Greyhounds are a beloved breed of dog used for hunting and racing for centuries. While these dogs are known for their agility and speed, they are also prone to certain health issues unique to their breed.
This article will discuss some of the most common greyhound health issues, their symptoms, and how they can be prevented and treated.
Anatomy and Physiology
In understanding Greyhound health issues, it’s essential to understand their anatomy. Greyhounds are a large breed of dog that can weigh up to 80 pounds and stand up to 30 inches tall at the shoulder.
They have long, thin legs, a deep chest, and a narrow waist, which make them ideal for running at high speeds.
Greyhounds have lean and muscular bodies, which puts them at risk for certain health issues. Their unique anatomy makes them more prone to specific health conditions. Let’s take a look at them below!
Common Greyhound Health Issues
Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that commonly affects greyhounds. Symptoms of osteosarcoma include lameness, swelling, and pain in the affected limb.
While there is no cure for osteosarcoma, treatment options include amputation of the affected limb, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms of hypothyroidism in greyhounds include weight gain, lethargy, hair loss, and skin problems.
Treatment for hypothyroidism involves administering thyroid hormone replacement medication.
Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that can affect greyhounds. It occurs when the stomach fills with air and twists, which can lead to a lack of blood flow to the stomach and other organs.
Symptoms of bloat include restlessness, pacing, drooling, and vomiting. It’s important to seek veterinary care immediately if you suspect your greyhound has bloat.
Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that affects the hip joints in dogs. It can cause pain, lameness, and arthritis.
While greyhounds are not as prone to hip dysplasia as some other breeds, it’s still important to be aware of this condition and to have your greyhound screened for it.
Heartworm is a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by parasitic worms in the heart and lungs. Greyhounds are particularly susceptible to heartworm because of their low body fat and high metabolism.
Symptoms of heartworm include coughing, difficulty breathing, and lethargy. It’s important to have your greyhound tested for heartworm regularly and to keep them on preventative medication.
Greyhounds are prone to dental issues such as periodontal disease, tooth decay, and gum disease. Symptoms of dental issues in greyhounds include bad breath, swollen gums, and loose or missing teeth.
Prevention of dental issues includes regular teeth cleaning and check-ups with a veterinarian.
Greyhounds are also prone to ear infections, which various factors, such as allergies, bacteria, and yeast, can cause. Symptoms of ear infections in greyhounds include scratching at the ears, head shaking, and discharge from the ears.
Treatment for ear infections involves administering medication prescribed by a veterinarian.
Greyhounds are susceptible to tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. Symptoms of tick-borne diseases in greyhounds include fever, lethargy, and joint pain.
Preventing tick-borne diseases includes chronic administration of tick-prevention medication and avoiding exposure to ticks in high-risk areas.
Ehrlichiosis is a tick-borne disease that is caused by the bacteria Ehrlichia Canis. Symptoms of ehrlichiosis include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and bleeding disorders.
It’s important to protect your greyhound from ticks and to have them tested for ehrlichiosis if you suspect they may be infected.
Hemangiosarcoma is a type of cancer that affects the blood vessels of dogs. Symptoms of hemangiosarcoma in greyhounds include lethargy, weakness, and pale gums.
Treatment for hemangiosarcoma involves surgical removal of the affected organ and chemotherapy.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can affect dogs, including greyhounds. Symptoms of leptospirosis in greyhounds include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.
Leptospirosis can be prevented through vaccination and avoiding exposure to contaminated water or urine from infected animals.
Pannus is an autoimmune disease that affects dogs’ eyes, including greyhounds. Symptoms of pannus in greyhounds include redness, cloudiness, and discharge from the eyes.
Treatment for pannus includes the administration of topical or systemic medication prescribed by a veterinarian.
Arthritis is common in older greyhounds and can cause joint pain and stiffness. It’s important to give your greyhound proper exercise and seek veterinary care if you suspect they have arthritis.
Cushing’s disease is a condition where the body produces too much cortisol. Symptoms of Cushing’s disease include weight gain, increased thirst and urination, and a dull coat.
It’s important to have your greyhound tested for Cushing’s disease if you suspect it may suffer.
Greyhounds develop separation anxiety, a condition in which dogs experience anxiety and distress when separated from their owners or primary caregivers. Symptoms of separation anxiety in greyhounds include destructive behavior, excessive barking, and house soiling.
Treatment for separation anxiety involves behavior modification, training techniques, and medication in severe cases.
Greyhounds are prone to skin issues such as allergies, dry skin, and hot spots. Symptoms of skin issues in greyhounds include itching, redness, and skin irritation. Treatment for skin issues includes:
- Identifying and avoiding allergens.
- Administering medication prescribed by a veterinarian.
- Providing proper grooming and skin care.
Urinary Tract Infections
Greyhounds are prone to Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs), which bacteria or other factors can cause. Symptoms of UTIs in greyhounds include frequent urination, straining to urinate, and blood in the urine.
Treatment for UTIs involves administering antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian.
Greyhounds are susceptible to vision issues such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and glaucoma. Symptoms of vision issues in greyhounds include:
- Cloudiness or blurriness in the eyes.
- Difficulty seeing in low light.
- Bumping into objects.
Treatment for vision issues includes administering medication prescribed by a veterinarian and surgical intervention in some cases.
Prevention and Treatment
Preventing greyhound health issues involves a combination of proper nutrition, exercise, routine check-ups, and proper grooming.
Diet and Nutrition
Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining the health of greyhounds. A balanced diet rich in protein and essential nutrients can help prevent certain health issues, such as osteosarcoma and hypothyroidism.
It’s also essential to provide fresh water and avoid overfeeding, which can lead to obesity and other health issues.
Exercise and Training
Regular exercise and training are important for greyhounds’ physical and mental health. Exercise can help prevent obesity and promote cardiovascular health, while training can help prevent separation anxiety and other behavioral issues.
Proper grooming can help to prevent skin and dental problems in your greyhound. This includes regular brushing, nail trimming, and bathing.
It’s also important to provide your greyhound with proper dental care, such as brushing their teeth regularly and providing them with dental chews.
Regular Vet Check-ups
Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help identify and prevent health issues in greyhounds. Veterinarians can perform routine blood tests, physical exams, and other diagnostic tests to detect health issues early on.
Medications and Supplements
Certain medications and supplements can help prevent and treat certain greyhound health issues. Heartworm prevention medication, flea and tick prevention medication, and thyroid hormone replacement medication are just a few examples of medications that a veterinarian may prescribe.
Supplements such as glucosamine and omega-3 fatty acids may also be recommended to promote joint health and overall wellness.
Protecting your greyhound from ticks is important for preventing tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
This includes using tick preventatives such as tick collars or spot-on treatments and performing regular tick checks.
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition transmitted by mosquitoes. Providing your greyhound with regular heartworm preventatives, such as monthly heartworm medication, is important.
Regular vaccinations are important for preventing many diseases that can affect your greyhound. It’s important to keep your greyhound up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations, as your veterinarian recommends.
Surgery may sometimes be necessary to treat certain greyhound health issues, such as osteosarcoma or hemangiosarcoma. Surgical intervention can help remove cancerous tumors, repair damaged organs, or address other health issues.
While greyhounds are a beloved dog breed, they are prone to certain health issues impacting their quality of life. By understanding the common health issues that affect greyhounds and taking preventive measures, owners can help ensure their greyhounds live long, healthy lives.
Regular check-ups with a veterinarian, proper nutrition, exercise and training, and preventive medications and supplements can help prevent and treat common greyhound health issues.
How often should I take my greyhound to the vet?
Greyhounds should be taken to the vet for routine check-ups at least once a year. However, if you notice any changes in your greyhound’s behavior or health, it’s important to seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
What is the best diet for a greyhound?
The best greyhound diet depends on age, size, and activity level. It’s important to provide your greyhound with high-quality dog food suitable for its needs. Your veterinarian can guide the best diet for your greyhound.
How often should I groom my greyhound?
Greyhounds should be groomed regularly to prevent skin and dental problems. This includes regular brushing, nail trimming, and bathing. It’s also important to provide your greyhound with proper dental care, such as brushing their teeth regularly and providing them with dental chews.
How can I keep my greyhound’s teeth healthy?
You can keep your greyhound’s teeth healthy by providing them with proper dental care, such as brushing their teeth regularly and providing them with dental chews. It’s also important to have your greyhound’s teeth checked by a veterinarian regularly.
What is osteosarcoma, and how is it treated?
Osteosarcoma is a type of bone cancer that commonly affects greyhounds. Treatment for osteosarcoma may involve amputation of the affected limb, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
How can I prevent bloat in my greyhound?
Preventive measures for bloat include feeding smaller, more frequent meals, avoiding exercise immediately before or after meals, and limiting access to water immediately before and after meals.
How can I prevent tick-borne diseases in my greyhound?
Regular administration of tick-prevention medication, avoiding exposure to ticks in high-risk areas, and performing regular tick checks can all help prevent tick-borne diseases in greyhounds.
What should I do if I suspect my greyhound has a health issue?
If you suspect your greyhound has a health issue, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian as soon as possible. Veterinarians can perform diagnostic tests and provide appropriate treatment to help manage and treat the health issue.
How can I prevent separation anxiety in my Greyhound?
Preventive measures for separation anxiety include proper socialization and training, providing mental stimulation, and gradually increasing the time your greyhound spends alone. In severe cases, medication prescribed by a veterinarian may also be necessary.
Picture Credit: Unplash
- Basenji Italian Greyhound Mix: There’s So Much To Know! - March 12, 2023
- Greyhound Health Issues: Symptoms, Prevention & Treatment - March 6, 2023
- Italian Greyhound Rat Terrier Mix: Petite & Lively - March 5, 2023