Excerpts from owners of beagles with Chinese Beagle Syndrome

It's a tricky disorder and unfortunately no one knows much about it.    So I will tell you what I have
learned from my dear beagle.  She is about 14 months old.  She is spunky, a  great snuggler, super sweet and sometimes naughty, but always quick to  repent!  She is intelligent and learns tricks quickly.  She is a red and  white beagle with what the breeders call CBS.  All that said, my vet's  office does not really believe in CBS, but they do agree that something is  wrong with her and one vet in particular has been diligent to find out what  it is.  They believe it is something with her nervous system. They have  looked at her often (she has to have her nails cut every 10 days).  This one vet even took a video of her to her professor at Cornell Veterinary School.  He shows it to interns on  their rounds.  He does not know what it is, but has requested her body once she passes away.  I won't dwell on that thought.

Her first signs where her eyes seemed far apart and she walked on her toes.  She sort of grew into her eyes, but still walks on her toes.  Her feet are extremely sensitive and she will not let me touch them.  She has huge calluses on her middle front toes and at one point she ruptured her toenail.  She is very prone to infection which we learned because the toe got infected after the nail ruptured and her stitches got infected after she was spayed.  She also has an unusual pancreas and I found out the hard way that berries make her tummy very upset.  So she is completely off people food except for baby carrots and the occasional homemade doggie cookie. Yes, I am a bit fanatical about my two dogs...

On the outside, she looks like a ballerina dog that is a bit smaller than a  13 inch beagle.  On the inside, her ovaries are removed because one was the size of a 1 year olds (she was 6 months) and the other was small and shriveled.  Her spleen is paper thin and kept splitting during her spay. They were finally able to stitch it up and she hasn't had any problems.  She gets tired easily, but recharges quickly. If she lays on a slightly hard surface, she gets up with no problems.  If she lays for a while on a cushiony surface, her back left leg hurts her and she gimps around until it straightens out.  It's almost like it goes to sleep.  She takes glucosamine that I got from the vet every day.  She lost a little weight when she was sick and she now moves around much better.  I have her on low-fat Bil-Jac and she gets to eat enough and keeps the weight off.  She is actually jumping up now which she didn't do with the extra pounds.  If they walk on their toes, it is especially important to keep them thin.

From months 6-12 I was very nervous about her health and didn't think she'd make it for long.  She has plateaued and I am optimistic that she'll be with us longer that I thought.  I just try to love her as best as I can and make sure she is happy.  She still has to follow the rules and she gets along very well with her "brother" .


Our puppy was purchased at a pet store - very small room,  two chairs, two kids, puppy who had been in a cage for sometime running around - we never saw that she walked on her tippy toes until about an hour after we were home.  Made an appointment with our Vet for Monday.  My husband stayed home Monday to go to the Vets.  Vet had no idea about her condition and referred us to a specialist.  Specialist was on vacation couldn't get an appointment for 2 weeks.  On Tuesday when my husband returned to work there was an email from the National Beagle Club (whom we had contact for information about beagles and sent them a picture of our beagle) waiting for him.  They wanted to know how the puppy made it to a Pet Store since from her picture it looked like she was a CBS puppy - and that's when our search for information began.  I must have called a hundred vets and vet hospitals in our area. and no one heard of CBS.

 We finally saw the specialist whose diagnosis was "congenital degenerative neuromuscular disease wherein impulses from the brain either are misdirected or die on their way to the nerves and muscles in the legs".  Bones in legs were normal.  Come back after she's a year old.  Don't get me wrong, all of the vets who have seen her have been wonderful and in my head I know they simply have no answers, but my heart wants them.

She is sweet, docile, most definitely loves to snuggle and smart.  She is also spunky (we call it beagling in our house).  She loves playing with the kids and her best friend,  a 4 year old Lab that lives next door.

Her center toes are also callused and her toes nails have been ground down to nubs. My main concerns for her now are that her right front paw is more increasingly turning under so that she is actually walking on top of the paw. Also, more and more frequently her back legs go out from under her, the best way I can describe it is that it looks like she kneeling. I think it may be some kind of seizure because it's not something she comes right out of - she'll stay like that for seconds and if you call her it appears she can't move.  She has not been housebroken and I don't think she every will be.  She will urinate 10/12 time a day and some days 6/8 bowel movements. We're beginning to believe she just physically can't hold herself, so the rugs are going, we'll put down pergo floors and keep a wee-wee pad for her. She appears most stiff when waking up but at this point moves around well, very well when playing with the kids, and, she prefers soft  places to lay.  She has severe tremors when sleeping, I know dogs twitch and jump in their sleep at times, but she has them almost constantly in her sleep and I don't know how it doesn't wake her up. She has to work at sitting down, if she does a quick sit there is about 2 inches between her bottom and the floor, once she gets her legs out to the side she sits all the way. She jumps with no problem but can't walk down stairs.  I have to stress everyday to the kids that we have to keep her weight down - they can't be sneaking her snacks - not matter how cute she looks. So far that hasn't been a problem.