English Springer Spaniels were a breed initially bred for hunting purposes, specifically the hunting of birds. These dogs are field-bred and show-bred, either side showcasing various genetic changes. However, how long does this adventurous breed live?
The English Springer Spaniel has a standard lifespan of twelve to fourteen years. However, with most breeds, this average lifespan is affected by various illnesses. The health problems prominent with this breed of dog includes retinal dysplasia (RD), progressive retinal atrophy and ear infections.
Various fields can affect the typical lifespan of an English Springer Spaniel, including illness, disease, and diet. Let us look at all these areas and analyze their influence on the breed’s health to prevent these aspects from worsening.
Diseases That Effect The Lifespan Of An English Springer Spaniels
Every breed has certain diseases to be aware of, including how to treat or prevent these illnesses. The diseases mentioned below correspond to large breed dogs and English Springer Spaniels.
Ear infections occur commonly with long-eared breeds. For example, English Springer Spaniels have long fluffy ears and are likely to develop an ear infection. However, besides the ear’s shape, allergies also cause ear infections. The itchiness that comes with the allergic reactions causes your dogs to scratch their ears repetitively, disrupting the general defenses against infection.
Thankfully, treating an ear infection is easy with modern medical technology. After an otoscopic examination, your dogs might be prescribed various medicated ointments depending on the damage caused by the infection.
Hip dysplasia usually occurs during the growth segment of a dog’s lifespan. This process occasionally, mostly with large breeds, results in the loosening of the hip joint, which leads to pain and dysfunction. In addition, the continuation of growth will wear down the cartilage and bone of the hip, which, over time, will cause other health issues such as arthritis, muscle atrophy, and limited mobility.
There are various surgical operations to treat this illness. If your Spaniel is younger than 18 weeks, they perform a joint-saving procedure called juvenile pubic symphysiodesis. Younger than ten months, there is a triple pelvic osteotomy procedure. The common procedures for adult dogs, whose skeletal structure is mature, include a complete hip replacement or femoral head osteotomies.
Other complementary treatments include physical therapy and acupuncture. Physical therapy assists in various fields such as increasing joint health and mobility, muscle development, and weight loss. Acupuncture increases muscle strength and joint mobility and decreases pain.
Unfortunately, there is no precise method for preventing hip dysplasia as most large breeds could be born with it. However, if you decide that your dog is at high risk of developing this illness, you can start early with joint supplements to ensure healthy development and protection of the joints.
Elbow Dysplasia describes a condition of the abnormal growth of bone, tissue, or cells. There are four series of developmental abnormalities that leads to the degeneration and malformation of the elbow joint. Should your Spaniel develop elbow dysplasia, you can treat it with surgery. Physical therapy will possibly follow to keep the muscle active.
Additionally, there are ways to prevent the occurrence of elbow dysplasia. Avoiding nutrients that cause rapid growth will lessen the risk of obtaining this disease. This illness often emerges from genetic traits; avoid breeding dogs with this condition or inform the breeder of your pet’s abnormal developments.
Retinal Dysplasia (RD)
Retinal dysplasia is the beginning deteriorating of the retina, which reduces vision. The development is not painful and mostly occurs through genetics. There are also various types of retinal dysplasia.
- Multi-focal Retinal Dysplasia – recognizable by small folds within the tissue of the retina that gradually fades as your dog ages
- Geographic Retinal Dysplasia – visible irregularly shaped lesions that form instead of the fold causing visual impairment or possible blindness
- Complete Retinal Dysplasia – the toughest form of retinal dysplasia causing blindness; potentially causes other conditions such as glaucoma
Unfortunately, there is no confirmed way to treat this illness. The only option is a specific antioxidant supplement. However, it would be best if you initially discussed this prescription with your veterinarian.
Your dogs will adapt to the vision disruption, further developing their senses of smell and hearing to compensate for the vision loss. But, again, we suggest ensuring a safe environment to avoid any possible injuries.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) affects the cells known as photoreceptors found on the retina. The disease gradually deteriorates these cells, eventually leading to blindness for the affected dog. The rate at which this development occurs often results in a complete loss of vision over 1 to 2 years.
Like retinal dysplasia, there is no confirmed treatment for PRA. However, this illness does not cause your dog pain, and the best way to assist them with the adjustment is to ensure their environment is safe and consistent, avoiding shifting furniture around.
The Best Diets For English Springer Spaniels Health
The healthy, standard weight for a male English Springer Spaniel is 40 to 60 lb and for a female is 35 to 55 lb. However, this dog tends to gain weight easily; therefore, it is crucial to monitor the calories your dog intakes, the standard amount being around 1 353 calories a day.
Ingredients To Look Out For English Spaniels
When looking at specific ingredients, prioritize whole meat protein in your Spaniels meals. This whole meat or meat meal could include chicken, turkey, fish, or lamb – avoiding any that may cause allergic reactions.
Other ingredients to consider are healthy carbohydrates (barley, brown rice, oats), which provide extra protein, and certain fats (poultry, safflower, flax seed) that will assist in providing energy. However, avoiding sugar in most commercial food is an important step in your Spaniel’s diet.
You can take a step further to prevent a certain genetically common condition called seborrhea, which leads to itchiness, skin flaking, and oily coat development. Should this condition arise, you can treat it by obtaining dog foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids.
Thankfully, English Springer Spaniels do not develop as many health problems as other breeds which assists in keeping your pet active and healthy. With proper exercise and suitable diet, you should easily avoid any issues, ensuring your English Springer Spaniel a long and prosperous life.