Greyhounds are usually associated with speed and agility but it actuality these fast dogs are more than content with lying around on a couch close to their humans. An ancient breed, the Greyhound was bred for its ability to hunt but since they are able to reach speeds up to 45 mph the breed has found a lot of success on the race track. However more and more people are seeing Greyhounds for the family dog they were meant to be as opposed to the racing dog they have been forced to be.
The Greyhound’s sleek and slender build makes it easy to see why they are such fast runners. With a very small percentage of body fat and aerodynamic bodies, Greyhounds have become known for sprinting abilities. They are a short haired breed of dog with a smooth coat that doesn’t require much grooming. However, because their coat is so thin Greyhounds are likely to get the shivers, so make sure you keep your Greyhound warm. Male Greyhounds usually weigh between 65 and 80 pounds while the females weigh between 60 and 65.
The Greyhound has been regarded as a friendly and non-aggressive dog who is loyal to his or her owners. Greyhounds are very smart and have some cat-like characteristics including the breed’s independence. Make sure your Greyhound is socialized from an early age to prevent him or her from growing up fearful and timid of new experiences.
When it comes to exercise, Greyhounds do not need much. They are satisfied with a daily walk and then spending the rest of the day lounging at your side. Despite their reputation for having a lot of energy, Greyhounds are calm and gentle dogs that make great additions to almost any family
Before you decide to add any breed of dog to your family, it is important to know what health problems that certain breed is prone to. Greyhounds are athletic and robust dogs that normally do not suffer from very many health concerns. However, there are certain health issues you should be aware of if you are considering to adopt or purchase a greyhound.
Above all if you decide to get a greyhound, find a vet who is knowledgeable of the breed. Greyhounds have certain anomalies that lead to them be diagnosed for medical conditions, like hyperthyroidism. These abnormalities include low platelet and thyroid readings, as well as increased or decreased numbers on a lot of common blood chemistry tests. These signs, which signify a normal and healthy greyhound, would be considered a cause for concern in other breeds.
Other health concerns greyhounds face are:
- Anestesia Sensitivities: Due to the Greyhound’s low level of body fat compared to most other canines, the breed does not tolerate anesthetic drugs that same as other breeds. A dose that is considered normal for any other breed of the same size, could kill a Greyhound. Make sure you have a vet who is aware of the sensitivity and always remind him or her before any procedure involving anesthetic drugs.
- Corns: Any Greyhound at any age is at a risk for developing corns on the pads of their feet. These masses of dead cells aren’t able to be killed, only removed, which makes preventing them from growing back a major challenge. Corns can be very painful for the affected dog and the ailment seems to be unique to Greyhounds
- Gastric Torsion (bloat): A condition that is more likely to affect a greyhound than most other breeds is gastric torsion, also known as bloat. This condition can lead to death if treatment by a veterinarian is not seeked immediately. Bloat occurs because of a sudden buildup of a stomach gasses and air that causes the stomach to swell and twist. Treatment usually involves the twisted stomach being corrected through surgery.
- Heart Problems: It common for a Greyhound to have an enlarged heart and a small heart murmur. It is suggested the these problems are inherited and not acquired over time. Make sure your vet is aware that this breed is more likely to have these problems so they are not misdiagnosed with heart disease.
- Hypothyroidism: Though Greyhounds are commonly misdiagnosed to have hypothyroidism, there is still a good percent of the population that is actually prone to the condition. Hypothyroidism occur when the thyroid gland is not producing enough hormones. Dogs who suffer from this condition may be obeses, have droopy-looking eyes, be lethargic, and have an abnormal heat cycles. If a Greyhound is suffering from hypothyroidism, he or she can live a normal life with continued medication
- Osteosarcoma: Believed to be due to genetics, Greyhounds can suffer from osteosarcoma, also known as bone cancer. This aggressive form of cancer usually occurs in one of a Greyhound’s leg and is normally first noticed by lameness when he or she tries to move around. Since it is such an aggressive cancer, it usually requires an aggressive treatment like amputation of the affected leg and chemotherapy. After amputation, a Greyhound with osteosarcoma can live out the rest of its life, which is usually not more than two years, almost normally because the breed easily adapts to life on three legs.