HEALTH SCHEMES & RESEARCH
The Cocker Spaniel is generally a healthy breed with no major problems.
However there are some inherited conditions that do affect the breed. The most significant conditions are PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), and FN (Familial Nethropathy or shrunken kidney) which are both recessive (meaning both parents must carry the faulty gene to produce affected progeny). Some Hip Dysplasia is also seen in the breed. Hip Dysplasia is more complex and it is likely that several different genes are involved. It is also likely
that environmental factors (exercise, growth rate, nutrition) play a contributory role in the development of the disease.
There is also now a DNA test for GPRA (also known as prcd-PRA) which is available from the American company, Optigen. It is a one-off test done from a small sample of the dog’s blood, which is sent away to the US for analysis, resulting in the dog being declared clear, a carrier, or affected with the disease. This is now a recommended test for Cocker breeders who are members of the Kennel Club Accredited Breeder Scheme. For more information on the Optigen test, visit www.optigen.com.
ANAL SAC CANCER RESEARCH
Research is currently being conducted into the incidence of this condition in Cocker Spaniels and other related breeds. If you would like more information or would like to assist in this research, please click HERE
As a result of studies at the Queen's Veterinary School, University of Cambridge, it has been found that some Cocker spaniels suffer from an unusual form of chronic pancreatitis. This results in bouts of sickness, diarrhoea and abdominal pain and, in some dogs, the development of diabetes mellitus. Clinical details and blood samples from affected dogs are being collected by Penny Watson at Cambridge to help with further genetic studies and find a better diagnostic test. It is hoped that the results of these studies will help in the diagnosis and treatment of this condition in Cocker spaniels in the future.
Information Sheet on Pancreatitis (PDF file)
If you have a Cocker Spaniel who has been diagnosed with the condition and currently being medicated and would like to help in the research, we would be grateful if you would complete the questionnaire part of the form by copying and pasting the questions and replies into an email and sending them to either Penny Watson at Cambridge or Sandy Platt, KC Breed Health Coordinator.
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