Beagles For Dummies
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Your Beagle will probably stay pretty healthy throughout most of his life but every dog can experience health problems. By recognizing common Beagle health issues, you can get your dog the right treatment right away. When treated promptly, most conditions can be treated successfully.

As a breed, Beagles are predisposed to certain conditions, but that doesn't mean that every Beagle will get one of these illnesses. But if you recognize any of these symptoms, call your Vet immediately.

Beagle puppy problems

Beagle puppies are usually in the best of health, but occasionally, a Beagle under the age of 1 year may encounter one of the following conditions.

  • Cherry eye: This condition results when the tissue that holds the tear gland in the third eyelid weakens, causing the gland to pop out of place and become visible.

    The symptom of cherry eye is the visible gland — it looks like a cherry: round and bright red. The tear gland can become infected or even cease to function. Call to your vet as soon as possible so that surgery can be schedule to repair the condition.

  • Chondrodysplasia: A relatively rare disease that causes a Beagle to be very small and can result in deformed vertebrae and legs, and joint pain.

    Symptoms appear around 3 to 4 weeks of age. The puppy won't develop as quickly and will have trouble moving. By 6 months the puppy will move better but might be deformed. There is no cure but there are medications that can help with pain or discomfort.

  • Puppy pyoderma: This is a skin condition that looks like mild acne on the abdomen but is actually a bacterial infection.

    Puppy pyoderma can be treated with a medicated shampoo and sometimes antibiotics.

Adult Beagle Health Problems

Until old age sets in, most Beagles are very healthy, but there are some conditions that can affect their health.

  • Allergies: Like people, Beagles can develop allergic reactions to a number of things. Symptoms include constant scratching or long-term ear infections. Common treatments include antihistamines and changes in diet.

  • Hypothyroidism: If your Beagle's thyroid isn't functioning properly, you may notice a dull coat, hair loss, lethargy, extreme intolerance for cold weather, weight gain, and chronic skin disorders. This condition can be treated with a daily thyroid hormone supplement.

  • Idiopathic epilepsy: A fairly common condition among Beagles that is believed to be genetic. When a seizure occurs a dog might fall down, arch her head and neck, open her mouth wide, extend her limbs and shake in a jerky manner. Seizures usually only last a couple of minutes after which the dog ill probably sleep.

    The vet will want to check her out and run some tests to see if there is something else causing the seizures. If there is nothing else going on, the vet will give you medicine to help control the seizures.

  • Intervertebral disc disease: This condition occurs when the disc (the cushion between the vertebras) is injured causing it to leak or swell.

    If you notice your dog exhibiting any of the following symptoms, call the vet immediately.

    • Shivering, especially when combined with unusual inactivity

    • Refusal to get up and play, even for food

    • A yelp when you pet your Beagle or try to pick him up

    • A pulled-in head, arched back, or any other strange position

    • A refusal to bend down to the food or water dish to eat or drink

    • Limping of any kind

    • A "drunken" rear end, which moves but looks as if it isn't completely under control

    • Dragging of the back legs

About This Article

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Susan McCullough is the author of the bestselling Housetraining For Dummies and the award-winning Senior Dogs For Dummies.

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