Recognizing and Managing Health Issues in Senior Beagles

Suzie Cyrenne
Authored by Suzie Cyrenne
Suzie is a Certified Homeopath and Co-Founder of Zumalka
, specializing in natural and holistic remedies for pets.
- Dec 15, 2023

If you're anything like most pet parents, chances are you are looking to give your much older Beagle a long and healthy life. You're not just aiming for a relatively normal life, but one that is free from serious health problems getting in the picture sooner or later.

We'd just like to emphasize as early as now that most Beagles in their senior years are more prone to health concerns compared to Beagle puppies and juvenile adults of the breed. Moreover, these concerns may be physiological and mental as well.


This article is meant as a comprehensive guide to senior Beagle health problems

This is the reason why we've put together this blog post as a comprehensive guide for pet owners as regards common Beagle health problems. You can also learn about the strategies you need to remember to keep your canine best friend clear of wellness issues.

So without further ado, how about we kick things off by having a quick overview of why these senior dogs are more susceptible to common Beagle health problems at this point in their lives?


A Happy and Healthy Life

Three dogs running aroundAlthough this may sound surprising, older Beagles are going through some very significant changes in their bodies regardless of how healthy they may appear. Besides experiencing a dip in their overall immune system health and metabolic rate, their bones, joints, and organs, among others, are also not as strong as they used to be.


The importance of proper care and attention

This is why pet parents should keep in mind that proper care and attention in crucial when it comes to senior Beagles. While these purebred dogs are considered as rather hardy compared to other breeds, they can still be at risk of common Beagle health issues in the long run.

These may include hair loss, cherry eye, ear infections, progressive retinal atrophy, hip dysplasia, unexpected weight loss or weight gain, exercise intolerance, intervertebral disc disease, as well as separation anxiety.


Allergies can get in the picture, too

Additionally, your older Beagle may also develop allergic reactions during his senior years. It is also possible that a certain genetic disorder or autoimmune disorder like a thyroid gland problem might become more prominent at this time. Tumors and cancers could also get in the picture.

Don't worry because we've dedicated a separate section about these health problems to walk you through what you need to know about them.


Why Your Senior Beagle is Much Prone to Health Issues

Dog staring at the cameraAs we pointed out earlier, the changes in your older Beagle's body can result in health problems. His immune response may get weaker and his body's ability to heal and rejuvenate can also be disrupted during his beyond adult years.

This is why immediate and proper attention should be provided even to the most minor health issue that affects Beagles. You should seek veterinary care or consult with a pet homeopathy expert as soon as possible when you notice the same.


Health issues can get serious before you know it

Always remember that there is the possibility that a minor health concern can progress into serious problems before you know it. While the average lifespan of a Beagle is between twelve (12) to fifteen (15) years, overlooking slight wellness issues can unexpectedly have a significant effect on your pet's life expectancy.


Senior Beagles can be prone to a lot of wellness problems

Apart from common Beagle health problems like having to deal with an ear infection, things can get tricky when your pet has an inherited disease or already suffers from underlying health conditions. Reaching out to a professional will allow you to discuss treatment options right away.

Now we've got that covered, let's check out the key factors that can have a big effect on your senior Beagle's overall health...


Key Factors That Significantly Affect Your Senior Beagle's Health

Woman petting her beagle dogJust like in other pets (and other breeds of dogs), some factors come into play when it comes to disease and illness in senior Beagles. And you can easily integrate them into your home pet care checklist, too.

Save for a genetic disorder (such as Beagle dwarfism) or a hereditary health issue, problems like ear infections and cherry eye always stem from some preventable reason. We've highlighted these factors below so you can take note of them:


1. Proper nutrition

Maintaining a healthy weight is a must in older Beagles. Aside from preventing unexpected weight gain or weight loss, this also stresses the importance of a proper diet in terms of rearing your beyond adult canine companion.

The importance of boosting immunity

However, there is the possibility that your senior dog will need daily supplements to keep him in tiptop shape. We highly recommend going for premium natural varieties that help boost his overall immune system health or keep his bones and joints healthy.


2. Regular exercise

Sure Beagles may already be wonderful pets, but did you know that they were originally bred to be hunting hounds? This is why they can be more active and frisky compared to other dogs. They can also engage in physical activities like fetch, tag and similar activities for a longer time compared to most dogs.

Exercise is not just about getting physical

Having a regular workout plan for your senior Beagle not just ensures that he's getting the right amount of physical stimulation, but mental stimulation as well. The lack of mental stimulation can lead to issues like very high levels of stress, separation anxiety, and even dog depression in some cases.

Depending on the age and overall health status of your older dog, at least an hour of low-impact exercise each day will already suffice.


3. Thorough health monitoring at home

If we're being honest, some pet parents tend to be more "lenient" as regards checking their beyond adult Beagles for health dilemmas compared to a Beagle puppy or younger adults of the breed. Sure your dog may be older, but he will still be prone to disease and illness if he's not getting the proper care and attention he deserves.

Being thorough counts a lot

We'd just like to highlight checking on commonly overlooked areas like your dog's ears. Unlike other breeds, Beagles have floppy ears that can be at risk of ear infections if not thoroughly checked regularly. Affected dogs may even be at risk of long-term ear infections if this is disregarded.


4. Maintaining a safe and comfortable living environment

Aside from proper nutrition and exercise, your senior Beagle's environment also plays an important role in his health and fitness. It is where your pet spends most of his time and the safety and comfort of the same can either make or break his overall wellness.

Keep harsh chemicals out of your senior Beagle's reach

On a related note, make it a point to properly store household chemicals that may be toxic to your canine companion like bleaches, drain cleaners, turpentine, and antifreeze, among others, so he won't inadvertently get to them.

The National Beagle Club considers these chemicals as among those that can lead to emergencies when these dogs are concerned. This also applies to other pets like cats who can be quite inquisitive at times.


5. Regular veterinary check-ups

While we at Zumalka promote the importance of choosing natural options when it comes to keeping your Beagle's wellness ideal, we also consider the need for regularly dropping by your vet's clinic for routine check-ups and examinations.

Early detection means early treatment

Doing so helps you have an idea of the potential or existing health concerns that your senior Beagle may be going through. Detecting them early greatly increases the success rate of treatment, particularly in the case of cancer in dogs.

While this may be anything from "common" issues like cherry eye, chronic skin disorders, and ear infections, it could also be an opportunity to diagnose more serious concerns such as heart disease, hip dysplasia, Lyme disease, a genetic condition like idiopathic epilepsy, or perhaps brain tumor.


6. A consistent bonding schedule

What's interesting about having a consistent bonding time with your golden-aged Beagle is that it greatly curbs feelings of fear, loneliness, and separation. Apart from making you emotionally closer to your dog, this will also keep destructive behavior in check.

For the next part of our discussion, we'll walk you through the usual signs that your older dog is going through a health issue...


Indicators of Common Beagle Health Problems

Dog sniffing a plantBefore we move on to the symptoms of health problems in senior Beagles, we'd just like to point out that these dogs have a knack for hiding their pain and discomfort. Unless the health issue concerned is rather obvious, you will need to give them a thorough examination to determine the presence of any disease or illness.

Bonding as a way to check for disease and illness

This is the reason why having a consistent bonding schedule should be on your checklist since you can this as an opportunity to check for any suspicious nicks, lumps, bald patches, bleeding, and similar signs of sickness.

Symptoms of senior Beagle health problems

With that said, the following are the common indicators of health problems in senior Beagles:

  • Sudden changes in appetite

  • Weakening of the limbs, especially the hind legs (could be a sign of hip dysplasia)

  • Difficulty in breathing or persistent rapid breathing

  • Sudden weight loss or weight gain

  • Sensitive skin (usually accompanied by hair loss in some areas)

  • Persistent reddening of the eyes (like in the case of cherry eye)

  • Unexpected changes in bathroom habits

  • Disorientation and confusion (a possible indicator of allergic reactions to certain medications)

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Persistent scratching and pawing at a certain body part (may also be in the case of cherry eye)

  • Unexpected signs of bleeding (could be a sign of a bleeding disorder)

This list is not exclusive, and you could observe other signs of disease and illness in your senior Beagle. However, as we've stressed earlier, make sure you immediately reach out to a vet or a pet wellness professional to appropriately plan out your next steps.


11 Common Health Issues in Senior Beagles

senior beagle dog sittingBelow you will find the usual health concerns that will affect your Beagle during his senior years. While this may sound repetitive, you must deal with the issue as soon as possible to avoid even more serious issues in the long run:

#1: Hearing and vision problems

As previously highlighted, your beyond adult Beagle's body significantly loses its ability to heal and rejuvenate when he gets much older. This can lead to wellness problems like general vision deterioration due to glaucoma, cataracts, and corneal damage. Hearing loss may also be set off because of this reason.

#2: Thyroid gland issues

Another major change in your dog's body when he reaches his senior years is a disruption in the activity of his thyroid gland. This can either result in hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. The former is indicated by an overactive thyroid that abnormally increases metabolism.

On the other hand, hypothyroidism is characterized by a very sluggish metabolism. Older dogs that have this health problem are usually prone to obesity and difficulty regulating their body temperatures, particularly during cold weather.

Your canine best friend might be required to take a daily thyroid hormone supplement when this health issue pops up.

#3: Cancer

While cancer may not be considered as a "common" disease in dogs, the risk of being afflicted with the same becomes so much higher among senior canine citizens. This is especially for golden-aged Beagles whose immune system responses are not ideally maintained early on.

Additionally, the most common cancers in dogs include fibrosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma, bone cancer, melanoma, and lymphoma. Although all dogs may be prone to cancers and tumors, it is crucial to remember that boosting overall immunity can help curb these serious health concerns.

#4: Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD)

The significant changes taking place in the body of your senior pooch can also lead to mental health problems like canine cognitive dysfunction or CCD. It is quite similar to dementia and is often indicated by sudden changes in the sleep-wake cycle, behavior, bathroom, and feeding habits, as well as preferences in activities and socialization.

We'd just like to stress that besides giving your dog a physical workout, making sure you provide him with adequate mental stimulation is also important to avoid this issue in the long run. Making use of puzzle toys and similar recreational items can help a lot to pull this off.

#5: Dental and oral health problems

A lot of issues concerning oral and dental health can manifest when your Beagle gets much older. Although these can be partly attributed to the deterioration and potential brittleness of the teeth, it is also possible that your canine companion isn't getting the right amount of oral and dental hygiene that he needs.

Cleaning and brushing your dog's teeth at least twice a day is important when it comes to oral hygiene. This is to get rid of any food debris that may have gotten stuck in between his teeth, gums and the underside of the tongue.

Additionally, we'd like to point out that it is important to only use a dog-specific toothbrush, toothpaste, and similar products when doing this to avoid unwanted issues taking place before you know it.

#6: Issues with bone and joint wellness

Problems concerning the joints and bones can manifest during your dog's senior years. These can be anything from arthritis and soreness in the ligaments to general joint wear and tear, which can have a huge impact on your pet's overall mobility.

However, your beyond adult Beagle may also show prominent signs of hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia during this time as well. Your veterinarian or pet wellness expert may recommend having physical therapy to fix this problem.

#7: Heart disease

Another common Beagle health condition when your dog gets much older is heart disease. While no exact reason is pinpointed to set off this problem, the lack of proper nutrition, regular exercise, and genetic disposition are deemed as potential factors for the same.

Intolerance for exercise, persistent coughing, and extreme lethargy are the usual indicators of cardiovascular disease in dogs. Should you notice these symptoms, we highly recommend getting in touch with your vet or pet homeopathy professional right away.

#8: Diabetes

What's alarming about diabetes is it can be triggered by the physiological changes happening in your older dog's body during his golden years. One of the biggest factors to take note of is the slowing down of his metabolism, which can result in obesity sooner or later.

Moreover, a very prominent symptom of canine diabetes is the sudden intake of excessive amounts of water. Your senior Beagle can also have cloudy eyes and an unexpected increase in appetite without gaining weight during this time.

#9: Obesity

While we've already mentioned this previously, obesity is a very common problem in aging Beagles. Apart from being a risk factor for heart disease, this condition may also set off other wellness issues like urinary bladder stones, accelerated degeneration of joints and ligaments, osteoarthritis, and even cancer in some cases.

Again, we'd just like to highlight that the lack of ideal nutrition and regular workouts can increase your pet's susceptibility to obesity. An exercise session at least one hour each day can already help keep your senior Beagle in shape.

#10: Kidney and liver disease

Liver and kidney function can significantly decline when your pooch reaches his golden years. This can set off issues that concern the elimination of waste and toxins from the body. Kidney stones can also be present in some affected Beagles.

Making sure you have a general detoxification kit in your home pet care checklist is a smart way to help keep these health problems in check.

#11: Ear infections — Beagles

Beagles have floppy ears that can be prone to infections if you're not very careful. These are usually indicated by a bad odor coming from the ears, head shaking and tilting, the presence of scabs, as well as discharge, among others.

This is the reason why every Beagle parent should know how to prevent ear infections, especially when their dog is already much older.


A Premium Natural Product for Your Older Beagle's Floppy Ears

Beagle dog sitting on the grassSpeaking of preventing ear infections in senior Beagles, our EAR CARE - OPTIMAL is designed to support overall ear health and comfort, while also maintaining optimum immune system health in the process.

EAR CARE - OPTIMAL is made from premium natural ingredients and will not prevent any adverse side effects compared to conventional oral medications and similar products. If you're looking to make your pet more resilient against ear infections or perhaps deal with these issues using a more gentle approach, this product is one you should consider.


About the author

Suzie Cyrenne
Suzie Cyrenne


Suzie Cyrenne has dedicated more than 20 years of her life in making and improving natural animal health solutions in the global setting.

Being the co-founder of Zumalka, Suzie is a forerunner in enhancing the lives of pets through natural and homeopathic options using the knowledge she has gained from the Classical Homeopathy School in Quebec.

Through the guidance of her mother-in-law and fellow natural health expert, Denyse Lessard, Suzie constantly devotes herself to create premium pet products that are aimed at dealing with the root causes of wellness problems and not just their symptoms.

Besides immersing herself in books, personal development and visiting new places, Suzie also enjoys keeping herself in tiptop shape by snowboarding and taking daily hikes with her husband and Zumalka co-founder, Matt Lessard, and their Golden-Doodle, Westin.

Find out more about Suzie when you click HERE.

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