Beagle Genetics

Intervertebral Disk Disease:

The spinal cord is surrounded by the vertebral column, and between the bones of the vertebral column are intervertebral discs that work as shock absorbers and allow normal movement of the vertebrae. The discs are made of two layers, an outer fibrous layer and an inner jelly-like layer. Intervertebral disc disease occurs when the jelly like inner layer protrudes into the spinal canal and pushes against the spinal cord. Compression of the spinal cord may be minimal, causing neck or back pain, or it can be severe, causing loss of sensation, paralysis, and lack of bowel or bladder control. The damage done by the spinal compression may be irreversible. Treatment is based on several factors, including location, severity, and length of time between injury and treatment. Confining the dog may be of some use, but surgery is often needed to relieve pressure on the spinal cord. Surgery is not always successful.

Cherry Eye

This is a condition in which the gland under the third eyelid protrudes and looks rather like a cherry in the corner of the eye. Your vet may need to remove the gland.

Glaucoma

This is a painful disease in which pressure in the eye becomes abnormally high. Eyes are constantly producing and draining a fluid called aqueous humor — if the fluid doesn't drain correctly, the pressure inside the eye increases causing damage to the optic nerve and resulting in vision loss and blindness. There are two types. Primary glaucoma, which is hereditary, and secondary glaucoma which is a result of inflammation, a tumor, or injury. Glaucoma generally affects one eye first, which will be red, teary, squinty, and appear painful. A dilated pupil won't react to light, and the front of the eye will have a whitish, almost blue cloudiness. Vision loss and eventually blindness will result, sometimes even with treatment (surgery or medication, depending on the case).

Distichiasis

This condition occurs when an additional row of eyelashes (known as distichia) grow on the oil gland in the dog's eye and protrude along the edge of the eyelid. This irritates the eye, and you may notice your Aussie squinting or rubbing his eye(s). Distichiasis is treated surgically by freezing the excess eyelashes with liquid nitrogen and then remove them. This type of surgery is called cryoepilation and is done under general anesthesia.

Epilepsy

This is a neurological condition that's often, but not always, inherited. Epilepsy can cause mild or severe seizures that may show themselves as unusual behavior (such as running frantically as if being chased, staggering, or hiding) or even by falling down, limbs rigid, and losing consciousness. Seizures are frightening to watch, but the long-term prognosis for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy is generally very good. It's important to take your dog to the vet for proper diagnosis (especially since seizures can have other causes) and treatment.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is a disorder of the thyroid gland. It's thought to be responsible for conditions such as epilepsy, alopecia (hair loss), obesity, lethargy, hyperpigmentation, pyoderma, and other skin conditions. It is treated with medication and diet.

Beagle Dwarfism

This is a condition where the dog is smaller than normal. This condition may or may not be accompanied by other physical abnormalities, such as extremely short legs.

Chinese Beagle Syndrome (CBS)

Chinese Beagle Syndrome (CBS): This is a condition that is characterized by a wide skull and slanted eyes. The dog grows normally otherwise. Quite often, dogs with CBS have heart problems and toe abnormalities.

Patellar Luxation

Also known as "slipped stifles," this is a common problem in small dogs. It is caused when the patella, which has three parts  the femur (thigh bone), patella (knee cap), and tibia (calf)  is not properly lined up. This causes lameness in the leg or an abnormal gait, sort of like a skip or a hop. It is a condition that is present at birth although the actual misalignment or luxation does not always occur until much later. The rubbing caused by patellar luxation can lead to arthritis, a degenerative joint disease. There are four grades of patellar luxation, ranging from grade I, an occasional luxation causing temporary lameness in the joint, to grade IV, in which the turning of the tibia is severe and the patella cannot be realigned manually. This gives the dog a bowlegged appearance. Severe grades of patellar luxation may require surgical repair.

Below are a list of items that can be found in Beagles.  Only some beagle puppies will be diagnoses with any of these conditions, but if you are interested in a Beagle puppy as a part of your family, you should be aware of the possibilities.