Health and Your IG

Common Health Issues

PRA - Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Luxating Patellas - Kneecaps slipping out of place
Thyroid - Overactive or underactive causing problems with weight and other conditions
Alopecia - Hair loss issue typically found in blue or blue-fawn dogs
Seizures - Same as human seizures
Cancer - Mammary cancer is very common if a dog is not spayed before the first heat cycle
Liver Shunts - Abnormal blood flow between the liver and the body

Some tests are available for many of these conditions and your breeder, if a good breeder, should have documented proof that the testing has been accomplished on both the bitch and the sire. Italian Greyhounds should not be bred before they are three years old to ensure that the testing can be accomplished. Many of the tests can be done earlier than three years old, but before three years old the dog is still maturing and the testing is not as accurate as after three years old. IG's should all be spayed or neutered unless they are being bred or used for showing. An IG should only be bred if testing is completed and is satisfactory and if the dog can contribute positively to continued enhancement of the breed - not just because they are a "pretty" dog or to show a child the "miracle of life".

Dental Issues

Yes, IG's get Gingivitis just like people do. Taking care of the teeth are extremely important for the health of your IG. Infections in the gums and mouth can spread through the bloodstream to the liver, kidneys, and other major organs that will shorten your IG's lifespan from an estimated 15-16 years to as few as 5 years.  

IG's are also known to have issues with the enamel on the teeth being fragile or weak. Sometimes IG's will have chipped or pitted teeth that show that this is congenital condition that they have obtained. Brushing regularly is critical to maintain the integrity of the enamel and also not allowing the dogs to chew on hard things will also assist in maintaining the enamel, but there is no way to guarantee the integrity of the enamel.  

Common Accidents

Leg Breaks
Yes they occur, far more often than I would like to admit. IG's are very rambunctious dogs and because of this, they sometimes try to do things that they shouldn't, like jumping off a 10' deck or jumping off a 3' bed when they are very little. Leg breaks are very expensive and can require amputation if not treated correctly and quickly. If you hear the "Iggy Death Scream" it is an unmistakable sound that will notify you something dreadful has happened. BE CAREFUL WHEN PICKING UP YOUR DOG!! They will most likely bite you, they are in extreme pain and don't want to be messed with, even the most calm dog will bite when they break their leg. Rush your dog to the vet and get the bone Xrayed and splinted. 

Follow the vet directions to the letter. Do not let an injured Iggy run around or play as normal, keep them carefully confined and on leash when they are out -- at all times. This is not negotiable situation, if you don't ensure to confine and restrict your Iggy, they could lose their leg. Be prepared for $2500 as a starting point to repair a damaged leg. The cost of repair is high due to the delicate bone structure and the surgery involved in repair. If you don't feel that you can afford this type of repair, I would suggest you look at a different breed of dog.