Most common health problems in Basset Hounds, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your Basset Hound

If you want to AVOID health problems in your Basset Hound, you'll find my health care program very valuable.

It's called "11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy."

Raise your dog the RIGHT way, feed him the RIGHT food, give him the RIGHT vaccinations, avoid unnecessary veterinary expenses, and help him live a longer, happier, and more comfortable life.

If your Basset Hound already HAS a health problem, I'm sorry to hear that. You should immediately begin my health care program, and you may be able to restore his good health – or at least make him much more comfortable. Let me help!

My best-selling dog health book


Basset Hound dog breed

Basset Hound Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of Basset Hound health problems

Basset Hounds are deliberately bred to have a genetic deformity called chondrodysplasia, which results in dwarfed legs and a long back. Another deformity produces wrinkled folds of skin. Both of these deformities are associated with health problems. We shouldn't be doing this to dogs.

You can expect lots of orthopedic problems, especially hip dysplasia (40% affected) and elbow dysplasia.

The folds of wrinkled skin provide a hiding place for dirt, moisture, bacteria and yeast. Expect lots of itchy skin conditions and skin infections.

The long folded-over ears with their narrow ear canals are extremely prone to chronic ear infections and hematoma (large blood blisters).

Basset Hounds can go blind from hereditary eye diseases. The major one is glaucoma. Eyelid abnormalities can require surgery.

Many Basset Hounds die in just a few hours from an emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.

Lymphosarcoma is a deadly cancer in Bassets. Up to 50% of the breed is affected or borderline-affected with blood-clotting diseases.

Then there is epilepsy.... Addison's disease...

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your Basset Hound have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases, your Basset Hound has less risk of developing those conditions.

Other health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your Basset Hound, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your Basset Hound puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!


Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Basset Hound puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your Basset Hound lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your Basset Hound
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your Basset Hound. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your Basset Hound
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your Basset Hound. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your Basset Hound puppy really need? Does your adult Basset Hound need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you.


Information on spaying your Basset Hound. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.


Information on choosing the best vet for your Basset Hound. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.


Complete list of Basset Hound health problems

The major eye diseases in Basset Hounds are glaucoma, cherry eye, and eyelid abnormalities (ectropion and entropion). Also reported is lens luxation, and occasionally progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).

Since Bassets are a deformed (chondrodysplastic) breed, expect lots of orthopedic problems. Hip and elbow dysplasia, for example, are rampant, with probably half or more of the breed affected with incorrect hip and elbow joints. Ignore anyone who tells you that a Basset's deformed joints are "normal for the breed". Malformed hips in any breed lead to arthritis later in life.

Other common orthopedic diseases in Basset Hounds include luxating patella (loose knee joints), intervertebral disk disease, Wobbler's syndrome, and panosteitis.

With their deep chest, Basset Hounds are at higher-than-normal risk for the emergency gastrointestinal syndrome called bloat.

Ears and skin are notoriously problematic in Bassets.

  • The long, folded-over ears with their narrow ear canals are extremely prone to chronic ear infections and hematoma.
  • Bassets are prone to allergies that cause itchy skin, and the wrinkled folds of skin trap dirt and moisture and provide a home for yeast and bacteria, so bacterial skin infections (pyoderma) are common.
  • The skin disease seborrhea occurs in Bassets, and non-tumorous growths are common.
  • Follicular dysplasia is another skin disease occasionally reported in Bassets.

Up to 50% of the breed is affected or borderline-affected with von Willebrand's blood-clotting disease. Up to 30% is affected with thrombocytopathia. Hemophilia and factor VII deficiency also occur in Bassets.

Health issues of increasing concern in Basset Hounds include epilepsy (seizures), an endocrine system disease called Addison's disease, a red blood cell disease called autoimmune hemolytic anemia, and a cancer called lymphosarcoma.

A rare immune system disease in Basset Hounds is combined immunodeficiency.

There is an inherited tendency for hernias in some lines of Basset Hounds.


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.