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Irish Wolfhound Lifespan – How Long Do They Live For?

The average lifespan of an Irish Wolfhound is 6-10 years, although some have been known to live up to 10 years. This is relatively short compared to other breeds, particularly smaller breeds such as Chihuahuas and Miniature Poodles, which can live up to 15 years or more.

Factors Affecting the Lifespan of a Irish Wolfhound

  • Genetics and Breeding Practices: Genetics plays a significant role in the lifespan of Irish Wolfhounds, as well as their overall health. It is important to ensure that your Irish Wolfhound comes from a reputable breeder that conducts genetic testing and screens for health issues.
  • Diet and Nutrition: Proper nutrition is essential for the health and longevity of an Irish Wolfhound. They require a balanced diet that is high in protein and fat, with limited carbohydrates. It is important to feed them a high-quality diet that meets their nutritional needs and to avoid overfeeding, which can lead to obesity and associated health issues.
  • Exercise and Physical Activity: Irish Wolfhounds require regular exercise and physical activity to maintain their health and longevity. They enjoy going for walks and playing in a fenced-in yard. It is important to ensure that they receive enough exercise without overexerting them, as their size can put them at risk of injury.
  • Environmental Factors: Environmental factors, such as living conditions and exposure to toxins, can also affect the lifespan of an Irish Wolfhound. They should be kept in a safe and clean environment and protected from exposure to harmful toxins.

Common Irish Wolfhound Health Issues

Like all dog breeds, Irish Wolfhounds are prone to several health issues that can affect their lifespan and overall quality of life. It is important to be aware of these issues and to work with a veterinarian to manage them.

  • Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, is a common health issue in Irish Wolfhounds. It is more common in males than females and usually affects dogs over the age of 5. Symptoms include limping, swelling & pain in the affected area.
  • Heart Disease: Irish Wolfhounds are also prone to heart disease, including dilated cardiomyopathy and atrial fibrillation. Symptoms can include coughing, lethargy and difficulty breathing.
  • Bloat: Bloat, or gastric dilatation-volvulus, is a potentially life-threatening condition that can affect Irish Wolfhounds. It occurs when the stomach twists, cutting off blood flow and causing the stomach to expand. Symptoms include restlessness, drooling, vomiting and a distended abdomen.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a common issue in many large dog breeds, including Irish Wolfhounds. It occurs when the hip joint does not develop properly, leading to pain and discomfort. Symptoms include limping, stiffness and difficulty getting up or lying down.
  • Eye Problems: Irish Wolfhounds are also prone to several eye problems, including cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and entropion. Symptoms can include cloudiness or blurriness in the eye, sensitivity to light and redness or swelling around the eye.

Leading Causes of Death in Irish Wolfhounds

Irish Wolfhounds are susceptible to certain health issues that can ultimately lead to death. Here are some of the leading causes of death in Irish Wolfhounds:

  • Cancer: The most common cause of death in Irish Wolfhounds is cancer, particularly osteosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer. Other types of cancer that can affect Irish Wolfhounds include lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma. Cancer can be difficult to detect and treat, so it is important to work with a veterinarian to monitor your dog’s health and detect any potential issues early.
  • Heart Disease: Irish Wolfhounds are also prone to heart disease, which can lead to heart failure and death. Dilated cardiomyopathy is a type of heart disease that is common in Irish Wolfhounds and can lead to weakened heart muscles and reduced cardiac output. Atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rhythm, can also affect Irish Wolfhounds and lead to complications such as blood clots and heart failure.
  • Bloat: Bloat, also known as gastric dilatation-volvulus, is a potentially life-threatening condition that can affect Irish Wolfhounds. It occurs when the stomach twists, cutting off blood flow and causing the stomach to expand. Bloat can lead to shock, organ failure and death if not treated promptly.
  • Infections: Infections, particularly those affecting the respiratory or urinary tract, can be a cause of death in Irish Wolfhounds. These infections can be difficult to treat and can quickly progress to more serious health issues.
  • Neurological Disorders: Irish Wolfhounds are also prone to several neurological disorders, including spinal cord disease and degenerative myelopathy. These disorders can lead to weakness, paralysis and loss of mobility, ultimately leading to a decrease in quality of life and potential euthanasia.

Irish Wolfhound Life Expectancy Compared to Other Breeds

Irish Wolfhounds have a shorter lifespan compared to other breeds of similar size, such as Great Danes and Mastiffs. This is thought to be due to their size and the associated health issues that can arise, as well as their breeding history. Irish Wolfhounds were bred for hunting and were not necessarily selected for longevity. This is in contrast to smaller breeds that were often bred for companionship and therefore selected for longer lifespans.

Irish Wolfhound Lifespan – How Long Do They Live For?