Eye Problems in Basset Hounds

Eye Problems in Basset Hounds

Health & Safety

Basset Hounds are pretty robust dogs compared to many other pure breeds which generally means you don't often need to get overly worried about the state of their health. However, there are certain eye conditions that tend to plague the breed and which can make life very uncomfortable for dogs if left untreated. Any eye condition has to be taken very seriously no matter how mild an infection or condition might appear to be because things can get much worse very quickly which could in turn seriously impact your pet's vision.

The eye conditions seen most in the breed tend to be the following which is worth making a note of because the earlier a condition is detected, the sooner it can be treated which makes life a lot more comfortable for your dog.

Cherry Eye

Unfortunately, Cherry Eye is one of the conditions that's seen all too often in the Basset Hound. It's an extremely painful condition where the tear gland found in a dog's third eye tears away from where it should be. Vets aren't sure why this happens to certain breeds more than others and typically recommend correcting the problem by surgical means sooner rather than later. If left for too long an infection may take hold in the affected eye making the condition more painful and harder for a vet to clear up. If you notice your Basset Hound's eye looks a little sore and your pet is not their usual bouncy selves, you should discuss your concerns with the vet as soon as you can.

Signs to Watch Out For

The first sign of something being wrong with your dog's eye is when the inner corner of their eye starts looking angry and begins to protrude over the affected eye. Sometimes there may be a watery or pussy looking discharge coming from the corner of the eye too. If one eye is affected the chances are their other eye will be affected at some point in time too which is why it's so important to regularly check both eyes should your Basset Hound develop Cherry Eye.


Sadly, glaucoma is an inherited eye disorder that many Basset Hounds tend to develop. The condition causes too much pressure to build up in a dog's eye and most dogs will start to show signs of there being something wrong when they are about 2 years old. The scary thing is that once glaucoma starts to develop, things quickly get worse which could be as fast as a few days or even hours. The bad news is the condition can cause quite serious damage to a dog's eye which as a result could mean they go blind. Glaucoma usually only occurs in the one eye and not both at the same time, although a vet would want to monitor the condition of both eyes should your Basset Hound suddenly develop glaucoma in the one eye.

Signs to Watch Out For

If you notice any of the following symptoms, it cannot be stressed strongly enough the importance of taking your Basset Hound along to see a vet as soon as you can.

  • Your dog's eye is painful and as such they continually rub at it with their paw which just makes matters worse. Some dogs will rub an affected eye up against furniture or along the carpet and when they look at you they squint because of the pain
  • Your dog is sensitive to any sort of light and the pupil of the affected eye is larger than the other one
  • The affected eye is very bloodshot and/or red looking
  • The cornea of the affected eye is cloudy
  • The affected eye is larger in size than the other eye
  • Your dog's vision is impaired which could be so bad they cannot see out of the affected eye

If the vet diagnoses that your Basset Hound has, indeed developed glaucoma in one eye, they would recommend some sort of preventative treatment that would protect the other eye from being affected by the condition too.

Tips on How to Keep Your Basset Hound Healthy

It goes without saying that the healthier your Basset Hound is, the stronger their immune systems will be and this helps when it comes to fighting off any sort of infection or disease. However, when it comes to inherited eye conditions, there is not much you can do other than to regularly check your pet's eyes and if you notice anything wrong that could be cause for concern you need to make an appointment with the vet to have your dog thoroughly checked out as quickly as you can. The sooner an eye disorder is correctly diagnosed, the easier and more treatable it tends to be plus your dog would be made more comfortable that much faster too.

Contact a Reputable and Well Established Breeder

If you are thinking about getting a Basset Hound puppy, it's really important to contact a reputable breeder who takes great care when it comes to choosing the dogs they use in their breeding programmes. A well established breeder would check that any breeding dogs do not carry the genes responsible for many of the genetically inherited eye disorders Basset Hounds are predisposed to suffer from, thus reducing the chances of any puppies being born with the disorders.

It's important to ask breeders for a list of the bloodlines used in their breeding programmes which is something a reputable and conscientious breeder would only be too happy to show any potential owners. It's also essential to read up on the breed so you are familiar with the disorders these lovely dogs tend to suffer from so that when you do discuss things with a breeder, you know what you are talking about even if it is only to some degree.


Basset Hounds make wonderful family pets and companion dogs because they are such comical yet loving characters to have around. Sadly, like so many other pure breeds, the Basset Hound is known to suffer from quite a few health disorders, two of which affect their eyes quite seriously. If you notice anything wrong with your pet's eyes, it's important to take them to the vet sooner rather than later because the quicker a condition is diagnosed the easier it tends to be for vets to treat and your dog is made to feel more comfortable that much faster too.



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