English Springer Spaniels are generally healthy dogs, and are not particularly prone to health problems. However there is plenty that you can do to help them stay that way.
Worming, tick and flea treatments – always keep your dog on a regular worming programme. Your vet will be able to advise on this. You should also ask them about regular appropriate anti- tick and flea treatments that may be appropriate for your dog.
Vaccination – your vet will be able to advise on an appropriate programme of vaccination for your Springer. This is not only important for his ongoing health, but will be obligatory if he is going into boarding kennels, and for attending some training classes. If you are considering travelling abroad with your dog, he will need further vaccinations, and a passport, about which you vet can advise.
Grooming – it is a good idea to groom your dog regularly. This gives you a chance to do a thorough all over inspection that will pick up any minor problems. Pay particular attention to ears. The hair under the ear flap should be kept trimmed to allow air to circulate, and any dirt or debris in the entrance to the ear canal can be removed gently with an ear cleanser suitable for dogs – again, your vet can advise on this.
Teeth – many Springers are able to keep their own teeth in excellent condition if provided with special chews for this purpose – these are widely available. Some dogs will need to have their teeth cleaned to keep teeth and gums in healthy condition – you will need to use a special toothbrush and toothpaste for this, available easily from vets and pet shops.
Springer Rescue for Scotland also provide an information leaflet providing more details on grooming.
There are some diseases that are inherited in English Springer Spaniels. Responsible breeders will screen for these diseases to avoid passing them on. Unfortunately with most rescue dogs their genetic background is unknown. Thankfully, these diseases are in any case rare.
Generalised Progressive Retinal Atrophy – usual onset at 4-5 years of age, results in blindness Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy – usually detectable at 12-18 months of age. Does not usually result in complete blindness
Fucosidosis – an enzyme deficiency only found in English Springer Spaniels Phosphofructokinase deficiency – a storage disease which causes abnormalities in red blood cells and muscle cells. Hip Dysplasia – a malformation of one or more hip joints.
Remember, most of these inherited diseases are rare. Springer Spaniels are generally robust, healthy dogs. However any dog can develop health problems, and Springer Rescue for Scotland would recommend that if you ever have any concerns about your dogís health, you should consult your vet. We would also suggest that you consider taking out insurance to cover any veterinary costs your Springer has during his lifetime.
And finally, remember that your Springerís mental health is as important as his physical health. Springer Rescue for Scotland have information leaflets on behaviour and games which may be of interest.