Common Basset Hound Eye Problems Your Pet Might Have

One of the most distinctive features of a basset hound is its extra skin folds and wrinkles that give it a sad, droopy appearance. Whenever it looks at you, you can’t help but fall on your knees and give your pooch what it wants. But despite the uniqueness it provides, these extra skin can become a breeding ground for bacteria. That is why basset hound eye problems are common. Therefore, grooming is a crucial aspect to focus on.

The skin folds have crevices that collect moisture brought by sweat and oil from their skin. These are the places where bacteria can grow. If left alone, the bacteria can cause skin infections and may multiply until it affects vital organs like the eyes and ears.

Basset Hound Eye Problems

Basset Hound Eye Problems To Address


Cherry Eye

Unlike humans, animals have a third eyelid, an additional layer that protects their eye from foreign invaders. Cherry eye is a condition wherein the third eyelid, which is usually hidden at the inner corners of the eye, right where the tear ducts are, balloons out and creates a red bump. It eventually blocks the basset hound’s line of vision as it grows. Why cherry eye? The visible red bump can grow as huge as a cherry, although not as red. Signs and symptoms of this basset hound sight conditions are lethargy-the lump can grow painful as it takes over the space of the eyeball-and soreness in the surrounding skin of the inner corners of the eye. You may also notice that your basset hound scratches the infected eye a lot. If it becomes infected, the eye dries out, and it can be itchy and uncomfortable to your dog. Vets still cannot determine the cause of cherry eye, although they have treatments to remedy the problem. In the early stages, they usually prescribe an ointment to soothe the pain and reduce the swelling. Unfortunately, most cases often relapse.

If cherry eye is a one of the most common basset hound red eyes problem in your home, your vet may require surgery. Depending on the severity of the infection, your vet may either put the eyelid glands back in place or remove the gland altogether. The latter procedure may be useful in preventing cherry eye in the future. Unfortunately, it increases the chances of getting another one of the typical basset hound sight disorder called “dry eye” or keratoconjunctivitis, which is just as bad.

Entropian Eyelids

This basset hound vision problem is a medical condition wherein the eyelid rolls inward as the eyeball moves in its socket. This can be seen in either the upper and lower eyelid of one or both eyes. Entropian eyelids seem to be more common in dogs, particularly in dog breeds that have a flat face or muzzle. This doesn’t mean that this cannot be one of the basset hound sight condition as well. Because of the extra skin folds found right at the top of basset hound eyes, bacteria and other skin pathogens can seep into the eyeball as the lid rolls inward. This can cause irritation and eye infection. Signs and symptoms of this basset hound vision disorder may include constant shedding of tears (and not because of sadness, although you can’t really tell with basset hounds), a sudden discharge from the corners of the eye, excessive blinking due to irritation, and constant scratching at the affected area. If left untreated, entropion eyelids can cause damage and scarring to the cornea which can ultimately lead to blindness.

Like the cherry eye, basset hound vision infection such as this can only be solved with surgery. Vets can reshape the eyelids to remove the excess skin that continually rolls in. However, this procedure is only done to mature basset hounds. Eye ointments are prescribed to reduce any further damage brought by the entropian eyelid.

Ectropian Eyelids

basset hound eye infection

If entropion eyelids refer to the “rolling inward” motion, ectropian eyelids refer to the “rolling outward.” The exposed membrane of the eyelid brought by ectropion presents it from foreign substances in the air. Once the lid goes back to its original position (over the eye), these particles transfer to the eyeball, which can irritate and damage it over time. If you want to have firsthand experience as to how ectropian eyelids work, try folding your eyelid upward using your finger and nails to form the indent. After that, wait for a few minutes, then unfold the lid. Aside from the sudden coldness brought by the fact that you exposed the membrane to the outside temperature, your eye may also notice some dust particles and other foreign invaders. It may then produce enough tears to wash the dirt away.

Now, imagine your dog doing the same thing if it ever has this breed eye infection, but on a daily basis. Add the fact that ectropion also hinders the tear ducts from producing enough tears to keep the eyeball moisturized. This dog breed eye condition is just as dangerous as entropian eyelids. And like the latter, your vet may recommend corrective surgery to prevent further damage and save what’s remaining. Luckily, a routine checkup can easily reveal these two basset hound vision infections, so make sure that you keep your dog’s medical records updated yearly.

Dermoid Cysts

This type of dog eye problem is a type of tumor (non-cancerous) which spreads across the skin of a fetus. You can find it either on the back, neck, around the eyes, and reproductive organs. Although not that damaging compared to other basset hound sight diseases, relief for your dog is far off because it can be itchy. Once your pet succumbs to temptation, the cyst can eventually rupture, causing a pus-like fluid to flow. These non-cancerous tumors refill themselves even after popping, not to mention that they can become infected. Dermoid cysts are a congenital disability that can be passed on from the parent to the pups. To make sure that your dog does not get this basset hound vision disorder, only purchase this breed from a reputable breeder. Responsible kennel owners ensure that any genetic diseases are absent in their litter.

To treat this eye problem, some vets recommend surgery particularly if the cysts disrupt the dog’s daily activities. Despite this, there is still a chance that the tumor would refill. For this, vets prescribe some ointments to relieve the itchy feeling. In general, however, vets employ “benign neglect.” It means that they would have to leave the cysts as they are unless it causes discomfort the basset hound. After all, dermoid cysts are genetic; it would not go away no matter how many treatments you apply. What you can only do as an owner is to provide relief.

Ulcerative Keratitis

The cornea is a transparent cover in the pupil which is responsible for admitting light in the eye. Ulcerative keratitis, also known as corneal ulcer, happens when the corneal layers cloud over. This results in loss of vision. Although this condition is more common among flat-faced dog breeds, any dog can have it, even basset hounds. This basset hound vision infection can be caused by a variety of factors, which includes trauma, eye infection, and the inability of the tear ducts to produce tears, among others. It could also be a sign of an underlying disease. Symptoms aside from the distinct cloudy white film in the center of the eye may include itchiness, excessive tear and fluid discharge, sore eyes, and increased sensitivity when exposed to light.

Depending on the severity of the condition, your vet may require surgery to replace the cornea with a new one. He or she may also add preventive measures to keep your dog from scratching the infected area and worsen this basset hound vision infection. This includes prescribing medications that can stimulate the tear ducts to produce tears and providing contact lenses (Yes, dogs have one, too!) to prevent further irritation.

Glaucoma

The eye contains fluids, commonly known as aqueous humor, that helps it in doing its responsibility effectively. These fluids maintain a certain amount of pressure to keep the eyes rounded and functional. Once they have served their purpose, the aqueous humor eventually drains out of the eye. If the eye produces more amounts of aqueous humor than the amount it drains out, the pressure accumulates within the organ. In time, the optic nerves and retina would become worn out, which may lead to vision loss. Unlike other dog breed eye problems, glaucoma is a prevalent medical issue in this particular dog breed. It is a disease that can be passed on from the parent to the offspring. What’s worse about this basset hound glaucoma eye problem is the fact that it waits for the dog to reach two years before the symptoms show up. And once they do, the damage is already so detrimental. Signs and symptoms of glaucoma may include excessive scratching on the affected eye, constant squinting and blinking, and excessive tear production. You may also notice that their eyes are bulging out of their sockets and red veins are popping out prominently on the white part (sclera) of the eye. You may also see a cloudy film in the iris, which can be mistaken for corneal ulcer if not compared to the other symptoms.

Once you witness the first three signs mentioned, immediately seek your vet’s help. Time is of the essence when it comes to treating glaucoma. There are cases wherein some dogs experience rapid vision loss a few hours after the symptoms showed.

Tips on How To Take The Proper Care of Basset Hound Eyesight


Thankfully, most of the basset hound vision conditions mentioned here can be prevented through appropriate eye care. Here are some things you can do to avoid these medical conditions from harming your dog.

Basset Hound Eye Condition

  1. Don’t Neglect Your Basset Hound’s Grooming Habits

As previously mentioned, most of the foreign invaders that come into your basset hound’s eye can come from the bacteria that accumulated inside its skin folds. That is why aside from regular bathing and brushing of fur, you have to give your pet a daily sponge bath. You don’t need to prepare something fancy. Just rub a damp washcloth, towel, or sponge on your dog’s skin. Pay extra care and attention to the wrinkles and hidden crevices underneath all those skin folds, as these are the favorite places for bacteria to grow.

After the sponge bath, use a dry towel to remove the excess water that the skin did not absorb. This is an extra measure you need to do to prevent further bacteria accumulation.

  1. Use An Eye Solution To Clean The Eyes and The Skin Surrounding It

An eye solution further helps lubricate your eye and protect it from foreign particles from harming it. As you observed, most basset hound vision conditions mentioned above stemmed from the fact that the dog’s eye is constantly bombarded with outside substances. Check out our top recommendations below to know what would be the best eye solution for your dog.

  1. Memorize Your Basset Hound’s Features

Yes, that means being outright familiar with how many skin folds your basset hound has on the face, and how expressive its eyes can be. That way, you can spot any slight difference in their eyes (or any part of their body for that matter), and you can call for help immediately.

Our Top Recommendations For Eye Solution


As previously stated, eye solutions are there to give protection and add moisture to your dog’s eyes. Without it, your pet may experience the basset hound vision problems stated above.

  1. Veterycin Plus Anti-microbial Ophthalmic Gel

Veterycin Plus Anti-microbial Ophthalmic Gel

This product has gained an almost cult-like following in online marketplaces due to its efficacy in relieving symptoms of most eye problems while being relatively affordable. The gel promises to help soothe redness and irritation, not only caused by basset hound vision infections but also by basset hound allergies. It also aids in flushing away dirt and foreign particles that go into the eyeball. Finally, it removes the discharge that flows away from the eye. Yes, that includes the pus-like fluid from the ruptured dermoid cysts. For best results, most manufacturers recommend that you use it Veterycin Plus Eye Wash. This gel is safe enough to be used daily so make sure to add this product to your basset hound’s daily grooming routine. It is suitable enough for use on basset hounds at any stage of life. A special note once you start using this product: as much as possible, avoid contact between the nozzle and the eyeball as you put it in your dog’s eye. The lid in itself may contain bacteria that could transfer into the organ, which can contribute to a possible eye problem.

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  1. Arawa Pet Eye Wipes

Arawa Pet Eye Wipes

Okay, we know that lugging around a huge bottle of eye drops while walking your dog is not practical. Still, we justify it. After all, the outside world is filled with foreign substances and bacteria that could harm your dog’s eyes and cause your pet with eye problems. Thus, we need to keep them protected by bringing one along, right? Right? Again, not practical. For one, using eye drops excessively can do more harm than good. It can irritate your dog’s eyes, causing it to become itchier and more dried out. So we present you with an alternative: Arawa Pet Eye Wipes. Unlike eye drop bottles, these wipes are safe and effective in cleaning your dog’s eyes as soon as dirt settles in them. Plus, it is easier to carry around during your afternoon walks with your basset hound.

Arawa Pet Eye Wipes help remove tear stains, discharge, and crusts from sleep. Because it is in a “wipe” form, it is safe and gentle enough to be used more than once daily (unlike eye drops wherein you need only to put it once or else it can irritate the eye). Yes, even those basset hounds that have sensitive eyes and suffers from basset hound allergies can benefit from this product. Aside from that, these wipes can soothe itchy, dry eyes and reduce irritation. It is hypoallergenic, which means that even pups, pregnant and lactating basset hound moms, and senior dogs can use this product! It surely is a must-have item to prevent basset hound vision problems.

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A video of Cherry Eye In Dogs, by Veterinary Secrets

Final Eye-Dieu

Despite our recommendation, the best eye solution and eye care tip is the one that works best for your basset hound eye problems. Like humans, basset hounds are unique in their quirky ways. The best way to know which one you should employ is to do trial and error. And hopefully, your dog’s response would be positive.

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