The Italian Greyhound is a dog that has relatively good health without any real major health problems. The one health issue that this dog does have is with their teeth. Dental problems are the one health issue that affects the Italian Greyhound the most. Many people don't realize how important it is to keep their dog's teeth clean. Many vets feel that failure to properly care for the teeth of the Italian Greyhound can shorten their life span as well as cause infections. Many of the infections caused from the teeth can affect the kidneys, liver, heart or lungs. The dog doesn't need the same kind of dental care that we need, but they should have their teeth brushed at least once a week. Many of these dental problems in the Italian Greyhound are hereditary; however, many breeders are working towards eliminating some of the dental issues such as low enamel or tartar buildup by developing Italian Greyhounds with healthier teeth than what we've seen in the past.
One of the most common forms of dental problem in the Italian Greyhounds is periodontal disease, and gingivitis (inflammation of the gum) is the most common periodontal disease in the dog. Some of the symptoms are bleeding or very tender gums. This is caused by a buildup of plaque or hardened bacteria on the gums. In cases that are more serious the dog may experience ulcers, fever, destroyed mouth tissue or bad breath. The usual treatment for this is removing the plaque from the teeth.
There have been different versions as to why some dogs develop teeth problems and others don't. The Italian Greyhound is very prone to tooth and gum problems, although not all of them actually develop problems. Some may be genetics and others may be caused by diet. Some of the Italian Greyhounds are just prone to getting more plaque on their teeth than others.
Some preventative measures that can be taken are frequent brushing of the dog's teeth or having them professionally cleaned by an experienced vet. Avoid giving the dog foods that contain sugar such as soft treats or certain brands of soft dog foods. Give your Italian Greyhound treats or chews that are made to help clean their teeth (milk bone, Gumabone, etc.).
Owners should take their dog's teeth vary seriously and make sure they are kept clean. Brushing them at least once a week is very important. There are also cleaners you can purchase to help in this cleaning process. The vet should give your Italian Greyhound a yearly exam to make sure there are not problems developing with the dog's mouth and teeth. He may also give the dog antibiotics or other medicines to help the dog. There are specific toothbrushes and toothpastes developed just for dogs.
It's very important to the Italian Greyhound's overall wellbeing to take the health of their mouth serious as many of the infections they can get from poor dental care can make the dog very ill or cause death.