Did you know that the dying wish of Frederick the Great of Prussia is to be buried next to his Italian Greyhound? This breed is adored by people for centuries because they are gentle, playful and very affectionate. They love their master and will do anything for them.
The Italian Greyhound
The Italian Greyhound is a delicate dog. They weigh around 3 to 5 kgs and have very short hair. The good news with this is that they shed very little, but unfortunately, their sparse hair makes them very intolerant of cold weather. Some pet owners like putting clothes on them but if you do not like clothes on dogs, make sure you keep him indoors in the colder months, and provide him with a lot of warm blankets when he sleeps at night.
An Italian Greyhound for Older Children
While they are great with children, it is probably not the best idea to have an Italian Greyhound at home with toddlers and small kids. This is because they might not know how to handle the dog and the dog’s fragile legs can be easily broken when they are dropped or mishandled. Wait until the children are older before you adopt an Italian Greyhound to make sure you don’t have to worry about expensive vet trips to mend his limbs.
Health Problems the Italian Greyhound is Prone to
Aside from patellar luxation (easily dislocated kneecaps), the IG is also known to be susceptible to seizures. Idiopathic epilepsy is a condition wherein the brain receives abnormal electric activity, which in turn translates to the nerve system to exhibit a lapse in coordination in their muscle activity.
When your dog goes into seizure, it is normal to feel panic, especially if it’s the first time you’ve seen your beloved dog like that. You need to bring him to the vet, who will ask you to describe the details of the seizure so he can have an accurate picture of what type of epilepsy your dog is dealing with. The vet will put your dog through several tests and put him on medication to help manage this sickness.
Italian Greyhounds are also prone to eye problems like progressive retinal atrophy or PRA. PRA is when the retina of the dog becomes worse, and this will most likely lead to blindness. It is not painful nor fatal, however PRA is untreatable for now. You will need to help your dog cope with partial and complete blindness with patience and loving care for the rest of his life.
Alopecia is another disorder that darker haired Italian Greyhounds sometimes have. It is a disorder that results in hair loss. This syndrome is usually hereditary especially for the IG and may be associated with another disease, hypothyroidism. The symptoms can manifest as early as 6 months of age. You can manage this by using a specially formulated shampoo on him that will inhibit bacterial activity and keep his follicles open.
Grooming Your Italian Greyhound
Do not neglect grooming your Italian Greyhound, especially with this teeth. There are many dental problems that IGs seem to have. Perhaps it is because of their tiny teeth that are tricky to clean. Food gets attached to them and if they are not removed, tooth decay will set in and will affect even the gums of the poor dog. Make it a point to clean his teeth regularly to prevent this from happening.
Feeding Your Italian Greyhound
One way that can help your dog is by feeding him fresh meat. The uncooked bone is great for filing down teeth. They are also a great source of calcium and potassium.
Consider purchasing natural herbs and supplements to enhance the immune system of the Italian Greyhound.
An investment to the health of your Italian Greyhound is an investment in his life!