Table_1_Risk-Factors for Soft-Tissue Injuries, Lacerations and Fractures During Racing in Greyhounds in New Zealand.DOCX (672.95 kB)
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Table_1_Risk-Factors for Soft-Tissue Injuries, Lacerations and Fractures During Racing in Greyhounds in New Zealand.DOCX

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posted on 03.12.2021, 04:23 authored by Anna L. Palmer, Chris W. Rogers, Kevin J. Stafford, Arnon Gal, Charlotte F. Bolwell

Recognition of injuries in racing animals is essential to identify potential risk factors so actions can be taken to reduce or mitigate the cause of the injury to safeguard the animal. Racing greyhounds are subject to musculoskeletal injuries associated with athletic pursuit, in particular soft-tissue injuries, lacerations, and fractures. The objective of this study was therefore to determine risk factors for soft-tissue injuries, lacerations and fractures occurring during racing, using a cohort of greyhounds racing in New Zealand between 10th September 2014 and 31st July 2020. Dog-level, race-level and track-level risk factors for each outcome were assessed using mixed-effects multivariable logistic regression including trainer as a random effect. Throughout the study period there were 218,700 race starts by 4,914 greyhounds, with a total of 4,385 injuries. Of these, 3,067 (69.94%) were classed as soft-tissue injuries, 641 (14.62%) were reported as lacerations, and 458 (10.44%) were fractures. Greyhounds with a low racing frequency (racing more than 7 days apart) had 1.33 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06–1.67] times the odds of fracture compared to those racing more frequently. Older greyhounds had a greater odds of fracture compared with younger greyhounds. Racing every 7 days had a lower odds of soft-tissue injury compared with racing more than once a week. Dogs over 39 months had 1.53 (95% CI: 1.35–1.73) times the odds of sustaining a soft-tissue injury compared to the younger dogs. Greyhounds originating from Australia had a higher odds of fracture and laceration compared with New Zealand dogs. Better performing dogs (higher class) had a greater odds of fracture and laceration whilst maiden dogs had a higher odds of soft-tissue injury. Greyhounds starting from the outside box had a higher odds of fracture. There was considerable variation in the odds of soft-tissue injury at different racetracks. In conclusion, although the incidence of soft-tissue injuries was higher than other injury types, the repercussion of such injuries was less than those for fractures. The results from this study will help to inform intervention strategies aimed at reducing the rate of injuries in racing greyhounds, enhancing racing safety and greyhound welfare.

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