Salukis are among the healthier breeds. Like most large dogs, they can suffer from dilated cardiomyopathy or from hemangiosarcoma. Older salukis may suffer from mitral valve problems. Lung torsion occurs at a higher rate than in other breeds but is still extremely unusual. Extreme overbites (parrot mouth) also occur at a higher rate.
Rarely, a saluki is reported with black hair follicular dysplasia, ceroid lipofuscinosis, hypothyroidism, deafness, seizures , autoimmune disease, liver shunt or allergies. And I do want to emphasize the word "rarely" here.
It would be extremely rare to find one with hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, most eye or lid problems or bloat.
Note: Saluki blood values are similar to greyhound blood values, so they characteristically have a high hematocrit and low platelet numbers. They also have a low T4 value when evaluating thyroid, but this is normal for sighthounds. We suggest having all thyroid assays conducted at Michigan State University.
Suggested health clearances:
Salukis are not a CHIC breed, probably because nobody can agree on what tests are necessary. But most people agree that the #1 priority test is a heart exam with echocardiography. It's preferable to have a cardiologist familiar with sighthounds, as salukis typically have a lower fractional shortening (often in the low 20s) compared to other breeds. Optimally the test should be repeated yearly, especially in breeding dogs.
Thyroid tests, with results from Michigan State University, are probably the second most important test, but low thyroid is not that common.
Eye tests will sometimes reveal an abnormality, but at present no known saluki eye problems are common.
We are seeing more salukis with abnormal hearing, so I think BAER testing will increase in significance.
Two DNA tests are available and advisable, although the diseases they test for are extremely rare. They are also extremely bad, though, and if they can be prevented by a simple test, do it. The first is neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL), and the second is canine succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (SSADHA). Tests for both are available at VetGen in North America.
Please see the following for more information:
Health/Breeding Strategy Documents and Links:
- The Kennel Club, UK: Category 1: Breed Watch
- Sweden: Breed-specific Breeding Strategies: (in Swedish) and/ or English summary
- Finland: Breed-specific Breeding Strategies (JTO): English summary
- UK: The Saluki Club UK, Health: http://www.salukiclub.co.uk/the-breed/health
Sweden: Heart screening results
Finland: 2015: http://www.saluki.fi/jalostus/terveyskysely-2015/
U.S. A.: https://salukihealthresearch.com/SHR_survey_results.html
List of salukis with health tests registered through the OFA: Advanced Search | Orthopedic Foundation for Animals | Columbia, MO (ofa.org)
Other sources of health information:
Saluki Health Research: https://salukihealthresearch.com/
Facebook Health & Genetics page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SalukiHealthGenetics/?ref=br_rs