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Do Beagles Have Eye Problems?

At A Glance

Beagles are such cheerful, lively creatures that it’s hard to tell if they’re ever in pain or down with something. A Beagle’s eyes are particularly sensitive and susceptible to many conditions, some of which are contracted, some developed due to environmental factors, and some inherited. To prevent the worst, it’s important to be able to recognize these conditions in their early developmental phases and get the necessary treatment.

Last Updated on: Mar 17, 2022

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Beagles are known for their cheerful, affectionate personality and astute sense of smell. They’re also wonderful with children and arguably the most energetic breed on the planet. However, like all animals, Beagles are susceptible to common diseases and hereditary conditions that exist due to their physiology.

Although they’re generally healthy, Beagles are known to develop eyes, ears, or skin problems. Now, If you’re worried that your Beagle is having eye problems, it’s time to learn about the different eye conditions or problems that can affect your beagle. Remember, vigilance is key when it comes to looking after your pet’s health.

An image of a vet checking beagles eyes

Common Eye Problems in Beagles

Here is a list of chronic conditions that can affect your Beagle’s eyes.


Commonly known as “small eye”, Microphthalmia is a birth defect or condition that affects the eyes and causes them to appear smaller and undeveloped. It can also cause vision loss that can range from negligible to significant. With no known cure, the disease can only be managed with long-term treatment options.

Wondering are Beagles prone to blindness? Rare as it may be, yes. There are a lot of factors that can cause the development of “small eyes” in dogs. For instance, we have untreated infections, trauma, aging, medications, genetic or also systemic diseases.

If left unchecked, microphthalmia can cause a gradual loss of quality of your Beagle’s vision. The best precaution is watching out for the signs and taking your beagle to a vet for regular checkups.

Here are some of the signs and symptoms of microphthalmia and ocular dysgenesis:

  • Clumsy behavior
  • Anxiety
  • Bumping into things
  • Inability to locate food or personal artifacts
  • Loss of social behavior
  • Excessive drowsiness
  • Change in the appearance of eyes


This is a condition that causes complete or partial opacity in the lens of the eye, leading to severe vision impairment. It causes one to feel like they’re constantly looking through a frosted window or foggy pane.

Cataracts may be inherited, but it usually happens due to age or other conditions like diabetes.

As cataracts can take a long time to develop, they often tend to go undetected.

Some dog breeds like the Golden Retriever or the Cocker Spaniel are more likely to develop cataracts than other breeds. But make no mistake, it’s been known to affect the Beagles too.

Retinal Dysplasia

A condition that affects the retina’s development, retinal dysplasia primarily impairs a Beagle’s night vision. It is characterized by inner retinal thickening and the formation of tubular or rosette-like structures within the sensory retina. The lesions appear in the form of enlarged longitudinal collections, often close to the retinal vessels.

Fortunately, retinal dysplasia in beagles is rare and typically results due to inherited conditions rather than environmental factors. It doesn’t cause them any pain but will gradually reduce the power of your dog’s vision. In some cases, the disease can cause complete blindness


This refers to a group of eye conditions that have a combined effect on the optic nerve. The optic nerve has millions of nerve fibers that convey visual messages to the brain. Glaucoma causes an increase in ocular pressure, which damages the optic nerve and can result in gradual loss of vision.

Glaucoma in Beagles can be identified by a cloudy appearance to the pupils and sight impairment. The best course of action would be to book an appointment with a veterinary ophthalmologist. The vet will likely perform a procedure known as cyclocryotherapy. It’s a short non-invasive surgical procedure that mitigates the ocular pain and alleviates the symptoms associated with advanced glaucoma.

A close up image of a beagle


Commonly known as “pink eye”, conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the tissue that lies over the white part of the eye and inside the eyelids.

Conjunctivitis is a highly contagious condition and can spread from human to animal and vice versa through physical contact.

The condition can cause a watery or mucus-like discharge to come out of the eyes. And contact with this highly contaminated discharge makes it spread. It also tends to affect newborn pups more and needs to be treated immediately. The treatment can differ, depending on whether the cause is viral, bacterial, or allergies.


It is a common Beagle eye condition characterized by excessive production of eyelashes. The extra hair, in most cases, only causes mild discomfort. However, sometimes distichiasis may also lead to inflammation and retinal pain. If the condition escalates, surgery may be necessary to remove the afflicted part of the meibomian glands.

A close up image of a beagle

Why do Beagles Get Red and Watery Eyes?

Have you been wondering, why are my Beagle’s eyes watering? All of the chronic eye conditions listed above can be the root cause of red and/or watery eyes. And if you’re worried is it normal for beagles to have red eyes, well, apart from the major eye conditions mentioned here, there are other reasons why a beagle may have watery or red eyes.

Here are some of the possible causes:

  • Irritation due to airborne particles, contaminants, and other foreign bodies
  • Injury to the cornea from a small piece of debris, scratching, or altercation with another animal
  • High blood pressure
  • Allergies
  • A ruptured blood vessel in the eye
  • Cherry eye, a physical condition where the third eyelid located in the corner of the dog’s eye slips out of place

Care and Treatment for Your Beagle’s Eyes

The eyes are the most sensitive and vulnerable external organ of your dog’s body. It only stands to reason you shouldn’t attempt to treat any eye issues by yourself at home.

In other words, if you ever notice symptoms like redness, swelling, discharge, irritation, or impaired vision, make an appointment with your veterinary care professional or a specialist if required.

If you’re certain that your Beagle’s eye irritation is because of some debris caught in its eye and you want to prevent it from scratching, you can flush your Beagle’s eyes using a quality canine eye saline wash and a piece of sterilized gauze. It will help provide some much-needed relief.

An image of a beagle lying

When dealing with concerns regarding eye problems in your Beagle, it’s important to practice vigilance and alertness. Early detection is key to avoiding the condition from worsening. Hopefully, this article has given you enough insight to identify potential eye problems early on and get them treated as soon as possible.


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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.