Irish Wolfhound Health Care & Feeding
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2018
Quick list of Irish Wolfhound health problems
Six to eight years is a very short lifespan for a companion dog, but that's all you get with most Irish Wolfhounds.
The two primary causes of death are cancer and inherited heart disease. Another major killer is an emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.
Elbow dysplasia causes pain and lameness and may require expensive surgery. Hip dysplasia also occurs in Irish Wolfhounds.
A disease called liver shunt is a real concern in Irish Wolfhounds – and it's a serious form of liver disease that may not be able to be corrected surgically.
Serious eye diseases in Irish Wolfhounds can lead to blindness. Chronic allergies cause itching and scratching that can lead to skin infections (hot spots).
(See more health problems below.)
Preventing health problems
Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Irish Wolfhound have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases, hip and elbow dysplasia, and heart disease, your Irish Wolfhound 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 Irish Wolfhound, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Irish Wolfhound 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 Irish Wolfhound puppy or adult dog:
Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Irish Wolfhound lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.
The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Irish Wolfhound
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.
Kibble or Canned Dog Food – Almost As Good As Homemade?
Are you looking for the best dry kibble or canned dog food?
Feed Homemade Dog Food Without Needing To Make It
Would you like to feed your dog homemade, but think you don't have the time or skill to make it? I have the solution for you....
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.
Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Irish Wolfhound puppy really need? Does your adult Irish Wolfhound need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you.
Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.
Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.
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 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 Irish Wolfhound health problems
The two primary causes of death are cancer (especially osteosarcoma and lymphoma) and heart disease (especially cardiomyopathy). Another major killer of Irish Wolfhounds is the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome bloat.
The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 2100 Irish Wolfhounds and found 5% dysplastic. That's not a bad rate for such a large dog. Unfortunately their elbows are worse; of 900 X-rays, 13% were dysplastic. There is also wobbler's syndrome in Irish Wolfhounds, and hypertrophic osteodystrophy.
Liver shunt is a real concern in Irish Wolfhounds – and it's a serious form of liver shunt that may not be able to be corrected surgically.
Skin problems include allergies (which cause itchy skin and often lead to pyoderma) and elbow hygroma.
Eye diseases in Irish Wolfhounds include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and entropion. You may see cataracts as early at 1-2 years old, or as late as 5-7 years old.
Other health issues in Irish Wolfhounds include hypothyroidism, epilepsy, megaesophagus, and blood-clotting disease (von Willebrand's).
To help you train and care for your dog
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.
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.
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.