Dedicated to the Health of the Basset Hound

The health and welfare of the Basset Hound is an important concern of the BHCA, its members, and the The Basset Hound Club of America Foundation (BHCAF).  The BHCA encourages research into issues which may sometimes occur in our breed.  It is the responsibility of the Health and Research Committee to bring new definitive information to the attention of the club and to help members understand the results of new research which comes available.


The Health and Research Committee provides up-to-date information on health concerns and best-care practices for the Basset Hound to BHCA members, Basset Hound Owners and to prospective Basset Buyers.  It also hopes to help reduce the risk of health issues by encouraging careful breeding practices.

Health Policy

The Health and Research Committee has developed a Health Policy in an effort to encourage best-care practices for the Basset Hound.  This policy is supported by the BHCA Board of Directors.  Reducing the risk of health issues in our breed is an important mission within the BHCA.

Glaucoma & Glaucoma Testing and 2018 Webinar

Glaucoma is a disease that results in progressive degeneration of the optic nerve and the retinal ganglion cells. Glaucoma is a common problem in many dog breeds, including the Basset Hound. In dogs glaucoma is often associated with very high intraocular pressure.

The genetic test for the less prevalent Primary Open Angle Glaucoma (POAG) is available below. However, there is currently no genetic test for the more prevalent, Primary Closed Angle Glaucoma (PCAG).

At the 2018 BHCA National Specialty, the Health and Research Committee made arrangements to present a webinar with experts discussing current research on Glaucoma.  Be sure to view the Webinar.

Thrombopathia Testing

Thrombopathia is a genetically inherited bleeding disorder in Basset Hounds characterized by the inability of platelets in the blood to assist with the clotting of wounds. A genetic test is available from Auburn University to determine whether a Basset is genetically clear of the disease, a genetic carrier, or genetically affected.

Lafora Disease

Lafora disease is a late-onset (5-7 years of age) inherited neurological disorder affecting a number of breeds including the Basset Hound. The disease is caused by a mutation which produces intracellular accumulation of abnormal glycogen (Lafora bodies). Symptoms are varied and include a characteristic quick and involuntary jerking of the head backward (myoclonus), jaw smacking, panic attacks, impaired vision, loss of balance, aggression and urinary incontinence. Symptoms can occur spontaneously or be triggered by sudden sounds or movements, or flashing/flickering light, and can progress to partial or generalized epileptic seizures. Diet and medication are thought to help in controlling seizures, but Lafora is ultimately fatal.

Dr. Berge Minassian of the University of Texas Southwestern is looking for Basset Hounds, and other breed dogs affected with Lafora disease for potential participation in an upcoming clinical trial. Affected dogs must be genetically confirmed to have Lafora disease, and must have symptoms of the disease.

If you are interested in enrolling a dog in the clinical trial, please contact Dr. Minassian directly at

Neogen/Paw Print Genetics has a cheek-swab test for the genetic mutation related to Lafora. Tests can be ordered from Paw Print Genetics at

BHCA videos explaining Lafora disease

  • Click here to view the Health Committee's Aug 25, 2022 Zoom meeting with Paw Print Genetics about Lafora disease.
  • Click here to view the Health Committee's Sep 20, 2022 Zoom meeting with Dr. Matt Gentry on how Lafora Disease develops and treatments being developed for Lafora disease.
  • Click here to view the Health Committee's Oct 13, 2023 Zoom meeting with Dr. Matt Gentry and Dr. Berge Minassian on progress in research on treatments to reduce symptoms of Lafora disease on both dogs and humans.

MPS1 (Mucopolysaccharidosis)

MPS1 was discovered in the Basset Hound in 2019. The disease typically results in early puppy mortality. The University of Missouri genetics lab identified and conducts the testing for the disease-causing mutation for MPS1. As of June 2022, 532 dogs have been tested and, of these, 7% were carriers and another 2%
were affected.

At this time, the test is available only on-line through the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and can be ordered at

Gastric Dilation – Volvulus (Bloat)

Bloat is a devastating twisting of the stomach that can quickly lead to hypovolemic shock and death and is a potential danger to Basset Hounds. Owners should be able to recognize its symptoms and diminish potential predisposing factors.

Dr. Guillaume L. Hoareau of the University of California, Davis, gave a presentation on the medical condition Gastric Dilation-Volvulus, commonly known as Bloat, during the 2015 BHCA Nationals in Sacramento. Dr. Hoareau has kindly provided BHCA with a PDF containing the images in his PowerPoint presentation.

BHCA Health Survey Results

In the spring of 2016, the Basset Hound Health Survey Committee launched an online survey of health conditions among Basset Hounds. Its purpose was to identify current health problems in the breed with the goal of shaping medical research priorities for the breed, to provide information to the Health Committee and Board that can be used to shape BHCA's Health Policy, and to provide educational materials for BHCA members and the public at large.

Health Links

The following Basset Hound Health links are provided for information purposes only and are not meant to replace advice and care from your Veterinarian. The Basset Hound Club of America, Inc. cannot give advice or answer questions about specific health issues or concerns. If you think your Basset Hound may have a health condition or might be sick, please contact your Veterinarian as soon as possible.

Preventative Care of your Basset Hound

Helpful information will be provided for members, breeders and the general public regarding measures they can take to be proactive in the care of their Basset Hound(s).