The Beagle is a breed of medium-sized and compactly built dogs that have been bred as hunting dogs for centuries. There are two types of Beagles: larger (dogs 13 to 15 inches tall) and smaller Beagles (dogs shorter than 13 inches).
Beagles are considered to be a generally healthy breed and their life expectancy is 10 to 15 years. However, like many other breeds, they are prone to certain health issues. Below is a list of health issues that have been reported in Beagles over the years.
The purpose of this list is to inform Beagle owners about potential health issues that may occur in dogs of this breed. This doesn’t mean that every Beagle will face these health problems, but it’s good to be aware of them so that symptoms can be spotted in time.
Common Health Issues in Beagles
The health issues that have been reported in Beagles over the years are:
- Eye problems: corneal dystrophy, distichiasis, glaucoma, cherry eye, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), dry eye (sicca syndrome), entropion, ectropion, microphthalmia, retinal dysplasia, cataracts
- Orthopedic issues: hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, intervertebral disc disease, chondrodysplasia, immune-mediated polygenic arthritis
- Skin problems: pyoderma, alopecia, mange, atopic dermatitis, cutaneous asthenia
- Heart diseases: pulmonic stenosis, mitral valve disease, cardiomyopathy
- Cancer: bladder cancer, lymphoma, bone cancer
- Blood-clotting diseases: hemophilia, von Willebrand’s disease
- Neurological disorders: epilepsy, cerebellar ataxia
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Ear infections
- Umbilical hernia
- Kidney disease
- Musladin-Lueke syndrome (MLS)
- Steroid responsive meningitis/Beagle Pain Syndrome
- Tumbling puppy syndrome/Neonatal Cerebellar Cortical Degeneration (NCCD)
Health issues from this list are not ranked according to any particular order, which means that Beagles are not more prone to diseases that are at the top of the list and vice versa. We have tried to be as comprehensive as possible, but you should keep in mind that this list isn’t exhaustive and that your dog might develop some disease that isn’t on this list.
All Beagles have a high energy level so it’s important to make sure they have enough opportunities to expend their energy. They need a minimum of one hour of physical activity a day. The activity Beagles especially enjoy is a walk with their owners. Since these are curious dogs who like to sniff and follow some interesting smell they come across, they can sometimes wander off, so it is necessary to keep an eye on them. Also, if you leave a Beagle alone for too long, there is a chance that he will develop destructive behavior.
Food should also be taken into account when it comes to Beagles because they can very easily become obese if we don’t pay much attention to what and how much they eat. Since Beagles are not picky when it comes to food and are prone to overeating, if you allow them to do so, make sure the trash cans are tightly closed and that you don’t leave your food in places where they can reach it.
What you can do for your beagle’s health is to make sure he eats quality food that meets his needs, provide him with enough physical activity, and take him to veterinary checkups regularly.