Basset Hound - Health Characteristics
Average lifespan of a Basset Hound is about 11 years, typical for purebred dogs and for breeds similar in size to Bassets. The oldest of the deceased dogs in a 2004 United Kingdom Kennel Club (UKC) survey was 16.7 years old. Leading causes of death were cancer, old age, Bloat, and cardiac issues.
Common Health Problems
Among 226 Basset Hounds in the 2004 UKC survey, the most common health issues noted by owners were dermatological, reproductive, musculoskeletal and gastrointestinal. Basset Hounds are also prone to glaucoma, luxating patella, thrombopathia, von Willebrand disease, hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia.
Excessive weight in a long-backed, short-legged dog exacerbates musculoskeletal issues. So watch a Basset's diet and carefully monitor its weight.
Because of the extremely long ears, Bassets are prone to ear disease. If their ears are allowed to dangle on the ground, or in food, they are capable of developing chronic, potentially fatal ear diseases.
Basset Hound owners should take particular note of the prevalence of gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV)- also known as bloat or torsion- because this emergency condition requires immediate veterinary care if the dog is to survive.