Whippet Health Problems and Raising a Whippet Puppy to be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2016
The most common health problems in Whippets:
The Whippet Club conducted a health survey that included 651 dogs and concluded that the three serious diseases that cause the most deaths in Whippets are cancer, epilepsy, and autoimmune hemolytic anemia.
The most serious eye diseases in Whippets are cataracts (appearing after age three and often leading to blindness) and occasionally progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Vitreous degeneration also occurs in Whippets. The vitreous is a clear jelly-like material within the eye that helps support the retina and give shape to the eye. If the vitreous develops an inflammation, it may become cloudy or liquefied, and vision may be impaired or lost. Vitreous degeneration may also predispose a dog to other eye diseases (retinal dysplasia, lens luxation, or glaucoma).
Skin problems include allergies (which cause itchy skin and can lead to pyoderma), demodectic mange, and elbow hygroma. In blue or fawn Whippets, color dilution alopecia is fairly common.
Some Whippets have pattern baldness, a gradual thinning or complete loss of hair around their temples and ears, underneath their neck and abdomen, and on the backs of their thighs. It's not itchy and the skin and coat are otherwise perfectly normal. Since it's a cosmetic condition, there's no treatment required other than adding supplements that are good for the skin and coat, such as fatty acids.
Heart disease (valve disease, cardiomyopathy, pulmonic stenosis) is a growing concern in the breed.
Inherited deafness is a concern in Whippet puppies with a lot of white on their head.
Whippets can suffer chronic diarrhea simply from stress, from food intolerances, or from gastrointestinal diseases such as colitis (inflammatory bowel disease). Occasionally bloat occurs in Whippets.
Hormonal/endocrine system diseases include hypothyroidism and occasionally Addison's disease.
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.
Musculoskeletal injuries (fractures, pulled muscles or ligaments, broken toes, paw injuries, etc.) are common when slender sighthounds race about.
Orthopedic diseases include cruciate ligament rupture and panosteitis, but the other orthopedic diseases so common in other breeds are seldom seen in Whippets. According to the Orthopedic Foundation of America, their hip dysplasia rate is less than 1%. That's excellent!
Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Whippet?
Yes, often you can.
- Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Whippets today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Whippet 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 Whippet puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Whippet puppy or adult dog:
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Based on your dog's breed and how you're raising him, this personalized quiz will help you understand how long your dog might live – and most importantly, how you can increase his life expectancy.
Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Whippet lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.
The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Whippet
The best diet for feeding your Whippet is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, bison, venison, fish....This is not "people food" and I'll tell you why.
The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Whippet
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.
Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
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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.
Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female Whippet.
Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.
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Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, pancreatitis, colitis, injuries such as fractures and skin wounds, or a neurological condition? An honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.
Copyright © 2000-2016 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,
or distributed in any way without the express permission of the author.