What Do Cocker Spaniels Usually Die From? [Answered]

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The Cocker Spaniel is a loyal family member and a charming companion.

The American Cocker Spaniel is a wonderful family pet and one of America’s most popular breeds.

The Cocker’s origins may be traced back to the mid-nineteenth century, when they were used to flush woodcocks from foliage for hunters, which is how they got their name.

She 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!

Her coat is long and beautiful, but it does need to be groomed on a regular basis.

Because she’s a good size and versatile, she’s a great city or rural friend.

The Cocker Spaniel is a relatively robust breed, with an average longevity of 13-16 years.

What Do Cocker Spaniels Usually Die From?
What Do Cocker Spaniels Usually Die From?

What diseases are common in cocker spaniels?

Cocker Spaniels are prone to a variety of 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.

The Health of Your Cocker Spaniel

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

Many diseases and health concerns in pets can be inherited from affected dogs, which means they are linked to their breed.

According to canine genetic scientists and veterinary practitioners, the disorders we’ve highlighted below have a high prevalence and/or influence in this breed.

This does not guarantee your dog will develop these problems; it only means she is more likely than other dogs to do so.

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

This book covers both general health information for all dogs and the most important Cocker Spaniel inherited predispositions.

Cocker Spaniel’s Health Problem

Dental Illness

Dental illness is the most common chronic problem in dogs by the age of two, affecting 80 percent of all canines.

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

Tartar build-up on the teeth is the first indicator of dental disease, which leads to gum and tooth root irritation.

Your companion’s kidneys, liver, heart, and joints may be jeopardized if we don’t prevent or treat dental disease.

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


Viruses and bacteria that afflict all dogs, such as parvo, rabies, and distemper, can affect Cocker Spaniels.

Vaccination can prevent many of these illnesses.


Obesity in Cocker Spaniels can be a serious health issue.

It’s a risky condition that can cause or worsen joint pain, metabolic and digestive problems, back pain, and heart disease.

Give her a hug, brush her hair or teeth, play a game with her, or go for a stroll with her instead.

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.

Her skin and ears can be infested by fleas, ticks, and ear mites.

Neuter vs. Spay

One of the nicest things you can do for your Cocker Spaniel is to spay her (neutered for males).

The ovaries and, in most cases, the uterus are surgically removed in females, whereas the testicles are surgically removed in males.

Spaying or neutering your pet lowers the risk of certain cancers and prevents it from becoming pregnant or fathering unintended children.

Cocker Spaniel Genetic Predispositions

Problems With 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.

In Cocker Spaniels, intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a common problem.

When the jelly-like cushion between one or more vertebrae slips or ruptures, the disc presses on the spinal cord, producing the condition.

Your dog is likely in significant pain if he is suddenly unable or unable to jump or go up stairs, is reluctant to move about, has a stooped back, cries out, or refuses to eat or go potty.

He could potentially become paralyzed, dragging his back feet or unable to stand or utilize his back legs.

Rest and medication may be enough to alleviate the condition in less severe cases.

Weight loss, like so many other disorders, can help lessen the risk of IVDD.

You should also install ramps or steps for your dog from the time he is a puppy to prevent him from injuring his back by jumping on and off of furniture.

The patella (kneecap) of your Cocker Spaniel may move out of place from time to time.

Patellar luxation is the medical term for this condition.

He might then kick his leg out sideways to reposition the kneecap.

Patellar luxation is characterized by these symptoms.

If the disease is minor and only affects one leg, your friend might not need anything more than arthritis medicine.

When the symptoms are severe, surgery to straighten the kneecap and prevent it from luxating further may be required.

Hip dysplasia is a genetic illness that causes the hip joints to develop incorrectly, resulting in arthritis. Cocker Spaniels are prone to hip dysplasia.

You might notice that he has lameness in his hind legs or that he has trouble getting out of bed.

We’ll take X-rays of your dog’s joints to diagnose the disease as soon as feasible, and we’ll treat the arthritis as soon as possible to alleviate pain and discomfort.

In severe and life-threatening forms of hip dysplasia, surgery may be recommended.

Liver Disease

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.

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.

Every time he has anesthesia, we’ll perform a liver function test in addition to a regular pre-anesthetic panel to check for this condition.

Surgery may be required, although in certain situations, a particular diet and medicines can be used to address the condition.

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.

Before doing any procedures, we’ll conduct blood clotting diagnostic tests to rule out these issues.

Steroids and other immune-suppressive medicines will be prescribed to slow or halt the immune system from destroying cells.

An emergency transfusion of red blood cells or platelets is sometimes required.

Disorders of Bleeding

Inherited bleeding disorders can manifest themselves in a variety of ways in dogs.

Their severity ranges from very light to quite severe.

A pet may appear healthy until he or she suffers a catastrophic injury or undergoes surgery, at which point significant bleeding may occur.

Von Willebrand’s disease, a blood clotting disorder, is common in Cocker Spaniels.

Problems with the eyes

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!

In senior Cocker Spaniels, cataracts are a common cause of blindness.

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS, is a prevalent ailment in Cocker Spaniels.

The tear glands produce less fluid as a result of KCS, and they are no longer able to keep the eyes moist.

This causes infections and painful, stinging eyes.

A dull, dry appearance or heavy discharge from the eyes, squinting, and pawing at the eyes are all symptoms of KCS.

Heart Failure

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

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.

Cocker Spaniels are especially prone to DCM.

Your pet may become weak or exhausted as the issue worsens, faint or collapse, breathe laboriously, or cough.

As early as one year of age, we’ll perform an electrical heart screening (ECG) and/or an echocardiography to check for irregular cardiac rhythms.

Medication and food supplementation may be prescribed if necessary.

Cockers are prone to a disorder known as patent ductus arteriosus, or PDA, in which a tiny blood artery connecting two sections of the heart does not seal properly soon after birth.

This causes fluid build-up and puts a strain on the heart as too much blood is delivered to the lungs.

Coughing, weariness during activity, weight loss, shortness of breath, and weakness in the rear limbs are all symptoms that might be moderate or severe.


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.

Seizures normally occur between the ages of six months and three years for your acquaintance who is prone to them.

An first diagnostic examination may aid in determining the source of the problem.

To keep seizures under control, lifelong medication is usually required, with frequent blood tests required to assess side effects and efficacy.

If your dog is having a seizure, keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn’t hurt himself, but don’t try to control his mouth or tongue.

It won’t help him, and he might bite you inadvertently as a result!

Several Skin Issues

Your Cocker Spaniel is prone to a variety of skin illnesses 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.

The sooner you get your pet’s skin problems evaluated, the less likely you are to wind up with an itchy, hairless, and stinky dog.


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

Because your 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.

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.

Your Cocker Spaniel’s At-Home Care

Much of what you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy is plain sense, just like it is for people.

Keep an eye on her diet, make sure she gets plenty of exercise, brush her teeth and coat on a regular basis, and report anything unusual to us or a pet emergency hospital.

Make sure to stick to the examination and vaccination schedule we provide for her.

We’ll give her the necessary “check-ups” and run tests for illnesses and disorders common in Cocker Spaniels at this time. Another important step in caring for your pet is to enroll in pet health insurance.

Pet health insurance will help you pay the costs of medical tests and operations that she will almost certainly require throughout her life.

Routine Care, Diet, And Exercise

To help your Cocker enjoy a longer, healthier, and happier life, make routine care a part of your everyday routine. The importance of a balanced diet and regular exercise cannot be emphasized.

Keep an eye on your pet like you would a youngster.

Close doors, clean up after yourself, and divide rooms as necessary.

This will keep her out of trouble and keep her away from foods she shouldn’t eat.

Brush her coat as needed as least once a week.

You should brush your Cocker Spaniel’s teeth at least three times a week because they are prone to significant problems.

Clean her ears once a week, even when she was a puppy.

Make sure she doesn’t get her floppy ears wet. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how to do it!

She’ll be OK in an apartment as long as she gets daily walks and short play sessions.

She is a sensitive dog that does not respond well to harsh training methods or punishment; always end training sessions on a positive note.

Keep her mind and body active or she’ll become bored. She’s a clever dog with a lot of energy.

That’s when the nastiness starts.

Avoid giving your dog human food and keep her on a steady diet.

Give her a nutritious, age-appropriate diet.

Exercise your dog on a regular basis, but don’t overdo it at first.

What to Be Aware Of

Any unexpected symptom could be a sign of a serious sickness or a minor or brief problem.

The major challenge is determining when and how quickly you should seek veterinarian help.

Many diseases cause dogs to display a unique set of symptoms, which when combined can signal that your Cocker Spaniel requires medical attention.

What Is the Lifespan of a Cocker Spaniel?

If you own or plan to buy a Cocker Spaniel, this is a question you’re undoubtedly thinking about.

The longevity of a Cocker Spaniel can be influenced by a variety of things.

In this post, we’ll learn how long a Cocker Spaniel can anticipate to live.

We’ll also talk about how you can help your dog live the longest, healthiest life possible.

But first, let’s look at the distinctions between the two sorts of Cocker Spaniels.

Cocker Spaniels: English vs. American

Although their similarities outnumber their differences, there are some noteworthy distinctions in look and behavior between the English and American Cocker Spaniels.

Originally, the English Cocker Spaniel was bred to hunt feathered prey.

The companion-bred American Cocker Spaniel was developed in the early twentieth century by American dog fanciers.

These two happy dogs have large soulful eyes and long, luscious ears.

They’re also appreciated for their outgoing, frolicsome nature.

The English Cocker Spaniel, on the other hand, can be more energetic and have a higher prey drive due to their heritage.

The American Cocker Spaniel has a more laid-back personality.

They have a proclivity for forming strong bonds with their owners.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the longest a cocker spaniel has lived?

The longest-living dog lived 17.3 years!
The lifespan of an English Cocker Spaniel is 12 to 14 years.
A total of 289 English Cocker Spaniels were included in the study.

What is the lifespan of a cocker spaniel?

12–15 years old

Is 12 old for a cocker spaniel?

The lifespan of an English Cocker Spaniel differs from that of an American Cocker Spaniel.
The typical lifespan of a Cocker Spaniel is 12 to 14 years, but many Cockers live considerably longer.

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