Lurcher health problems

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV or bloat)

Bloat Gastric Dilatation Volvulus or bloat is a life-threatening condition which usually occurs in dogs with deep and narrow chests, like the Lurcher. GDV is when the stomach has filled with gas and twisted, leading to problems with circulation and breathing.

A dog whose stomach has twisted may start acting restless, retching or heaving (but little or nothing comes up), drool excessively, and possibly collapse. If your dog starts to display the signs of gastric dilatation-volvulus, don’t delay in getting them to the vet as they will need expert treatment immediately.

Preventive surgery should be considered in Lurchers, where the stomach is tacked down or sutured in place. Bloating may still occur, but this surgery can greatly reduce the likelihood of twisting.

lurcher photo

Bone and joint problems


Unfortunately, Lurchers are prone to Osteosarcoma, a type of cancer that usually strikes the bone of the legs, but a dog’s jaw, hips, spine, pelvis or other bones may also be affected. The cancer develops within the bone and as it grows outward it destroys the bone from the inside out, causing pain, lameness or distinct swelling.

Osteosarcoma is an extremely aggressive cancer in dogs and, if treatable, usually means amputation of the affected limb or radiotherapy.

Pad injuries & corns

Greyhounds and their crosses are commonly affected by a hard protrusion that forms on the inside of their paws known as corns. These get bigger over time and can cause some discomfort when trying to walk.

If your dog shows some signs of lameness, check their pads for corns. Treatment depends on the severity of the corn and can vary from simply filing or flattening to surgically removing the corn and even amputating a toe if it’s a persistent issue.

Dental disease

Dental disease can go undetected in our dogs but once the condition advances it can devastate the dog’s mouth, causing damage to the teeth and gums. It all starts when saliva, food and bacteria start to form a sticky film on the teeth, leading to tooth decay and gum disease.

If left untreated, dental disease can cause health issues in organs like the heart, kidneys and liver so prevention is key to help keep a dog’s mouth and body healthy.

To help keep dental disease at bay it’s important to clean your Lurcher’s teeth regularly and to book in dental checks with a vet.

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