Most common health problems in Scottish Deerhounds, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Scottish Deerhound

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Scottish Deerhound, 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 Deerhound 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


Scottish Deerhound dog breed

Scottish Deerhound Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Scottish Deerhound health problems

Scottish Deerhounds don't live a long life, with three out of four dying before age ten. The leading causes of death are hereditary heart disease, bone cancer, and an emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.

A congenital disease called liver shunt can cause seizures in Scottish Deerhounds and require difficult and expensive surgery.

Other health problems include a blood-clotting disease (usually mild), a kidney disease (only in males), and chronic allergies that cause itchy skin and scratching.

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

Scottish Deerhounds 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 Scottish Deerhounds romp, jump, and play.

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Scottish Deerhound have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of heart disease, blood-clotting disease, and liver shunt, your Scottish Deerhound 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 Scottish Deerhound, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Scottish Deerhound 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 Scottish Deerhound 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 Scottish Deerhound lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Scottish Deerhound
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 Scottish Deerhound. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Scottish Deerhound
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


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


Information on spaying your Scottish Deerhound. 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 Scottish Deerhound. 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 Scottish Deerhound health problems

The Scottish Deerhound Club conducted a health survey that included over 450 Deerhounds. They concluded that the average lifespan is 8.5 years for males, 9 years for females. Only 1 in 5 males, and 1 in 3 females, reaches their 10th birthday.

The leading causes of death are:

  1. Heart disease. Cardiomyopathy affects up to 8% of all Scottish Deerhounds, typically striking at 6-7 years old.
  2. Bone cancer. Osteosarcoma typically strikes at 5-9 years old and is the leading cause of death in females.
  3. Bloat. This emergency gastrointestinal syndrome affects up to 10% of the breed, occurs at all ages, and has a high mortality rate.

Other health problems in the breed include:

  • Liver shunt – very serious concern.
  • An inherited kidney disease called cystinuria occurs only in males.
  • An inflammatory brain disease called aseptic meningitis/vasculitis can cause recurring head and neck pain in Scottish Deerhounds.
  • Skin problems include allergies (which cause itchy skin and can lead to pyoderma) and elbow hygroma.

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.

Musculoskeletal injuries (fractures, pulled muscles or ligaments, broken toes, paw injuries, etc.) are common when slender sighthounds race about.


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.