Most common health problems in Afghan Hounds, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Afghan Hound

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Afghan Hound, you'll find my health care program very valuable.

It's called "11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy."

Raise your dog the RIGHT way, feed him the RIGHT food, give him the RIGHT vaccinations, avoid unnecessary veterinary expenses, and help him live a longer, happier, and more comfortable life.

If your Afghan Hound already HAS a health problem, I'm sorry to hear that. You should immediately begin my health care program, and you may be able to restore his good health – or at least make him much more comfortable. Let me help!

My best-selling dog health book


Afghan Hound dog breed

Afghan Hound Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Afghan Hound health problems

Cataracts in young Afghan Hounds often lead to blindness. Many Afghan Hounds have thyroid disease. The breed is at higher-than-normal risk for an emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.

Hip and elbow dysplasia are less common in Afghan Hounds compared to most other large breeds....but more common in Afghan Hounds compared to other sighthound breeds.

Chronic allergies can cause itchy skin conditions.

Because of their low body fat, Afghan Hounds are extra sensitive to anesthetics and require an experienced vet who will follow a special sighthound anesthesia protocol.

Afghan Hounds are instinctive chasers, so they're especially vulnerable to being killed by a car. This is not an off-leash breed.

Musculoskeletal injuries (fractures, pulled muscles or ligaments, broken toes, paw injuries, etc.) are common when Afghan Hounds romp, jump, and play.

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Afghan Hound have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases, thyroid disease, and hip dysplasia, your Afghan Hound has less risk of developing those conditions.

Other health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your Afghan Hound, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Afghan Hound puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!


Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Afghan Hound puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Afghan Hound lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Pet insurance Should You Buy Pet Insurance? An Honest Review
My advice on the pros and cons of pet insurance, and the best pet insurance company I've found.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Afghan Hound
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Afghan Hound. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Afghan Hound
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Afghan Hound. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Afghan Hound puppy really need? Does your adult Afghan Hound need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you.


Information on spaying your Afghan Hound. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Afghan Hound. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.


Complete list of Afghan Hound health problems

Thyroid disease is probably the major concern in Afghan Hounds. Depending on whose statistics you believe, up to 30% of Afghan Hounds have low thyroid levels.

Cataracts are another serious concern, especially when they appear under a year of age; these early cataracts often lead to blindness. Corneal dystrophy and cherry eye are other eye diseases that occur with some regularity in Afghan Hounds. Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), glaucoma, and retinal dysplasia have also been reported.

Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are not as common in Afghan Hounds as in most other large breeds – but they DO occur more frequently in Afghan Hounds than in other sighthounds. For example, according to the Orthopedic Foundation of America, the hip dysplasia rate is about 6% in Afghan Hounds, but less than 3% in other sighthound breeds. The elbow dysplasia rate is about 7% in Afghan Hounds, which again is higher than other sighthound breeds.

As with all deep-chested breeds, Afghan Hounds are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.

Allergies cause itchy skin and can lead to bacterial infections (pyoderma). The long folded-over ears with all the hair in the ear canals are prone to ear infections.

Other health issues that occur in Afghan Hounds include blood-clotting disease (von Willebrand's) and laryngeal paralysis.

Because of their low body fat, all sighthounds are extra sensitive to anesthetics and require an experienced vet who will follow a special Sighthound Anesthesia Protocol.

Sighthounds REQUIRE open space to run. A sighthound who can't stretch his legs and gallop off-leash will not develop proper muscle tone for good health. However, the area in which they run must be enclosed. One of the leading causes of death in sighthounds is being hit by a car. These dogs are chasers with sharp eyesight, strong prey instincts, and a one-track mind. If they spy something moving in the distance, their instincts will kick in and they will NOT respond when you call them.


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.