Springer Spaniel Information: Health
The English Springer Spaniel is a generally healthy dog of cheerful, and at times excitable, disposition. A century ago, Cocker and Springer Spaniels came from the same litter of puppies, although they are distinct breeds now. The English Springer Spaniel is prone to many of the usual canine ailments, including retinal atrophy and hip dysplasia. The dog is also susceptible to phosphofructokinase deficiency and, very rarely, to rage syndrome. The English Springer Spaniel lives 12 to 14 years.
Primary Health Conditions of the English Springer Spaniel
This breed of dogs is one that can develop a hereditary condition known as phosphofructokinase deficiency, or PFK. In this condition, the cells cannot metabolize sugar into energy the dog can use, and the Spaniel will become weak and sluggish, and may appear jaundiced. Since affected dogs will always pass on the condition to their puppies, all dogs of this breed should be tested before breeding. Other hereditary diseases of the breed include hip dysplasia, an instability in the hip joints; and progressive retinal atrophy, a degeneration of the retina resulting in sight loss. The first is treatable by surgery while the second has no cure. Careful breeding is necessary.
Secondary Health Conditions of the English Springer Spaniel
As with many dogs with long, floppy ears, the English Springer Spaniel is prone to ear infections, whether by bacteria, mites, or yeasts. The shape of the ear prevents air circulation and provides a warm, moist environment ideal for infection. Weekly cleaning is indicated in this breed. An extremely rare condition known as rage syndrome has been observed in show lines of the English Springer Spaniel. With this condition, the dog can suddenly attack, often without provocation of any kind. The rage is short lived and afterward the dog appears not to remember its behavior. Treatment is experimental and appears to be highly dependent on the individual dog.
English Springer Spaniel Exercise and Walking Needs
The English Springer Spaniel is a lively dog and requires long walks and energetic play each day. That said, with adequate exercise the dog is an excellent house or even apartment dog. Since these dogs are a hunting and retrieving breed, they will enjoy chasing frisbees or balls. However, the English Springer Spaniel gains weight easily, so match food portions to exercise level.
English Springer Spaniel Nutritional Needs
The English Springer Spaniel is not particularly susceptible to allergies or gastric problems, so they generally take well to any high quality food. Be sure to adjust food portions as the dog gets older, or as activity drops, to avoid weight issues.
This information is for informational purposes only and is not meant as a substitute for the professional advice of, or diagnosis or treatment by, your veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard or delay seeking professional advice due to what you may have read on our website.