The information on this page is for educational purposes only and should never

be used as a substitute for seeing your own veterinarian, with your pet, for a

complete examination and individually prescribed treatment.


It's very common to see Greyhounds with shiny skin on the back of their thighs, and little or no hair growing there - bald thighs.  The exact cause of this is unknown, and it is considered to be largely a cosmetic "problem" perhaps in the same category as pattern baldness in people.  It is NOT linked to hypothyroidism and your Greyhound should not be supplemented with thyroid medicine on the basis of their hairless thighs alone. 


As an aside, many Greyhound gatherings have "Shiney Hiney" or "Bald Butt" contests!  If your Greyhound can't seem to grow hair back there, you may win a blue ribbon!




Another "Greyhound thing" is the incidence of comedones or black heads found on their lower chest.  Again, this is usually a cosmetic concern more than a real medical problem, but it can be very unsightly. 


Milder cases may resolve spontaneously once the Greyhound is adopted into a home. 


The affected area can also be gently rubbed with non-prescription witch hazel or with raw virgin coconut oil.  Repeat every day or two until the area clears. 


More stubborn and advanced cases of comedones can be treated with a benzoyl peroxide gel or a deep cleaning medicated shampoo like Sulfoxydex, both available through your veterinarian.  


Also, Renova (a human prescription cream) can be applied nightly to the chest for 3-4 weeks.  In a few cases, these areas can become infected and will require antibiotics.







One of the admirable features of our Greyhounds is their long delicate tail.  Another is their happy disposition and joyful wagging when they're happy.  Unfortunately, when you put the two things together, you can have a minor disaster in just a few minutes.  It's called "happy tail".


The skin on greyhounds is thinner than other dog breeds and is more prone to tears and cuts.  When they wag their tail very hard against something hard (a wall, door, cabinet), they can easily break the skin and begin to bleed.  Even a small wound can bleed enough to make your home look like a crime scene!


If that happens, you'll have two problems: treat the tail and clean up your house.  Neither one is a small matter.




  • Keep the tail from further injury by getting your grey away from hard surfaces

  • Get a softly padded bandage on the tail to both protect it and to keep it from bleeding everywhere.  Place a non-stick pad over the wound (don't try to clean it if it's still bleeding - just get it covered) and cover it with a good layer of soft cotton, a sanitary napkin, or many layers of soft roll gauze.  KEEP THE BANDAGE LIGHTWEIGHT so it has a better chance of staying on.  Cover your padding material with soft adhesive tape with some contact with the hair.  If the bandage is too heavy, they wag it off (think about how far you can throw a feather vs. a rock!!)

                            NEW: detailed description of bandaging a happy tail.  Click HERE

  • See your vet as soon as possible.  No wound will heal well if it's infected so antibiotics will probably be prescribed.  This is rarely an emergency, although the amount of blood will make you think it is.  A trip to the emergency clinic is rarely needed if you can get the end of the tail bandaged. 

  • If there's a delay seeing the vet (weekend, holiday, etc) remove your first bandage after 6-8 hours.  By then the bleeding should have stopped and you can assess the damage.  If the wound is small, I prefer not to clip the hair away as the hair actually offers some protection against further trauma as it's healing.  If the wound is large, the hair must be clipped.

  • Keep the tail bandaged for at least 2 weeks - much longer if the wound is large.

  • In the worst cases, the wound may be severe enough that the end of the tail will need to be amputated. 




There are several good cleaners that will remove blood.  Always test on delicate fabrics first.  One of the best I've found is hydrogen peroxide and most of us have it at home already. 





Once this has happened to you, you'll never let your hound wag against anything hard again.  If this hasn't happened to you yet, please take every precaution to keep that long delicate tail from hitting hard surfaces.  It's really hard to imagine how bad a happy tail incident can be.



This page last updated 10/02/2011


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