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Cocker spaniel: character, care and predisposition to diseases

Cocker spaniel

This folded doggy is the most popular breed from the group of spaniel breeds, and at the same time one of the oldest breeds in general.

Despite its long history Cocker spaniel it is still popular all over the world.

The breed came from Great Britain and was assigned to the second group according to the FCI classification.

  • Cocker spaniel character
  • Cocker spaniel breed description
  • Cocker-spaniel: grooming
  • Disease cocker spaniel
    • Inflammation of the external auditory canal
    • Production of antibodies against erythrocytes and / or platelets
    • Cusching's disease
    • Dilated cardiomyopathy
    • Botal's cord survived
    • Idiopathic hepatitis
    • Chronic hepatitis
    • Idiopathic palsy of the facial nerve
  • Is it worth choosing a Cocker Spaniel?

Cocker spaniel character

The Cocker-Spaniel has a very happy disposition.

The vigorous one hunting dog, has a very lively temperament, loves baths and long walks, and the constant work of the tail proves a happy disposition.

At home Cocker spaniel it is gentle, sociable, and very lively and effusive.

Cocker spaniel breed description

Cocker spaniel breed description

Cocker spaniel is a small dog with a balanced and compact body, strong and alert, with a perfect sense of smell.

The size at the withers for males is 39-41 cm, and for bitches 38-39 cm.

Adults weigh 12-15 kg, so it is a medium sized breed.

A characteristic feature of spaniels are long, large ears set at eye level.

They are long enough for the skin to reach the tip of the nose, covered with profusely long, straight, silky hair.

The skull of these dogs is proportionally chiseled, not too heavy and not too massive.

A large black or chocolate nose with wide nostrils confirms a good sense of smell.

The torso is short, compact, the topline is horizontal, and in the loin area it descends towards the tail which is set below the topline.

The tail is always in motion, carried horizontally and of medium length.

Both the fore and hind limbs have a strong bone structure. The limbs are shortened, but not so short as to shorten the stride, which is one of the most important attributes of a hunting dog.

Shoulders clearly sloping.

Hind legs angulated, with great driving force.

Spaniels enjoy silky, close-fitting, not too long hair. The coat must not be rough, wavy or curly.

American Cocker Spaniel

The color of the coat may be varied:

  • black,
  • Brown,
  • redhead,
  • tricolor,
  • liver,
  • ashen,
  • blue,
  • in single-colored dogs a white spot on the breast is acceptable.

Cocker-spaniel: grooming

Cocker-spaniel: grooming

The hair of dogs of this breed is close, of medium length, therefore it requires proper care.

Combing is best done once or twice a week, especially paying attention to the ears, on which the hair likes to "felted ".

Thanks to such activities, we give the coat its proper appearance, clean it from tangled debris, sand, and comb out the tangles.

It is very important to keep such hair clean. Baths are performed as needed, but should be performed on an average basis 3-4 times a year.

It is always recommended to gently clean and rinse the limbs and abdomen after walks in the autumn-winter, winter-spring periods, during which the dog is often dirty with salt and sand scattered on pavements.

For bathing, preparations made especially for spaniels are used, but you can also use dermatological shampoos, hypoallergenic shampoos, and even ordinary gray soap.

After bathing both in the bathtub and in the lake, it is necessary to dry the ears.

You should wipe the ears well on the inside and tie them over your head. Drying the ears reduces the humidity in the ear canal, which promotes the growth of bacteria and fungi that lead to otitis.

Disease cocker spaniel

Disease cocker spaniel

Inflammation of the external auditory canal

Pendulous ears make them appear very often inflammation of the external auditory canal, the so-called. otitis externa.

Inflammation is caused by bacteria, fungi and foreign bodies.

Pathogens in the ears of spaniels have ideal conditions for development because it is warm and humid there.

Being hunting dogs, these dogs often run across fields, bushes and forests.

In such situations, a foreign object may get stuck, e.g. a spike, blades of grass, a stick in the ear canal.

Developing inflammation is characterized by ear redness, soreness, dogs flapping, scratching their ears, or rubbing their heads against objects.

In an otoscopic examination, we see a foreign body present, an excessive amount of discharge of various smell and nature.

If it is a foreign body, removing it solves the problem.

In the absence of it, a swab from the ear should be made and the type of pathogen should be determined together with its sensitivity to a specific drug.

Treatment consists of cleaning the ears and growing them drops in the ear (the type of preparation is selected on the basis of the results of the culture from the smear) 2 times a day for a period minimum 12 days.

Untreated otitis externa leads to transmission inflammatory process to the middle and inner ear, manifested by neurological symptoms and a twist of the head, usually towards the side of the affected ear.

Production of antibodies against erythrocytes and / or platelets

In English Spaniels, there may be a situation in which the body starts to produce antibodies against the erythrocytes and / or platelets, leading to a anemia and autoimmune thrombocytopenia.

It is a disease with a racial predisposition, but the way it is inherited is not yet understood.

The blood components coated with antibodies break down in the spleen.

The disease may take the course of:

  • sharp,
  • chronic,
  • subacute.

There may be regenerative anemia or non-regenerative (when attacking bone marrow cells).

In mild form, no symptoms are observed and the disease is diagnosed randomly.

In subacute and acute forms, the following are visible:

  • depression,
  • weakness,
  • pallor of the mucous membranes,
  • dyspnoea,
  • exercise intolerance,
  • fever,
  • vomiting.

Additional tests show:

  • enlarged liver,
  • enlargement of the spleen,
  • enlargement of the lymph nodes,
  • elevated liver enzymes.

Develop thrombocytopenia revealed:

  • petechiae on mucous membranes,
  • hematuria,
  • nose bleeds,
  • tarry stool,
  • bloody vomiting,
  • coagulation disorders.

The diagnosis is made on the basis of serological research, confirming the presence of anti-erythrocyte antibodies.

Treatment is based on administration immunosuppressive drugs (glucocorticosteroids), and in the event of no improvement, it applies azathioprine or other cytostatic drugs.

In life-threatening conditions, it happens whole blood transfusion or plate mass.

Less frequently, it is necessary to remove the spleen.

Cusching's disease

English Cocker Spaniels are a breed predisposed to overactive adrenal cortex that is Cushing's disease.

In sick dogs, you can observe:

  • increased fluid intake,
  • increased urination,
  • skin and hair changes,
  • sagging belly.

In a research Ultrasound enlarged liver and enlarged adrenal glands on both sides.

To be confirmed Cuching's syndrome used inhibition test with low or high doses of dexamethasone and ACTH stimulation test.

Treatment is based on lifetime administration mitotane in the preparation Vetoryl.

Overall, the prognosis is good.

Dilated cardiomyopathy

Unfortunately, the Cocker Spaniel is also predisposed to heart disease.

The most common dilated cardiomyopathy.

In the course of the disease, the systolic-diastolic function is impaired and thus the heart weakens and all its chambers widen.

The heart takes a spherical shape.

Ultimately it leads to congestive heart failure.

The disease has a long subclinical course - the symptoms appear in the end stage of heart failure, they are:

  • exercise intolerance,
  • tachycardia,
  • Heart arythmia,
  • cough,
  • pulmonary oedema,
  • ascites.

The diagnosis is made on the basis of the photo X-ray, tests EKG and echocardiographic.

The treatment includes:

  • diuretics,
  • vasodilators,
  • drugs that increase the contractility of the heart,
  • antiarrhythmic drugs.

The prognosis depends on the moment of detection of the disease, but it is assumed that the survival time varies from a few days to 1-2 years from the moment the disease is detected.

Botal's cord survived

The second, much rarer heart disease in Cocker Spaniels is surviving Botal's wire.

This tube is the connection between the aorta and the pulmonary artery, which should close within 1-2 days after delivery.

As a result of a persistent cord, there is:

  • left heart overload,
  • pulmonary congestion,
  • hypoxia,
  • polycythemia.

Clinical symptoms may not be visible until changes in the heart occur due to its overload, but a symptom typical of patent Botal's duct is the so-called. machine murmur occurring during the contraction and diastole of the heart.

The only treatment is surgical closure of a persistent vessel.

After the treatment, the animals live normally and the prognosis is very good.

Idiopathic hepatitis

Liver diseases are also characteristic of spaniels. It may be chronic idiopathic hepatitis, whose pathomechanism has not been fully understood.

This term is used in all cases where the root cause of the disease cannot be identified.

The disease occurs in both males and females, approx. 5-6 years.

The symptoms are not very specific and characteristic of liver diseases:

  • lack of appetite,
  • losing weight,
  • polyuria,
  • increased thirst,
  • ascites,
  • less often jaundice,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea.

Initial diagnosis of chronic idiopathic hepatitis should be based on clinical examination, history, and additional tests, including liver enzymes, whose values ​​are strongly elevated.

In imaging tests, the liver is reduced on X-ray pictures, and on ultrasound it is of altered echogenicity, characteristic of chronic inflammation.

The final diagnosis is made on the basis of histopathological examination liver biopsy.

Treatment is application based glucocorticosteroids (except drug-induced liver injury, inflammation associated with copper deposition).

In the case of other disorders, additional supportive therapy is used, fluid therapy and drugs that stimulate liver regeneration.

A control examination of the liver parameters is performed every week, then biweekly.

The prognosis is cautious, unfortunately it is usually fatal, as it is a complication of inflammation cirrhosis.

Chronic hepatitis

Another liver disease is chronic hepatitis of cocker spaniels, which is caused by a build-up in an organ antitrypsins.

It is usually diagnosed in aged dogs 2-5 years, more often u males.

Symptoms include:

  • weight loss,
  • weakness,
  • apathy,
  • polyuria,
  • ascites,
  • increased thirst.

As the disease progresses, it comes to swelling of the subcutaneous tissue, occur tarry stools and dehydration.

Untreated disease leads to coma and death.

The diagnosis is made on the basis of a clinical examination, ultrasound of the liver, liver enzyme tests, and above all, a histopathological examination of the liver sample.

Treatment is based on the use of glucocorticoids.

The prognosis is cautious to poor depending on the progression of the disease.

Idiopathic palsy of the facial nerve

English and American spaniels are exposed to idiopathic paralysis of the facial nerve.

It is usually one-sided (less common on both sides), acute inflammation of unknown etiology. The immunological nature of the disease is suspected.

It occurs primarily in animals over 5 years of age, and the symptoms are typical of paralysis of the VII nerve.

We include among them:

  • drooping lip,
  • drooping eyelid,
  • drooping of the nasal turbinate,
  • curvature of the nose mirror,
  • absence or weakening of the eyelid reflex and threatening reactions.

The animal has problems with food intake.

The diagnosis is made on the basis of clinical symptoms and the exclusion of other causes.

There is no specific treatment.

Apply galantamine, the cornea is prevented from drying out, but the prognosis for recovery of facial nerve function is conservative.

Is it worth choosing a Cocker Spaniel?

Is it worth choosing a cocker spaniel??

The passion for long walks and baths forces many owners to leave the house.

Spaniels are recommended for both adults and children.

Their friendly and sociable disposition speaks in favor of choosing a cocker spaniel.

If you want to learn more about the disease predisposition of this breed and treatment methods, post a comment under the article - I will write back as soon as possible.

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