Are you thinking about buying or adopting a Springer Spaniel and want to know what health problems they could be prone to? Maybe you want to find out the best ways to keep your Springer healthy? Here’s everything you need to know about the health problems Springer Spaniels are prone to.
What Health Problems Are Springer Spaniels Prone To? Springer Spaniels are prone to Epilepsy, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Eosinophilic Panosteitis, Phosphofructokinase Deficiency, Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Otitis Externa, Pemphigus Foliaceus and Diabetes.
Read on to find out more about the most common health issues Springer Spaniels can get, and what you can do to improve their health and wellbeing.
Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years.
What Are The Most Common Health Issues For Springer Spaniels?
The most common health issues for Springer Spaniels are:
Primary or Idiopathic epilepsy
Primary or Idiopathic epilepsy is thought to be inherited from your Springer Spaniel’s parents and isn’t caused by any other conditions or illnesses.
It’s not known precisely how many Springers suffer from epilepsy, but they seem to be predisposed to it as a dog breed.
Epilepsy causes repeated seizures, but it can usually be controlled with medication.
Although it’s rare, Springer Spaniels can also be affected by a condition known as ‘Springer Rage’. It’s thought this is a form of epilepsy and it seems more common in related dogs.
It causes sudden outbursts of intense aggression. But, following the episode, your Springer will have no recollection of it happening and it’s likely to be very out of character for them.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are similar conditions that affect your Springer Spaniels joints. They’re usually inherited and can be worsened by poor development or over-exercise.
They’re both long-term issues that can cause severe pain when your Springer moves around.
They also increase the risk of Arthritis developing in the joint, as the disease progresses.
Getting potential breeding dogs’ hip and elbow scored before breeding them can reduce the risk of their puppies developing hip or elbow dysplasia.
Eosinophilic Panosteitis is more commonly referred to as ‘growing pains’. It affects the outer shaft of the long bones in your Springer Spaniel’s legs.
It’s commonly seen in Springers aged 6 to 12 months old. It can affect just one leg or multiple and can vary in severity.
It can cause your Springer a great deal of pain when it flares up, so this needs to be managed appropriately with painkillers.
Thankfully, this condition tends to remedy itself as your Springer Spaniel matures.
Phosphofructokinase (PFK) Deficiency
Phosphofructokinase (PFK) Deficiency is a hereditary disease that causes your Springer Spaniel to be unable to break down glucose in their bodies to use as energy.
This causes them to be lethargic, weak and reluctant to exercise. Symptoms can start from 2-3 months of age or not be seen until your Springer gets older.
Thankfully, a simple blood test can be done to see if parents carry the faulty gene, before breeding from them.
Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) is caused by a small blood vessel leading to each side of your Springer Spaniel’s heart that fails to develop correctly.
This puts extra pressure on the heart, leading to heart disease, failure, and even death.
It’s thought that any affected dogs that are bred from will increase the chance of their puppies having the same condition.
There’s currently no test to determine if Springers are likely to produce puppies with PDA.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
PRA is a hereditary disease that causes progressive blindness in Springer Spaniels.
Progression of the disease can occur over a period of months or years, but it will ultimately cause complete blindness.
Genetic tests available to see if a Springer is likely to have puppies who’ll suffer from PRA.
Otitis Externa is a condition causing inflammation of your Springer Spaniel’s outer eat canal.
Because of their floppy ears, Springers can be prone to developing ear infections and conditions like this one.
In severe cases that are left untreated, it can result in temporary or even permanent deafness.
Springer Spaniels are among the top 5 breeds most likely to suffer from Diabetes. This causes them to be unable to effectively regulate their blood glucose levels.
It stops your Springer’s body from producing Insulin to break down glucose in their bodies, leading to dangerously high or low blood glucose levels.
Although it’s incurable, Diabetes is usually managed successfully with medication and diet and lifestyle changes.
Pemphigus Foliaceus is an auto-immune skin condition where your Springer Spaniel’s immune system attacks their own skin.
It causes hair loss, scabs, dry or crusty skin around the face, nose, ears or sometimes paws.
There’s no cure for this condition, but it can be managed successfully with medical treatment from your Vet.
How Do I Keep My Springer Spaniel Healthy?
Springer Spaniels are prone to some health issues, but there are things you can do to try and help keep them healthy:
Vaccinate Your Springer Spaniel
Keeping up to date with your Springer Spaniel’s vaccinations helps to protect them against serious, contagious diseases.
Ask your vet how often to vaccinate your Springer. This will vary depending on where you live and how much immunity they already have.
Take Your Springer Spaniel To The Vets Regularly
Even if your Springer Spaniel is healthy, it’s still a good idea to take them to the vet every year for a checkup.
If they’ve already got health issues or are in their senior years, you’ll probably need to visit the vet more often.
If you’ve ever got any concerns about your Springer’s health, always consult your vet for advice.
Exercise Your Springer Spaniel Daily
Springer Spaniels are active dogs with adults needing at least 2 hours of daily exercise. Making sure they’re exercised enough will keep them fitter and healthier.
Just make sure they don’t overdo it, especially if they’ve got joint conditions. They’ll want to keep doing more and more, even if it’s too much for them.
Choose A High-Quality Food For Your Springer Spaniel
Feeding your Springer Spaniel high-quality dog food can help keep them healthier. They’ll have more energy if they’re eating well.
Avoid any foods containing fillers and artificial ingredients, flavors or preservatives.
Give Your Springer Spaniel Supplements
Because Springer Spaniels are an active breed that can be prone to joint problems, it may be beneficial to give them a supplement to support their joint health.
There are lots available on the market, so speak to your vet about which would be most suitable for your Springer.
Enjoy Dog Sports With Your Springer Spaniel
Many Springer Spaniels love participating in dog sports like agility, flyball, tracking, hoopers, obedience and rally. This keeps them physically active and mentally stimulated too!
Keeping their body and mind busy is key to keeping them happy and healthy.
Clean Your Springer Spaniel’s Ears Weekly
It’s good practice to get your Springer Spaniel used to having their ears cleaned once a week.
Their floppy ears create the perfect environment for bacteria to multiply and cause infections.
This is especially important if your Springer enjoys swimming. Having wet ears can make them even more prone to ear problems!
Don’t Let Your Springer Spaniel Get Overweight
Springer Spaniels are a greedy breed, and they’ll eat far too much if you let them!
But allowing them to get overweight will have a negative impact on their health.
It puts more pressure on their joints and organs and can increase their risk of Diabetes and other health conditions too.
Brush Your Springer Spaniel’s Teeth Regularly
Springer Spaniels can be prone to poor dental health.
But by brushing their teeth with doggy toothpaste regularly, you can help stop the buildup of tartar.
Speak to your vet if you’re concerned about your Springer’s teeth.
So there you have it! Springer Spaniels are prone to neurological problems, joint conditions, blood disorders, heart conditions, eye conditions, ear problems, hormonal disorders and skin conditions. But, by keeping them fit, watching their weight, feeding them good quality dog food and making sure they have regular vet checks, you’ll be doing everything possible to keep them healthy for many years to come!
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