What To Do When My Whippet Is Sick

You do everything to keep your whippet healthy. You feed them nutritious food, exercise regularly and daily, but they still can become sick.

Your whippet can’t talk to you when they are feeling under the weather and tell you what’s wrong or where it hurts.

Being ill may be quite obvious to you when you look at your whippet by their body language or if they are vomiting or have diarrhoea. You know their normal body language and you will most likely be able to tell if something’s up.

Your whippet may vomit but seem fine otherwise. Other times they may be lethargic and out of sorts with no other symptoms. If your whippet is sick you may wonder, “what to do when my whippet is sick?’

Below are some answers to questions you may have about illness in whippets, symptoms and what to do.

Keeping Your Whippet Healthy

Your whippet is known to be among the most healthy purebred dogs. Their health problems are very few and chances are low for any ongoing medication or continuous veterinary care.

They are not prone to any minor or major hereditary diseases. Your whippet can live up to fifteen years if they receive proper care and nutrition.

A few ways to ensure keeping your whippet healthy are listed below.

Veterinary Care

Routine veterinary care should begin immediately when you get your whippet puppy. Choose a veterinarian you are comfortable with, perhaps getting several opinions and references from friends.

Your pup should have visits monthly until about sixteen weeks old and they will receive necessary vaccinations during visits. Your whippet will be weighed and measured to ensure they are growing properly. Heart, lungs, ears, eyes, etc. will also be checked to catch any problems early.

Your whippet can be seen at six months and then at a year. When they are one year old they will only need an annual wellness exam. Everything will be checked including their growth and you may discuss any issues with your vet at this time.

They will need to update vaccinations and rabies shots during these visits. The visits are preventative care. In the Oxford dictionary, preventative means “designed to keep something undesirable, such as illness, harm or accidents from occurring.”

Proper Nutrition

As a pet parent of your whippet, it’s up to you that they receive proper nutrition. Your whippet, as a puppy and an adult, needs high-quality food that has essential protein, good carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Your veterinarian can help you choose the best one for their needs, so by all means, ask for advice.


Your whippet does need to be bathed, brushed, have their ears and teeth cleaned and nails clipped on a regular basis. Grooming is also a part of keeping them healthy.

They need healthy skin to avoid skin rashes and infections and don’t forget to check for fleas and ticks which carry germs and disease.

Dirty ears can cause infections as can teeth if not properly and regularly brushed. Untrimmed nails can cause pain as well as an infection.

Mental Stimulation

It’s very easy for us and our pups to get in a rut. We go on the same walks, play the same games. Boring! Try shaking things up with a little adventure, which will stimulate the mind and the body.

Take different routes, play new games or teach some tricks. Hike in the woods, take your pup in the car more when you go places, even if you’re just getting gas.


Don’t forget the training for your whippet. This is good for health and includes mental stimulation. An obedient pup will listen and not run off towards danger, which can be very bad for their health.


Don’t forget the love and cuddling. This is good for health and your whippet’s emotional health as well. There will be plenty of oxytocin, the “feel good” hormone being produced for your whippet and for yourself.

How To Identify A Sick Whippet

You know your whippet better than anybody and will definitely sense and know when something is off and they seem under the weather.

Here are some signs and symptoms to look for:

  • Change in activity level – If your whippet seems lethargic, more than the usual couch potato syndrome, they may be sick especially if you can’t urge them to play or go for a walk or run.
  • Sleeping more – Your pup may be ill if they are sleeping excessively and have no energy.
  • Stiffness or difficulty getting up or doing stairs – They may be in pain, have pulled a muscle or something more serious.
  • Behavioural changes – Sudden agitation, aggression, neediness or acting withdrawn, or even hiding can signal an illness. This is not their normal behaviour, so something’s up.
  • Itchy, dry skin, lumps or sores – This can be a signal of seborrhea, infection or even cancer.
  • Fur – Whippets don’t have a lot of fur, to begin with, but if your whippet starts losing fur and has bald patches, this indicates a medical problem.
  • Excessive urination and drinking – This could be a urinary tract infection or even diabetes.
  • Drooling and bad breath – A dental problem or an issue with the salivary glands could be the cause.
  • Excessive panting, wheezing or laboured breathing – Respiratory issues.
  • Sneezing and coughing – A respiratory illness
  • Shaking their head – This may be an ear infection.
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea – gastroenteritis, viral infections, parasites, poisoning or just an upset tummy
  • White gums – anaemia or blood loss
  • Fever – A normal adult dog temperature is 99.5-102.5. Anything above that is considered a fever. Along with a fever, your whippet may have red, cloudy eyes, a warm dry nose, warm ears and may be shivering.

When To Call The Vets

Your whippet is your family, so anytime you are worried and think your pup is sick, by all means, for your peace of mind, call your veterinarian and seek their advice.

Sometimes, however, if your whippet vomits once and seems fine otherwise, you can take a wait and see attitude. The same thing goes for diarrhoea.

what to do when my whippet is sick
Image: Monika Fabisiak

They may have just eaten something that has upset their tummy, plus when dogs are outside, they can eat the worst things!

If you sense your whippet is sick, if they are clearly suffering or in pain, do not hesitate to get immediate help from your veterinarian, or if it’s after hours, an emergency veterinary hospital.

This could save your pup’s life and prevent needless suffering for all.

Here are medical problems that are urgent and need a call or visit to the veterinarian or a trip to your local veterinary hospital.

  • diarrhoea or vomiting more than two times in 24 hours
  • refuses to eat or drink for 24 hours or more
  • if your whippet is in obvious pain, whether you can identify where or not
  • if you suspect a fracture
  • eye injuries
  • if you suspect that your whippet ingested something poisonous
  • if your whippet passes out
  • heat exhaustion or heat stroke
  • staggering or a seizure
  • bleeding that will not stop and bleeding from the rectum, when they pee, from their nose, or if they cough up blood
  • coughing that won’t stop, gagging, choking or inability to catch their breath

What Is Normal And Not Normal For Whippet Puppies

With a new whippet puppy, you are not as familiar with their behaviors as you would be if you had them for months or years.

All of the symptoms and signs listed above are not normal and pertain to whippet puppies as well as adults, in fact, puppies should probably be taken to the veterinarian in most cases of illness.

Remember, they are smaller and weigh less. If they are vomiting and have diarrhoea, they can quickly become dehydrated.

Also, a puppies normal temperature is lower than adults and is 97-100. Any elevation of temperature above 100 is considered a fever for a puppy.

Puppies are still developing and growing. They don’t have a lot to fight off infections and illness like an adult whippet. Don’t hesitate to get help if your puppy is sick

Other Considerations

You have all sorts of fun with your whippet; walking, running, taking in a movie on the couch, even if they’re snoozing. There will be times, however, when your faithful pal will be under the weather and sick.

Use common sense and try to stay calm. Dogs can sense your angst. Even if they are sick, but don’t seem too bad off, if you need to talk with your veterinarian, call them and discuss their symptoms.

They will guide you in the proper direction. It’s better to be safe than sorry, especially when dealing with your whippet’s health.

Final Thoughts

Seek help if you need it for your whippet, either a phone call or by making an appointment, or if an emergency arises, by taking them to an emergency veterinary clinic or hospital. You’ll be glad you did.

If they are recovering from illness, keep them calm, with soothing music, warm, hydrated and be sure to give any medications as directed.

It won’t be long before your little whippet baby is their old bubbly self again. Now, you have an answer to “what to do when my whippet is sick?”

Other Popular Posts