What is The Daily Drool?
Back in May of 1995, I brought home my first basset hound at the age of 9 weeks, 'Caruso. I needed answers to lots of questions - from what to chew on, to the best way to clean ears, how to housetrain and medical questions. At the time, there were virtually no online sources, so I started my own - The Daily Drool. It began as a very small discussion list among 7 AOL members and has since grown to over 3000 internet users world wide. Although I ceased to adminster the Daily Drool mail list in 2005, (the mail list portion of The Daily Drool is now maintained by a group of administrators) I choose instead, to continue to run the website, inform and hopefully entertain basset hound enthusiasts who stop by.
Why a Basset?
They can howl, they drool, they are stubborn at times, they have nails that are difficult to trim, they need their wrinkles and ears cleaned regularly. They are scent hounds and because they follow their noses, they are not often dependable off leash. Why do we love them like we do?
Bassets are extremely lovable, loyal, and gentle, often wonderful with children and being pack-oriented, enjoy being around other dogs and cats. They are big dogs on short legs and their soulful eyes and velvety ears win our hearts and soothe our souls.
Basset Hound Health Conditions
- Von Willebrands
The technical name is Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) and it is prevalent in deep chested breeds, like the basset hound. It is the second leading killer in dogs next to cancer. It is life threatening, comes on quickly, and requires immediate veterinary treatment, often emergency surgery, to save the hound. Call ahead and let them know you are bringing in a bloat case so they can be fully ready when you arrive.
What is it? Bloating of the stomach is often related to swallowed air (although food and fluid can also be present). It usually happens when there's an abnormal accumulation of air, fluid, and/or foam in the stomach ("gastric dilatation"). Stress can be a contributing factor also. Bloat can occur with or without "volvulus" (twisting). As the stomach swells, it may rotate 90° to 360°, twisting between its fixed attachments at the esophagus (food tube) and at the duodenum (the upper intestine). The twisting stomach traps air, food, and water in the stomach. The bloated stomach obstructs veins in the abdomen, leading to low blood pressure, shock, and damage to internal organs. The combined effect can quickly kill a dog.
Symptoms: If you even suspect your basset may be bloating - get to an emergency vet immediately
to vomit (usually unsuccessful); may occur every 5-20 minutes (One
of the most common symptoms)
• Doesn't act like usual self
(Perhaps the earliest warning sign & may be the only sign that almost always occurs)
• Significant anxiety and restlessness
(One of the earliest warning signs and seems fairly typical)
• " Hunched up" or "roached up" appearance
(This seems to occur fairly frequently)
• Bloated abdomen that may feel tight (like a drum)
(Despite the term "bloat," many times this symptom never occurs or is not apparent)
• Pale or off-color gums
(Dark red in early stages, white or blue in later stages)
Lack of normal gurgling and digestive sounds in the tummy
(Many dog owners report this after putting their ear to their dog's tummy)
Heavy salivating or drooling
Foamy mucous around the lips, or vomiting foamy mucous
Licking the air
Seeking a hiding place
Looking at their side or other evidence of abdominal pain or discomfort
May refuse to lie down
May attempt to eat small stones and twigs
Heavy or rapid panting
Cold mouth membranes
Apparent weakness; unable to stand or has a spread-legged stance
Especially in advanced stage
Heart rate increases as bloating progresses
---> This information is not to be used as a substitute for veterinary care
Paneosteitis Sometimes referred to as "growing pains" or "pano", occurs as a rotating lameness, usually in puppies up to 18 months. Many veterinarians are not aware that this is prevalent in basset hounds and will sometimes misdiagnose it, often with costly and unneeded surgery options. Pano IS prevalent in basset hounds as we've seen many, many of our members' hounds diagnosed with this over the years.
The following is from the Basset Hound Faq by Judy Trenck:
Paneosteitis is an elusive ailment occasionally seen in young
Bassets. It is also known as wandering or transient lameness.
Attacks are usually brought on by stress and aggravated by activity,
and up to now, the cause and the cure are unknown. This mysterious
disease causes sudden lameness, but its greatest potential danger
may lie in false diagnosis, resulting in unnecessary surgery. A
puppy will typically outgrow it by the age of two with no long term
problems. It can be quite minor, or so bad that the dog will not
put any weight on the leg. Symptoms may be confused with "elbow
displasia", "hip displasia", "patellar luxation" and
serious disorders. The most definite way to diagnose paneosteitis
is radiographically. Even with this, signs can be quite minimal and
easily missed. As to treatment, no cure was found in experimental
tests and the only helpful thing found was relief for pain (aspirin,
cortisone, etc.) However, using these, the dog tends to exercise
more and thereby aggravate the condition. Note again: A GREAT MANY VETS
ARE UNAWARE OF THIS DISEASE IN THE BASSET .
In diagnosing the cause of a Basset's lameness, a radiograph of the forelimbs may indicate a condition called elbow incongruity. (Elbow incongruity is a poor fit between the 3 bones which comprise the elbow joint.) Studies to date indicate that elbow incongruity is normal in the Basset and is not the cause of the lameness. It is also suspected that many of the previously mentioned unnecessary (panosteitis) surgeries have been performed on Basset Pups just because radiographs that were taken showed elbow incongruity. A study on forelimb lameness in the Basset is currently underway at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. As previously mentioned they have determined that elbow incongruity occurs in the Basset but suspect that incongruity rarely causes the lameness. During the course of the study, conservative therapy will be recommended for all cases in which panosteitis appears to be the cause of the lameness. In cases with severe growth deformities or elbow pain associated with elbow incongruity, surgery may be recommended. If your Basset develops lameness and is diagnosed with an "elbow problem", discuss with your veterinarian the possibility of panosteitis.
What is it? Glaucoma
is increased pressure within the eye. Cells inside the eye produce a
clear fluid ("aqueous humor") that maintains the shape of the
eye and nourishes the tissues inside the eye. The balance of fluid production
and drainage is responsible for maintaining normal pressure within the
eye. In glaucoma, the drain becomes clogged but the eye keeps producing
fluid. Therefore, the pressure in the eye increases. The increased pressure
in the eye actually can cause the eye to stretch and enlarge. It is very prevalent in Basset Hounds.
There are actually two types of glaucoma; the hereditary type, Primary Glaucoma, is primarily the type that affects the Basset Hound. Primary Glaucoma usually begins in one eye, but almost always eventually involves both eyes, leading to complete blindness. It is extremely painful. This discomfort can result in decreased activity, less desire to play, irritability, or decreased appetite, and is often not apparent to the owner.
What are the signs?
The only way to know for sure if your pet has glaucoma is to have the intraocular pressures measured by a veterinarian. Signs of glaucoma can include a red or bloodshot eye and/or cloudy cornea. The 'third eyelid' - looking like a pink membrane, may be seen. Vision loss is also characteristic of glaucoma. However, loss of vision in one eye is often not obvious because animals compensate with their remaining eye. Eventually, the increased pressure will cause the eye to stretch and become enlarged. Unfortunately, eyes are usually permanently blind by the time they become enlarged.
If you suspect your Basset Hound has any eye
problem, he or she needs to see a veterinarian immediately. There is
a very small window for treatment time to try to save the sight. Any basset
hound should have regular ophthalmic examinations. Glaucoma can cause blindness
our best efforts. A high level of commitment to treatment and regular ophthalmic
examinations is required to have the best chance of preserving vision. If your
basset is diagnosed with primary glaucoma, please notify the dog's breeder
so it is no longer spread through the lines.
If your basset has already lost one eye to Primary Glaucoma and the other eye is at risk of developing glaucoma: The median time until an attack occurs in the other eye is 8 months. Prophylactic medical therapy for the remaining eye delays the onset of glaucoma from a median of 8 months to a median of 31 months.
What is it? Von Willebrand’s
disease (vWD) is the most common inherited bleeding disorder in dogs.
Although dogs of any breed (even mixed breeds) can have vWD, certain
breeds are more prone to it than others, including the Basset Hound.
In a healthy dog, when a blood vessel is damaged, blood platelets or thrombocytes quickly adhere to the damaged blood-vessel lining (endothelium), creating a temporary plug and slowing blood loss. Simultaneously, the endothelium releases an enzyme that activates clotting factors circulating in the blood, which, in turn, form fibrin - a strand-like material that wraps around the platelet plug to produce a sturdy and permanent clot. Von Willebrand factor (vWF) is a protein that helps platelets adhere to the endothelium and may also improve clot formation. Dogs with vWD have abnormally low levels of vWF, so the initial plug is slow to form. A vWD puppy’s gums may bleed while it’s teething, and a vWD dog may have spontaneous nosebleeds and blood in its stool. Affected dogs may also have prolonged bleeding from small or superficial wounds like excessive bleeding when a nail is cut too short. Excessive bleeding can lead to anemia, shock, and (if untreated) death.
If you suspect your basset may have this, veterinarians have a new blood test that measures very small and very large amounts of vWF with greater accuracy (and in less time) than the old test. Accurately measuring vWF helps predict if a dog will be affected by vWD or will merely be a carrier - unaffected by the disease but with the potential to pass along the defect to its offspring.