Basset Hound Health Issues.. Common and Uncommon
The Basset Hound claims excellent health. He is not prone to many hereditary weaknesses that are present in some other breeds. All breeds can however carry genetic disorders or hereditary faults. The following list includes some of the problems that can develop in Bassets
Von Willebrand's Disease
vWD is found in humans, dogs, and other mammals. Researchers believe a relationship between vWD and hypothyroidism. There is no way to determine whether vWD is hereditary or acquired.
CTP is a platelet dysfunction that may keep a Basset's blood from clotting properly. It is harder to test for than vWD, since definitive testing requires not only specialized equipment but medical personnel trained to use it. Thus, testing is limited to only a very few laboratories at this time. Treatment is the same as vWD
Glaucoma is a condition that can be found in the Basset Hound breed. Early detection and treatment is the key to this disease. Other eye issues that can be found in the Basset Hound breed are Ectropion (a turning out of the eyelids) which results in a dry cornea, and Entropion (a turning in of the eyelids), which causes lashes to dig into the surface of the eye. Luckily, both of these conditions can be corrected surgically
Like many other breeds with a deep chest, the Basset is susceptible to gastric dilation with torsion of the stomach (bloat). This can be a problem regardless of age. Torsion or bloat is considered an emergency and action must taken immediately.
Panosteitis is an elusive ailment occasionally seen in young Bassets. It is also known as wandering or transient lameness. Attacks are usually brought on by stress and aggravated by activity and up to now the cause and the cure are unknown. This mysterious disease causes sudden lameness, but its greatest potential danger may lie in false diagnosis resulting in unnecessary surgery. A puppy will typically out grow it by the age of two with no long term problems. It can be quite minor or so bad that the dog will not put any weight on the leg. Symptoms may be confused with "elbow displasia", "hip displasia", "patellar luxation" and other more serious disorders. The most definite way to diagnose paneosteitis is radiographically. Even with this, the only helpful thing found was relief for pain (aspirin, cortison, ect.) However, using these the dog tends to exercise more and thereby aggravate the condition. Note again: A GREAT MANY VETS ARE UNAWARE OF THIS DISEASE IN THE BASSET.
In diagnosing the cause of a Basset's lameness, a radiograph of the forelimbs may indicate a condition called elbow incongruity. (Elbow incongruity is a poor fit between the 3 bones which comprise the elbow joint.) Studies to date indicate that elbow incongruity is normal in the Basset and is not the cause of the lameness. It is also suspected that many of the previously mentioned unnecessary ( Pano) surgeries have been performed on Basset Pups just because radiographs that were taken showed elbow incongruity, A study on forelimb lameness in the Basset is currently underway at the School of Veterinary Medicine University of Pennsylvania. As previously mentioned they have determined that elbow incongruity occurs in the Basset but suspect that incongruity rarely causes the lameness. During the course of the study, conservative therapy will be recommended for all cases in which panosteitis appears to be the cause of the lameness. In cases with severe growth deformities or elbow pain associated with elbow incongruity, surgery may be recommended. If your Basset develops lameness and is diagnosed with an "elbow problem", discuss with your veterinarian the possibility of pano.. Also limiting high protein foods by age 4 months has been helpful for my own Bassets..
Because the Basset's long, heavy ears lay close to his head, they do not allow sufficient circulation of air. Ear infections often develop if owners are not diligent about cleaning their Basset's ears every week if not more depending on your hound.
Allergies and Skin Conditions
Some Bassets may be prone to allergies, dermatitis, and seborrhea. More has probably been written about the various skin conditions that plague the canine world than any other aspect of dog ownership. The skin is an excellent barometer for the overall health of a dog. Some Bassets may have allergies to grasses. Hanging their head close to the ground for long periods of time will further aggravate it. If an allergy is diagnosed a veterinarian can prescribe a mild eye ointment or other appropriate treatment.