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I think it’s going to take me a while to really get a good “eyeball” on what Bella should look like at the right weight. Could someone post pictures of a slightly underweight hound, one the right weight, one slightly overweight and obese? I know I’m supposed to be able to see the suggestion of her last two ribs, some of her spine, and hipbones shouldn’t have disappeared but it would be great to have a visual reminder. I’ll also post a pic later of how Bella looks now – I suspect she’s now slightly over, after having been away for the weekend and getting a fresh look at her.

 

Thanks!

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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You know, I don't go by looks, I go by weight. Mine are all 5lbs. over their racing weight. That is the recommended weight for retired greyhounds. Some can add 5lbs. and you can't see any ribs or back bone, some can add 5 lbs. and you see 3 ribs and backbone. My big boys for example, all are 6lbs. above their racing weight now and you can still see ribs and backbone. I do keep a couple more lbs. on my seniors though because if they get sick, they lose weight quickly. It's all in the eye of the beholder I think, more a personal thing.

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

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What Judy said. Also, different dogs will look different at the same weight. Merlin puts on a couple of pounds every winter, and loses them in the spring when the ice melts and it's safe for them to run again. However, even when he's gained a few, his spine is always visible, and so are his ribs and his hip bones. He just looks chunkier - his "tuck" (between chest and stomach) is no longer as prominent. Sagan's spine, on the other hand, was never really visible, even when we first adopted him and he was underweight. I know he's a couple of pounds overweight when I can't see a hint of his hips anymore.

 

The last 2 ribs rule is a general rule to use as a guideline.

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Kerry with Pippin (Paid Vacation), adopted 4/15/2017
Missing the best wizard in the world, Merlin (PA's Paris), the biggest Love I've ever known, and my sweet 80lb limpet, Sagan (Leon B) :brokenheart :brokenheart, every single day.

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We're pretty new to this too (Molly's been with us just about 2 months) --- and we always wonder if her weight is okay, too.

 

Our vet recommended that we try to pop in every few weeks just to check her weight if we're unsure. Of course, we're lucky enough to be within walking distance of our vet, so it's easy. But until we get a better handle on what her healthy weight looks like for her, we're doing that. As we get more comfortable, we'll only go in to weigh if we feel like she's gone up or down.

 

ETA - Molly's first family kept her just below racing weight for the month they had her (not sure why). Since she's been with us, she's added about 4 pounds (about 2 over her racing weight), which is what our vet said is ideal for her and her build. Her build is a little stocky in general even when she was under her racing weight --- . Now we can see a shadow of ribs, a little ridge on her back and a bit of hip bone.

Edited by arandomchic

 

 

Jennifer, Mike and the menagerie ---

Molly (Blue Sky Dreamin), Tinker (BT My Lil Girl) and their feline brothers Miles and Lewis

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Hmmm..... it looks like Bella's racing weight was about 57 pounds. When we took her to the vet for her checkup, she was 66 pounds, but with all ribs and hipbones prominent. I haven't taken her back, but would guess she weighs at least 70 now. Took a couple of photos last night - would love your honest opinion.

 

By the way - look at how shiny her coat has gotten! (Proud mom moment over)

 

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Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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In my opinion, Bella is just a little bit too heavy. She's losing her tuck.

 

I try to keep Capri at 5 over her racing weight also, she raced at either 54 or 58 (kennel people said 54, NGA records said 58), so we keep her no heavier than 60 and she looks great. I've noticed that with her, I can't see only two or three ribs - you see either all of them or none of them. So that's not a good measure for me. Visually I keep her where I can barely see her ribs, feel them easily under her skin, and keep her tuck very pronounced. I figure that when non-greyhound people make comments about fattening her up, I'm right on the money. :lol

 

By the way, you can also weigh your animals at Petco and Petsmart stores if they have instore veterinary services. You don't have to use their vets, just politely ask if you can weigh your dog and they always say yes. No charge.

Sharon, Loki, Freyja, Capri (bridge angel and most beloved heart dog), Ajax (bridge angel) and Sweetie Pie (cat)

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Guest Swifthounds

I would also say she's too heavy. A fit greyhound will have a tuck, some visible rib, and pin bones (hip bones) - or some combination thereof showing. I do love the coat on her - very, very nice!

 

What has never ceased to amaze me in my years in greyhounds is how so many adopters can think that 5-10 lbs. over racing weight is a goal or even an acceptable guideline. We're talking about a breed of hound that is predicated on the definition of balancing immense power and aerodynamic structure. For a greyhound, a few pounds overweight is the difference between a fit, healthy hound and one that will develop a host of weight related complications, some of which are not reversible.

 

A LOT (way too many) of folks will tell you that a "retired" greyhound should be 5 lbs. or so over his/her racing weight. Most greyhounds will be carrying excess fat (less muscle and lots of pudge – too much for their athletic skeletons) at 5 lbs. over their racing weight. The reason for this is that greyhounds in retirement (ie all greyhounds not actively running hard frequently vs. coursing hounds or other hounds kept at optimal fitness) are going to lose a lot of muscle definition in the first 5 months or so off the track. As they age, greyhounds tend to lose muscle mass as well, so an older greyhound may appear more bony with age. They are also getting less protein, and usually inferior proteins, so they are more likely to pack on fat pounds than muscle. As they lose the muscle, and it is replaced by less dense muscle and fat, the dog with be essentially “fatter” at the same weight given that equivalent amounts of muscle weight more than fat.

 

A greyhound that is at the right weight will look thin to the untrained eye. A good way to check if the hound is at the correct weight is by the hip bones which jut out slightly on top of the back, above the hind legs. They should just show slightly above the fur - too much and you may not be feeding enough, and if you can't see or even feel the hip bones through the fur then your greyhound is too fat.

 

A healthy greyhound should also have a few vertebrae visible and a couple of ribs showing just slightly. At normal weight you should be able feel the front ribs not see them, however the back two ribs should be identifiable by sight, but not excessively so. From a top view, a greyhound should have an identifiable waist. Hounds vary in confirmation and build, so some dogs will show more rib with the pin bones barely visible and some dogs showing the recommended amount of rib will have more prominent pin bones.

 

When I say fat or obese, it measured against an ideal standard of fitness for a fit, healthy, active greyhound, not an assessment of visible fat. A racing greyhound is a young, well-conditioned, muscled, greyhound fed a high nutrient diet and in a relatively uninjured state. If that's not an ideal of greyhound fitness, it's may only be because that greyhound is carrying too much bulky sprinting muscle that would be of little use in coursing live game, though it would be far easier to condition that fit dog to course than it would to condition a couch potato, so it's merely a matter of tweaking.

 

For what it's worth, I've never had a vet anywhere that I've lived think any of my greyhounds were overweight, even when they were out of shape. Several of them were considered quite "greyhound savvy" by adoption folks. A lot of that is attributable to the lack of exposure that vets here have to racing greyhounds. Most of the time the vets are measuring a greyhound against the fit dog standard. Most vets will say nothing unless either 1) asked by a customer or 2) the dog is stunningly and morbidly obese. A lot of folks are lulled into thinking that their hounds are fit because their vet doesn't say otherwise. Even the "greyhound savvy" vets are conditioned over time to the common appearance of a "retired" couch potato greyhound

 

Most "greyhound savvy" vets don't see fit racers and many of them don't see fit greyhounds or other sighthounds because we don't have a lot of lure coursing, OFC or even AGRA or ASFA hounds. We have some, but those numbers are dwarfed by the retired racers.

 

I use visual cues to assess the weight and condition of a greyhound, allowing for the leanness of a greyhounds who still runs a good deal to look even leaner than a racing dog where they will have more smooth muscle from longer running (in place of the bulkier short sprint muscle). Too many people will tell you that a retired greyhound should be 5 lbs. over a racing weight, some say ten. Sometimes dogs that do a lot of running still look lean and weigh a bit more than their racing weight, but 5 or 10 lbs over racing weight is a fat greyhound, sometimes even obese. It's just not good for the dog in the long run, but it can sneak up on us because we see it happening over time.

 

Sorry for the "book." I feel very strongly about the importance of proper weight. :lol

Edited by Swifthounds
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts!

 

Swifthounds, no apologies for the “book” – it’s all greyt information.

 

I was away for a few days and came back and really saw Bella with fresh eyes. Suspected that she was too heavy, so really appreciate everyone’s honest feedback. It’s sometimes hard to see when you see them every day.

 

She’s really lethargic with the current heat wave, but will try for more exercise and cutting back her food and especially her treats a little. Luckily she thinks one Charlee Bear or a piece of kibble is a treat instead of always giving her larger biscuits. Recently introduced her to cheerios and banana, so a couple of cheerios or a nibble of banana seems to do it, too.

 

We also switched her to a different food, so still working out the quantities, as well as adjusting for her daily Kong. We’ll get there!

 

I’ll post pics again in a few weeks and hopefully will get thumbs up from everyone!

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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Guest kydie

thanks for posting this info, my boy raced at 79 lbs, came to me at 69 lbs, so when the vet told me he should weigh about 80, I though he was crazy, from 69 to 80 what was he thinking, :blink: until I did some research and found out his racing weight he is 80 to 82 lbs. now :)

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks again - an update a few weeks later to say that Bella looks much better now. Her hipbones are just visible, a few bumps on her spine, a little more ribby. Energy level is hard to judge because of the heat, but I think she's good! I'll take her to the vet in the next few days to get a number just out of curiosity, but am happy with where she is now.

 

I've never quite understood the 5# over racing weight thought - isn't muscle heavier than fat, and don't they lose some of that muscle in retirement?

 

I'll have to take a couple of photos specifically to show her weight - I don't currently have any at the right angles.

Dave (GLS DeviousDavid) - 6/27/18
Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

 

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I've never quite understood the 5# over racing weight thought - isn't muscle heavier than fat, and don't they lose some of that muscle in retirement?

 

 

 

Mine have never been 5 pounds over race weight. Ryan at his heaviest was a pound or so over. His race weight was around 72. He was typically 69-71 and looked good. He's now 61 and looks horrible. Ry starts to lose his tuck at 70.

 

Jet's race/training weight was 52. I've never gotten her over 50. And 50 was a short lived weight. She hovers around 47-49 and is about 46 now and looks just fine.

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I use visual cues to assess the weight and condition of a greyhound, allowing for the leanness of a greyhounds who still runs a good deal to look even leaner than a racing dog where they will have more smooth muscle from longer running (in place of the bulkier short sprint muscle). Too many people will tell you that a retired greyhound should be 5 lbs. over a racing weight, some say ten.

I agree - I think that how a dog looks tells you a lot more about how under/over weight they are than the number on the scale. And I would say this goes for any breed, don't focus on the numbers. Especially if you consider that different racing kennels may keep their dogs at different weights. Actually I have no idea how much either my dogs weighs right now (one's a grey, one's a mixed breed) however I'm still able to adjust their diet based on how they look to get them to what I think their ideal condition is.

 

You do need to look at the bigger picture, not just the number of visible ribs, because different dogs (much like people) carry their excess weight in different places. But I think the visible body condition is much more telling than a scale.

 

I'm glad that Bella is doing well! :)

Edited by Ola
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