Neurologic symptoms are not caused by pain, but by the inability of nerve impulses to pass normally from the muscle to the brain or back. The rear limbs may cross over each other even before obvious hindlimb weakness is seen. Hip pain is a very common cause for a dog to have trouble standing and the one most often assumed by veterinarians. The causes of this problem fall into two main groups: those in which pain prevents normal movement and those in which weakness rather than pain is the underlying issue. According to some accounts, the Celts, ancestors of the modern Irish, had dogs matching the Irish Wolfhound’s description as long as 7000 years ago. Dysplasia refers to abnormal growth or development, and in the case of hip dysplasia specifically refers to the genetic tendency to have poorly constructed joints. At the same time, inherent instability prompts the body to compensate, by laying down new tissues around the joint in an attempt to make the joint more stable, leading to the knobby appearance and feel of affected joints. Responsible, ethical breeders will not allow the puppy to go to their new home at 8 weeks of age. However, the Irish Wolfhound dog should also have a graceful build, with an active and easy gait, while proudly keeping its head high. The Irish Wolfhound has a very deep chest, but not an especially wide one. She has had a fever of 103. When your puppy is six months old, although he will be almost his adult size he is still a baby and needs to be treated as such. The dog may not know where its feet and legs are in relationship to the body or the ground, causing balance problems, may be unable to place the feet normally on the floor, or may be unable to recognize when its feet are placed abnormally. It has a general greyhound build, only larger and stockier. It can occur in any joint, but in dogs, it most commonly affects the hips, the knees, the elbows, and to a lesser extent, the shoulders. – Elizabeth C. Murphy, Raising, Showing and Breeding the Irish Wolfhound “The Irish Wolfhound in motion normally carries his head just about level with his back unless he has sighted something which has excited his interest, in which case he will raise it to a … The Irish Wolfhound is relatively thickly built for a sight hound, with especially powerful bones. It is also prone to minor health problems like cardiomyopathy , canine hip dysplasia ( CHD ), osteosarcoma , and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). The breed is said to date back to 1st century Ireland, where these tall, strong dogs were used for protecting and guarding. Early signs include weakness and loss of coordination, first in one hind leg and then the other, causing the dog to drag his back feet, or "knuckle over," as he walks. The Irish Wolfhound has a very deep chest, but not an especially wide one. A visit with your veterinarian can help you rule out possibilities. by C.A. We love giant dogs like Saint Bernards, Great Danes, Mastiffs, Irish Wolfhounds and Dogue de Bordeaux (pictured here) because of their big hearts and genteel character. Irish Wolfhound Health Issues Bone Cancer: Bone cancer in dogs is a serious and life-threatening health problem that predominantly affects large breeds. An Irish Wolfhound’s coat has many color variations. The male is expected to weigh above 120 pounds and the female a lighter 105 pounds — at least. Possibilities that should be investigated include arthritis, myasthenia gravis, degenerative myelopathy, and spondylosis. The condition also compresses the nerves that supply the bladder, rectum and anus, which may cause the dog to become incontinent. It has been diagnosed in wolfhounds. Signs are usually insidious and slowly progressive. Irish Wolfhound Dilated Cardiomyopathy. The first thing you’ll probably notice about the Black Irish Wolfhound is their huge size. A wolfhound can easily require 25 grams (25,000 mg.) of vitamin C daily to control HOD, and the dosage does need to be kept up for quite some time - weeks, if not months. Health Issues in Adult Irish Wolfhounds. Arthritis in the elbows eventually leads to palpably thickened and knobby joints, is commonly found in older wolfhounds, and is a significant cause of difficulty in rising. Click here to read the article entitled "How Much Exercise Is Appropriate For a Young IW?" Some of these items can be harmful, toxic and or cause obstructions, constipation or damage to the intestines. Other disease conditions affecting the whole body: may cause general muscle weakness that can impair the dog’s ability to get around. Giant-Breed Health Problems. Wolfhounds have thick and occasionally woolly coats, which need a good going over to remove dead hair and prevent mats. Forces that would not damage normal articular cartilage may lead to the formation of a cartilage flap inside the joint. If paralysed in the hind legs, the problem must be between the second thoracic vertebra and tail. Eventually this leads to a decrease in the muscle mass of the hind legs and in increase in the muscles of the forelegs and shoulders. Arthritis in the hips generally produces pain when the leg is extended behind the dog and this can be used to begin differentiate pain in this location from other pain or weakness in the rear legs. The largest and tallest of the galloping hounds, in general type he is a … The dog may not know where its feet and legs are in relationship to the body or the ground, causing balance problems, may be unable to place the feet normally on the floor, or may be unable to recognize when its feet are placed abnormally. Both breeds are particularly susceptible to heart problems, bloat, hip or elbow dysplasia, and bone cancer… Return to top. Maintain your wolfhound at a healthy weight. Standing on his hind legs, the largest Irish Wolfhound can be a whopping seven feet tall! One important reason for this is that there is not one single condition, with a single cause and a single treatment protocol, associated with this problem. Both high and low potassium levels, as well as high and low calcium levels, can cause muscle weakness. I would get Walter checked out. When it occurs in the back, or lumbar spine, it may cause the dog to stand or walk with the spine arched. Content and photography cannot be reprinted, redistributed, or otherwise used without written permission from the IWCA or the copyright holder. Scottish Deerhound vs. Irish Wolfhound health problems With great size comes a great risk for multiple health problems, and this is no different in Deerhounds and Wolfhounds. 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