What is normal?
When looking at your Basset Hound, you will see slightly sunken eyes with drooping lower lids, which is standard for this breed of dog. Basset Hounds are predisposed to more visible eyes, also known as the third eyelid or, in terms of the dog’s anatomy, the nictitating membrane. In most dog breeds, the haw is not seen in the inner corner of the eye, but the structure of a Basset Hound’s eye generally shows a more obvious third eyelid. In the different breeds and sizes of canines, these layers of coverage are the same, but vary in coloration ranging from light to cloudy and some with some dark spots. All dogs have third eyelids which, along with the upper and lower eyelids and the tears, are the protective characteristics of the eyes. Healthy eyes should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. The pupils should be the same size and there should be no tears, discharge, or scabs at the corners of the eyes.
Signs of trouble
- Crisp discharge and grime
- Red or white eyelid linings
- Tear stained skin
- Closed eyes)
- Cloudiness or change in eye color.
- Visible third eyelid (more than usual)
- Uneven pupil sizes
If any of these symptoms persist, a visit to the vet would be wise, as they may be indicative of any of the Basset Hound prone conditions, including:
- Entropiano: an inward twist of the eyelids that causes the eyelashes to rub against the eyeball causing pain, tearing, and discharge.
- Ectropian: or sticking out of the eyelids, a common place for foreign particles that can cause irritation and damage.
- Primary glaucoma: it is a high visceral pressure of the eye due to a blockage of the ocular fluid. Vision loss and retinal damage can result from an enlarged eyeball.
- Dermoid cysts: Inherited blemishes in the eyeball that resemble 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 of the thicknesses of the cornea, causing swelling and degeneration.
- Nictitans Glans Protrusion: bulging of the gland inside the third eyelid also known as cherry eye. Exposure of this gland causes swelling and irritation that looks like a cherry.
Taking care of your sweet Basset Hound’s eyes starts with looking at them in clear, bright light, something that Basset Hound owners can never seem to get enough of. The more often we observe them, the earlier we will detect the first symptoms, which will result in a more successful treatment.