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Is She Still Underweight

Guest Kryspen

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Guest Kryspen

Pebbles joined us a couple of weeks ago. She was very skinny when she arrived. When the vet gave her an initial check she weighed 25kg (55 lb).


We've been feeding her up a little but I can still see her spine when she's standing up. Does this mean that she's still underweight and we should carry on feeding her up?

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You've only had her a couple weeks so she will likely need a bit more time to put some weight on since it is unlikely to happen overnight. Skinny upon arrival is normal. Typically though, weight is better determined by how many ribs are showing and not necessarily spine.


There are a lot of good recent threads on here already, with plenty of pics and ideas on how to help your pup look her best!

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Watch for ribs and hipbones. Some dogs don't show many ribs, so you may need to rely more on the hip bones. You should be able to see the bumps, but not see a big sharp point on them. I've got one "hip-y" dog, one "rib-y" one.

If she raced and you have access to her race records, you might check what weight she raced at. The racing weights for both my dogs varied over time by 5 pounds, so I try to keep them at their winning weights, which winds up being the lower end of that 5-pound range.

Kathy and Q (CRT Qadeer from Fuzzy's Cannon and CRT Bonnie) and
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We really need good side view pictures to help you, and even then sometimes you need to actually put hands on the dog if their colour doesn't photograph well.


I honestly feel like a lot of greyhounds are heavier than they should be, just like any other breed of dog. Greyhounds don't tend to have that super round "obese" look to them, but most of the hounds I meet are heavier than what I would consider ideal. I also have to say that I don't think I've ever had a foster that I felt was underweight coming off the track. These are retiring athletes. Most of them are in peak condition. Just because they are retiring, that doesn't mean that they should necessarily be heavier. I like to see the last few ribs easily, and the rest of the ribs when the dog stretches. And I want to feel the ribs easily when I pat the dog, having to push only when I get into the front ribs that are covered by the shoulder muscles. Depending on the dog's body type this generally means that vertebrae in some parts of the spine are obvious, and the hip bones may also be easily felt and can be seen but aren't prominent. The hips and spine though really do depend on the dog's body type. My guys are lean, long, and tall whereas some greyhounds are a little more square.


These are my kids at their ideal conditions







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Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Guest DarkHorse

As Kristie said, it's very difficult to tell condition without a good picture, and greyhounds do vary greatly in what to look for even with that. I tend to like to put on a few pounds over race weight, usually about 3 for girls and 5 for boys, but it does depend on what they look and feel like. Actual weight and even condition also varies based on age, exercise, time of year, etc.


As a very general rule, I like to see 2-4 ribs clearly, the tips of the hips, and a couple vertebrae. But Araley was always the sort to have hips but fewer ribs, while Dexter has a lot of spine and ribs but not a lot of hipbone.


This is Araley in peak form. Note the hips and ribs showing with a very flat back:



And this is Dexter (in the blue collar), with his ribs and spine but no hip bones:



Here's one of our new boys, Cole (black hound) while still with the adoption group, but in perfect condition for him, which is all ribs and very little spine or hips:



As you can see, it's pretty tough to get a good photo of rib definition on a black dog unless the lighting is just right.

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Guest Kryspen

I should point out that Pebbles (Dawn Cranz) did not come to us straight off the track. She's 10, and last raced in August 2010. According to the RGT kennel keeper who let us have her she'd been with a family for over 4 years. They separated and couldn't keep her.


I have looked her details up and, apparantly, her racing weight was 27.5 kg (61 lb) so she's still got a way to go to reach that weight.


Thanks for all the advice. It's so great to have a caring community to refer to.

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