Beagle Health Problems and Raising a Beagle Puppy to be Healthy
By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2015
The most common health problems in Beagles:
Ears and skin are notoriously problematic in Beagles.
- The folded-over ears with their narrow ear canals are extremely prone to chronic ear infections and hematoma.
- Beagles are prone to allergies that lead to itchy skin and bacterial skin infections (pyoderma).
- The skin disease seborrhea is common.
- Skin growths are common – non-tumorous growths (cysts, lipomas) and tumors (sebaceous tumors, mast cell tumors, perianal gland adenoma).
- Demodectic mange occurs in Beagles, especially Beagle puppies.
Beagles are susceptible to just about every eye disease there is. Glaucoma and cherry eye are especially common. Also retinal dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), corneal dystrophy, cataracts, dry eye, eyelash abnormalities, eyelid abnormalities (entropion and ectropion), lens luxation, and persistent pupillary membranes.
Intervertebral disk disease is very common in Beagles, especially in individuals with a deformed chondrodysplastic build (shortish legs, longish back). Intervertebral disk disease can be confused with two other diseases that can occur in Beagles: Wobbler's syndrome and an inflammatory brain disease called aseptic meningitis/vasculitis.
For such a small dog, the hip dysplasia rate is extremely high. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 550 Beagles and found 17% dysplastic. And the true rate is even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation. Similar-sized dogs have much lower rates – for comparison, Shelties are at 5% and Cockers at 6%.
Yet another orthopedic health problem in Beagles is luxating patella (loose knees).
Seizures in Beagles (epilepsy) are a serious concern in the breed.
Heart disease is increasing, especially pulmonic stenosis and occasionally cardiomyopathy, septal defect, mitral valve disease, and other heart defects.
The urinary system is another target for health problems in Beagles, including kidney disease, urinary stones, and cancer of the bladder (transitional cell carcinoma).
According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, Beagles have the 10th highest rate of hypothyroidism of 140 breeds (up to 22% affected).
Blood-clotting diseases (von Willebrand's disease, hemophilia A, and Factor VII deficiency) are found with some regularity.
A Beagle puppy with a lot of white on his head may suffer from inherited deafness.
Other health issues occasionally reported in Beagles include immunoglobulin deficiencies, megaesophagus, lupus, pemphigus, liver shunt, lysosomal storage disease, white shaker dog syndrome, narcolepsy, hernias, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, and pyruvate kinase deficiency.
To end this depressing list of Beagle health problems on a more cheerful note, Beagles are prone to reverse sneezing – which is harmless.
Can you prevent health problems from happening to YOUR Beagle?
Yes, often you can.
- Some health problems are genetic, which means inherited from parents. Genetic health issues are common in Beagles today because of unwise breeding practices. My book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, shows you how to find a Beagle puppy who is genetically healthy.
- Other health problems are environmental – caused by the way you raise your dog. My best-selling dog health book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy shows you how to prevent environmental health problems by raising your Beagle puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways.
Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy Beagle puppy or adult dog:
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Copyright © 2000-2015 by Michele Welton. All rights reserved.
No part of this website may be copied, displayed on another website,
or distributed in any way without the express permission of the author.