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Whippet Health Issues

Whippets usually don’t have very many health issues at all. In fact, they have a nice long lifespan of about 12-15 years. 

Good, responsible breeding plus the breed standard not having specific colors or patterns has resulted in a large and strong gene pool. Many dog breeds have a history of inbreeding to produce specific coloration or other traits. That inbreeding caused health issues for those breeds. Fortunately, there has been no reason for whippets to be inbred.

Even so, there is still a chance they could get sick. So, what are the most common whippet health issues? Read on and see.

Genetic Health Issues

Many of the health problems you’ll find with dogs are going to be genetic. Whippets have fewer genetic issues than other breeds.

These are the most common genetic health issues for whippets. 

Eye Defects

Even though they are pretty uncommon, genetic eye problems have been found in whippets. Responsible breeders have their whippet’s eyes checked prior to breeding to prevent genetic eye defects from being passed on.

The most common eye problems in whippets are actually just natural vision loss from aging. 

Congenital Deafness

Congenital deafness in whippets is also very rare. It’s easy to spot in really young puppies. Deaf whippets can be trained to follow hand signals and live a very full and happy life. 

A very small percentage of whippets might have unilateral hearing. It is when they can hear from only one ear and not the other. These dogs shouldn’t be used for breeding, but they make excellent pets. 


Hypothyroidism is another very rare genetic disease whippets could have. This means the whippet isn’t making enough thyroid hormones, causing its metabolism to slow down. 

Undescended Testicles or Only 1 Testicle

Some dogs could inherit an undescended testicle or be born with just one testicle. If it is undescended, talk to your vet. This could turn cancerous and removing it is usually a good idea. 

Cardiac Disease

Unfortunately, cardiac disease has been found in so many whippets lately that the American Whippet Club is studying it. 

Since 2004, the American Whippet Club has also been working with a group of researchers on a long-term study of Whippet hearts. 

American Whippet Club

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