Category Archives: Health

Pneumonia in an Irish Wolfhound

Poor Haggis to be precise. This is my friends dog, Haggis, in the early stages of pneumonia – this can come on really quickly and it is very important that owners and vets recognise the signs and start treatment immediately. Please watch the video and familiarise yourself with the typical stance of a wolfhound suffering with pneumonia…

The Typical Stance of Pneumonia in an Irish Wolfhound

Pneumonia in an irish wolfhound from Per Arne Flatberg on Vimeo.

This video shows the typical stance of an irish wolfhound with pneumonia. If you see this in your Irish wolfhound, go straight to the vet and demand immediate treatment with antibiotics. The dog may or may not have fever, the blood samples may well be normal, and the lungs may or may not be congested on x-rays.
If not taken seriously, this condition will almost certainly be fatal for your dog. Please read the leaflet from the Irish Wolfhound Health Group for further info:

IW Health Group Guide to Pneumonia


Gastric Dilatation Volvulus or Bloat in the Irish Wolfhound

Gastric Dilatation Volvulus or GDV, also known as bloat, is a serious and life threatening condition in any dog. It is amongst the most common causes of death in Irish Wolfhounds (approx 12% of recorded deaths in wolfhounds are due to bloat or GDV) but can affect any breed of dog. There is no definitive cause even though various studies have been carried out. It is believed that it is highly heritable, at least in Irish Wolfhounds. Daisy was just over 9.5yrs when she had her second episode of GDV and was sadly put to sleep as the condition had progressed too far to save her.

The Irish Wolfhound Health Group have produced a useful guide to help owners recognise the symptoms of bloat in order to act quickly and hopefully, save your dogs life. Please read it and file a copy with your vet too, they may also find it useful. If you leave your dog with any dog sitters, leave a copy with themR recognising the early signs is imperative in order to get the right treatment and save your dogs life.

Irish Wolfhound Health Group guide to Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, GDV or Bloat.

The Irish Wolfhound Club of America have an excellent article about the bloat acupressure point, this is also worth familiarising yourself with. I wish I had known to try it with Daisy, unfortunately our emergency vet did not think she was bloating and so we didn’t think she she need it. The Bloat Acupressure Point article can be found here.

Beautiful Daisy

Beautiful Daisy


Cutting your wolfhounds nails

How to cut your dogs nails

Cutting your dogs nails

I must admit I am not good at cutting my wolfhounds nails, but it is an important job and one that I should keep on top of. This diagram is very useful, showing how to cut the nail and avoid the quick. Though I always make sure I have something close by to stop the bleeding quickly if it does happen, because there can be a lot of blood! Myrtle has back and front dew claws so they get even longer and need more attention because they do not get worn down in the same way with outdoor walks.

Myrtle and Florrie both hate getting their nails cut, and always scarper as soon as they see the nail-clippers. It really is a nightmare job, but one that must be done.

I found the diagram online, it was doing the rounds on Facebook, so I’m afraid I don’t know who to credit – I only know it’s not mine. Anyway, whoever you are – thank you for making this useful tool freely available – it’s much appreciated by all of us.

Livershunt or IHPSS in Wolfhounds

Inheritance of Livershunt (IHPSS) in Irish Wolfhounds

I wrote this article about the inheritance of livershunt (intrahepatic porto systemic shunt or IHPSS) in Irish Wolfhounds so that breeders might be able to better evaluate annotated pedigrees in families of dogs they are hoping to incorporate into their breeding programme. It first appeared in IW World magazine, in the spring of 2015.

I based the calculations used on the likely mode of inheritance described in this paper by Frank van Steenbeek


Jake the Ragdoll cat and Mast Cell Tumours

Jake died last week, he was only 11 yrs old. He had been ill for a short time and an x-ray at the vet revealed lots of small tumours. We chose to put him to sleep rather than let him slowly starve to death as he had already lost a lot of weight and stopped eating. We found out last night he had mast cell tumours. You can read about it here… Vet Times – Feline Mast Cell Tumours

Wistful Jake

Wistful Jake

Jake sleeping on top of Florrie

Jake and Florrie asleep together

Kitten Jake

How cute is a ragdoll kitten? The first time we saw Jake we could not resist him.