The English cocker spaniel is one of the most popular dogs in the United Kingdom and while it was originally bred for the purposes of hunting as a sport, its popularity in shows has also gained considerable credence over the years.
The life expectancy of this particular breed is 12 to 14 years and though it is generally a healthy breed, there are certain English cocker spaniel health problems that need to be taken into account before one considers buying or adopting, so as to be well prepared in a more efficient manner as to either prevent them or deal with them in a well informed way.
There are cases of congenital deafness in English Cocker spaniels and certain ear infections. Problems also occur when there is insufficient supply of blood to the inner ear. Deafness usually results in puppies that are between four and six weeks of age. Constant tilting of the head, not responding to loud noises and problems with training are all symptoms of this problem.
Cocker Spaniels seem to have a predisposition for hypothyroidism problem. This English cocker spaniel health problem arises due to insufficient production of the thyroid hormone that regulates metabolism in the body. Problems also include autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) in which the immune system attacks the blood cells. Symptoms include pale complexion of the gums, fatigue, a swollen abdomen due to an enlarged liver and sometimes jaundice.
Food allergies are another common English cocker spaniel problem. These dogs can suffer from allergies to food, pollen, dust mites and inhalants. It is important to keep a tab on the various domestic and external sources that may lead to the allergies, which manifest in the form of skin problems and gastrointestinal problems.
English cocker spaniels also tend to suffer from eye problems, the most severe of them being glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy and cataracts. Minor problems include cherry eye problem, Distichiasis and conjunctivitis. Symptoms can vary from problem to problem, including pain and sensitivity to light, red eyes, protruding eye balls, pink eye, swelling and redness of the eye lids.
There are some uncommon English cocker spaniel health problems including epilepsy or seizure disorder and hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is an abnormal formation of the hip joint which is the most common cause of canine arthritis in the hips.
These English Cocker Spaniel health problems should not deter a prospective owner from desiring to own an English cocker spaniel as a pet. There are chances that one may never really encounter a serious problem. One can’t simply presume that the Cocker spaniel will suffer from all of the above!
In order to make sure that these dogs stay clear of these problems and other common dog problems, it is important to groom them well and have regular checkups at a veterinarian’s office. Serious health issues can occur when little problems go unnoticed. Providing for a balanced diet and giving them regular exercise is also a good way to help prevent any potential hazards and health risks.