Recently, Gus had been running with the retired couple’s daughter who was completing the Couch to 5k programme. He’d been enjoying himself with a few runs of twenty minutes or so over the course of a couple of weeks before he started having some trouble lifting himself off his bed, letting out little yelps each time.
Built for short sprints, greyhound’s back and leg muscles are usually highly developed and quite tight which is why you don’t often see a greyhound in the ‘sit’ position. Generally, they are large and quite heavy dogs (the bitches tend to be smaller and daintier) and Gus was no exception tipping the scales at 38 kilos – about average weight for a retiree. Still, lifting this weight from the ground requires some effort, so the yelping – or rather its root cause - was a worry for the owners.
A visit to the vet had not delivered any explanation for the yelping and the vet had recommended a joint care supplement designed to support the metabolism of joints for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. Wanting to have him checked over further, Gus arrived at my clinic for an osteopathic assessment.
Usually, in spite of their stoic appearance, if there is any discomfort, palpation of the area will cause a flickering or twitching of the surrounding muscles, and this is the only way to tell whether there is an underlying problem. However, even after careful and prolonged examination, no signs of distress presented.
In the absence of a ‘tell’ sign, taking the history presented to me along with the medication and its potential side effects, I concluded the most likely cause of the yelping had been an arthritics flare up which has settled down. I stretched out his muscles to alleviate tension and mobilised the joints to get blood, oxygen and healing fluids moving.
Subsequent conversations reveals Gus has been doing well and has not had any further incidences of discomfort. I have suggested, however, that he’s probably better off leaving the 5k behind him in favour of the couch!