Health Issues

The Irish Wolfhound like any other breed has its challenges in terms of health, but surprisingy for a large dog the issues are not many. Our main challenges are osteosarcoma (bone cancer) which affects most of the long boned dogs, and heart disease which comes in many forms and does not necessarily result in death as medication today is so much improved.

We have an excellent Health Group comprised of representatives of our four breed clubs, and these people give their time and passion to moving our breed forward in the improvement of health.

The Regional Heart Testing Scheme is second to none – offering astonishly low priced heart testing to any Wolfhound owner so that we can keep a regular annual check on our hounds and pick up any problems before they get serious – and breeders can ensure they are breeding with heart clear dogs.

Livershunt testing in puppies has been in place for more than two decades now and breeders routinely test puppies before they go to their new homes to check they are not affected with the condition.

Ongoing research into bone cancer is taking place both with the Animal Health Trust and Nottingham University and any Wolfhound owner can help by giving DNA swabs from their dogs.

Pneumonia is something which Wolfhounds are particularly prone to after bouts of kennel cough, or aspiration pneumonia after something as simple as inhaling food or water. There is much advice and an excellent video on the Health Group website showing symtoms of a hound with pneumonia – helping owners recognise when its happening quickly and getting appropriate medical treatment at that critical early stage.

The Health Group is extremely proactive and there is much information on their website which can be found at – you will find information guides on Bloat, Heart Testing, Osteosarcoma, FCE and Livershunt

On the left I’ve provided information on our most proactive research and health testing.