This week’s health is Musladin-Lueke Syndrome (MLS).

Please be aware that the following information is designed to be informative only.  It not a medical or clinical paper, the sole purpose to allow you as a beagle owner or a prospective beagle owner the opportunity to be aware of health issues that could occur.  As always, it is recommended that you contact your vet and discuss any concerns that you have.  If you are looking to purchase a puppy, ask questions like: What genetic testing do you do?  Remember a genetic test is different from health testing puppies.

Musladin-Lueke Syndrome sometimes call Chinese Beagle Syndrome is a condition that results in several visible physical deformities. Beagles that have MLS can have other issues such as early arthritis and seizures.  The mutation stops normal formation of connective tissues and skin, this affects the gait and appearance of the dog.  The MLS gene can be identified by genetic testing, beagles that are affected should not be bred from.  If they are then all puppies in the litter will be affected.  A carrier will not show any symptoms, if bred from they will pass the condition onto their puppies, this is why it is it important to genetically test for MLS


Signs & Symptoms

A beagle with MLS maybe smaller in size than other beagles, you will notice that it will walk on its toes especially the front feet. When walking instead of putting the weight on the pad like a beagle without MLS only the tippy toe is on the ground.


This is illustrated by looking at the above illustrations.  The picture on the left clearly shows the beagle’s front legs are standing on tippy toes while the beagle on the left is using its full pad to stand.

Other symptoms to look for are the shape of head, very tight skin, eyes can be slanted, ear cartilage maybe folded and the front legs maybe crooked. It is important to remember that if your beagle is showing one sign for example folded ears it does not necessarily mean that they have MLS.


Once again compare the two pictures.  The picture on the left shows the flat skull in comparison to the rounded shape of the beagle on the left. The beagle on the left also has slightly elongated eye shape in comparison to the one on the left.


MLS is not fatal, depending on the severity affected Beagles may live a long life. There is a wide range of symptoms from very mild to severe and some beagles may also experience seizures.  If your beagle does have MLS they will require ongoing veterinary to maintain quality of life.


For those that are interested in the genetics of breeding look at Part 2.  A simple breakdown of how MLS can be bred out of beagles altogether is pictured.  As it is a single recessive gene it could and can be eradicated.


Contact Details

Beagle Club of N.S.W. Inc

[email protected]