Cocker spaniels are known for their beautiful, shiny and silky coats, which look and feel luxuriously soft. But owner of these dogs have to maintain a proper skin care regime and get regular checkups done as cocker spaniels are also prone to a variety of skin problems.
Some of the main cocker spaniel skin problems include ‘dermatitis’ and ‘seborrhea’. Primary seborrhea or ‘Primary Keratinization Disorder’ is caused due to over production of skin cells which also include oil cells known as sebaceous cells. The skin becomes excessively oily, greasy and lets off a foul smelling odor, proving to be a troublesome experience for both the dog and its owner. The areas which are most affected include the trunk, ears and the back and is usually accompanied by severe itching. Treatment usually consists of administering retinoids, which are basically Vitamin A derivatives. As most of the times primary seborrhea is associated with yeast infection, antifungal medication is also prescribed along with these retinoids. The veterinarian also prescribes using certain medicated shampoos and moisturizers.
Cocker spaniels are highly allergic to certain foods, natural and artificial sources and inhalants. Many of the cocker spaniel skin problems arise due to these allergies. Food allergies lead to excessive irritation and itching in the ears and feet and the skin appears to be red, swollen and bumpy. Hot flashes also appear at times. These allergies can be prevented by carefully monitoring the dog’s diet as well as following an elimination diet to rule out allergy causing foods. Allergies also manifest in the form of the dog’s coat getting flaky and oily and it gets covered with red rashes and lesions that tend to peel. Cocker spaniel skin problems also include yeast infections and ear infections.
Necessary precautions can be taken to ensure that your dog is getting sufficient care and it must also be given plenty of protein and omega fatty acids. While topical applications and prescribed medication will only get rid of the skin allergies temporarily, following the right kind of diet and avoiding foods like wheat, beef and soy to which cocker spaniels are mostly allergic, also helps keeping cocker spaniel skin problems at bay by eliminating the source of allergy. Allergies are also treated by including antihistamines.
The dog should be groomed and kept clean, using hypoallergenic shampoos and following strict flea control.
Often warts also occur due to the oily skin that cockers possess. These warts, unlike those of humans, are attached from the inside out and can only be removed through surgery. It can be an expensive procedure as cockers which get warts keep getting them again, but letting them be can also be an issue as they tend to enlarge and the dog may try to claw or bite them off leading to bleeding, pain and infection.
Most of the cocker spaniel skin problems are not a major source of worry and with the right medication and diet they can be treated in no time. What is important is that the owners must keep a tab on the dogs and keep a lookout for any signs of distress or any early symptom in order to nip the problem in the bud.