afghan hound breed information

common health issues

Persistent pupillary membranes are abnormal strands of tissue in the eye. They are remnants of blood vessels that supplied nutrients to the developing lens before birth. Depending on their location, they may interfere with vision by causing opacities in the surface of the eye or cataracts. In most dogs, persistent pupillary membranes cause no problems.

Clinical signs of hypothyroidism are caused by a decrease in normal thyroid activity. In congenital hypothyroidism, puppies will have stunted growth and other abnormalities. A blood test confirms the disease and treatment with thyroid hormone supplements is lifelong.

Afghan myelopathy is a rare recessive disorder that affects the spinal cord. It generally starts with uncoordination of the hind limbs and progresses to weakness and eventually paralysis of the hind limbs. Afghan myelopathy usually affects dogs between three and 13 months of age and progresses rapidly. Unfortunately, there is no treatment other than supportive care.

Elbow dysplasia is actually a collective term which refers to the effects of one or more diseases of the elbow joint which result in pain and arthritis. Many of these problems can affect both elbows and result in forelimb lameness and elbow pain, often requiring surgical correction.

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit well together, resulting in a hip with increased laxity. This laxity can lead to degenerative changes and depending on the severity, may require surgical correction.

A luxating patella is a knee cap that moves out of its groove � sometimes referred to as a "trick knee". It is usually caused by several inherited factors including a shallow patella groove. In individuals with moderate or severe disease, surgical correction in often recommended to prevent a progression that includes severe lameness, chronic pain and thickening of the knee.

Corneal dystrophy is weakness in the layers of the cornea. Severely affected dogs are prone to painful corneal erosions and ulcers. Some types of corneal dystrophy result in lipid or cholesterol deposits on the cornea, which are generally painless and do not interfere with vision. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the lesions.

These aloof sighthounds may hail from 19th century Afghanistan, but today’s modern version is more closely related to dogs from the UK. In 1907, a dog named “Zardin” (then known as a Persian Greyhound) was brought from India and became the basis for the breed standard in 1912. Breeding came to a standstill during World War I until 1920, when a group of Afghan Hounds was imported from Scotland.

Afghan Hounds have a distinct aristocratic look and sport long silky hair. They are great hunting dogs, using their keen eyesight to guide them, but are more often kept as companion and show dogs here in the US. Afghan Hounds have quite a dignified appearance, but they can clown around like the rest of their canine friends. They are large dogs and require both the space and exercise that all large dogs require. In addition, their beautiful coats require daily maintenance to keep tangles at bay.

Although their keen eyesight may help them avoid trouble, Afghan Hounds are still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Afghan Hounds are prone to include joint problems such as medial patellar luxation and elbow and hip dysplasia; spinal conditions such as Afghan myelopathy; thyroid conditions like hypothyroidism; and eye problems such as persistent pupillary membranes and corneal dystrophy.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Afghan Hound inherits more than just a dignified appearance, you’re protected.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)