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Though they be mighty, they require tender loving care

Irish wolfhounds are generally a hardy dog once they reach maturity. They are however, considered a giant dog breed and can suffer some of the common medical issues associated with large breeds.

This page lists some of the most common ailments that your dog may experience including symptoms, severity, and possible remedies.

Note: While this advice comes from a trained professional veterinarian, we do not assume responsibility if your dog is experiencing any of the symptoms listed below or discomfort of any kind please seek your local professional veterinarian.

Bloat (Also called torsion or gastric dilation and volvulus (GDV))

The most serious digestive problem that some large or giant breeds can experience. Bloating can occur when ____ and can be fatal, emergency surgery is often the only treatment.

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Dilated Cardiomyopathy leads to congestive heard failure, which is treatable, especially if detected early on. Screening for heart disease is recommended for all Irish Wolfhounds once they reach adulthood (age 2 or older)

Liver Shunt (Also called Portosystemic Shunt (PSS))

Liver shunt is not unique to the Irish Wolfhound species. It is a congenital disease wherein the blood vessels that usually pass blood through the liver to cleanse it do not mature properly. Before puppies are born, their blood is filtered through the mother’s liver and passes back and forth through the umbilical cord. After birth, the blood vessels which bypassed the puppy’s liver should close within a few days, _____. Fortunately, the occurrence of liver shunt is not high, but puppies should still be tested before leaving a breeder.


As with many large and giant dog breeds, Irish Wolfhounds have a higher incidence of some cancers. One of the common types is a cancer of the bone called osteosarcoma,  _____.

General Growth

Irish Wolfhound puppies undergo extremely rapid growth especially in their limbs and joints. This can cause them to be prone to joint and soft tissue injuries as puppies. Careful exercise and supervision while they play with other dogs is recommended. Ensuring an appropriate diet that promotes slow and steady growth is also important in managing a growing Irish Wolfhound Puppy.

Health Concerns: Females
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