekend centred around a dog park in Melbourne. Acute onset of vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, inappetence and lethargy were observed. GRNZ also recently confirmed infectious gastroenteritis (CECoV) cases on two greyhound properties in late June. These cases have similarities to the large gastro outbreak experienced by the industry in early 2020, and therefore participants should ensure appropriate biosecurity precautions, and be alert for the signs and if they develop, should seek advice from their veterinarian as soon as possible and notify GRV. Further information is provided in the Fact Sheet – Infectious Gastroenteritis available here: https://tinyurl.com/448b3nrc
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30/06/2021 GRV LAUNCHES NEW DESEXING & DENTAL SCHEME To assist with rehoming efforts, registered GRV participants can apply for funding towards the cost of desexing and dental treatment for retired pet greyhounds from 1 July.

Read more: https://greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/rehoming/desexing-and-dental-scheme/
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30/06/2021 WITHDRAWAL OF GREYHOUND AFTER COMPETING AS A RESERVE A trainer may apply to Stewards to withdraw a greyhound (without penalty), that has competed in an event after originally being drawn as a reserve, from any subsequent engagement that falls within three calendar days of the first engagement (from reserve status), not-withstanding the provisions of GAR21A (consecutive day rule).

The application for withdrawal from the subsequent meeting (without penalty) must be made with Stewards before scratching time for that race-meeting and after the greyhound has fulfilled it's reserve status engagement.
25/06/2021 NOTICE TO PARTICIPANTS – EHRLICHIA CANIS UPDATE In June 2020, GRV published a notice to participants regarding a small number of cases of the exotic and notifiable disease Ehrlichia canis in dogs (not greyhounds) being reported in the Kimberley region (WA). The notice explained signs to monitor for and importance of controlling brown dog ticks, which spread the disease. The disease has now been diagnosed in all mainland states with the first confirmed case in Victoria being diagnosed this month in a dog in Horsham. It is important for participants to ensure effective tick prevention and control, to check their dogs regularly for ticks (particularly if travelled interstate), and to be aware of the symptoms of this disease to seek veterinary advice promptly.

An important update from Agriculture Victoria is available here: https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/biosecurity/animal-diseases/general-livestock-diseases/ehrlichiosis

Notify Agriculture Victoria of suspect cases immediately on the all-hours Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline 1800 675 888, and GRV.
23/06/2021 How FinishLynx Cameras Work (Photo-Finish) Watch and Read the attached simulation and see exactly how the FinishLynx Photo-Finish Cameras Work. This was also covered in the following story published on our website on 18 October 2020 - link: https://www.grv.org.au/news/2020/10/18/magpie-triggers-technological-trickery/
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08/06/2021 RE-VETTING - BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL Participants are reminded that the on-course “re-vetting” of greyhounds under GAR 73 (3) must be applied for and booked through the Stewards Admin Office.

Please call the Stewards Office and speak with our Business Support Officer Ms Donna Davies directly or alternatively apply in writing via email to stewardsadmin@grv.org.au and Ms Davies will contact you to arrange a suitable venue and time.

Please allow at least 24-hours prior to your intended choice of venue and time, to process the application.

Participants turning up to the venue without having correctly applied (and have an approval) for the examination to be conducted, may be unable to do so.

R73 Greyhound suffering injury

(3) Where a greyhound is prohibited pursuant to Rules 37(2) and 73(1) from competing in any Event, the trainer may, subsequent to the day that an order is made, make only 1 application to the Stewards for the greyhound to be examined by an officiating veterinary surgeon or authorised person, to determine whether at the time of the examination the greyhound is free of injury and if the greyhound is found not to be suffering an injury the restriction imposed shall be revoked.
19/05/2021 Important Notice to Victorian Greyhound Racing Participants - effective 1 September, 2021 This Notice is to alert Greyhound Racing Industry Participants that GRV Stewards will seek an increase in penalties for any
sample taken from a greyhound after 1 September 2021 which results in a positive test to a prohibited substance (as defined in
the Greyhounds Australasia Rules, including permanently banned prohibited substances) that are presumed to have occurred
from inadvertent contamination through the feeding of unfit for human consumption meat (knackery meat), from
contamination with personal medications or other human foods.
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03/03/2021 Notice to Participants – Ehrlichia canis update In June 2020, GRV published the attached alert regarding a small number of cases of the exotic and notifiable disease Ehrlichia canis in dogs (not greyhounds) being reported in the Kimberley region. The notice explains signs to monitor for and importance of controlling brown ticks, which spread the disease. The disease has now been diagnosed beyond this area, but has not been reported in Victoria. It is important for participants to ensure tick prevention and control, to check their dogs regularly for ticks (particularly if travelled interstate), and to be aware of the symptoms of this disease.

An important update from Agriculture Victoria is available here: https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/biosecurity/animal-diseases/general-livestock-diseases/ehrlichiosis
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03/03/2021 Notice to Participants – Ehrlichia canis update In June 2020, GRV published the attached alert regarding a small number of cases of the exotic and notifiable disease Ehrlichia canis in dogs (not greyhounds) being reported in the Kimberley region. The notice explains signs to monitor for and importance of controlling brown ticks, which spread the disease. The disease has now been diagnosed beyond this area, but has not been reported in Victoria. It is important for participants to ensure tick prevention and control, to check their dogs regularly for ticks (particularly if travelled interstate), and to be aware of the symptoms of this disease.

An important update from Agriculture Victoria is available here: https://agriculture.vic.gov.au/biosecurity/animal-diseases/general-livestock-diseases/ehrlichiosis
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31/01/2021 ALERT - KENNEL COUGH UPDATE Participants are reminded of the increase in greyhounds with Kennel Cough within Victoria in the last few weeks.

Symptoms continue to be relatively mild with no obvious clinical signs other than a dry, husky cough that generally lasts for 3-4 days. Not all dogs within a kennel will develop signs, and younger dogs appear more susceptible than older dogs, which may have some immunity from previous infection. The incubation period (period from exposure to development of cough) appears to be about 7-10 days, however signs may develop the day after a race or trial where the greyhound performed below expectations. Most dogs recover without treatment, but you should seek advice from your veterinarian, particularly if signs of more severe infection or illness develop.

GRV has conducted diagnostic testing (Canine Respiratory Panel PCR) from throat swabs of some affected greyhounds and early results have detected the bacteria Mycoplasma cynos in some samples, and it is likely to be contributing to the current increase in Kennel Cough cases.

There is no vaccine available for Mycoplasma cynos, and it is often present in the upper respiratory tract of healthy dogs but it is increasingly being recognised as a cause of Kennel Cough, including in the recent outbreak in New Zealand greyhounds. While treatment is often not required, veterinary treatment guidelines would involve the antibiotic doxycycline, however New Zealand veterinarians found azithromycin more effective. Bleach (sodium hypochlorite) based kennel disinfectants will be more effective than quaternary ammonium compounds (e.g. benzalkonium chloride) and should be used in kennels and on equipment, and good external ventilation / air flow maintained, as it is spread by droplets and recirculating air-conditioning may increase the rate of spread as will direct contact (e.g. bowls, muzzles, lures/toys, vehicles/trailers, bedding, etc).

GRV thanks participants for their cooperation and reminds them that if they suspect their greyhound may have Kennel Cough, they must scratch them from any races they are nominated in, do not trial them or take them to other communal training facilities, and withdraw them from GAP intakes. Allowing Kennel Cough cases to spread will impact on all aspects of the industry, including GAP intakes, and so minimising their contact with other greyhounds and ensuring good hygiene/biosecurity practices is vital to limiting spread and impact. Once coughing starts, greyhounds should be isolated from healthy dogs and have around 3 weeks off racing dependent on degree of clinical signs. Healthy greyhounds can continue racing, but if they are kennelled with other greyhounds with Kennel Cough it is strongly advised to take a cautious approach and scratch those greyhounds too, as they may be incubating the disease.

Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (Kennel Cough) is a complex disease and can involve many different viruses and bacteria, including those normally present within the respiratory tract that take advantage when things aren’t normal to cause more severe disease. If you have not had your greyhounds vaccinated for Kennel Cough in the last 6-12 months, please ensure you speak to your veterinarian about improving their immunity by giving a booster vaccination now. While not effective against all forms of Kennel Cough, we know the intra-nasal or oral vaccine is faster acting and more likely to be effective than an injectable vaccine both for the individual dog and the wider population.

For more information including clinical signs, biosecurity information, vaccination considerations and avoiding a positive swab to cough medicines, please visit https://greyhoundcare.grv.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Welfare_Fact_Sheets_2019_Kennel_Cough.pdf and
https://fasttrack.blob.core.windows.net/fasttrackpublic/stewardsHearing/2021/kennel%20cough%20veterinary%20fact%20sheet%2024%20august%20202020671e7c-b32b-4a5d-88e0-3728d317584e84738ff0-114e-4a38-80ca-85a3279a344a.pdf .

A recent, detailed scientific review article for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (Kennel Cough) is also available here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7103302/

Contact vets@grv.org.au if you require further information.
23/01/2021 INCREASE IN KENNEL COUGH CASES BEING REPORTED Participants are advised that there appears to be an increase in the number of greyhounds with symptoms of Kennel Cough being reported to vets over the past week. Symptoms have been relatively mild (husky cough) and short lived (72 hours).

If you suspect your greyhound may have Kennel Cough or has been exposed to a greyhound with Kennel Cough, you MUST scratch them from any races you are nominated in, do not trial them or take them to other communal training facilities, and withdraw them from GAP intakes. Allowing Kennel Cough cases to spread will impact on all aspects of the industry, including GAP intakes, and so minimising their contact with other greyhounds and ensuring good hygiene/biosecurity practices is vital to limiting spread and impact.

If you have not had your greyhounds vaccinated for Kennel Cough in the last 6-12 months, please ensure you speak to your veterinarian about improving their immunity by giving a booster vaccination now. While not effective against all forms of Kennel Cough, we know the intra-nasal or oral vaccine is faster acting and more likely to be effective than an injectable vaccine.

For more information including clinical signs, biosecurity information, vaccination considerations and avoiding a positive swab to cough medicines, please click here and here.

Contact vets@grv.org.au if you require further information.
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01/01/2021 Gastroenteritis and Appropriate Use of Antibiotics The attached article was published in the Dec/Jan edition of Greyhound Monthly Victoria. It outlines causes of diarrhoea in greyhounds and outlines how antibiotic resistance happens and why it's important. Pdf Icon
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