These canines live remarkably long lives, ranging from twelve to fifteen years. However, despite their longevity, note that greyhounds do not have immunity to all kinds of illnesses. They can also suffer from various medical conditions. Some of these may be hereditary while others develop due to other inevitable factors.
What Do Greyhounds Suffer From?
Greyhounds are generally healthy dogs with long lifespans. However, this doesn’t mean they’re immune to all kinds of diseases. Look over below to see common ailments your canine can suffer from:
- Dental disease
- Fibrocartilaginous emboli
- Cold sensitivity
- Bone cancer
- Joint disease
For the most part, greyhounds tend to have dental diseases due to genetics. However, those bred for the racing tracks may also develop this later in life. This is because some owners prefer to feed them sloppy food to increase their hydration levels for sprinting.
Dental disease may start off as simple tartar buildup on the teeth. It’s sure to progress steadily, though, especially if neglected for a long time. In extreme cases, this ailment will lead to damage to the kidneys, liver, and heart.
Greyhounds are naturally lanky, characterized by their long, thin limbs and showing ribcages. In fact, if you’re a long-time lover of the breed, you’d know that their being called thin is a compliment. Because they’re racers, the canine is bound to have low body fat in exchange for speed, power, and endurance.
If you notice the outline of their ribs and hipbones getting barely visible, it’s time to check their diet. Similarly, they should not exceed over 10 lbs (4.5 kg) above their average racing weight. You should not see this gain as a good sign, especially if the hounds are getting obese. It may lead to severe ailments in the future, including joint problems, digestive disorders, or even heart disease.
Yet another potential ailment your pet can suffer from is Fibrocartilaginous emboli (FCE). It’s a disease common on canines with active lifestyles – something greyhounds are known for. Remember, they may be couch potatoes, but they’re still racing dogs bred for athleticism, endurance, and speed.
For reference, FCE happens when blood flow to the spinal cord is cut off due to clotting. Since it involves the spinal cord, greyhounds with this condition have problems with mobility. They may experience leg paralysis and weakness, often requiring a wheelchair for support.
Bloating, or Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is a common condition in deep-chested dogs. It’s a severe ailment that causes the stomach to fill with gas and twist around, cutting off all circulation. When left untreated, it may even cause death to your greyhound.
The most common symptoms of GDV include a swollen belly, retching, restlessness, abdomen pain, and constant lip licking. If you suspect your greyhound of having this condition, your best move would be to go to the vet right away. GDV is a serious medical condition that should never be taken for granted.
If you’re a lover of the breed, you know from the get-go that greyhounds have special needs. Unlike other dogs, they don’t have much fat, so they have limited insulation. Due to this, they’re pretty prone to weather extremities, particularly the cold.
Once your canine’s temperature drops, their system will focus on keeping the main organs warm. Their feet and nose will be left cold, which is highly uncomfortable for them. In addition, your greyhound will require more food to function since their system is in overdrive. To avoid too much burden on their bodies, ensure that you always keep them warm.
The most common form of bone cancer your greyhound may suffer from is osteosarcoma. It’s mostly a hereditary predisposition that is common to racing breeds. Note that this ailment may be deadly, especially when diagnosed too late or incorrectly. For reference, osteosarcoma mainly occurs in greyhounds that are on the older side of the spectrum.
It’s a condition that occurs due to the abnormal production of cells that degenerate the bones. Symptoms may include:
- Sudden lameness
- Loss of appetite
- Noticeable growth or mass on legs
- Intense pain
- Hard swelling on affected areas
The bigger the puppies are, the greater the chances of them growing quick and strong. It’s a standard rule for breeders, especially those who are raising racing greyhounds. Some would resort to overfeeding and providing the litter with calcium supplements to speed up growth.
This may lead to the development of joint disease, particularly during the canine’s adult years. The condition is commonly called osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) with symptoms such as:
- Lesions and soreness after heavy movements
- Limping, especially on affected legs
- Sore limb areas
Note that greyhounds should only grow at a maximum of 4 lbs (1.81 kg) per week. To maintain this healthy rate, avoid overfeeding and don’t give them calcium meds.
Greyhounds are also prone to arthritis, especially since they have long, lean limbs. In particular, the breed is bound to develop this ailment during their mid to older years. Note, there are two types of arthritis that your canine can suffer from:
- Osteoarthritis. This type occurs when the protective cartilage of the bones gets damaged. Due to the lack of cushion, friction occurs and leads to extreme pain. Your greyhound may suffer from this, particularly in their hips, lower back, and knees.
- Inflammatory Joint Disease. A variant of arthritis that is mainly caused by viral or bacterial infection. Often, this ailment may also stem from your greyhound’s compromised immune system.
Greyhounds can also suffer from allergies, be it from food, seasonal changes, or environmental triggers. However, rather than respiratory problems, allergic reaction in canine manifests through their skin. As such, you should have your dog checked out if they are constantly biting, licking, or scratching several body areas.
Is It Common for Greyhounds to Have Seizures?
Seizures are one of the most common medical conditions canines suffer from. Greyhounds are prone to this particular neurological condition, also known as convulsions or fits.
The ailment involves a brief involuntary disturbance of brain functions. In most cases, this disturbance is accompanied by uncontrolled muscular activities.
To note, your greyhound may suffer from a seizure episode lasting from a few seconds to several minutes. The severity of each episode varies, ranging from a dazed look and mild shaking to full-on fainting and loss of consciousness. Check out the table below for the three different kinds of seizures common to greyhounds:
|Secondary or Structural Seizures
|Primary or Idiopathic Seizures
The appearance of seizures on your greyhound does not always equate to a painful experience. They may simply be confused or panicked after the episode, wherein you have to calm them down. Afterward, you should schedule a vet appointment to see if your canine needs added medication to help with the ailment.
Why Did My Greyhound Have a Seizure?
Seizures in greyhounds occur because of abnormal brain activity, leading to your canine’s loss of body control. There are many different reasons for this, but the main one is because of a condition known as epilepsy. It’s a common ailment for canines eight years old or younger. If this isn’t the case, then it may be one of the conditions below:
- Low blood sugar levels
- Stroke and heatstroke
- Deficiency in calcium
- Kidney or liver diseases
- Brain tumors or poor brain circulation
- Infectious diseases
- Brain scarring from past trauma
In any case, your greyhound having a seizure would warrant an immediate visit to the vet. You should not avoid this as it may cost your canine’s life. Note that during the first seizure episodes, it’s important to note the particulars of what happened that day. This will help the veterinarian diagnose and pinpoint the source of the seizure quickly.
If you’re figuring out what triggered your greyhound into having an episode, check out some plausible reasons below:
- Loud sounds
- Bright, overwhelming images
- Lack of food causing a drop in sugar levels
- Cleaning products with too much smell
- Extreme changes in weather conditions
What Does a Seizure Look Like in Greyhounds?
Seizures may happen out of the blue, so canine owners should identify if it’s occurring. This will help them decide their next move and prepare adequate measures to handle their pets. Check out the table below showing what the different stages of seizure look like in greyhounds:
|Pre-Seizure (Pre-ictal Phase)
|Seizure State (Ictal Phase)
|Post-Seizure State (Post-ictal Phase)
How to Stop a Greyhound Seizure
After seeing your greyhound’s warning signs before an episode, you may wonder if it’s possible to stop it. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to prevent the seizure from occurring. Instead, you can only find the right treatment plan to reduce the frequency of the said condition. You can also lessen the severity of each episode, but this depends on whether the medication is the right fit for your canine.
If you’re willing to do so, your first step should be to book an appointment with your veterinarian. They will weigh up the best treatment possible and prescribe medications to suppress your canine’s episodes. Note that this is possible only after the vet has known the exact underlying condition of the seizure.
Most professionals would recommend phenobarbital or potassium bromide. However, they may also advise combining these with any of the following:
In case you want to do more for your beloved pet, here are some of the things you can do:
- Give Them a Modified Diet. To reduce seizure frequency, you can ask your vet if there’s anything to change in your canine’s diet. For instance, they may recommend you add MCTs to your greyhound’s daily calorie intake. These include coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and yogurt.
- Provide Them With Adequate Supplements. If you’re dealing with a holistic vet, they may recommend all-natural supplements to aid with seizures. Your greyhound may have to ingest herbs and medications that can improve their liver function. Similarly, you can also give them supplements rich in melatonin, taurine, and vitamin E.
Are Greyhounds Prone to Cancer?
No matter how healthy your greyhound is, there is still a large chance that they may suffer from cancer. In particular, they are genetically predisposed to contract osteosarcoma. It’s a bone tumor affecting the racing breed. It’s most often found in the canine’s longer limbs, namely their radius, humerus, and femur.
The disease is usually seen in greyhounds aged six years and above. It’s highly malignant and spreads aggressively, making the ailment painful and deadly.
Osteosarcoma starts inside the bone and gradually breaks through the surface. This degenerative process causes extreme discomfort to your canine. In most cases, amputation is necessary, but it doesn’t mean the tumors will go away. Greyhounds only have an average survival time of 12 months after diagnosis, sometimes even earlier.
Aside from the deadly osteosarcoma, the breed is also susceptible to the following kinds of cancer:
- Lymphosarcoma. Most common malignant tumors in large breeds, including rottweilers and greyhounds. This occurs due to a gene abnormality leading to enlarged lymph node development. Though lymphosarcoma is not fully curable, anti-cancer drugs will help shrink tumors significantly.
- Mast Cell Tumors. This is the most common skin tumor across all dog breeds that can be removed with surgery. Since your greyhound is thin-skinned, you’ll most likely notice this condition right away. Tumors may be benign or malignant, so ensure you visit the vet before doing the firsthand remedy.
- Mammary Gland Tumors. If your female greyhound is eight years and above, you should have her checked for cancers in the mammary gland. Some of these tumors are fine with being left behind as is. However, some may be malignant and easily metastasize in the lungs.
- Melanoma. This is known as a tumor of melanocytes, the cells that bring color to the body. It’s most commonly found in your greyhound’s oral cavity and body areas that are both hairy and hairless. It’s pretty quick to spread and invade the lungs and your greyhound’s lymph nodes.
- Lymphoma. This type of canine cancer is progressive and, most times, deadly. It affects the dog’s bone marrow and lymph tissues leading to more severe conditions. Note that lymphoma is considered a systemic disease that happens due to various factors. These include viral infections, genetic predispositions, and compromised immune systems.
- Hemangiosarcoma. Known as highly-malignant cancer, this tumor is mainly found on cells that line the blood vessels. It can spread quite quickly, infecting your greyhound’s spleen, heart, liver, and other thin-haired regions.
What Causes Greyhound Cancer?
Cancer may stem from several causes, mainly depending on what type of tumor your greyhound has. If you’re eager to get to know the reason for your canine’s ailment, the list below would be a good start:
- Heritable Predisposition. A predecessor somewhere down your greyhound’s ancestry line may have cancer, which may lead to them inheriting the disease. The breed, in particular, is at high risk for osteosarcoma, a deadly type of bone cancer.
- Environmental Factors. Cancer in greyhounds may also stem from their environment and the stimulus they receive daily. For instance, your canine may contract lymphoma due to constant exposure to cigarette smoke. Pesticides and air pollution may also be the culprit behind your pet’s medical condition.
- Age. Sometimes, your greyhound may simply develop cancer and other tumors due to old age. Note that the older the canine gets, the weaker their immune system becomes. This may lead to the development of various cancers, specifically those that can happen due to viral infections.
- Other Carcinogens. Your canine may also suffer from cancer due to constant exposure to various carcinogens. For instance, if you unknowingly provide your greyhound with food packed with aflatoxins, they may develop cancer. Note: aflatoxin is a carcinogen in the form of mold that may infest your dog’s sustenance.
How to Treat Cancer in Greyhounds
The treatment course for your greyhound’s cancer will depend on your veterinarian’s diagnosis. It will also be determined depending on the tumor your canine is suffering from. To give you an idea, here are some possible treatments that may be applied to your furry friend:
- Chemotherapy. This procedure can be administered on your greyhound in different ways. Your vet may prescribe your greyhound some chemotherapy medications, shots, and creams. They may even opt to inject it directly into the tumor. It’s a systemic treatment bound to spread all over their body, so tumors in all locations may be addressed.
- Radiation Therapy. Contrary to chemotherapy, this kind of treatment is localized. Each session is made to combat one specific tumor rather than address several at once. This is the preferred treatment that can’t be removed surgically because they’re near vital organs.
- Surgery. If the veterinarian deems it necessary to remove the tumor, they’ll most likely recommend surgery. It’s an effective way to eliminate as much cancer as possible.
Why Is My Greyhound Always Scratching?
Scratching is not a rare occurrence when it comes to dogs, regardless of breed. However, it is a cause of worry when it constantly happens, especially on thin-coated ones like greyhounds. Here are possible reasons why they do this:
- Feelings of boredom and anxiety
- Parasite infections
- Dry, irritated skin
- Hormonal imbalance
Mange is a variety of skin disease that may be the reason for your greyhound’s constant scratching. The ailment can cause severe discomfort, irritation, and itchiness for your canine. There are two types of this: sarcoptic mange and demodectic mange. Both varieties are extremely itchy for your hound; however, only the former is contagious.
If you see your dog scratching with gusto and has crusting on several body parts, there is a high chance that it is mange. For reference, it’s a condition brought about by mites and can be treated by topical medications. You can also dip your greyhound in prescribed solutions to speed up the process.
Feelings of Boredom or Anxiety
Yet another reason for your canine’s constant scratching is psychological upsetness. First, if your greyhound is bored, they may resort to scratching to entertain themselves. The behavior can also elicit pleasure and relaxation, which explains why they do it constantly. To lessen this conduct, engage your canine in activities they’re sure to enjoy, like playing fetch or going on walks.
Constant scratching may also be due to restlessness or anxiety. You can consider it similar to a human’s manifestations of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). In any case, it’s best to have a professional check your canine if scratching becomes too excessive to avoid harm.
Greyhounds are thin-coated, but that doesn’t mean parasites don’t stick to them. If your canine is constantly on a scratching spree, they may be suffering from parasites. Fleas, mites, and ticks may likely hang out in your dog’s tail, toes, armpits, and ears.
The naked eye can often see these parasites, so all you have to do is brush your pet’s fur to check. Don’t be too complacent if you cannot see even one insect. They’re pretty good at hiding, so look for other telltale signs. These include hot spots, brown dirt, white grains, and even tiny lesions on your greyhound’s skin.
Like humans, greyhounds may also have allergic reactions. This can be triggered by food or environmental catalysts like pollens, mold, or cigarette smoke. When exposed to these, your canine may constantly scratch, lick, or bite themselves. This may further worsen into contact dermatitis, making their scratching habits more frequent.
Environmental allergies triggered by pollen, dust, or certain plants occur more during summer. If your canine has a genetic predisposition to this ailment, it’s best to spend time indoors. Similarly, you should also check your hound’s health records to see if they have adverse reactions to a particular food.
Dry, Irritated Skin
Yet another reason why your greyhound is scratching nonstop is because of dry, irritated skin. This can happen due to various factors, such as allergic reactions and weather changes. It can also be because of nutritional deficiencies, especially if your canine is eating less than normal. Greyhounds have short coats, so they’re especially susceptible to flakiness.
Dry skin on your greyhound can be irritating, constantly causing them to scratch for momentary relief. More often than not, it’s a symptom of another disease, including parasites and fungal infections. To help soothe your canine’s skin, watch their diet and ensure enough humidity in the air.
Skin problems are one of the leading indicators of hormonal imbalance in dogs. You may notice your canine getting agitated, scratching, or even biting certain body parts. Eventually, bald spots, allergies, and hair loss may occur due to these behaviors.
This can be worrying, especially when scratching is coupled with other symptoms. Your canine may be dealing with Cushing’s disease or lacking in cortisol, so watch out for relevant signs. Professional advice is needed to get to the root of the imbalance and address related behaviors.
What Can You Give a Greyhound for Itching?
There are several treatments you can give your greyhound to relieve them from itching. Of course, your first line of defense would be over-the-counter shampoos you can buy to give your dog a quick fix. It’s not a solution but a temporary relief until you book an appointment with your local veterinarian.
Once you’re in your vet session, the animal expert will look at your greyhound to determine the root cause of the behavior. In most cases, constant scratching in canines will be treated with topical ointments. Prescription steroids may also work, but only if the condition is extreme. Similarly, the veterinarian will administer adequate medication if it is due to a more severe ailment.
Once the checkup is done, you may want to ask for possible homemade remedies to improve your greyhound’s condition even more. Check out some of your options below:
- Oatmeal baths
- Apple cider vinegar
- Coconut oil
- Chamomile and green tea soak
Oatmeal baths are known for their soothing properties – much needed for when your greyhound is on a scratching spree. It’s an age-old remedy that reduces skin inflammation and eliminates allergens from your pet’s fur. You can buy premade colloidal oatmeal at any grocery store or grind sugar-free oatmeal sitting in your pantry.
It’s a nontoxic remedy that will typically calm your greyhound’s red, irritated skin within 10 to 15 minutes of soaking. You won’t have to worry about your canine taking a lick during this time since oatmeal is safe for them. In fact, it’s a common ingredient in most hypoallergenic pet shampoos on the market.
If you’re not keen on giving your greyhound a full-blown bath, you can also opt to use it as a mask. All you have to do is grind the oatmeal into a fine powder and gradually add water until it makes a thick paste. Spread it all over your greyhound’s irritated skin and wait for several minutes before rinsing. Do this consistently until your canine is fully recovered from the cause of their scratching.
Apple Cider Vinegar
If your greyhound’s constant scratching is due to bacteria or fungus, there’s yet another pantry staple you can rely on. To be specific, you can use apple cider vinegar diluted in water to effectively kill the cause of itching. Use a 50/50 mixture to create a powerful solution that has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
Simply spray the affected areas and let them soak for up to five minutes. Note: avoid spraying your greyhound’s skin if you notice an open wound since it’ll cause them pain. You’re free to spray their paws or other body parts so long as they’re not raw from scratching.
Coconut oil has long been used for its moisturizing properties. It’s an excellent home remedy if you want to alleviate dryness, itchiness, and overall irritation from your greyhound’s skin. Addressing these can stop your canine’s constant scratching, so give it a try.
Note that you should use the highest quality, all-natural coconut oil available. This is typically labeled with ‘unrefined’ or ‘virgin’, meaning it’s pure and not processed with added chemicals.
Once you get your hands on the right oil, simply massage it all over your canine’s coat and inflamed skin. You can also put some in an ice cube tray and whip them out for your dog when they turn solid.
Aside from being a natural moisturizer, coconut oil also has antimicrobial properties. As such, you can rely on this pantry ingredient to soothe even your greyhound’s eczema, yeast infections, and insect stings.
Chamomile and Green Tea Soaks
Greyhounds can benefit from any chamomile or green tea packets you’re not keen on consuming. These teas are capable of soothing their inflamed skin, successfully addressing scratching issues. Thanks to their cooling effect, your greyhound won’t have to deal with hot, itchy patches of skin with consistent use.
All you have to do is fill your bathtub with lukewarm water and let a few teabags soak for five minutes or so. Once the water turns a clear brown, bring your greyhound over and immerse them for a minimum of five minutes. An alternative for this is to let the tea steep in a cup and apply it directly on your dog’s skin.
Aside from homemade remedies, you can also do other things to eliminate your canine’s scratching problems. Check them out below:
- If your greyhound’s constant scratching is due to fleas and ticks, make sure to destroy any nesting ground you find. Wash your dog’s bed and thoroughly sanitize the space in which they reside. In addition, don’t forget to vacuum and clean your furniture thoroughly. This will prevent the cycle from reoccurring once your canine is completely healed from infection.
- Changing your greyhound’s food is a must if an allergy is the cause of scratching. To create the best meal plans, it’s ideal to get the take of your attending veterinarian.
- If your greyhound is still healing from their scratching, you’d want to prevent anything that might worsen the condition. Your best bet would be to use a cone to stop licking, biting, or scratching the affected areas. As a last resort, you can also rely on bitter sprays or unique collars to discourage said behavior.
- Give your greyhound other meaningful activities to prevent scratching due to anxiety or boredom. You can provide treat puzzles or enroll them in a pet center on days you’re away. In turn, your dog won’t resort to compulsive behavior for entertainment.
Are Greyhounds Prone to Fleas?
Although they’re on the hairless side, greyhounds are still vulnerable to fleas. In fact, all dogs are prone to flea infestation so long as they’re going outdoors or in contact with other animals. These parasites can even come from anywhere, so it’s best to be on your watch for the symptoms. Check them out:
Frantic Scratching. It’s normal for your dog to scratch periodically. However, if it seems excessive or overly harsh, it’s time to be concerned about your greyhound’s skin. Fleas cause extreme itching in dogs, so your canine may be scratching to find relief.
Lethargy, Pale Gums, or Muscle Loss. Fleas stick to canines because they thrive on blood. As such, if your greyhound becomes lethargic and has significant muscle loss, they may be losing much blood due to the parasites. You may also notice their gums turning pale, which may indicate anemia.
Too Much Grooming. Greyhounds like to keep themselves clean by licking their bodies regularly. However, too much grooming may signify flea infestation, especially if your dog focuses on their hind legs, neck, and tail. This behavior may cause hair loss and eventually develop into small wounds.
Avoidance of Certain Spaces. If your canine avoids certain parts of your home, it may be a nest for fleas. For reference, fleas like hidden warm spaces like carpets and specific furniture. As such, be curious as to why your greyhound, who used to occupy the sofa, no longer lounge on it.
Rice Grains on Bedding or Excrements. If your greyhound has rice grains on their bedding, it’s a sign of tapeworms. Tapeworms come from fleas, so the rice grains may also mean a flea infestation on your canine. For some indication, you can also check their poop for these white egg packets.
Restlessness and Feeling on Edge. Sudden shifts in mood and overall personality may be another sign of fleas. If your greyhound, who used to be calm and gentle, became gloomy and frantic, check for an infestation. Feelings of irritation and restlessness are common in dogs infected with fleas.
Flea Dirt. Flea dirt is more noticeable on greyhounds with lighter fur. However, you can still check if your canine has this by simply grooming them. These specks of dirt, known as flea poop, are typically brown specks that turn red when in contact with water.
Tiny Insects on Fur. This is the most evident way to spot fleas, especially if they’re heavily infesting your greyhound. You may even spot some eggs if your dog has it bad, particularly in the rump or tail area. Keep an eye out for black or reddish-brown insects crawling; they’re sure to be fleas.
Dark Spots in Bedding. Another sign that your greyhound may be suffering from fleas is when their bedding has dark spots. These spots may be blood from fleas that fell off your dog’s fur. Your canine may have squished them while asleep, eventually turning brown once dried.
Allergies and Hot Spots. If your greyhound is extra sensitive to flea saliva, they may develop hot spots upon infestation. The skin becomes extremely red, sometimes becoming bumpy and inflamed. Some hot spots may even ooze, developing into flea-allergy dermatitis.
If you see even one or two of these symptoms, be ready to take the necessary precautions. A flea infestation can severely damage your canine’s health, so early treatment is a must. In fact, if you can prevent them from infecting your greyhound, the better.
How Do You Get Rid of Fleas on a Greyhound?
Your greyhound getting fleas is not a serious medical condition if noticed at an early stage. You can get rid of these parasites with ease by going on a quick trip to the vet. The animal specialist will give you antiparasitic shots or oral medications. Similarly, other prescription products for your canine may also be provided.
If going to the local veterinarian is not a choice, you can also try immediate home remedies to treat fleas. However, you should be mindful since some may or may not affect your greyhound’s condition. Check your options below:
- Give your greyhound a bath
- Use a fine-tooth comb
- Rely on apple cider vinegar
- Don’t neglect to clean your home
Give Your Greyhound a Bath
This is one of the first things you should do if you spot even a single flea on your greyhound’s body. By bathing them, you can get rid of these pests, particularly the adult ones. They’re unable to grasp and hold on to your canine’s hair shaft, so bathing your pet thoroughly might work.
You can use a gentle shampoo or opt for one that targets fleas and ticks. These kinds are usually found in regular grocery stores without the need for any prescription. You can also use a bit of dish soap and dilute it with water. However, note that greyhounds have thin skin, so do it with caution.
Use a Fine-Tooth Comb
Another way to lessen the fleas on your greyhound’s coat is by combing through it. Use a fine-toothed flea comb you can buy online or on the market to remove the tiny insects. These are specially made with small spaces to trap the parasites and collect their eggs, dirt, and poop.
For a tip, dip the comb in a mixture of water and dish soap to prevent the fleas from escaping. Ensure that you’re not missing any of your greyhound’s body areas, including the neck, tail, and underarms. Also, don’t forget to kill the parasites, or you risk them going back to harm your canine even further.
If you’re wondering how to finish off the fleas, your first reminder is not to crush it. Instead, dip the flea comb in soapy water or in a citrus solution. This will kill the parasites and ensure that they won’t spread somewhere else.
Rely on Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is yet another home remedy you can use to get rid of fleas. So long as your greyhound is not allergic to it, you can give them ½ tsp (2.96 mL) of ACV per 25 lbs (11.33 kg) of body weight daily. The condiment can balance your canine’s pH, so it’s effective in removing fleas. Specifically, it stabilizes their system’s alkalinity and their skin’s acidity levels.
If you’re having difficulty giving ACV orally, you can also opt to spray it on your greyhound. You’ll have to make a solution, though, combining it with warm water and Himalayan salt. Once done, spray your canine’s coat and underbelly every week. Note that you should avoid this method if your greyhound has wounds or scratches.
Don’t Neglect to Clean Your Home
All these remedies won’t work if you’re missing out on one important thing: disinfecting your home. If your greyhound stays most of the time indoors, they may have contracted fleas in the same space. As such, you should also check the places your canine frequently hangs out.
Begin by washing all of their bedding, sheets, and pillows. You can also throw in their toys and towels for extra measures. Do this once a week or so to stop the flea cycle. Aside from this, you should also vacuum your floors and carpets. Don’t forget to clean and air out your couch, too, especially if your greyhound likes to sleep on it. As a bonus, use baking soda and let it sit for a few minutes on your furniture for extra sanitation.
Schedule a visit with a vet if none of your home remedies are working to stop the flea infestation fully. Also, you should take note of your greyhound’s condition during your treatment process. If they exhibit signs of lethargy, sudden weight loss, pale gums, or tapeworm segments, immediately seek medical help.
How Do You Prevent Fleas on a Greyhound?
When it comes to flea infection, prevention is better than cure. As such, you and your greyhound should be equipped with precautionary measures to avoid these parasites. Here are some ways how:
Get Some Tick-Prevention Meds
As a responsible dog owner, you’re aware that there are certain medications keeping your greyhound in tip-top shape. These include vaccination shots and deworming tablets to stave off pests and diseases. However, you should also inquire about available flea prevention meds for extra precaution.
Your vet may offer you potent injections that protect your greyhound against fleas for six months. Opt for another shot once the duration is up for year-round immunity against these pests. This is your best bet if you want to protect your greyhound against parasites effectively. There are also other choices available, including anti-flea shampoos, collars, and sprays.
Check Your Greyhound After Every Outdoor Trip
Fleas can be nesting anywhere, so you should be vigilant, especially when outdoors. These insects are attracted to body heat and may stick to your greyhound’s fur during your daily walks. As such, check and inspect your canine’s body after going outside, even for a brief moment.
Look over their feet and between their toes, ears, neck, tail, and anus. Also, don’t forget to check their underbelly and underarms too. Fleas like to hide in warm, hidden spaces, so these body parts are not safe from their infestation.
Be Cautious About Contact
Fleas are contagious, so keep an eye out when your greyhound is playing with other dogs. Your canine may get infected if they are interacting with flea-infested playmates. In this case, it’s best to filter out interactions, especially if it’s the season for these parasites. For reference, flea season generally occurs during the warmer months of March onwards.
If you don’t want to limit your dog on playdates, ensure that your greyhound is vaccinated. You should also groom and bathe your canine without fail every time, checking for even the slightest sign of fleas. In addition, don’t forget to sanitize their space and toys to prevent the start of a cycle.
Why Does My Greyhound Wheeze?
Greyhounds are typically not a vocal breed. As such, if you hear them making sounds, especially wheezing noises, it’s best to check their status and condition. Here are some of the common causes of wheezing:
- Heart Disease
- Kennel Cough
- Obstruction From a Foreign Object
- Nasal Mites
In many cases, wheezing is one of the telltale signs of allergies. If your greyhound has gone outdoors and started wheezing, get ready for a quick trip to the vet. He may have seasonal allergies or come into contact with a trigger while you’re not on watch.
If your furry friend got bitten, stung, or inhaled an allergen, it may lead to anaphylaxis. This requires immediate medical attention, especially if he is wheezing nonstop. For reference, allergies may be triggered by a variety of factors not limited to food, cigarettes, or medicines.
If your greyhound is on the older side, he may be more prone to wheezing bouts. This may be one of the signs of heart disease, such as congestive heart failure, endocarditis, or pericardial disease. In any case, it’s best to have a veterinarian check your dog’s condition, especially if there are also other symptoms involved.
Bronchitis, especially of the chronic variety, may be the one triggering your greyhound’s wheezing. This condition may occur on its own or may also develop due to poor air quality. Your greyhound may also get this illness from constant exposure to cigarette smoke.
For reference, bronchitis is an ailment that targets a dog’s lungs, particularly his airways. Bronchi may be irritated and develop inflammation, the reason why your canine is having wheezing bouts. To treat this, your vet may give your greyhound some steroid prescription and strong antibiotics.
This is yet another common disorder in greyhounds, which they may get during their time in the racing field. Your canine may already have this illness before you’ve adopted and taken them home. Luckily, it’s a condition easily treated by constant rest and cough medication.
If you’re unaware, kennel cough is a contagious disease characterized by wheezing, lethargy, and runny rose. It’s especially common in places where dogs are in close proximity, including kennels and dog shows. Greyhounds, particularly those of the racing variety, are mostly lumped together in tight spaces. As such, you should have their health checked before adoption.
Obstruction From a Foreign Object
Greyhounds may love sleeping or lounging on the couch. However, they do have a playful and curious side which may lead to unlucky accidents. This includes the swallowing or inhaling of foreign objects, resulting in sudden wheezing.
For instance, your furry friend may be chewing on a toy and accidentally swallowing a piece. In this case, try to settle your dog down and remove the blockage. However, if it is lodged in deep, immediately go to the veterinarian and have the object extracted.
If your greyhound has constant outdoor exposure, he may be wheezing because of heartworms. It’s a condition brought about by mosquito bites, causing worms to grow into your canine’s system. When left untreated, the parasites multiply and mature enough to occupy vital organs.
Heartworms may later develop into severe ailments, including heart failure and organ damage. For reference, if your greyhound is wheezing due to heartworms, they’re past the initial stage of the disease. They may not recover completely from this condition, but can still live healthy lives.
Yet another culprit to your greyhound’s wheezing is nasal mites. Though they’re less problematic than heartworms, you still have to get constant vet visits to treat this condition. It’s contagious, so you’d best be careful when keeping your dog together with other canines.
Aside from wheezing, nasal mites may be characterized by scratching and snout rubbing on the furniture. The condition also causes reverse sneezing, in which your canine may forcefully inhale through his nose. It’s a reflexive action that sounds a lot like wheezing. Your vet may prescribe some ivermectin or antiparasitic medications to treat this.
What to Do When My Greyhound Is Wheezing
Panicking may be your first response once you see your dog wheezing and coughing. However, your priority should be to stay calm and collect yourself to help your greyhound better. Here are your next steps:
Look Around for Choking Hazards. Wheezing is a common sign that something is blocking your dog’s airway. As such, hold down your greyhound as firmly as you can and check their mouth. If you see a foreign object, remove it if possible or seek professional help.
Carry Your Greyhound Somewhere With Good Airflow. Your canine may be wheezing due to low air quality. If this is the cause, move them to a well-ventilated space and calmly wait for the episode to pass.
Eliminate Possible Triggers in the Environment. Wheezing is a sign of an allergic reaction, so it’s best to remove all triggers in your dog’s space. If your greyhound is wheezing and coughing while indoors, check if there are candles or air sprays around. If they are outside, bring them indoors to see if they get better.
Write Down Your Greyhound’s Symptoms. If you’re a first-time dog owner, know that keeping a record of your dog’s symptoms is helpful. You should take note of your greyhound’s wheezing bouts, including their frequency and severity. This will make diagnosis and treatment much easier for your veterinarian.
Go to the Vet. More often than not, wheezing is a sign of another medical condition. As such, you should visit the veterinarian if your greyhound is often experiencing this symptom. It’s especially urgent if the wheezing comes in frequently or is accompanied by other problems.
For reference, wheezing is a high-pitched sound that happens when your dog is breathing in or out. It’s a lot different than coughing or whining, so you’ll identify it real quick. If your greyhound’s wheezing is accompanied by another symptom, you should take them to the vet. Check out the instances where immediate vet trips are needed:
- Constant, long episodes of wheezing may mean a severe underlying condition
- Wheezing with loss of appetite may indicate infection
- Wheezing and difficulty breathing may be signs of an extreme medical emergency, such as a serious heart ailment
- Wheezing and retching may be due to windpipe blockage
- Wheezing and coughing may be caused by an undiagnosed respiratory infection, kennel cough, or an airway condition
- Wheezing accompanied by blue-ish gums means a lack of oxygen in the system
- Wheezing with quick breathing may mean chronic bronchitis or heart disease
How to Treat Wheezing on Greyhounds
No home remedies are available to treat wheezing on greyhounds or any canine in general. It’s mostly a symptom of an underlying condition, so it cannot be cured without getting to the root of the problem. You’d have to schedule a vet visit to get your canine diagnosed with the right treatment plans.
The course of treatment will depend on your greyhound’s condition. If they have foreign bodies in their system, your vet will operate and extract the object from your canine. For allergies, the veterinarian will give you some prescriptions to keep your greyhound safe from triggers. Here are some of them:
- Avoid using aerosols or harsh products around your greyhound
- Frequent changing of air filters is a must
- Vacuum regularly to prevent dirt and dust accumulation
- Don’t smoke around your greyhound or their space
- Keep your dog on a special diet
- Take your greyhound on brief but more frequent walks
On the other hand, heart medications will be provided if wheezing is a symptom of heart disease. Similarly, your dog will be given cough treatments and antibiotics if they are diagnosed with a collapsed trachea. All in all, rely on a trusted veterinarian for treatment when it comes to your greyhound’s wheezing.
What Are Greyhounds Commonly Allergic to?
Despite being a breed known to dominate the race tracks, greyhounds are indoor dogs. This is for a good reason, especially since they’re prone to allergies, including environmental ones. Check out some of the common allergy triggers that your greyhound may suffer from:
- Flea allergy
- Seasonal allergy
- Food allergy
- Environmental allergy
- Chemical allergy
- Drug allergy
- Shampoo allergy
This is the most common allergy your greyhound can encounter, especially if they’re used to going outdoors. Fleas are everywhere – from grasslands and couches to even the pavements your canine walks on. They’re also quick to attach to a host, in this case, your greyhound.
Once they infect your canine, you’ll find them scratching and biting itchy areas nonstop. These may develop into severe wounds and infected hot spots when neglected, so be sure to check your greyhound’s body now and then. Note: fleas are also contagious, so your canine may get them from interacting with other dogs or animals.
Seasonal allergies are not limited to humans; your canine is also prone to suffer from them. In fact, your greyhound may show severe allergic reactions to particular triggers. These include pollens and other airborne substances common with seasonal changes. Note that this allergy mostly manifests symptoms via your dog’s skin. Check out the signs below:
- Excessive paw licking
- Constant face scratching
- Biting on several areas
- Excessive shedding, especially when not in season
- Butt rubbing and constant licking of anal glands
- Red, inflamed ears with a foul smell
- Ear infections
- Thick elephant skin with discoloration
Your greyhound may also have an adverse reaction to particular foods, which may even lead to severe intoxication. In general, human sustenance is not fit for a dog’s palate and composition. However, even some of their foods may trigger their allergy. Check out some possible food allergens for your canine below:
- Proteins, especially beef, chicken, and lamb
- Milk and other dairy products
Environmental irritants may also trigger an allergic reaction in your canine. This is especially true for dogs always stationed outdoors to chase moving prey and small animals. Your greyhound is part of a racing breed, so they’re most likely susceptible to this ailment.
It can be quite challenging to decipher the particular cause of environmental allergy your greyhound can suffer from. As such, it’s important to get help from a local animal expert to pinpoint the cause of adverse reactions. Some of these triggers may include bermudagrass, juniper bushes, and daylily plants.
Greyhounds may also exhibit allergic reactions to particular chemicals. It’s never a good idea to expose your canine to unnatural substances, so you should be mindful of this. Some of the chemical triggers include cleaning products, rubbers, and plastics.
Remember, dogs have an extremely keen sense of smell. If you’re eager to use these chemicals in your home, keeping them away from your greyhound’s reach is best. You can also use other natural alternatives, but note that your dog should not be allergic to them.
While it may seem unlikely, your greyhound may also react negatively to particular drugs. Medications are supposed to treat and help your canine, but not if they’re adversely reacting to it. As such, it is important to learn if your dog is allergic to certain drugs before administering them.
Similarly, you should also be vigilant in vaccination shots as your canine may be triggered by them. Note that overvaccination should also be avoided as it may set off your canine’s immune response. Allergies are unpredictable, so you should always keep your greyhound in check.
Some greyhounds may also show allergic reactions to shampoos and other grooming products. Medicated shampoos are usually the culprit, mainly because they may contain various herbs your canine is allergic to.
Symptoms usually include severe skin irritation and itching upon initial exposure. These may get worse with repeated usage and may even cause severe wounds on your furry friend.
What Can I Give My Greyhound for Allergies?
You don’t have to worry so much if your greyhound is prone to one or more allergy triggers. You can give them homemade remedies to provide relief for simple reactions. However, you’d have to give them proper medical attention in more severe cases. Here are some of the most common homemade remedies you can provide for your canine:
Oatmeal Soaks. Aside from being a breakfast favorite, oatmeal can relieve your greyhound’s allergy symptoms. All you have to do is mix it with some water to create a paste and apply it to your canine’s affected body areas. Tip: you may want to put your dog on a cone to prevent them from licking the paste.
Aloe Vera. This natural remedy is most often used as a moisturizer. Since it has a nice cooling effect, aloe vera may just be what your greyhound needs to eliminate irritated skin due to allergies. Simply rub it down your canine’s body and religiously apply it several times a day.
Baking Soda. This is another home ingredient to relieve your greyhound of allergy symptoms. It’s able to soothe your canine’s itchiness and may even help dry out hot spots. You’d simply have to mix baking soda with water to make a thick paste, then apply it to your canine, like lotion.
If you’re not keen on homemade solutions, you can also rely on the following treatments so long as they’re vet-approved:
Anti-Allergy Shampoos. If your veterinarian deemed shampoos safe for your canine, then you’re in luck. These are the most budget-friendly solution you can use to relieve your greyhound of their allergy.
Antihistamines. These medications would need your vet’s prescription before usage. It’s best for greyhounds suffering from environmental allergies. In addition, it’s also for those who already had their immune system compromised. You should get the right dosage diagnosed before administering any to your canine to avoid any side effects.
Supplements. If you’re looking for an over-the-counter solution to your greyhound’s allergy, try to give them supplements. In particular, opt for omega-3 capsules if you want to provide relief for skin-related symptoms of seasonal allergies. Similarly, you can also rely on probiotics to avoid developing allergies into something more severe.
Soothing Ointments and Other Topical Treatments. Most allergies manifest themselves as skin-related problems. As such, you may want to address them using ointments that would help your greyhound. Opt for antibiotic ones with antifungal properties if you’re eager to speed up the healing process. Topical sprays with steroids are also advisable for those canines suffering from hot spots and wounds.
Shots. You can give your greyhound an allergy shot if none of the mentioned treatments are working. These shots are essential to desensitize your canine to several allergens. This is quite effective on different varieties, including food and flea irritations.
Of course, before giving your greyhound any of the treatments above, you should ensure that they’re having an allergic reaction. Misdiagnosis is possible and may only harm your canine even more. Check out the general symptoms of this condition:
- Itchiness and skin inflammation
- Excessive shedding
- Constant paw licking
- Round-the-clock licking of the bum region
- Facial swelling, particularly the eyelids, earflaps, and ears
- Recurring ear infections
- Respiratory problems
Are Greyhounds Prone to Bladder Problems?
Like all canines, greyhounds are prone to bladder problems, particularly when not given the proper care. They can suffer from a variety of medical conditions related to this, including the following:
- Urinary tract infection
- Bladder stones
- Bladder cancer
- Prostate enlargement
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
This condition can happen to even the healthiest greyhounds because of bacterial infection. Worry not, though; as long as it’s not the precursor for a more serious problem, your vet can treat your canine just fine. The animal expert may simply prescribe your dog antibacterial medications.
They can also opt to give them intravenous fluid therapy or an increase in water intake. In severe cases, you’ll have to put your greyhound up for surgery to remove bladder stones and correct abnormality.
Note: UTI mostly happens to female canines that are on the older side. However, your male greyhound isn’t entirely safe, so you should be mindful of its symptoms. Check them out below:
- Bloody or cloudy urine
- Painful urination
- Uncontrolled peeing outside the house
- Discomfort around the urinary opening
- High body temperature
It’s not only humans that can suffer from bladder stones; your canine can contract it as well. These stones are made of varying hard materials, possibly blocking the urinary tract if they become large enough. In severe cases, bladder stones may plug up the urethra, making your greyhound unable to urinate. This is a serious condition, so don’t hesitate to bring your canine to the veterinarian.
The signs your canine may show when they are suffering from bladder stones are similar to that of urinary tract infection (UTI). However, you’d often notice your greyhound unable to pee except for select positions. They also have dark, bloody urine and release liquid in abnormal patterns.
It’s not only senior canines that can experience urinary incontinence or loss of control when it comes to urination. Also known as urine leaking, this ailment is usually a precursor to another medical condition. One of the main signs includes wet leaks on the bed, in which your canine has no control over their peeing habits.
Note, urinary incontinence occurs mostly in female dogs of the breed, particularly middle-aged ones. Males can be affected, too, leading to the development of skin problems around the back legs. Here are some of the causes why this ailment manifests in your canine:
- Urine retention
- Bladder hypercontractility
- Bladder tumors
- Urethral disorders
- Urinary tract inflammation
- Anatomic abnormalities
- Neurological conditions such as brain lesions and spinal injuries
This is a condition wherein one or more tumor lines up the bladder, an important part of the dog’s urinary system. With this condition, your greyhound may experience frequent peeing and straining, or in extreme cases, even lose the ability to pee.
The most common bladder cancer your canine may experience is known as transitional cell carcinoma (TCC). This is an aggressive type of tumor classified as a higher-grade ailment.
Bladder cancer may occur due to genetic predisposition and environmental factors. If the progenitors of your greyhound suffer from this ailment, your canine will most likely experience this in the future. Similarly, it can be due to constant exposure to pesticides, insecticides, and flea dips. Cigarette smoke may also be the culprit behind your greyhound’s bladder cancer.
This condition only occurs on male greyhounds, particularly on older dogs of this breed. Aside from the difficulty in urination, prostate enlargement may also impede or block bowel movement. As such, you should bring your canine to the vet as soon as possible once they show the majority of these symptoms:
- Extreme pain when urinating and defecating
- Pain when walking
- Hindered gait with stiff back legs
- Constipation and irregular stools
Prostate enlargement may be due to different factors. These include hyperplasia, bacterial infections, or cancer. It’s a condition that’s best avoided to avoid severe complications and possible death. To minimize the risk of this happening, setting a neutering appointment with your local veterinarian is best.
Pyometra, known as womb infection, is a life-threatening uterine infection found only in female dogs. If your greyhound is unspayed, there are greater chances of her contracting the ailment, especially if she is older. This is due to the fluctuations of hormones that occur with each heat cycle, leading to the thickening of the uterus. As the uterus becomes thicker and thicker, a bacterial infection is more likely to occur.
Symptoms may include drinking more than usual, pus leaking from the vagina, bloatedness, and weakness. In addition, your greyhound collapsing and vomiting may also be a sign of womb infection. If any of these manifest on your canine, it’s best to bring her to the veterinarian immediately.
How to Treat Greyhound’s Bladder Problems
Treating your greyhound’s bladder problems would lead you to one thing: knowing the underlying cause of the condition. You can do this with the help of an expert’s diagnosis. Once the vet figures out the exact ailment causing your canine’s situation, treatment will be provided. Here are some of the possible methods to cure your furry friend:
- Antibiotics. If your greyhound’s bladder problems stem from bacterial infections, your vet may give them antibiotics. It’s the most common way to approach the condition, especially if it is still in the initial stages. Your vet may often advise you to watch your canine’s diet during the medication process.
- Spaying or Neutering. This process involves the removal of a canine’s reproductive ability to address bladder ailments. This is the most likely treatment for conditions that involve hormonal fluctuations. It can also reduce the chances of cancer, and enlargement of related organs.
- Chemotherapy. Yet another way your vet will heal your canine’s bladder problems is through a noninvasive process of chemotherapy. The method may be combined with other treatments if your greyhound has cysts and tumors. These include radiation or surgery in severe cases.
- Surgery. Your vet may recommend surgery if your greyhound is not responding well to medication therapies. It’s for more extreme cases like bladder cancer or malignant tumors.
If there are no underlying causes of your greyhound’s bladder problems, then the condition may stem from a behavioral one. Dogs often have trouble controlling their urination or defecation when experiencing extreme emotions. As such, you can train them or help them deal with the ailment by bringing them outdoors for relief. You can also enroll them in classes, so they learn how to behave properly and avoid soiling the house.
What Causes Greyhounds to Lose Hair?
Greyhounds are a thin-coated breed, so it’s worrisome if they start losing even a bit of hair. There are several reasons why this can happen. Check out some of the common causes below:
- Cushing’s disease
- Parasite infestation
- Pressure sores
- Bald thigh syndrome
This condition is a genetic disorder common in short-haired breeds, including greyhounds. This is also known as focal, noninflammatory alopecia, characterized by hair loss in different body parts. Check out some of the variations of the ailment found in greyhounds below:
- Pinnal alopecia
- Pattern baldness
- Post-injection alopecia
- Color dilution alopecia
Note that this heritable version of alopecia is not detrimental to your canine’s health. No other symptoms are detected, unlike other conditions that may have it as a side effect.
Allergies are one of the most common reasons behind hair loss in greyhounds. Like humans, dogs are also susceptible to certain triggers like food and medication. Some react when exposed to environmental catalysts such as pollen or cigarette smoke. Typically, hair loss from this condition would stem from constant licking and biting of affected areas.
Greyhounds may also be allergic to insect bites and stings. In this case, they can also develop heavy rashes and hives, leading to bald spots. If this occurs, contact your vet as soon as possible, especially when symptoms indicate anaphylactic shock. Some of the signs include diarrhea, cold extremities, seizures, and pale gums.
Your greyhound may also be losing hair due to a condition known as Cushing’s disease. This ailment is mainly caused by hyperadrenocorticism. Note, this condition entails the excessive production of the cortisol hormone. It’s a common ailment among geriatric greyhounds aged six years onwards that can lead to more extreme cases.
These include kidney damage, diabetes, blood clots, and high blood pressure. Aside from hair loss, Cushing’s disease may also be characterized by increased thirst and hunger. In addition, muscle weakness and a pot-bellied appearance may also be obvious signs.
Hair loss can also occur if your greyhound suffers from parasites, including fleas, mites, and ringworms. Often, you’ll find your canine scratching, licking, and biting irritated places leading to bald spots. Lack of hair mainly occurs around the ears, mouth, and chest areas. Other symptoms of this condition are oily, thickened skin, inflammation, and hot spots.
Greyhounds are naturally a thin, lanky breed. They have prominent bones and joints which may often come in contact with rough surfaces. Constant pressure thickens their skin and forms callouses, resulting in hair loss.
In some cases, these pressure sores may get infected, especially if irritated constantly. They may frequently crack or bleed, causing pain and discomfort for your furry friend. To avoid this, it’s best to provide your canine with cushioned bedding and lather moisturizer on the affected area.
Hyperthyroidism is a condition brought about by the underproduction of the hormone thyroxine. It’s a crucial secretion that affects your greyhound’s metabolism and bodily systems. The lack of thyroxine is mainly characterized by hair loss, largely noticeable in thin-coated breeds like your canine.
If your pooch is middle-aged or a senior, then this is the most likely reason why they’re losing hair. Note that that ailment is slow to progress, so you should be vigilant of other signs before it becomes too late. Here are some other symptoms to look out for in your greyhound aside from excessive shedding:
- Skin infection due to oily, smelly coat
- Skin darkening, particularly on the armpit, groin, and facial areas
- Ear infection
- Lethargy and anemia
- Weight gain
- Cold sensitivity
Bald Thigh Syndrome
If you’ve noticed your greyhound’s thigh undergoing significant hair loss, it may be due to a condition known as bald thigh syndrome. It’s a non-itchy, noninflammatory disease that causes no immediate pain to your canine. Often, the ailment is common to racing dogs, particularly greyhounds that have retired from the racetrack.
It may happen because of genetic predisposition or thiamine and niacin deficiency. It can also occur if your greyhound is suffering from hormonal imbalance. This is particularly caused by overactivity in the adrenal glands. Note that racing dogs are kept in a ‘chase arousal’ state, so they’re especially prone to hormonal imbalance. To treat this, your best bet is to schedule a vet visit.
Why Is My Greyhound Losing Hair on His Back?
Shedding is natural, even for thin-coated breeds like your greyhound. However, if you notice excessive hair loss on your canine, particularly on the back, it may be due to a medical condition. Check out the table below to see the most common reasons why back hair loss happens:
|Common Causes of Shedding
|Sometimes, extreme hair loss on the back is not due to a severe ailment. It can also happen when your greyhound is in the process of shedding an old or damaged coat. Similarly, warm weather can also trigger the loss of hair in your canine.
|Mange or Parasitic Infections
|If your greyhound is shedding hair on the back and body while going on a scratching spree, they may be suffering from an infestation. Mites and fleas are some of the common parasites that may cause this behavior. These are contagious, so you should treat the ailment before letting your pet play with another dog.
|Bacterial or Fungal Infections
|It’s normal for canines to have a certain degree of bacteria and yeast population on their skin. However, if their growth goes out of control, it may lead to hair loss and other skin infections. Ringworms may also develop, fungi that give your canine scaly patches and pimple-like spots.
|Dogs are susceptible to allergies and may be triggered by a variety of factors. These include food, environmental irritants, medication, and flea allergies. If your greyhound is experiencing hair loss and bald spots among other symptoms of allergy, book a trip to the vet.
|Other Medical Ailments
|If your greyhound has been shedding all over the place and has noticeable bald spots, the problem may be due to other medical ailments. Shedding is a common symptom of a variety of conditions, including hormonal ones. These may include hypothyroidism, gland disorders, or even problems with the growth hormone.
In addition, your greyhound may be losing hair on the back due to stress and poor nutrition. They may also experience excessive shedding due to pregnancy or lactation. No matter what, your canine needs to visit the vet if they have significant hair loss that surpasses the normal shedding threshold.
Why Is My Greyhound’s Butt Bald?
Seeing your greyhound’s butt bald while other parts of his body are doing just fine is quite a sight. Sometimes, it’s just a coincidence, especially if your canine has the tendency to rub his behind on rough surfaces. However, it can also be a condition known as bald thighs syndrome – an ailment commonly found in the breed.
There’s still no definite cause for why this occurs in greyhounds, particularly racers. However, most believe that it’s due to stress brought about by the intensive training program. Remember, greyhounds mostly spend their early years being groomed for the racetracks, which may cause them stress. This triggers the constant overproduction of cortisol, leading to patterned baldness.
Worry not, though; the bald thighs syndrome isn’t deadly in any case. It’s more of a cosmetic problem for greyhound owners and not the canine themselves. Occasionally, the bald spots would regrow a few months after retiring from the competition. However, there are also cases where the greyhound’s hair never returns.
Why Is My Greyhound Losing Hair on His Ears?
Your greyhound losing hair on the ears is likely due to a condition called pinnal alopecia. It’s an ailment that happens gradually or all of a sudden, following a certain shedding pattern. For instance, your canine’s left ear may lose hair in the same position as the right one.
Your greyhound may also start shedding hair on their ears at around six months of age. This will continue until they are eight to nine years old, with their ears completely without hair. Similar to bald thighs syndrome, it’s a cosmetic condition that won’t alter your canine’s quality of living in any way.
Of course, this is only if pinnal hair loss is not a sign of any other serious medical condition. One clue to this is that your greyhound’s ear should not be inflamed or irritated. Your canine shouldn’t be excessively scratching or whining when their ears are touched, either.
How to Treat Hair Loss in Greyhounds
Hair loss treatment in greyhounds depends on whether it is a genetic predisposition or a symptom of an underlying condition. If it is the former, then the loss of hair may have little to no hope of remedy. However, if it is a secondary symptom due to an ailment, then your best bet is to visit a veterinarian for the right healing plan.
Note that your greyhound should undergo a thorough physical exam before getting into a treatment plan or a home remedy. You should also prepare for in-depth questions about your canine’s health history. Similarly, get ready to share their allergies, previous vaccinations, and ancestry.
Afterward, the animal professional will then provide you with a prescription to heal your greyhound’s hair loss. Note that they may require you to rely on two or more treatments, depending on the severity of your canine’s condition. Here are some of them:
- Oral or topical antibiotics to fight off bacterial infections
- Oral or topical antifungals to treat yeast infections
- Hypoallergenic diets tailored to your greyhound’s health status
- Steroids for more serious skin conditions
- Immunosuppressive drugs for environmental allergies (i.e., smoke, dust, and pollen)
- Behavioral medications for excessive cases of scratching, licking, or biting
- Medicated shampoos for mange
Aside from these, here are other things you can do to help your greyhound regrow their hair quickly:
- Opt for a protein-based diet with the veterinarian’s permission. Hair is mostly made of protein particles, so loading your canine with it is essential to counter hair loss.
- Similarly, you should also add fatty acids, iron, biotin, and several other vitamins to their daily meals.
- Provide your canine with vitamins E and A, and fish oil supplements. This is especially crucial if your greyhound suffers from dry skin and infections.
- Opt to spay or neuter your greyhound if they have hair loss due to sex hormones.
Lastly, it is also important for you to determine whether your greyhound is simply shedding or losing hair due to a more serious ailment. In most medical conditions, extreme shedding is accompanied by other symptoms, such as the following:
- Consistent itching and scratching
- Red, inflamed skin around the hair loss area
- Scaly skin texture on bald patches
- Black or grey skin color outside of your greyhound’s usual one
- Overall hair thinning on the body
- Crusty skin on affected areas
- Pustules and lesions
- Open blisters, hot spots, or oozing sores
Why Does My Greyhound Keep Getting Ear Infections?
If your greyhound is constantly suffering from ear infections, they may have a disease known as chronic otitis. It’s a more serious ailment than ordinary ear inflammation and won’t go away on its own. Note, chronic otitis occurs mainly because of your canine’s ear structure and environmental factors.
Your greyhound may have an ear structure that is prone to bacterial accumulation. Similarly, they may also be exposed to an environment with plenty of triggers, including pollens, cigarette smoke, and dust. These are the culprits behind your greyhound’s red, itchy, swollen ears. Here are other symptoms of chronic ear infection:
- Excessive head shaking
- Constant scratching on the ear area
- Dark, foul-smelling discharge on the ears
- Inflammation of the ear canal
- Pain and tenderness
- Itchiness due to scabs formation
Since this condition won’t heal on its own, so you’re obligated to bring your greyhound to a veterinarian. During the visit, the professional will ask you plenty of questions, including your canine’s habits and daily routines. Once the checkup is done, a proper treatment plan to cure chronic otitis will be provided.
Oral medications that address pinnal inflammation are one of the main treatments for this condition. A medicated ear cleanser may also do the trick for less severe conditions. However, your greyhound may also undergo a Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA) surgery if the case is more serious.
Why Is My Greyhound So Anxious?
If you’re a first-time greyhound owner, you should know one important thing about the breed. Despite their tall appearances and reputation as hunters, these canines are big cowards. They get anxious and scared due to the most absurd reasons, mainly because of the following:
Genetics. Greyhounds are naturally sensitive dogs, mainly because of their genetics. They’re known to be overly emotional and may even freeze when experiencing something scary. It’s no medical condition – the breed is just predisposed to inherit anxiety and continuously pass it to their offspring.
Illness or Underlying Medical Condition. Sometimes, anxiety may stem from an undiagnosed medical condition. In an attempt to protect themselves from the pain, greyhounds may exhibit anxious and stressed behaviors. They may be nervous about more discomfort or suffering in silence.
Limited Socialization Since Young. If you’ve adopted your greyhound after their racing career, you’ll find them scared and anxious about almost everything. This is because they’ve spent their key early years stuck in the cage or training with other anxious greyhounds. They lack the stimulation and unpredicatability normal canine years can bring, so they tend to have anxiety.
Traumatic Experiences. Greyhounds are adaptable but can also be closed off to new experiences due to their early years. As such, they may have experienced trauma and extreme discomfort when thrust into a new environment. Similarly, they may have PTSD due to their stressful career on the track.
What Can You Do for an Anxious Greyhound?
Dealing with an anxious greyhound can be stressful, especially if you have no clue what to do. However, the main thing you can provide for your canine during their episodes is a safe space. You should make them feel protected and settle them down in a comfortable place.
This largely helps in calming your dog and helping them deal with whatever they are going through. Here are other things you can do for your furry friend:
Never Punish Your Anxious Greyhound. Your canine getting scared of everything may be annoying, but it doesn’t mean they have to be punished. Hurting your anxious greyhound will only worsen their condition, leading to them not building a bond with you. Instead, make them feel you’re there and try to calm them as much as possible.
Try to Desensitize Your Greyhound to The Source of Their Anxiety. Slowly get them used to the object of their fear and expose them gradually to it. For instance, if your canine is scared of you going out, show them that you’re leaving, then immediately reverse it. Do this often, and your dog will get bored with the behavior and consider it normal.
Use a Compression Wrap to Make Your Greyhound Feel Safe. The product is effective in applying gentle pressure on your canine’s body, relieving stress and anxiety.
Rely on Your Scent and Sound to Calm Your Anxious Greyhound. Your canine will feel the safest with you around, so make them think that you’re always with them. For instance, you can place them in your room or let them hear your voice constantly through a recording.
Get Your Greyhound Prescribed With Antianxiety Supplements. If your greyhound’s anxiety is getting too much to handle, get help from an expert. Your veterinarian may deem it necessary to prescribe them meds to help them get a better hold on their emotions.
Know the Ins and Outs of Your Greyhound’s Anxiety. As their owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your canine away from triggering situations. As such, you should recognize the triggers for your greyhound’s anxiety and the symptoms.
Here are some of the tell-tale signs your canine is experiencing anxious episodes:
- Aggressive behaviors
- Destructive or compulsive behaviors
- Excessive drooling and panting
- Excessive lip licking
- Nonresponsive behaviors
- Too much whining, barking, and any other kind of vocalization
- Hypervigilance and restlessness
- Velcro-dog behavior
- Lack of appetite
Why Does My Greyhound Shiver?
Since they’re a thin breed, it’s more obvious for greyhounds when they’re shivering. This behavior can be due to a variety of reasons, including the following:
Your Greyhound Is Feeling Anxious. One thing to note about the breed is that they’re big cowards; anything can set them off. If you see them shivering and it’s not cold, something in the environment may have scared them. These include thunders, lightning, and even a stray branch that surprised them.
They Are Excited. Your greyhound can also shake when they get excited, which can happen all the time. For one, you’ll notice their body shaking when you’re both going for a walk or during playtime. Similarly, the breed also shakes when they first see you after work in an attempt to shake off excess energy.
Your Canine Is Feeling Cold. Greyhounds are thin-coated, so they’re quite prone to weather changes. If your canine is shaking and it’s the cold season, they may feel the temperature shift. In this case, you should immediately provide them with a sweater and warm up the room to avoid further exposure.
They Are Suffering From an Ailment. Shaking in greyhounds, particularly when out of the blue, may also indicate an underlying medical condition. You should watch out for how long and constant it occurs and ensure you’re ready to support your canine anytime. Set a vet schedule immediately to have your dog diagnosed and provided with the right treatment plan.
Why Does My Greyhound Tremble?
Trembling in greyhounds doesn’t always have to be a negative thing. Aside from being scared, your canine may also tremble because they have seen an animal they consider as prey. Remember, the breed has a deeply-ingrained instinct to chase game, so they’re likely preparing for a run. If you don’t want to encourage this behavior, you can train your canine or use a leash to steer them away.
If this is not the case, your greyhound may have muscle tremors. Worry not, though; it’s a common occurrence for the breed and other animals that run the race track. Note that your canine is used to having enough muscle activities, so they’re bound to have episodes of localized tremors.
Most of these tremors occur on your greyhound’s flank area to tone their muscles. Similarly, it can happen if your canine releases pent-up tension and excitement.
Why Is My Greyhound Limping?
Greyhounds are a racing breed, so they’re known for their strong gait and good posture. As such, it’s noticeable if they’re limping or if something is wrong with their stance. One of the most common reasons for this is a condition known as corn, a circular area found on a canine’s footpad.
This particular ailment is often found in greyhounds – both during their racing career or after retirement. You may think it’s just a circle of dead skin, but it’s actually painful for your canine. Corn reaches the deepest parts of your furry friend’s foot, particularly the flexor tendon and the bones. It’s uncomfortable for your dog and may even develop into lameness once neglected.
Note that this condition often happens in greyhounds because they lack fatty tissues. Treatment is possible, though, but it won’t guarantee that corn recurrence won’t occur on other foot areas. If this ailment is not the reason why your greyhound is limping, then check out other reasons below:
- Bone fractures and dislocation
- Ligament or muscle strains
- Ruptures or dislocations
- Torn nails and foot wounds
- Foreign materials
- Fungal or bacterial infections
- Other underlying medical conditions
When Do Greyhounds Get Their First Shots?
Like all other canines, Greyhounds should get their first shots during the puppy stage, ideally between 6 to 8 weeks of age. Doing so will keep them safe from highly contagious diseases, like parvovirus infection and distemper. They’re most likely vaccinated if you’ve adopted your canine from an organization.
However, buying them directly from a breeder when they’re still puppies would mean you’d shoulder the shots yourself. Check out this table showing the timeline of your greyhound’s first year of vaccination per the American Kennel Club:
|6 to 8 Weeks
|Parvovirus, Distemper, and Adenovirus
|Every 2 to 4 weeks until your greyhound turns 16 weeks or older
|10 to 12 Weeks
|DHPP (vaccines against distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza)
|Every 2 to 4 weeks until your canine turns 16 weeks old
|16 to 18 Weeks
|DHPP and Rabies
|Your greyhound’s first shot should be given at or after 12 weeks old. Administering before 12 weeks old requires you to re-vaccinate your canine.
|1 year old
|Annually or every two years
|1 to 3 years old
What Vaccinations Do Greyhounds Need?
Greyhounds, require several vaccinations to minimize the chances of deadly diseases in the future. Check out the list of shots needed below:
In addition, your canine would also need annual booster shots for their immune system. Expect to pay about $75 to $100 for their vaccination, including core injections and maintenance. If you want to save a bit of money, opt to have your greyhound vaccinated in an animal shelter.
Should I Insure My Greyhound?
Although greyhounds are considered healthy, it’s still in your best interest to have them insured. This is to help you with unexpected veterinary bills in the future, like paying for your dog’s serious medical ailment. With pet insurance, you can avail of payment assistance for medications, checkups, and treatment plans. Aside from saving you from financial risks, here are other benefits of getting your greyhound insured:
- Urges you to focus on your canine’s health
- Increases treatment options, including expensive ones
- Gives you the choice to pick your veterinarian
- Provides you with the freedom to choose a plan
- Helps you avoid spending important life savings
- Secures peace of mind and your greyhound’s health
How Much Is It to Insure a Greyhound?
Availing of pet insurance for your greyhound may generally cost you $20 to $44 a month. Of course, note that the price depends on your canine’s location, age, and the type of coverage you’re aiming to get. The rates can also increase yearly every renewal season since your dog is getting older.
Here are some things to take note of before buying pet insurance for your greyhound:
There Are several Pet Insurance Available for Purchase. The best ones to get are those that can cover both accidents and illnesses, known as A/I plans. Some of these plans even offer a bonus of wellness features, including dental treatments.
Expect to Pay First, then Be Reimbursed Later. Most pet insurance plans would require owners to cover the full costs of the bill first. Afterward, the insurance company will provide adequate compensation based on the costs.
Pet Insurance Doesn’t Cover Preexisting Conditions. If your greyhound is suffering from any kind of medical ailment, don’t expect pet insurance to cover it. This is according to industry standards, in which the policy only pays for future, unexpected costs.
Cheap Pet Insurance Doesn’t Mean Better. You may think that you’re getting the better end of the stick with a less expensive insurance plan. However, this is not the case if the benefits you’re availing for the canine are also less. Note: an excellent pet insurance policy covers accidents and illnesses and yearly checkups.
How Long Does a Greyhound Live?
In general, greyhounds live for about 12 to 15 years long. They’re considered a robust, healthy breed, with each generation getting better genetics than the last.
Remember, these dogs are made for the race track, so most of them are bred from parents that are well-matched with one another. For instance, a female greyhound from the shorter side would be paired with a bigger male to conceive a larger litter. This is in an attempt to produce healthier offspring with a higher chance of winning the race.
Note, greyhounds spend about three to five years of their lives in competition. The dogs will then retire afterward, giving them ample time to spend the rest of their lifespan with an owner or an organization.
Do Male or Female Greyhounds Live Longer?
Gender has little to no effect on a greyhound’s lifespan. There is no superior sex between the breed, be it about life expectancy or behavioral conditions. Each of these canines has their personality and health conditions, so there’s no telling whether male or female hounds live longer. To note, these dogs are known for their good health with a lack of hereditary genetic ailments to boot.
Rather than age, what affects your greyhound’s life expectancy is whether they are neutered or spayed. Note: this is only applicable to canines deemed healthy and not suffering from an underlying medical condition.
Spayed or neutered greyhounds have fewer behavioral problems. They also suffer from fewer infections and degenerative diseases. Here are a few health benefits of doing this for your canine:
- Lesser chances of breast cancer and pyometra for female greyhounds
- Minimal chances of males suffering from testicular cancer
- Elimination of heat cycles for females, resulting in fewer behavioral changes
- Males don’t have the urge to roam and bolt out of the house to find a mate
- No more habits of territorial marking, including peeing and scratching
- Lesser fights and aggression, especially in males
How Do Greyhounds Die?
Greyhounds die for several reasons. These may range from natural causes and severe medical ailments to accidents on the race track. First off, the breed is known for being healthy, with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. They can spend most of their years in their owners’ care and die due to old age.
They can also perish because of a disease, mainly neoplasia, collapse, or musculoskeletal disorders. Don’t neglect your canine’s yearly wellness checkups to prevent this from happening. Doing so will inform you and your vet about your greyhound’s health status. In addition, your vet can also diagnose the onset of a severe ailment early if you keep up with annual examinations.
Greyhounds can also die during their career on the track. In this period, they’re prone to many accidents, particularly during the race. Some of these canines are also kept in unfavorable conditions when not in competition. This makes them susceptible to various illnesses.
How to Keep a Greyhound Healthy
Due to selective breeding, greyhounds are genetically healthy dogs that can live from 12 to 15 years. However, although they have great DNA, it doesn’t mean they’re immune to all kinds of ailments. Here are some of the ways you can do to keep your canine in tip-top shape:
Provide Proper Nutrition. Greyhounds, like all other canines, need to have a well-balanced diet to be healthy. Ensure they’re getting their fair share of protein and carbohydrates. These are mostly sourced from a combination of kibbles and high-quality minced meat. Remember to avoid toxic foods and opt to go all-natural when possible.
Adequate Amount of Exercise. If you’re a long-time breed owner, you’re used to them hogging the couch or the bed all day. However, despite greyhounds being low-energy dogs, they still need physical activity daily. You don’t have to go on long marathons to do so; walking with your canine for thirty minutes or so is enough to help them be physically fit.
Regular Veterinary Visits. Going to the vet is not limited only to emergencies or worrying situations. You should also ensure to have annual wellness exams for your canine to ensure that they are not suffering from any condition. Remember: prevention is better than cure when caring for a dog, so don’t miss vet visits.
Get Preventative Medications. You should allocate some budget for your canine’s medications alongside regular vet visits. These include vaccines against unwanted health issues, including parvo, distemper, and rabies. Don’t forget to purchase a few dental chews to avoid periodontal disease.
Consistent Grooming. While greyhounds don’t require much in terms of grooming, it doesn’t mean you’d have to neglect them entirely. Indeed, your canine doesn’t need to have regular haircuts, but you should always keep their nails trimmed. Similarly, brush your dog’s teeth and get them used to bathing regularly.
Give Affection and Socialization. It’s common for greyhounds to have an independent streak and value alone time. However, they are also fond of getting affection from you, their owner. Give your canine plenty of rubs, cuddles, and petting to show them some love and affection.
Similarly, don’t forget that a socialized hound is a happy hound – let your canine meet new people and play with other pets. These are important to prevent behavioral and antisocial problems from ever affecting your dog.
Get Familiar With Their Normal Behavior. Your responsibility as a fur parent is to know every nook and cranny of your canine’s behavior. This will allow you to understand their language and pinpoint exactly why they’re moving out of character. For instance, if your ever-silent hound starts whining for no reason, you should notice this abnormal behavior. In addition, you should bring them to the vet if necessary.
Rely on Pet Safety Tools. Greyhounds are racing dogs with a drive to chase small prey. As such, you should invest in collars with ID tags and microchips to find them immediately if the situation calls for it. This will prevent your dog from getting lost and going into unfortunate accidents.
Dog-Proof Your Home. You should dog-proof your home and remove toxic hazards to keep your canine safe. These include putting aerosols and other chemicals out of your greyhound’s reach. The breed is curious about everything and loves to explore, so ensure they don’t come across dangers in your own house.
Now that you’re aware of tips on how to keep your greyhound healthy, you should also check out the signs that show they’re in good health. This is vital since you’d notice easier if there’s something out of place with your canine’s well-being. Look over the indications below:
|Signs of Good Health
|Mouth, Teeth, Gums
|Heartbeat and Pulse