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Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound Dog Breed

Aliases: Piccolo Levrierio Italiano, IG, Iggy, I.G.

Life Span: 12 - 15 years
Litter Size: 4 - 8 puppies, average 6 puppies
Group: Southern, AKC Toy
Color: Solid Gray, Slate Gray, Cream, Red, Fawn, Black, Blue, Speckled, White Markings, Flecked
Hair Length: Short
Size: Toy/Small
Shedding: Lite Shed
Male Height: 12 -1 5 inches (30 - 38 cm.)
Male Weight: 6 - 10 pounds (3 - 5 kg.)
Female Height: 12 -1 5 inches (30 - 38 cm.)
Female Weight: 6 - 10 pounds (3 - 5 kg.)
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - Low Risk

The Italian Greyhound ranks #83 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. This is considered a low risk breed so your chances of obtaining a dog with the disease is small. It is still suggested that dogs meant for breeding still be tested to help bring the incidence of disease even lower (or even eliminate it). 

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #83  676 4.4%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

Even though these dogs look quite fragile and delicate, they are much hardier than they seem. Until about 18 months of age, the bones of the Italian Greyhound are especially fragile and they may break a leg or their tails very easily. However, they are much stronger after 18 months of age. A few special conditions to be aware of include:

  • Slipped stifle: they have a proneness to stress fractures and slipped vertebrae.
  • Fractures: again, these dogs are likely to break their fragile bones.
  • Hip Dysplasia: Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) can cause mild to severe lameness.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) 
  • Epilepsy: a neurological seizure disorder. There is no test for this.
  • Anesthetics: Since The Italian Greyhound has such low body fat they may be more sensitive to barbiturate-based anesthetics.