The worst part of owning a Deerhound is that you will never have it long enough. Because they are giant sighthounds, Deerhounds can have the health problems of both giant breeds and sighthounds. Unlike many smaller breeds, with giant breeds there is no guarantee that your dog is going to make it to a ripe old age, although a number of Deerhounds do.
It is important for you to educate yourself so you can use preventive care and recognize the symptoms if a problem does occur, thus greatly increasing your dog’s chances of survival and recovery. Talk to your dog’s breeder to find out which health problems have cropped up with your dog’s relatives. Get advice about things you can do to minimize the chances problems will occur. For many diseases in dogs, the type of heredity is not known. In fact, for some problems it is not known if they even are hereditary. Responsible breeders make every effort to eliminate health problems from their breeding programs, and it is essential that you contact your dog’s breeder if your Deerhound develops health problems at any point during its life.
On this web site is a list of health concerns for you to go over with your veterinarian. Please take the time to review it together. Learn what measures you can take to prevent these problems and what symptoms to watch for so you can get medical help for your dog as soon as possible should one occur. Please pay particular attention to prevention and symptoms for bloat/torsion. This occurs regularly in large dogs in general, including Deerhounds, and is a life-or-death emergency.
Remember, it is crucial that you exercise your Deerhound daily and groom it regularly so your dog’s baseline health is optimal and you can note anything unusual in its early stages. Feed a healthy diet and work with your veterinarian to devise a veterinary care program for your dog. And don’t forget to make your Deerhound a much-loved and active part of your family; in dogs, as in people, mental attitude is important!
Please talk to your dog’s breeder and your veterinarian about these health problems, as well as any others particular to your dog’s bloodlines and your geographic area, and ask them to keep you current on the latest research, preventive recom- mendations, and treatment options.
Fortunately for Deerhounds, research into the cause and treatment for many of these problems is ongoing. Talk with your breeder and subscribe to this blog to keep current with the studies the club is supporting and what you can do to help these projects.
Remember: Bloat/Torsion and urinary tract blockage are both life-or-death emergencies that need immediate veterinary care no matter what time of day or night it is. Make sure you know whom to call during nights, holidays, and weekends so you won’t waste any time if one of these conditions should occur during those times. Make sure you always have enough gas in the car to get you to your veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic. If you are ever concerned that your dog might be exhibiting symptoms of either of these conditions, call your veterinarian immediately.