The Healthy Lurcher
The first thing you need to know about your Lurcher is that you have got an amazingly resilient and trouble free dog which is essentially down to the Lurcher being a crossbreed. There are huge health problems today with pedigree dogs because of constant inbreeding for showing and the way some of our favourite dog breeds have been bred to look can cause chronic discomfort, pain and suffering throughout their lives and can even lead to their premature or painful deaths.
Not so for the Lurcher as of course it’s not a “breed” and by the very nature of being constantly crossed with fresh genetic material your Lurcher will be healthier, happier and live longer than most pedigree breeds. In biology it’s called Hybrid Vigour or Heterosis
The most common injuries that befall Sighthounds are connected to the fact that they are superb athletic dogs with a great burst of speed and as a result they will occasionally sprain or tear muscles charging about. If your dog has a strong prey drive they will often cut themselves quite badly chasing after rabbits or squirrels with no regard for their own safety and it’s not unknown for dogs to have some nasty accidents running into walls and gates! Generally however they are very resilient and the only other complaint that they are prone to because of there lifestyle and shape is Gastric Dilatation Volvulus ( GDV or Bloat). This is a potentially fatal condition in which food (or gas) causes a dog’s stomach to blow up and twist on itself, trapping the food or gas within it and cutting off the blood supply to the stomach. It is rare but if your dog appears to have a distended and painful abdomen, or tries unsuccessfully to vomit and appears to be restless or distressed, you should contact your vet immediately.
Of course, just because your dog comes with a great genetic start in life, that doesn’t mean that it won’t get the usual dog parasites as well as problems with general wear and tear that will happen to a fast hunting dog.