What Do Greyhounds Usually Die Of?

Greyhounds are graceful and elegant dogs known for their incredible speed and agility. However, like all living creatures, they have a limited lifespan, and understanding the common causes of death among Greyhounds is essential for responsible pet ownership. In this article, we explore “What do Greyhounds usually die of?”

These factors that can contribute to the demise of these magnificent canines are crucial so that we can provide the care that they need.

Lifespan of Greyhounds

The average lifespan of a Greyhound ranges from 10 to 14 years, although individual variations are common. Genetics, lifestyle, diet, and overall health management play significant roles in determining the length and quality of a Greyhound’s life.

Common Causes of Death

Old Age

One of the most natural causes of death among Greyhounds is old age. As they reach their senior years, the wear and tear on their bodies can lead to a decline in overall health. Older Greyhounds may experience organ failure, mobility issues, and a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to various ailments.


Cancer is a prevalent cause of death in Greyhounds, as in many other dog breeds. Different types of cancer can affect Greyhounds, including lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and osteosarcoma.

Regular veterinary check-ups and early detection can improve the chances of successful treatment and extend a Greyhound’s life.

Heart Disease

Greyhounds can be prone to certain heart conditions, such as dilated cardiomyopathy and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). These conditions can result in heart failure and may lead to sudden death if left untreated.

Regular cardiac evaluations and appropriate medical management are essential to identify and address heart issues promptly.


Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), is a potentially life-threatening condition that can affect Greyhounds. It occurs when the stomach fills with gas and twists, leading to a blockage in blood flow. Immediate veterinary intervention is crucial to saving a Greyhound’s life in such cases.

causes of greyhound death

Bone Cancer

Greyhounds are more susceptible to developing bone cancer, particularly osteosarcoma. This aggressive form of cancer typically affects the limbs and can cause significant pain and lameness.

Early detection, proper treatment, and pain management strategies can improve the quality of life for Greyhounds diagnosed with bone cancer.

Genetic Conditions

Like many purebred dogs, Greyhounds can be prone to certain genetic conditions that can impact their overall health and lifespan.


While osteosarcoma is not solely a genetic condition, Greyhounds are more predisposed to developing this type of bone cancer due to their genetic makeup. Understanding the early signs and symptoms and seeking prompt veterinary care can increase the chances of successful treatment.

Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy

Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a genetic heart condition that can lead to abnormal heart rhythms and potentially sudden death. Regular cardiac screenings can help identify this condition early, allowing for appropriate management strategies.

Environmental Factors

Apart from genetic predispositions, certain environmental factors can influence a Greyhound’s health and longevity.

Traumatic Injuries

Being active dogs, Greyhounds may experience traumatic injuries from accidents or falls. Fractures, sprains, and other orthopedic issues can be debilitating and, in severe cases, may lead to a shortened lifespan.

Providing a safe and secure environment and closely monitoring their activities can minimize the risk of such injuries.

Stress-Related Conditions

Stress can have a significant impact on a Greyhound’s health. These sensitive dogs may develop stress-related conditions like anxiety, gastrointestinal issues, and immune system suppression.

Maintaining a calm and stable environment, incorporating positive reinforcement training techniques, and providing mental stimulation can help reduce stress levels.

greyhound yawning

Healthcare and Preventive Measures

Certain healthcare and preventive measures should be implemented to promote Greyhounds’ well-being and longevity.

Regular Veterinary Check-ups

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for monitoring a Greyhound’s overall health, identifying potential issues early, and providing necessary vaccinations. Routine blood work, dental care, and parasite prevention are crucial to maintaining their well-being.

Proper Nutrition

A balanced and nutritious diet tailored to a Greyhound’s needs is vital. High-quality dog food, formulated for large breeds or specific health conditions, can support their overall health, strengthen their immune system, and help prevent certain diseases.

Exercise and Mental Stimulation

Regular exercise and mental stimulation are key to keeping Greyhounds physically and mentally fit. Engaging in activities that cater to their instincts, such as chasing toys or participating in lure coursing, can help prevent obesity, alleviate stress, and promote a healthy lifestyle.


Understanding the common causes of death among Greyhounds is essential for pet owners to ensure their well-being and longevity. While old age, cancer, heart disease, bloat, and genetic conditions can impact their lifespan, responsible care, regular veterinary check-ups, proper nutrition, exercise, and a stress-free environment can significantly contribute to their overall health and quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the average lifespan of a Greyhound?

The average lifespan of a Greyhound ranges from 10 to 14 years, although individual variations are common.

Can Greyhounds die from bloat?

Yes, bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV), can be life-threatening for Greyhounds if not promptly treated.

Are Greyhounds prone to genetic conditions?

Greyhounds can be prone to genetic conditions, such as osteosarcoma and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC).

How can I ensure my Greyhound’s health and longevity?

Regular veterinary check-ups, proper nutrition, regular exercise, mental stimulation, and a stress-free environment are key factors in ensuring a Greyhound’s health and longevity.

Do Greyhounds have a higher risk of certain diseases normal?

Due to their genetic predispositions and unique traits, Greyhounds may have a higher risk of certain diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and bone-related conditions.

Evan S. Conaway

4 thoughts on “What Do Greyhounds Usually Die Of?”

  1. I have a rescue Greyhound, they said that she was just over 3 years old when I adopted her. Kohana is now 7yrs old. Started limping in her front left leg, but now also in her right leg, vet said Athritist. Also loose stools, can be quite bad at times. Giving her tablets to strengthen her legs, vitamins, plus stuff for the loose bowel movents ( when required) The Vet suggested half a parocetmal , yet when I checked, they are toxic !!!!
    I would truly appreciate any suggestions/guidness on this matter. She is absolutely adorable.
    Thank -you

    • Hi there Margaret,

      Thanks for reaching out:

      Arthritis is common in older dogs, including Greyhounds. The limping in her front legs could be related to joint pain. It’s great that your vet has diagnosed arthritis. In addition to medication, you can consider implementing measures to make Kohana more comfortable, such as providing soft bedding, using ramps or stairs to help her navigate, and avoiding activities that strain her joints excessively.

      Loose stools can have various causes, including dietary issues, gastrointestinal problems, or underlying health conditions. It’s essential to determine the underlying cause. You mentioned giving Kohana tablets for loose bowel movements when required. It would be helpful to know the specific medication prescribed by your vet. If the loose stools persist, it’s best to consult your vet again for further evaluation and potential adjustments to the treatment plan.

      Paracetamol can be toxic to dogs and should not be given to them without veterinary guidance. There may have been a miscommunication or misunderstanding regarding the suggested dosage. It’s essential to clarify this with your vet to ensure the safety of your Greyhound.

      Hope this helps, please do let me know how you go with Kohana.



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