Most common health problems in English Springer Spaniels, plus health care and feeding.


My Complete Health Care Program for your English Springer Spaniel

If you want to AVOID health problems in your English Springer, you'll find my health care program very valuable.

It's called "11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy."

Raise your dog the RIGHT way, feed him the RIGHT food, give him the RIGHT vaccinations, avoid unnecessary veterinary expenses, and help him live a longer, happier, and more comfortable life.

If your English Springer already HAS a health problem, I'm sorry to hear that. You should immediately begin my health care program, and you may be able to restore his good health – or at least make him much more comfortable. Let me help!

My best-selling dog health book


English Springer Spaniel dog breed

English Springer Spaniel Health Care & Feeding

By Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2017


Quick list of English Springer Spaniel health problems

Hip and elbow dysplasia that cause pain and lameness. Hereditary eye diseases that can cause blindness. Itchy skin conditions. Skin growths and tumors. Ear infections. Epilepsy.

Some unusual enzyme deficiencies, one of which is fatal, occur in English Springer Spaniels. Also a serious neurological/behavioral syndrome known as Rage Syndrome, where an affected dog suddenly becomes violently aggressive.

Other health issues in the breed include thyroid disease, heart disease, blood-clotting diseases, and degenerative myelopathy.

(See more health problems below.)


Preventing health problems

Some health problems are inherited. For example, if both parents of your English Springer Spaniel have certificates proving they were tested and cleared of hereditary eye diseases, and hip and elbow dysplasia, your English Springer has less risk of developing those conditions.

Other health problems can be prevented, or partially prevented, by the ways you raise your dog. If you're serious about doing everything you can for your English Springer, my best-selling book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to raise your English Springer Spaniel puppy (or adult dog) in all the right ways. It will help you be your dog's health care champion!


Here are my dog health tips for raising a healthy English Springer Spaniel puppy or adult dog:

Obedience instructor and author Michele Welton Dog Health Care – The Sensible Way
Read my advice on daily health care so your English Springer Spaniel lives a long, healthy life and seldom needs to see the vet.


Pet insurance Should You Buy Pet Insurance? An Honest Review
My advice on the pros and cons of pet insurance, and the best pet insurance company I've found.


Real homemade dog food The Best Dog Food For Feeding Your English Springer
Food is the #1 foundation for good health. The best diet for feeding your dog is real food. Real chicken, turkey, beef, fish....these are not just "people foods" and I'll tell you why.


Natural dog foods for your English Springer Spaniel. The Second-Best Dog Food For Your English Springer
If you can't feed homemade dog food, here are your next-best choices.


Information on booster shots for your English Springer Spaniel. Vaccinations and Booster Shots: Needed or Not?
How many vaccinations does your English Springer Spaniel puppy really need? Does your adult Springer need yearly booster shots? The vaccination guidelines have changed! Find out what some vets aren't telling you.


Information on spaying your English Springer Spaniel. Spaying Your Female Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of spaying your female dog.


Information on neutering your male dog. Neutering Your Male Dog: Pros and Cons
Advantages and disadvantages of neutering your male dog.


Information on choosing the best vet for your English Springer Spaniel. The Type of Veterinarian I Recommend
Is your veterinarian really the best choice for your dog? Learn about the differences between vets who practice conventional, holistic, and alternative veterinary medicine.


Assisi Loop Assisi Loop Review: How I Helped Treat Inflammation and Pain
Does your dog suffer from arthritis, hip dysplasia, disk disease, colitis, a skin wound? My honest review of a veterinary device you can use at home to help reduce inflammation and pain.


Complete list of English Springer Spaniel health problems

Common orthopedic diseases in English Springers include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, luxating patella, and intervertebral disk disease. The Orthopedic Foundation of America evaluated the hip X-rays of 13,000 English Springer Spaniels and the elbow X-rays of 3000 Springers – 13% of the hips were dysplastic, and 14% of the elbows. Those rates are too high for a medium sized dog, and the true rates are even higher because most of the obviously bad X-rays were not sent in for official evaluation.

The eye disease that causes the most concern in English Springer Spaniels is retinal dysplasia. Other eye diseases include progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (at 2-6 years old), cataracts (at 1-3 years old), eyelid abnormalities (entropion and ectropion), corneal dystrophy, and glaucoma.

Skin diseases are very common in the English Springer Spaniel, especially allergies (which cause itchy skin and often lead to pyoderma) and seborrhea. Also common are chronic ear infections, due to the long pendulous ears and long hairs inside the ear canals.

Skin growths occur regularly in Springers – both non-tumorous growths (sebaceous cysts) and tumorous growths (sebaceous gland tumors and basal cell tumors).

Epilepsy is a real concern in English Springer Spaniels.

A bizarre neurological/behavioral syndrome known as Rage Syndrome can occur in English Springers, where an affected dog suddenly becomes violently aggressive. In many Springer Spaniels, it appears to be related to extreme dominance, where the dog believes that he is in charge of the household and somebody in the family does something that "challenges" his leadership and causes him to explode. However, other affected Springers are good-natured and well-behaved right up until the moment they flare out of control. Some affected Springers have abnormally low amounts of serotonin (a calming brain chemical). Whatever the cause, drugs and behavioral modification seldom work and euthanasia is often the only thing you can do.

Note that Springer Spaniels who are poorly bred, poorly socialized, or poorly trained can display dominance or aggression without it being Rage Syndrome. In these cases, behavior modification CAN bring the dog under control. Also note that epilepsy can cause behavioral abnormalities, and since epilepsy can be controlled with medication, it's important to consider epilepsy as a possible cause whenever an English Springer Spaniel displays sudden aggression.

An unusual disease called PFK deficiency can occur in English Springer Spaniels, where a dog is born without an important red blood cell enzyme. Since red blood cells carry energy and oxygen to your dog's muscles, this missing enzyme means that during vigorous activity (running, barking, heavy panting), when he needs more red blood cells than usual, a dog with a PFK deficiency suffers sudden episodes of severe weakness. During these breakdown episodes, IV fluids are required. Other than this, most affected Springers can live a normal life as long as you keep them calm and avoid strenuous exercise, over-excitement, barking, and high temperatures. A simple DNA test is available for PFK deficiency, so you can find out at any time whether your dog has the disease, carries the disease, or is completely clear of it.

Another enzyme deficiency disease is canine fucosidosis. This one is very serious. Between about 2-4 years of age, an affected Springer will show neurological symptoms that progress rapidly and lead to death.

Hormonal/endocrine system diseases include hypothyroidism, Addison's disease, and diabetes. According to the Michigan State University Thyroid Database, up to 14% of English Springer Spaniels have low thyroid levels.

Several blood-clotting diseases (von Willebrand's, factor X deficiency, factor XI deficiency, and hemophilia A) occur regularly in English Springer Spaniels.

Other health issues in the breed include lysosomal storage disease, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, myasthenia gravis, heart disease (patent ductus arteriosus and septal defect), and bloat.


To help you train and care for your dog

book cover To learn more about training your dog to be calm and well-behaved, my dog training book is Teach Your Dog 100 English Words. It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will teach your dog to listen to you and do whatever you ask.

book cover My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a good-tempered, healthy dog.

book cover My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy, shows you how to help your dog live a longer life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.