According to the American Kennel Club, the Beagle is the fifth most popular purebred dog in America. This English breed is a smaller version of the foxhound. Beagles make great pets because they are mellow, friendly with people and highly intelligent. However, they can be prone to some serious health problems.
According to "The Veterinarians' Guide to Your Dog's Symptoms," beagles are prone to becoming bald all over (alopecia universalis), to sensitive skin and to having loose skin that gets easily injured (Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.)
The National Beagle Club of America points out that beagles are prone to cataracts, glaucoma, progressive renal atrophy, blocked tear ducts, optic nerve hypoplasia (where one eye is too small for the socket), and inverted eyelids (entroption).
Beagles can have some circulation problems, including heart defects, problems with the blood not clotting, anaemia, and dilated cardiomyopathy. Since beagles have such a huge appetite, it's important that they do not get fat, or these conditions could be aggravated.
Beagles can also suffer from spina bifida, epilepsy, narcolepsy, brain tumours, vestibular disease, and hound ataxia (a coordination problem of the hindquarters that only affects hounds like beagles).
Beagles have a strong "doggy" odour and shed a lot more than some other breeds of dog. This is normal for the breed.