What is normal?
Looking at your Basset Hound you will see slightly sunken eyes with sagging lower eyelids which is standard for this breed of dog. Basset Hounds are predisposed to more visible eye hawes, otherwise known as the third eyelid or in dog anatomy terms, the nictitating membrane. In most dog breeds, the haw is unseen at the inner corner of the eye but a Basset Hound’s eye structure typically shows a more obvious third eyelid. Throughout the varying breeds and sizes of canines this covering layers is the same but will vary in coloring ranging from clear to cloudy and some with a few dark splotches. All dogs have third eyelids which along with the upper and lower eyelids and tears are the protective features of the eyes. Healthy eyes should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. The pupils should be equal in size and there shouldn’t be tearing, discharge or any crust in the corners of his eyes.
Signs of trouble
- Discharge & crusty gunk
- Red or white eyelid linings
- Tear-stained fur
- Closed eye(s)
- Cloudiness or change in eye color
- Visible third eyelid (more so than usual)
- Unequal pupil sizes
If any of these symptoms persist, a trip to the veterinarian would be in order as they can be indicative of any one of the Basset Hound prone conditions which include:
- Entropian: a rolling inward of the eyelids causing the eyelashes to brush the eyeball causing pain, tearing and discharge.
- Ectropian: or turning out of the eyelids, a catch-all for foreign particles to cause irritation and damage.
- Primary glaucoma: is a heightened visceral pressure of the eye due to a blockage of eye fluid. Vision loss and retinal damage can result from the increase in eyeball size.
- Dermoid cysts: inherited imperfections on the eyeball that bear resemblance to skin, can grow hair and cause eye aggravation.
- Ulcerative keratitis: very painful with sensitivity to light and visual stimuli due to corneal ulcers penetrating one or all thicknesses of the cornea which causes swelling and degeneration
- Nictitans gland protrusion: bulging of the gland inside the third eyelid otherwise known as cherry eye. Exposure of this gland causes swelling and irritation that looks like a cherry.
Caring for your sweet Basset Hound’s eyes starts with looking at them in a clear bright light which is something we Basset Hound owners never seem to get enough of. The more often we observe them the sooner we detect early symptoms resulting in a more successful treatment.