Scottish Deerhound Health Problems and Raising a Scottish Deerhound Puppy to be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2015
The most common health problems in Scottish Deerhounds:
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:
- Heart disease. Cardiomyopathy affects up to 8% of all Scottish Deerhounds, typically striking at 6-7 years old.
- Bone cancer. Osteosarcoma typically strikes at 5-9 years old and is the leading cause of death in females.
- 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 and an inherited kidney disease called cystinuria are serious concerns in Scottish Deerhounds.
- The most common orthopedic diseases are osteochondritis and panosteitis. Hip dysplasia can occur, but is uncommon. Hypertrophic osteodystrophy and a bizarre dwarfism called chondrodysplasia have occasionally been reported in Deerhounds.
- 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 Greyhound 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.
Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Scottish Deerhound?
Yes, often you can.
- Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Scottish Deerhounds today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Scottish Deerhound puppy who is genetically healthy.
- Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Scottish Deerhound puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Scottish Deerhound puppy or adult dog:
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Copyright © 2000-2015 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
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