Cocker Spaniels : Dog Breed Health Issues [Facts]

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Cocker Spaniels are energetic canines who enjoy playing.

Because their tails are always wagging, they’re known as ‘happy’ dogs.

Cocker Spaniels have become popular family pets despite their origins as gun dogs.

Cockers are people-oriented dogs who like having companionship throughout the day.

They’re incredibly versatile and may live in either the city or the countryside as long as they have a safe and secure place to run around in (and have lots of playtime with their owner, of course).

Cocker Spaniels : Dog Breed Health Issues
Cocker Spaniels : Dog Breed Health Issues

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What are the issues that cocker Spaniels face?

Cocker Spaniels has many health issues.

  • Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the hip joint does not fit together properly, resulting in arthritis.
  • Allergies that cause itchy skin and ear infections are known as atopy.
  • Problems with the ears.
  • Eye issues, including inherited disorders for which BVA/KC testing is available.

Cocker Spaniels History

The American Cocker Spaniel is a loyal family member.

English Cocker Spaniel is a pleasant family companion and one of America’s favorite breeds.

The origins of the Cocker can be traced back to the mid 19th century where they were used to hunt woodcocks for hunters, for which they were named.

They prefers to lounge on the couch with her owners these days instead of hunting, but squirrels should still be on the lookout since she enjoys a good chase!

The coat is long and gorgeous, although it does require maintenance on a regular basis.

Cocker Spaniel has an average lifespan of 13 to 16 years.

The Health of Your Cocker Spaniel

We understand that you want to take good care of your dog because you love her so much.

That is why we have compiled a list of the health issues we will discuss with you throughout the life of your Cocker Spaniel.

We can create a preventative health strategy to look for and maybe prevent some predictable dangers if we know about health concerns specific to Cocker Spaniels.

The diseases we’ve mentioned herein have a considerable rate of prevalence and/or influence in this breed, according to canine genetic experts and veterinary practitioners.

We’ll go over the most prevalent problems with Cocker Spaniels so you know what to expect in the future.

Of course, we can’t cover every scenario here, so if you see any strange signs or symptoms, contact us at Prestige Animal Hospital right away.

Information on your Cocker Spaniel’s General Health

Dental Illness

By the age of two the dental disease is the most frequent in dogs.

Unfortunately, your Cocker Spaniel is more prone to develop dental issues than other dogs.

Tartar build-up on the teeth is the first sign of dental illness, which proceeds to inflammation of the gums and roots of the teeth.

Your friend may lose her teeth and be at risk of damage to her kidneys, liver, heart, and joints if we don’t prevent or treat dental disease.

Your Cocker Spaniel’s life expectancy could be reduced by one to three years!


Cocker Spaniels is prone to bacterial and viral illnesses.

Many of these infections can be avoided by vaccination, which we will advise based on her age, the diseases we find in our area, and other considerations.


Obesity in Cocker Spaniels can be a serious health issue.

It’s a dangerous condition that can lead to heart disease.

When she looks at you with those soulful eyes, it’s tempting to offer her food, but you can “love her to death” with leftover people food and doggie goodies.

Instead, hug her, clean her hair or teeth, play a game with her, or go on a stroll with her.

She’ll feel better, and you’ll feel better, too!


Worms and pests of all kinds can infest your Cocker Spaniel’s body, both inside and out especially in the ears that may cause ear infection.

Fleas and ticks, as well as ear mites, can infest her skin and ears that can result into chronic ear infections.

Some of these parasites can be passed from one person to another, posing a major threat to everyone.

These parasites can cause pain, discomfort, and even death in your dog, so it’s critical that we test for them on a regular basis.

In order to keep her healthy, we’ll also recommend preventive medicine.

Neuter or Spay

Spaying your Cocker is one of the best things you can do for her (neutered for males).

In females, this entails surgical removal of the ovaries and, in most cases, the uterus, whereas in males, it entails surgical removal of the testicles.

Spaying or neutering your pet reduces the risk of certain cancers and prevents your pet from becoming pregnant or fathering unwanted babies.

Performing this procedure also allows us to diagnose and treat some of the ailments that your dog is prone to develop while he is under anesthesia.

Cocker Spaniel Genetic Predispositions

Problems with the Bones and Joints

Cocker Spaniels have been known to suffer a variety of musculoskeletal issues.

You will be able to provide excellent care for your friend throughout his life if you keep a close eye on him at home and are knowledgeable about disorders that may damage his bones, joints, or muscles.

Problems with the Liver

Hepatitis, a chronic liver illness that might develop in your Cocker Spaniel around middle age, is a risk.

Hepatitis is usually diagnosed through blood tests and liver biopsies, and it is treated with medication and a special diet.

Because early detection and intervention with routine blood screening are critical for detecting problems.

The Portosystemic Shunt

A liver condition known as portosystemic shunt is more common in Cocker Spaniels than in other breeds (PSS).

Some of the blood supply that should go to the liver instead goes around it, starving the liver of the oxygen and nutrients it requires to grow and operate properly.

If your acquaintance has PSS, his liver is unable to properly eliminate poisons from his bloodstream.

Thrombocytopenia and Hemolytic Anemia

Cockers are especially susceptible to a few very uncommon blood illnesses that develop when the immune system goes wild and begins attacking the pet’s own red blood cells or platelets.

Your dog will become anemic, sluggish, and lethargic if the immune system attacks red blood cells. Instead of a vibrant pink tint, his gums will appear pale or yellow.

His blood won’t clot properly if his immune system destroys platelets, resulting in bruising or abnormal bleeding.

Disorders of Bleeding

Bleeding problems can affect dogs in a many ways.

Their severity ranges from very light to quite severe.

Cocker Spaniels are prone to Von Willebrand’s disease, a blood clotting ailment.

Problems with the Eyes

Few things have such a significant impact on your dog’s quality of life as adequate eye function.

Like progressive retinal atrophy, one of the most eye problem.

Unfortunately, Cocker Spaniels can inherit or develop a variety of eye disorders, some of which can lead to blindness if not treated promptly, and the majority of which are excruciatingly painful!

Heart Problems

Cocker Spaniels are susceptible to a variety of heart diseases, which can strike at any age.

Depending on your dog’s risk factors, we may perform an annual heart health check, which may include X-rays, an ECG, or an echocardiography.

Early identification of heart disease allows us to treat your pet with medication that can extend his or her life by many years.

Veterinary dental care and weight management can also help to prevent heart disease.


Reactive, secondary, and primary seizures are the three forms of seizures in dogs.

The brain’s reaction to a metabolic condition, such as low blood sugar, organ failure, or a toxin, causes reactive seizures.

A brain tumor, stroke, or trauma can cause secondary seizures.

The disorder is known as primary or idiopathic epilepsy when no other cause can be detected.

Cocker Spaniels are frequently affected by this disease, which is often an inherited condition.

Several Skin Issues

Your Cocker Spaniel is prone to a variety of skin and disorders.

Malassezia dermatitis, for example, is caused by a yeast.

Itching, redness, and a deposit of dark, waxy discharge occur when this yeast enters the ears.

This yeast causes oily, hairless regions on the skin, especially around the neck and throat, as well as a distinct odor.

Seborrhea is another frequent skin ailment that can cause dry, flaky skin or greasy, oily skin.

Your pet will be itchy and uncomfortable as a result of skin illnesses.

Bathing with particular shampoos and rinses may be beneficial, and we’ll also address any underlying issues like allergies.


In senior dogs, cancer is a leading cause of death.

Cocker is expected to live longer than many other breeds, he is more likely to develop cancer in his latter years.

Many cancers can be cured with surgery, and some can be treated with chemotherapy.

This care guide includes a healthcare chart that details the many malignancies that your pet may face. It’s crucial to catch cancer early!

Thyroid Issues

Hypothyroidism is a prevalent ailment in Cocker Spaniels, in which the body does not produce enough thyroid hormone.

Dry skin and hair, susceptibility to various skin illnesses, weight gain, fearfulness, anger, and other behavioral changes are all possible symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are cocker spaniels expensive?

One of the most expensive dog breeds to care for is the Cocker Spaniel.
If you get your puppy from a reputable breeder, you should expect to pay roughly $3000.

Are cocker spaniels cuddly?

The pleasant temperament of the well-bred Cocker Spaniel.
He is soft and affectionate, and he enjoys taking part in family activities.
He is playful, attentive, and active, and he enjoys all forms of activity, from a brisk walk to field hunting.
The Cocker Spaniel is noted for being an emotionally and physically sensitive dog.

Can a cocker spaniel be left alone?

It’s not a good idea to let your Cocker Spaniel alone for more than 8 hours.
They are pack animals who do not like to be left alone for lengthy periods of time. Before obtaining a dog, think about your situation and whether or not you can accommodate his needs, especially around your work schedule.

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