The Basset Hound Health Group

The Basset Hound Health Group was formed following concerns by The Kennel Club, the British Veterinary Association and various Animal Health Groups on the breeding, health and welfare of pedigree dogs.
The Health Group consists of two representatives taken from each of the eight UK based Basset Hound Clubs.
The aim is to promote responsible, healthy, breeding of the Basset Hound - without any exaggeration. To this end, a Health Assessment Programme was initiated (under guidance of the Kennel Club) it is hoped that all Basset Hound Owners will take part.

Health Assessment Programme

The health assessment forms will provide the Basset Hound Health Group with valuable data relating to the health of the breed. Further information and assessment forms can be downloaded here.


- (many causes) - common and not specific to the Basset Hound.

Research is being undertaken by the Royal Veterinary College with regard to natural yeast's causing an issue.


- common and not specific to the Basset Hound.

The first symptom is the dog is unable to settle because it is not comfortable. The stomach rapidly enlarges, the skin becomes as tight as a drum – the dog is in great pain and distress, trying to be sick but only able to bring up frothy saliva. If torsion (twisting of the stomach) has taken place, it will block both the entrance from the throat and the exit to the small intestine. The stomach is full of fermenting food and gas.

When this happens it is a Veterinary Emergency. Take the Basset to the Veterinary Surgery immediately - having first informed the Vet - so that they can either operate or release the gas by means of a tube. It must be stressed that the quicker the Basset is seen by a Vet, the higher its chances of survival. This condition can be fatal in a very short time.


(Wobbler Syndrome) - Not specific to the Basset Hound. Nowadays - not common.

Over supplementation of calcium in growing puppies can cause this. In simple terms, the spinal cord is compressed by the vertebrae in the cervical region. The signs, in an affected animal, are usually related to the hind legs. With the advent of ‘complete foods’ supplements are not required and ‘wobblers’ is rarely seen.


Testing for eye defects such as Primary Glaucoma and Hereditary Cataract is advised. Basset eyes can be tested and checked at 12 months by a specialist of the British Veterinary Association for these defects. The specialist checks the whole eye and comments on any problem that may be present. This information will be given to the Kennel Club and will appear on the dog's registration.


- not specific to the Basset Hound.

The most common is Angle Closure Glaucoma. Evidence indicates the incidence of predisposition may be quite high but the incidence of the disease itself remains low. The Basset Health Group promotes eye-testing – particularly of proposed ‘breeding stock’.


- not specific to the Basset Hound.

Cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye. Hereditary cataracts can occur – but are rare. Non-hereditary cataracts are sometimes seen in elderly Bassets.


- Not specific to the Basset Hound.

This is a condition in which the eyelid(s) turn in, so that the eyelashes are resting on the corneal surface, causing irritation and discomfort. Treatment will depend on the severity of the condition and the distress of the animal, but surgical correction of the deformity may be the only answer - your Vet will advise you.


- Not specific to the Basset Hound.

This condition, is the turning out of the lower lid, with the exposure of the conjunctiva. Again, depending upon the severity and your vet's advice, surgical correction may be the answer.

(The conditions of Entropion and Ectropion are very, very, rarely seen in Bassets bred for the ‘show ring’.)

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