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Beagle’s Health


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The average life expectancy of a Beagle is between 12 to 15 years when properly cared for and fed an appropriate good quality diet to suit their ages.

However, as with a lot of other pure breeds, the Beagle is known to suffer from a few hereditary and acquired health issues that are worth knowing about if you want to share your home with one of these fun-loving and lively dogs. Health issues the breed is prone to suffer from including the following:

  • Steroid Responsive Meningitis (SRM) often referred to as Beagle Pain Syndrome or Stiff Beagle Disease
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Canine Epilepsy
  • Musladin-Leuke Syndrome (MLS) – Chinese Beagle Syndrome – DNA test available
  • NCCD – DNA test available
  • Factor VII & IGS – DNA Test Available
  • Cherry Eye
  • Beagle Tail – also referred to as Limber Tail or Limp Tail
  • Catalase Deficiency – DNA Test Available

Because Beagles have long ears, they are also prone to suffer from infections simply because air cannot circulate around their inner ears and as such moisture can build up creating the perfect environment for a yeast infection to take hold. The other thing to bear in mind is that Beagles have a tendency to put on too much weight if they are not given enough exercise or fed an incorrect diet. Carrying too much weight can seriously impact a dog’s overall health which can reduce their life span quite considerably.

Another condition that Beagles seem to suffer from is called “reverse sneezing” which sounds as if a dog is chocking. Not much is known as to why some dogs do this, but the good news is that it is not dangerous or harmful to dogs when they do. In short, it sounds worse than it actually is.

What about vaccinations?

Beagle Puppies would have had their first vaccinations, but it’s essential for them to have their follow-up jabs at the right time with the vaccination schedule being as follows:

  • 10 -12 weeks old, bearing in mind that a puppy would not have full protection straight away, but would be fully protected 2 weeks after they have had their second vaccination

There has been a lot of discussion about the need for dogs to have boosters. As such, it’s best to talk to a vet before making a final decision on whether a dog should continue to have annual vaccinations which are known as boosters.

What about spaying and neutering?

A male Beagle can safely be neutered when they are 6 months old and females can be spayed when they are 6 months old too.

What about obesity problems?

Beagles are prone to putting on weight if they are not given the correct level of daily exercise to suit their calorie intake which is why it’s essential to keep an eye on a dog’s waistline and to adjust the amount of food and exercise they are given accordingly. Obesity puts a lot of strain on a Beagle’s body and their internal organs which could result in shortening a dog’s life by several years.

What about allergies?

Some Beagles can develop allergies as well as intolerances to certain foods. With this said, there are several things that can trigger an allergy and this includes the following:

  • Environment
  • A reaction to certain chemicals commonly found in household cleaning products
  • Seasonal allergies which include pollen and grasses
  • Food which includes certain meats and cereals often used as ingredients in commercially produced dog food
  • Tick and flea bites
  • Dust mites
  • Mould

Participating in health schemes

There are several health schemes available for the Beagle which includes the following and all breeders are advised by the Kennel Club to have their stud dogs tested before using them for breeding purposes as this is the only way of ensuring that their offspring are as healthy as possible:

  • DNA test – MLS
  • DNA test – NCCD

What about breed specific breeding restrictions?

Currently, there is no breed-specific restrictions set in place for the Beagle by the Kennel Club.

What about Assured Breeder Requirements?

Under the Kennel Club regulations, it is mandatory for all Assured Breeders to have stud dogs tested using the following schemes to ensure good breeding practices and the KC strongly recommends that other breeders do the same:

  • DNA test – MLS

The Kennel Club strongly advises that all breeders have dogs tested using the following scheme:

  • DNA test – NCCD

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