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Dr. Rob Gillette (inset), pictured here with a Greyhound being motion mapped for sports medicine research

Episode 30: Recorded August 2, 2022

“I don’t know how to describe heaven for a dog…it’s hard for a lot of people to understand how much these Greyhounds love to run…”

Dr. Rob Gillette on Auburn University veterinary students seeing Greyhounds run for the first time

Show Notes

Dr. Rob Gillette has been around working and sporting dogs his entire life. He was born in Great Bend, near Cheyenne Bottoms, Kansas and grew up hunting with retrievers and bird dogs. Cheyenne Bottoms was also home to the first coursing meeting of the American Coursing Club in 1886. He didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a sign of his future involvement in Greyhound sports medicine.

Dr. Gillette graduated from veterinary school at Kansas State University in 1988 and subsequently helped take care of Greyhounds at local dog tracks and with breeders in and around Kansas City and Abilene. After completing a postdoctoral in human biomechanics, he received a research grant from the Kansas Racing Commission to better understand how Greyhounds run and how to reduce their injuries. Dr. Gillette would continue to research Greyhound performance and consult on track design and surface composition on behalf of trainers and track owners.

In the late 1990s, Dr. Gillette began a 15 year career at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. There, he expanded his canine sports medicine research. His students had the opportunity to observe and learn from Greyhounds participating in what is now known as the Canine Performance Sciences program. His research would not only benefit the care of the Greyhound but serve the greater canine community as well.

In this episode, host John Parker discusses with Dr. Gillette his career as a veterinarian and researcher of Greyhounds, service dogs, and law enforcement and military K9s. They discuss how an understanding of the Greyhound’s unique anatomy and athleticism better informs sports medicine for many breeds. Dr. Gillette also shares some of his current research activities and plans to develop the next generation of Greyhound savvy veterinarians.