Most common health problems in Whippets, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Whippet

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Whippet, 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 Whippet 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


Whippet dog breed

Whippet Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Whippet health problems

Leading causes of death in Whippets are cancer, epilepsy, and a blood disease called autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

Cataracts and other eye diseases can lead to blindness in Whippets.

Severall heart diseases are a growing concern in the breed.

Whippets can suffer chronic diarrhea simply from stress, from food intolerances, or from gastrointestinal diseases such as colitis (inflammatory bowel disease).

Chronic allergies cause itchy skin and scratching, which can lead to bacterial infections. Demodectic mange occurs in Whippet puppies and adolescents. Blue/gray colored Whippets can have a hair loss disease called color dilution alopecia.

Whippets can be born partially or completely deaf.

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

Whippets 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 Whippets romp, jump, and play.

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Whippet have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases and heart diseases, your Whippet 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 Whippet, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Whippet 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 Whippet 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 Whippet 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 Whippet
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 Whippet. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Whippet
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


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


Information on spaying your Whippet. 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 Whippet. 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 Whippet health problems

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).

An eye disease called 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 becomes inflamed, it turns 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 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.

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 only 1%. That's excellent!


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.