Beagles belong to the hound group and are similar to foxhound in appearance. However, this breed of dog is small to medium in size with small and short legs, but long and soft ears. One of the well-known beagle facts is their sense of smell.
Therefore, they are commonly also used for tracking and detection. They are also one of the intelligent dogs and are known to have even temper, which makes them one of the favorite pet variety. They are also known to be friendly, outgoing, active and curious. It is not uncommon to see the beagle bonding with the children in the family. If one has to observe the beagles, it will be seen that they rarely have inherited health problems. However, there does exist some health problems in this breed of dogs, which you as the pet owner should be aware of.
Common Beagle Health Problems
Although unlike a number of other dog breeds, beagles are known to be a very healthy dog breed. However, like is the case with all dog breeds, they are also susceptible to certain health problems. Let's find out, which are the common health problems that plague the beagles.
One of the common health problems is cherry eye in beagles. This condition is known as nictitans gland prolapse or also prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid. In this condition the gland of the third eyelid protrudes out from its normal position and is red and swollen. This gives it an appearance of a cherry, where the disease derives its name from. The most common symptom of this condition is protrusion at the corner of the eye close to the nose, mucous discharge, scratching of the eye, etc. This condition has to be treated with a surgery, where the gland is repositioned.
Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy
This is a congenital condition of the eye. The rods and cones of the retina deteriorate as the beagle grows older. This often results in the dog losing his central vision. In most cases, the peripheral vision is retained till the old age. This condition is often diagnosed, when the dog is around 2 years of age.
Like the name suggests, the dog is smaller in size as compared to the normal sized beagles. Often the dogs advertised as mini-beagles or pocket beagles are the dogs affected with this condition. Due to dwarfism, the pocket beagle health problems include certain physical anomalies in the dog. Therefore, care should be taken while buying the beagle.
One of the dog breeds to be sensitive to hypothyroidism is the beagle. This condition can either be caused due to problem with the immune system or it can also be caused due to certain medication, toxins or in some cases also due to lack of exercise. One of the most common symptom of this condition is slow metabolism, which in turn results in the dog gaining weight, hair loss, lethargy, dullness, etc. If the dog is overweight and under-exercised, then the first measure will be to get the dog moving, which will help in keeping the condition under control.
This condition is often observed in beagles. Since the palate is elongated, the overhang of the soft palate causes an obstruction of the airway. Therefore, it will be seen that the dog snorts or snores making loud breathing noises. The noises may increase when the dog exercises. In most cases, this condition is observed in the dog at birth itself. Often it is seen that the condition aggravates with age.
The long ears of the beagles are prone to ear infection. If the ear is infected, then the dog will scratch the infected ear incessantly. The dog may also shake its head due to itching and irritation caused by the infection. On close observation of the dog, discharge from the ear with foul odor may also be observed.
One of the health problems affecting the beagle is umbilical hernia, which is often protruding fat or bowel through the abdominal wall. If the opening in the abdominal wall does not close during pre-natal development, this condition may be observed. Often it is seen that the beagles may genetically be predisposed to delay in closing of the abdominal ring around the navel. This condition may be observed once the dog is about 6 months of age.
Other than the health problems mentioned above some of the other conditions, which may affect the dogs are seizures, epilepsy, heart disease, inter-vertebral disk, etc. The beagles are prone to reverse sneezing, however, this is not a serious condition. For healthy and long life of the dog, it is advised that you keep a close watch on the health of the dog.