If you are reading this article, chances are you have, at one point in time, been worried about the lifespan of your dog or the puppy you intend to buy. The truth is, you are not alone.
A lot of dog owners have the same worries as you. Although your worries will not make a definite change, it is still important to have some knowledge about how long your Vizsla might probably live.
What’s the actual lifespan of a Vizsla? Even though Vizslas are medium-sized dogs, they are known to live longer than most breeds. Vizsla can live anywhere between 12 and 15 years on average. A Vizsla’s life expectancy is affected by several factors that include, but are not limited to, genetics, health care, and nutrition.
I have dug deep to seek out information that I believe will shed more light on this question. In my digging, I have spoken to breeders, especially those who specialize in Vizslas.
I have also made extensive consultation with reputable veterinarians, studied highly regarded bodies of research on Vizsla, and spoken to directors of animal shelters all over the state.
Vizsla Lifespan Survey Results
Over four months, I conducted research and surveys, not in an attempt to test the reliability and authenticity of the official numbers, but to satisfy my curiosity and desire to own my data.
At this point, I must state that this is an unofficial survey in an attempt to discover what the actual average lifespan of a Vizsla is.
At the start of my survey, I had no idea where it would lead me to. Would it agree with the official data, or would it present a different set of results that might be more than the official data or even less?
I spent a large part of those months searching for data from the most reliable sources. My initial attempt at gathering this data involved passing out questionnaires to members of my immediate canine community, which included kernel club members.
After a few tries, however, I decided against it as it became clear there weren’t too many Vizsla owners who could form a substantial amount of participants.
Alternatively, I resorted to obtaining data from shelters and veterinary clinics on Vizsla deaths. This data included the age of the dogs and their sex. In total, information on 122 Vizslas formed the rock of this survey. A breakdown has been given below.
|Sex||Number of Vizslas Surveyed||Average Age at Death|
It is evident from the results obtained that the average lifespan I got after my research fell slightly outside the official window of 12-15 years. However, do not forget that this is an unofficial survey conducted to satisfy my desires. This in no way seeks to delegitimize previously known data.
However, the research points out a lesser number of female deaths with a higher life expectancy rate. The results I got from my research couldn’t adequately point out why this occurred, but I have a few guesses.
Male Vizslas are larger than female Vizslas, and this means they could be more susceptible to bone ailments.
Also, male Vizlsas are more at risk of danger as they are preferred for protective duty than the female gender. Therefore, having a female Vizsla guarantees you more time than having a male Vizsla with a shorter lifespan.
Why Vizsla Have a Short Lifespan?
In the earlier section of this article, I revealed that the Vizsla lives for about 12 to 15 years on average. Some people consider this long enough time to have a dog, but for families and owners who have formed an unexplainable bond with their canine companion, this is simply not enough.
But why do Vizslas not live longer than the estimated span? There are a couple of reasons that answer this question, and we will have a detailed look at them.
- Bleeding Disorders: There are a lot of bleeding disorders suffered by Vizslas. Each type has a different level of severity. The most common bleeding disorder in Vizslas is the von Willebrand disease. This disease prevents proper blood clotting whenever the dog suffers a cut or a deep wound. As a result, the dog bleeds excessively, and this can gradually become fatal if not properly treated. Surgery is the best treatment for the von Willebrand disease.
- Hemolytic Anemia: Another type of disorder that a Vizsla can suffer from is the Hemolytic Anemia. This disorder causes the dog’s immune system to attack its platelets. This attack and subsequent destruction of the red blood cells/platelets cause the dog to be weak and anemic. Vizslas that suffer from this disorder don’t clot properly. Steroids and immune-suppressive drugs are prescribed to treat this disorder.
- Epilepsy: Most epileptic conditions in Vizslas are inherited, and this epilepsy can result in seizures. A definite cause of seizures is yet to be established. But it is believed that this condition result from the presence of a brain tumor, trauma, stroke, or the brain reacting to a sudden metabolic problem. Seizures in Vizslas commonly start as early as six months and when they are three years old. Seizures can result in severe injuries, and if not properly controlled, can lead to death.
- Obesity: Obesity in Vizslas is a severe condition responsible for a shorter life than expected. Obesity is responsible for most joint problems, and with Vizslas with an already existing joint problem, obesity can aggravate such problems. Obesity is also a prominent cause of heart diseases and back pain in Vizslas. These bone conditions include canine panosteitis, osteochondritis dissecans, and hypertrophic osteodystrophy. These conditions can be handled if detected early and, appropriate measures are taken accordingly.
- Hemangiosarcoma: This is a bleeding tumor that forms majorly in the spleen and can also be found in other internal organs. They can be in various sizes like volleyball or even larger. These tumors could result in internal bleeding if anyone breaks open.
- Dwarfism: In Vizslas, dwarfism is a major factor that affects life expectancy. Most dog owners know about the physical traits like short limbs, long body, and a larger head that characterize this condition, but the grey area of knowledge is the internal damage dwarfism can cause. Dwarfism can result in the dog’s kidneys not developing fully, which can result in renal failure. Most cases of dwarfism are inherited, but in rare cases, this has not been the case. Tumors and underdevelopment in the womb have been blamed for dwarf conditions.
- Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia: This congenital heart condition occurs when the tricuspid valve fails to form correctly. As a result of improper formation, blood tends to flow back into the heart which causes the heart to enlarge.
- Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is a condition that causes the thyroid to produce a lesser amount of thyroxin, which in turn results in low performance of the thyroid glands. Thyroids are common in Vizslas but can be treated with early detection. It is advised that a certified veterinarian carries out this inspection to ensure no symptoms are missed.
- Cancer: A Vizsla is diagnosed with cancer when he begins to have an uncontrolled cell division that results in lumps. These lumps can be dangerous if not taken out immediately as they can block vital organs and impede their functions. Failure to detect this condition at an early stage can be critical.
Factors that Affect the Life Expectancy of a Vizsla
While Vizslas can live for a relatively long time, some factors can affect their lifespan. These factors not only reduce the quality of life they can experience, but can also cause death. Some of these factors are genetic, and others are down to hygienic decisions.
Health Care Practices
The role good health care plays in the life of a canine cannot be understated. Therefore when these practices are neglected, it should come as no surprise that the dog’s health suffers.
Vizslas require basic first aid and all-round care. Deliberate actions like paying attention to or even ignoring minute details like a seemingly harmless cut can play a deciding role in Vizsla’s lifespan.
Bad health care practices can reduce a dog’s lifespan drastically as much as excellent health care practices can result in a huge improvement in the dog’s lifespan.
When it comes to life expectancy a Vizsla can have, genes are a very important deciding factor. Genetically, the Vizsla breed is prone to inheriting certain features that you might not be able to prevent, nor at the very least, control.
Features like Dwarfism which are inherited traits from parents can cause internal health problems. Vizslas with these internal problems like kidney and renal failure are less likely to live longer than other Vizslas not suffering from these conditions.
There are other genetic diseases that this breed is prone to like Hypothyroidism and Tricuspid Valve Dysplasia (TVD). Hypothyroidism is a condition that causes the thyroid to produce a lesser amount of thyroxin which in turn results in low performance of the thyroid glands.
TVD is a heart condition in Vizslas that causes the heart to enlarge due to the tricuspid valve not forming properly. Alternatively, Vizslas with healthy genetic history tend to live longer and healthier.
Just like human beings, dogs need food to stay alive. However, it is not just enough to provide food for a Vizsla. Providing the right kind of meal is as necessary as providing any meal at all. The right type of meal having the needed nutrients can affect the average lifespan of a Vizsla.
Many body parts rely on certain nutrients to form and function properly. Failure to adequately provide these dietary necessities can and will result in a bad chain reaction of events.
Poor diets can result in poor growth. It has been proven that Vizslas that had an excellent dietary program had a bigger chance of living a longer life. This is a stark contrast to Vizslas that are not well fed.
How to Help Your Vizsla Live a Longer Life?
Is it possible for your Vizsla to live a longer life? Your Vizsla can live long in good health of heart and body. Breeders who adhere to the best health and hygienic practices will often show you a practical proof of Vizslas living their best life with no hindrance.
So how can you help your Vizsla stay alive for a long period? The following steps can help you achieve that objective.
Surprisingly, basic health practices can help your Vizsla dog live a better and longer life. Most of these practices which are easy to perform do not require you to spend too much. One important practice that can ensure your Vizsla lives a healthy and lengthy life is frequent exercise.
Exercises help to keep your Vizsla in good shape while equally ensuring adequate blood flow around the body. Cleaning your dog’s ears forms part of this essential health care routine. The ears can get moist, which provides the perfect breeding ground for harmful micro-organisms.
Dental health care is also crucial. Although Vizslas are known to have good teeth, constant maintenance will go a long way in preventing dental problems. Your Vizsla must, at least, have his teeth brushed twice a week. Brushing is not only done on the teeth but also the coat.
Vizslas are prone to having parasites living under their coats. Regular brushing ensures these parasites are taken out, keeping the Vizsla healthy and parasite free.
Supervising your dog is yet another significant practice. Vizslas are very energetic and active and always in danger of walking into a trap or a stepping on dangerous objects. It is important to closely supervise your Vizsla and ensure your environment is free of all dangerous objects.
Good hygiene is fundamental and can determine how healthy your dog can become and how long he will live. Your Vizsla’s diet should contain appropriate meals for his current age and include the right nutrient. Foods rich in carbohydrates and protein are recommended.
Neutering and spaying can play a huge role in prolonging the life of your Vizsla. These surgical processes aim to remove the reproductive parts of the Vizsla that are prone to certain kinds of cancer.
Neutering is carried out on male Vizsla to remove their testicles while spaying, performed on females to surgically remove the ovaries.
An added benefit of this procedure is that it allows you to identify other underlying symptoms and correct them if possible. This is akin to killing two birds with a stone.
Regular consultations are necessary for ensuring a dog is well taken care of, and his health status is well monitored. Monitoring your Vizsla’s health is a key step in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Scheduled visits to a veterinary clinic are a necessity if you intend to keep your dog healthy. Evaluations like hip and thyroid evaluation can be performed when scheduled visits are upheld.
The Oldest Known Vizsla
The oldest known Vizsla lived for 21 years. This took a lot of research to uncover, and, although I doubted its legitimacy initially, its reoccurrence in several other research materials gradually took away all elements of doubts I had.
However, there was no indication to the name of this historic dog, its owner, or the country they lived in.
Before I draw the curtain on what I hope has been an informative article, it is necessary to reiterate some of the topics I have shared with you. Vizslas, just like every other breed deserve to live a long, healthy life.
While diseases may hinder this desire, it is no secret that human behavior can also go a long way in depriving this wonderful breed a chance at the wonderful life they deserve.
Always remember to take proper care of your dog. Adequate cleaning and veterinary care, as I have stated, can go a long way in giving your Vizsla an increased chance of living a much better life. You must do all you can to ensure your dog is not left to live an unhealthy life.
Do neutering and spaying come with any side effects and benefits?
Spaying and neutering your dog way too early can result in health problems at an advanced age. Although spaying goes a long way in preventing the uterus from being infected, you should only perform this procedure when you are certain you do not want the dog reproducing anymore.
Neutering is done for the same reason on males and should only be performed when you are satisfied with the dog’s reproductive efforts, or you want to prevent an infection.
How can I ensure my Vizsla stays healthy?
There are several ways you can ensure your Vizsla stays healthy. Routine health care like brushing the teeth and the dog’s coat is one step that can maintain general health. Regular checkups and frequent clinic appointments help to detect diseases early.
You must not overlook the benefits of healthy nutrition and proper exercise. Bad nutritional habits can lead to obesity which can lead to other health issues that can be dangerous.
What are the most common health problems in Vizslas?
Vizslas have health issues that are very common and more likely to come up during the dog’s lifetime. These common health problems include hip dysplasia, which is an improper formation of the joint, von Willie brand’s disease, which is a disorder that results in the inability of the blood to clot.
Other common ones include epilepsy, which is a disorder that causes seizures and cancer, which can result in lump growths.