Jump to content

Maintaining Muscle


Guest Travelover
 Share

Recommended Posts

Guest Travelover

I've been told that after a racer is adopted, their muscle will slowly atrophy. What I haven't heard is how fast this happens and what effect exercising has on the rate of muscle atrophy. Our girl left the track one year ago and we have had her for 6 months. She gets walked from two to three miles a day and runs a few times at the dog park every week. Compared to other greys she still seems muscular. What has been your experience?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not an expert, but I don't think atrophy is the right word. Many do lose some muscle mass, but I think it depends on the hound, the diet and the exercise. I've had my hound for a year and a half and he happens to be more muscular than the foster I've had less than a week.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You got me on that one. Never thought about it, never was told about it and never had a problem with it (probably because I never knew it was something I needed to worry about). My boys as well as my two girls that never raced always had big muscular legs years after racing...or not racing. If your girl gets walked 2-3 miles a day you are Wayyy ahead of the average greyhound owner in terms of exercise.

 

 

gallery_8149_3261_283.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had George for three years, and he has LSS, and he's still very muscular! One of the best things we can do for our hounds is keep them lean and muscular. The muscle tone helps with joint support, and being lean--well, that should be obvious! Those skinny legs aren't designed to carry extra weight. I keep him fit with long walks.


Hamish-siggy1.jpg

Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With regular exercise the loss of muscle mass should be minimal.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It doesn't atrophy, it just changes. Peanut is very muscular. She runs in the yard and does stairs over, and ove,r and over all day. She is in excelllent shape. When I spend time with the racers I can see the difference.

Casual Bling & Hope for Hounds
Summer-3bjpg.jpg
Janet & the hounds Maggie and Allen Missing my baby girl Peanut, old soul Jake, quirky Jet, Mama Grandy and my old Diva Miz Foxy; my angel, my inspiration. You all brought so much into my light, and taught me so much about the power of love, you are with me always.
If you get the chance to sit it out or dance.......... I hope you dance! Missing our littlest girl.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It doesn't atrophy, it just changes. Peanut is very muscular. She runs in the yard and does stairs over, and ove,r and over all day. She is in excelllent shape. When I spend time with the racers I can see the difference.

 

:nod

 

Ace only had two races before she was retired, and at 9 years old, she is still well muscled. It's not the body builder type muscle that I see with some of the bigger boys straight from the track, but, it's muscle nonetheless. Fritz had a decent career (retired at age 4) and he is well muscled as well, at age 9.

 

I do feed them high protein food, and grain free. They run every day in the yard, and they get plenty of exercise.

Kristin in Moline, IL USA with Ozzie (MRL Crusin Clem), Clarice (Clarice McBones), Latte and Sage the IGs, and the kitties: Violet and Rose
Lovingly Remembered: Sutra (Fliowa Sutra) 12/02/97-10/12/10, Pinky (Pick Me) 04/20/03-11/19/12, Fritz (Fritz Fire) 02/05/01 - 05/20/13, Ace (Fantastic Ace) 02/05/01 - 07/05/13, and Carrie (Takin the Crumbs) 05/08/99 - 09/04/13.

A cure for cancer can't come soon enough.--

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Naples is 10 years old, and still has a significant amount of her muscle mass. She is not like a racer anymore, but not bad for an old girl! She has always been very active, though, and runs a lot, thus she has always maintained well.

 

The key is to get them running. Free running is best, but road work is good too (walking/running enough to get them to trot. Biking is good too, if the dog would need to move faster.)

 

Having the dogs I do, and wanting to keep them in shape (especially the show dogs, since they need to be in good condition), I have learned what it takes to keep a large sighthound in shape. It helps to have multiples, so they exercise each other, and a large space for them to run.

 

A few years ago, we moved from a small lot in the city to a large space out in the sticks, to give the boys somewhere to really run (they were 2 at the time). We now have a puppy/adolescent dog that needs to run and play to maintain muscle, and develop bone. So far, he is doing well, but I do need to start road work with him. He is solid muscle, but I'd like to see more.

 

*ETA: It's important to remember, also, that the body structure is going to change with sexual alteration. Testosterone and estrogen really effect the muscle mass, and the loss of them is going to change how that mass is distributed. I think that is the main reason why Greyhounds seem to change/"lose" muscle mass after retirement.

Edited by Sighthounds4me

Sarah, the human, Henley, and Armani the Borzoi boys, and Brubeck the Deerhound.
Always in our hearts, Gunnar, Naples the Greyhounds, Cooper and Manero, the Borzoi, and King-kitty, at the Rainbow Bridge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Swifthounds

*ETA: It's important to remember, also, that the body structure is going to change with sexual alteration. Testosterone and estrogen really effect the muscle mass, and the loss of them is going to change how that mass is distributed. I think that is the main reason why Greyhounds seem to change/"lose" muscle mass after retirement.

 

While the loss of sexual hormones plays a role, especially for males, I've not seen it to be a major factor in musculature. Most hounds fed a nutritious, high protein diet, and given enough exercise can stay muscled and very fit into the double digits. The seniors will have leaner muscle mass than they had as young adults. Other than that, the changes people see in the 6-12 months off the track have to do with a decrease in dietary nutrition and lack of exercise. Retired hounds with an active human who focuses on his/her hounds fitness won't see the dramatic change that those of the inactive couch potato variety experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't say that my two ever run, other than a few jaunts around the yard. But we do walk and hike a lot. They get exercised three times a day and it involves up and down hills, often steep ones. We have done this for over 6 years, since I rescued them, and they are now 8 and 9 years of age. When they walk, they always trot (until they wear out). Their muscles are still well defined. I benefit too!

 

I would guess muscle loss is like anyone's muscle loss - once you don't exercise the muscle becomes less firm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It doesn't atrophy, it just changes. Peanut is very muscular. She runs in the yard and does stairs over, and ove,r and over all day. She is in excelllent shape. When I spend time with the racers I can see the difference.

 

:nod

 

Ace only had two races before she was retired, and at 9 years old, she is still well muscled. It's not the body builder type muscle that I see with some of the bigger boys straight from the track, but, it's muscle nonetheless. Fritz had a decent career (retired at age 4) and he is well muscled as well, at age 9.

 

I do feed them high protein food, and grain free. They run every day in the yard, and they get plenty of exercise.

 

Yep, providing you give them enough exercise (I find a good amount of walking with as much running as you can manage works well) you don't lose so much muscle mass. Mine have always been reasonably fit right up to old age, and it's better for them all-round. It helps with things like hind-end weakness if they have a good amount of muscle to start with, and with less fat to muscle in terms of proportions, it's less of a strain on their whole system.

 

 

 

*ETA: It's important to remember, also, that the body structure is going to change with sexual alteration. Testosterone and estrogen really effect the muscle mass, and the loss of them is going to change how that mass is distributed. I think that is the main reason why Greyhounds seem to change/"lose" muscle mass after retirement.

 

Most hounds fed a nutritious, high protein diet, and given enough exercise can stay muscled and very fit into the double digits. The seniors will have leaner muscle mass than they had as young adults. Other than that, the changes people see in the 6-12 months off the track have to do with a decrease in dietary nutrition and lack of exercise. Retired hounds with an active human who focuses on his/her hounds fitness won't see the dramatic change that those of the inactive couch potato variety experience.

 

Yep again. However much you walk and let them run, as neutered retirees you're likely to see loss of muscle definition, but you should be able to keep them pretty well muscled. Sid is pretty darned good on his single hind leg and his shoulders. I can see the individual large muscle shapes, but the look is softer than in an active male racer.

 

I just snapped this one from my chair (being lazy!)

 

Sid-17-5-2010-800.jpg

 

And here's perhaps a better one of his shoulder muscles

 

SidToyCrop.jpg

 

He's about three years off the track. :)

GTAvatar-2015_zpsb0oqcimj.jpg

The plural of anecdote is not data

Brambleberry Greyhounds My Etsy Shop

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest KennelMom

An altered dog can certainly still be well muscled, but they will most certainly have different muscle definition (less) than an unaltered dog - male or female. First they drop their back (they lose those square-ish ridges of muscle down their back) and then they'll soften up everywhere and lose a bit of muscle mass in the hiney. It doesn't matter how much you exercise them or what you feed them, this is just going to happen. Similarly, keep a dog unaltered and you can keep muscle on 'em a lot more easily than once they're spayed/neutered. We have three dogs that retired at the same time, raced in the same kennel and are all roughly the same age. Of course here they all have pretty muchthe same routine and same diet. Two are unspayed and look very similarl to the day they retired. One moreso than the other b/c she's a lure courser and gets extra exercise. One is spayed and she's dropped her back and softened up like all the others in the pack.

 

Also keep in mind that the amount of fat on a dog will really determine how "ripped" they look - altered or not. Just like in people, if you strip the fat away, the muscles reveal themselves. Pets tend to be fatter and, therefore, look less muscled than they truly are. Combine that with the fact that they will naturally lose some muscle and muscle shape after altering, and picking out racers/fresh retirees from pets is usually quite easy.

 

I think there is also a genetic component - some dogs just have more "junk in the trunk" than others throughout their life.

Edited by KennelMom
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest kydie

Atrophy is not the right word, loss of muscle mass for sure, unless you race or lure race them, all athlets lose muscle mass when they stop, I walk 2x's a day, but we have a dirt track for him at our cabin, he runs, a few times a week, but I can see a change in his muscles since he came 2 years ago, after all he is retired :lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest FastDogsOwnMe

My spayed bitch Sophia hasn't dropped her back, or lost any muscle tone- in fact she has better tone now than she did coming off JCKC. That said, it'll be interesting to see how spaying effects my little muscle hound Monet. It hasn't been long enough to tell.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest KennelMom

My spayed bitch Sophia hasn't dropped her back, or lost any muscle tone- in fact she has better tone now than she did coming off JCKC. That said, it'll be interesting to see how spaying effects my little muscle hound Monet. It hasn't been long enough to tell.

 

it will happen...give it time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

*ETA: It's important to remember, also, that the body structure is going to change with sexual alteration. Testosterone and estrogen really effect the muscle mass, and the loss of them is going to change how that mass is distributed. I think that is the main reason why Greyhounds seem to change/"lose" muscle mass after retirement.

 

While the loss of sexual hormones plays a role, especially for males, I've not seen it to be a major factor in musculature. Most hounds fed a nutritious, high protein diet, and given enough exercise can stay muscled and very fit into the double digits. The seniors will have leaner muscle mass than they had as young adults. Other than that, the changes people see in the 6-12 months off the track have to do with a decrease in dietary nutrition and lack of exercise. Retired hounds with an active human who focuses on his/her hounds fitness won't see the dramatic change that those of the inactive couch potato variety experience.

 

I'm not suggesting that a sexually altered dog cannot maintain muscle mass, and an appropriate weight. What I am saying is that he distribution tends to change.

 

I have seen it in my own dogs, and those of people I am close with: those that are altered seem to have thicker muscling around the waist for example. They ARE NOT fat, not by a long shot. But the locations of muscle on the body are subtly different.

 

My intact males are wiry, and have leaner muscle, while my neutered male has thicker muscle over most of his body. He is not overweight, but has a different shape.

Sarah, the human, Henley, and Armani the Borzoi boys, and Brubeck the Deerhound.
Always in our hearts, Gunnar, Naples the Greyhounds, Cooper and Manero, the Borzoi, and King-kitty, at the Rainbow Bridge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest mickie37

Cappy is 6 years old, hasn't raced since he was 2 and still wins the best buns prize. He eats a raw diet and checks the fence line daily in a five acre pasture. He trots around the perimeter and only runs flat out if I call him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest LindsaySF

They do tend to lose muscle mass in retirement. To the OP, you're way ahead of the game. With all that exercise your hound should still look very close to racing condition. Good job. :)

 

Genetics also plays a big factor, especially with the thigh muscles. Teagan and Rogan are very narrowly built, while Sophie has ginormous muscles. Teagan and Rogan get far more exercise and conditioning than she does, and they do LGRA. It's just genes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Travelover

OP here. Thanks for all the feedback. I also posted a while back when I discovered that she was in heat, even though spayed. So, she may have more normal hormone levels than if she did not still have a piece of her ovary intact. At any rate, I get lots of compliments on her muscular body, even from the vet.

 

Thanks, again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...