Leg Breaks in Italian Greyhounds

Tips to reduce the risk of leg breaks in Italian Greyhound puppies

Reduce the risk of leg breaks in Italian Greyhound puppies by sitting on the floor to have a cuddle with them

Leg breaks in Italian Greyhound puppies are unfortunately incredibly common. However, there are some simple considerations to reduce the chance of this happening to your puppy.

Being so incredibly lively, there is an elevated risk of leg breaks in Italian Greyhound puppies. Care needs to be taken to ensure they don’t damage their limbs. Having long slim legs, compared to their body mass and their desire to run and jump can make them more vulnerable to leg breaks. Adults too can have accidents, which result in leg breaks.

Bones provide structure and allow for movement, they are mineral banks therefore a good quality balanced diet, rich in proteins, minerals, vitamins and lipids is essential, along with daily exercise to keep their bones and muscles strong. Excess weight is not good for an Italian Greyhounds, as it has to be carried on relatively slim bones, and increases the risk of having bone and other health problems. 

Accidents can happen, causing leg breaks in any breed and the best form of prevention is:

  • Never let anyone, apart from yourself pick up a young IG puppy, they must sit on the floor and play with the puppy on the floor.  Italian Greyhound puppies think they can fly and will think nothing of launching themselves from the arms of someone inexperienced in the breed.  The results are dire and leg fracture(s) a certainty.
  • Introduce your young puppy to as many different scenarios as possible, when on a collar (houndshaped, broader at the front) and lead.  Such as stairs and steps so as it learns how to deal with different situations in a controlled way.
  • Do not encourage or let your puppy jump onto furniture, once adult it will have learnt how to do so safely.
  • Do not encourage your puppy to jump up into your arms.
  • Ensure your puppy has good exercise both on a lead and, free in your garden which is  hazard free, such as decking where it might jump off and not realise how severe the drop is on the other side.  Be aware that allowing a young puppy to run with a larger dog is tempting fate and a fracture may result as they bump into one another.
  • Keeping your puppy caged or penned is not a good idea, unless for safety reasons the puppy is being left on its own.  It needs both mental and physical stimulation and is likely to run wild once free from the confines of a pen if regularly confined.

Obviously, following these tips will not guarantee your puppy will not break a leg; accidents do happen and sometimes there are other mitigating circumstances, like size and poor breeding. However, following this advice will help reduce the risk during the puppy months.

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About the author

Italian Greyhound Breed Health Coordinator

Joanne Liddy is the Royal Kennel Club's Breed Health Coordinator for the Italian Greyhound. The Italian Greyhound Breed Health Co-ordinator (BHC) advocates for the health and welfare of the Italian Greyhound breed. The main role of the BHC is to facilitate, over time, the communication and collection of data on the health of the Italian Greyhound. The BHC acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with The Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.