As with any breed of dog, a number of hereditary conditions are occasionally seen in the Cocker Spaniel. Here at Kasordon we aim to produce happy healthy puppies and so will only breed from health tested dogs to ensure we do not produce puppies with these health issues.
FN (Familial Nephropathy)
FN is an inherited juvenile fatal kidney disease.Dogs with FN typically develop chronic renal failure between 6 months and 2 years of age, with eventual and sometimes rapid destruction of both kidneys. There is no cure or treatment and the dog will die.
For further information on FN please visit:-
prcd-PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)
A genetic inherited disorder, prcd-PRA, causes cells in the retina at the back of the eye to degenerate and die even though the cells seem to develop normally early in life. The “rod” cells operate in low light levels and are the first to lose normal function. Night blindness results. Then the “cone” cells gradually lose their normal function in full light situations. Most affected dogs will eventually be blind.
For further information on PRA please visit:-
Acral Mutilation Syndrome (AMS)
This condition has recently been reported on and is seen in some breeds of dogs. Unfortunately, a number of cases have been reported in working cocker lines. It is a rare Autosomal Recessive Genetic Sensory Neuropathy. Affected dogs will have little or no sense of pain in their extremities and will chew feet and tails until they are raw and in some cases to the bone. Treatment in many cases is unsuccessful as it is a genetic trait. The constant chewing results in disfigurement and permanent damage. Onset usually occurs in puppies and young adults and can affect whole litters of puppies. In extreme cases, euthanasia is the only outcome. I personally know of 2 young dogs euthanaised this year (March 2016) as a result of this condition.
Please ensure if you are looking to purchase a working type cocker spaniel, that you check along with the other health tests, that the parents have been tested for AMS. Antagene in France have developed a simple DNA blood test for this so there is no excuse for anyone breeding within the working cocker community not to have tested their dogs. For more information please visit:-
Please note that to date there are no reported cases of this condition within Show type Cockers at the moment. However, there are breeders who will cross show type with working type so please check health tests to ensure you are buying a healthy puppy. Please note, I have chosen NOT to show pictures of affected dogs as I feel the images are too graphic for my website.
AON (Adult Onset Neuropathy)
This is an inherited neurological disorder and symptoms typically begin from the age of 7 years as a rough guide. The disease is characterised by propgressive weakness in the hind limbs which lead to a wobbly or uncoordinated movement, wide base stance and angled hocks that can make the dog look as if they are sitting back on their hocks. This weakness can progress to the front limbs and when all limbs are affected there may also be difficulty in swallowing.
You may also wish to visit the web site below as it has a wealth of information relating to the cocker spaniel.