A retrospective descriptive analysis of race-day injuries of greyhounds in New Zealand

A. L. Palmer, C. W. Rogers, K. J. Stafford, A. Gal, C. F. Bolwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To describe the distribution, and determine the incidence, of veterinary reported injuries experienced by greyhounds during racing in New Zealand. Materials and methods: This retrospective cohort study utilised data obtained on all greyhound race starts and all racing injuries sustained in New Zealand between 10 September 2014 and 19 June 2019. Greyhound injuries were described by the number and percentage of the type, location, and presumed cause of injuries. The overall incidence of injuries per 1000 racing starts was calculated and stratified incidence rates were calculated for race year, racetrack, race number, sex of the greyhound, country of origin of the greyhound, starting box number, race type, race class and race distance. Poisson regression was used to calculate incidence rate ratios for the outcome of injury and race exposure variables. Results: There were 213,630 race starts and 4100 injuries. The incidence of injury was 19.2 per 1000 starts, while the number of fatalities at the track was 1.3 per 1000 race starts. Most injuries experienced by greyhounds on race-day were minor (soft-tissue). Most injuries affected the limbs of the greyhounds (82.8%, n = 3393/4100). The rate of injuries was higher in Australian dogs compared with New Zealand dogs, the incidence rate of injury increased with advancing age group and the incidence rate varied among racetracks. Conclusion: The injury rates were similar to those previously reported for racing greyhounds in New Zealand. This study highlighted the need for greater uniformity and conciseness around the classification of injuries to permit comparisons across jurisdictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-262
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian veterinary journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • greyhound
  • greyhound racing
  • injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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