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Dogs unfortunately cannot tell us, when they don't feel good. Therefore it is very important, to study your dog from begin on, to see every change in behavior. In addition to the precautionary vaccinations and measures against parasites, an annually healthcheck at the vet should be made. It is very recommandable to make a blood collection when the dog is healthy, so that you possibly have later comparison values.


Even the maintained dog can carry flies and ticks home from a walk. Against this parasites you can buy effective preparations from vet, which prevent an infestatoin. Also there are lots of alternitives instead of the chemistry, about whom you can inform you. Basically you should ensure on a walk that your dog doesn't eat things lying on the ground as they could be infected with worm eggs.

The most most frequently occurring worms are hookworms, roundworms and tapeworms. Mostly worms settle in the intestinal of the dog. The tapeworm needs, in contrast to the hookworm and roundworm, an intermediate host for his development. For Dogs this is the flea. When you treat the dog against tapeworms, you too have to treat him against fleas on same time. Vets recommend to deworm a dog preventive every 4 months with a suitable medium from vet. The savier and too gentlier way to prevent against worms for the dog is to make fecal examinations regularly at vet and deworm only when there is really an infestation.

First indication of flea infestation is that the dog scratch himself frequently. You can find swollen, red fleabites on the skin. Most dogs react allergic against the saliva of the flea. As mentioned above, the flea is the intermediate host of the tapeworm. If a dog has a flea infestation, you have to treat your dog with suitable mediums from vet against fleas and worms. Also you have to treat all blankets, places of sleeping, carpets and upholstered furniture in the house.

This bloodsucking pests are sitting in the half-heigh bushes and attack the passing dogs from there. They bite themselves in the skin and drill their complete head in the flesh. So it is important to scan your dog after every walk and pick off the ticks with a tick pliers. You must be careful that you also get the head of the tick, otherwise the dog can get an inflammation under the skin. Ticks transfer - depending on the type in different regions - different diseases, par example FSME or Lyme disease.

Mites, like par example earmites, can cause skinproblems. Earmites preferentially nest themselves in the ear of the dog. With earmites infested dogs often scratch their ears with the paws. You can get suitable mediums from vet for the treatment against earmites.


Every dog should be vaccinated against the following diseases or rather epidemics:

Distemper is a virus infection, which can be transferd by deer or infected dogs. So the dog too can be infected with distemper on a walk through the wood.

Parvo viruses are excreted million times from infected dogs with the feces. The pathogen are very durable and can cause an sickness years later. Every dog fece, on which a dog sniffs on the walk, can be dangerous.

Hepatitis is transfered from other infected animals and infests the liver. Aftereffects of hepatitis are permanent corneal damage of the eyes to blindness.

Kennel cough:
Kennel cough is an infectious inflammation of the trachea and bronchi, which is highly infectios. Every dog can be infected, the dangerous is high on big places, where lots of dogs meet together, par example on dogschools or shows. The vaccination is not 100% safe, as the virus strains can change themselves. But with the vaccination the infection will be passed in attenuated form.

Rabies is transfered with the saliva of wild-living canivores. Bite injuries of with rabies infected animals are very dangerous, but the viurs too can transfered by humans, when they touch a death infected animals with their hands. Immediate you have to look for a vet, when you or your dog had contact with a rabies diseased or suspiciously animal.

Leptospirosis is a infectious virusdisease. Leptospires are excreted by the urine of infected animals. The most frequently way of transmission is with urine infected water as expecially puddles in the sommermonths.

Hereditary diseases

Hip dysplasia (HD):
Hip dysplasia is a genetic malformation of the ball joint and the glenoid cavity. You can detect a hip dysplasia with a x-ray. But hip dysplasia too can be caused by overweight or malfeeding. Breedingdogs need a hips x-ray, before they can be used for breeding in Austria.
No HD: HD- or HD-A
Transitional form: HD-/+ or HD-B
Light HD: HD+ or HD-C
Medium HD: HD++ or HD-D
Gravely HD: HD+++ or HD-E
In Austria we only can breed with Cocker spaiels, who has an hips-result of grade A, B or C. A Cocker Spaniel with grade C only can be mated with a Cocker Spaniel with grade A. As the Cocker Spaniel is a more little breed and therefore has not soo much weight, you can be quite sure that a dog with HD B or HD C will never have problems in his life.

As cataract is called every lens opacity of the eye. The cause can be recessive hereditary or not hereditary. Cataract can be congenital or acquired. Basically every cataract is classified as hereditary, provided no clear indication (injuries, inflammations, ...) is given. Many dogs get used to impaired vision, but too it is possible and mostly successful to remove surgically the cataract. Cocker Spaniels for breeding need an annual eyetest. Cocker Spaniels who has diseased by cataract are out of breeding.

Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA):
Progessive retinal atrophy is a recessive hereditary, quick progressive retina degeneration which is ending in asolute blindness. A therapy is not possible. The responsible gene at the Cocker spaniel is called "prcd". You can test the heritability by DNA-tests, which are evaluated par example by the companie Laboklin. With this test dogs can be mated, so that no more bred Cocker Spaniel is diseased.

Familial Nephropathy (FN):
Familial Nephropathy is recessive hereditary and regardless of gender. I't a kidney disease which ends with renal failure.... Normally the dog death in the first two years of living. This genetical defect also can be dedected by a genetic test, par example at the companie Antagene. Diseased Cocker Spaniels are out of breeding.

Adult Onset Neuropathy (AN):
Adult Onset Neuropathy is a recessive hereditary disorder. First clinical signs start mostly in an age between 7,5 to 9 years. The gaint of the dog gets uncoodrinated or he starts wobbling in the hind limbs. The stance in the hind limbs is wide-base. The weakness eventually progresses to also involve the front limbs. His movement will get weaker and at least he will have problems with swallowing. The neurologic signs seem to progress over 2-4 years.
Since 2015 there is a genetical test with whome Cockers can be tested. More often unicolor cockers are tested as carrier or affected, but there are too some cases of particolor cockers.

The recessive mode of inheritance:

... free from the diseased gene
... the dog will not disease on this illness
... the dog will not pass on this illness to his offspring


... carrier of the diseased gene
... the dog will not disease on this illness
... the dog will pass on this illness to his offspring when mated unfavorable


... diseased
... the dog is genetically ill, so he too can disease clinically
... the dog will not pass on this illness to his offspring when mated right

The following table shows possible matings. The percentages are statistic values, the spread can displace at a litter.

A + A

100 % A

all puppies are free from the diseased gene
A + B

50 % A
50 % B

no puppy will get ill
A + C

100 % B

no puppy will get ill
B + B

25 % A
50 % B
25 % C

a part of the puppies can get genetically ill, so they too can disease clinically
B + C

50 % B
50 % C

half of puppies can get genetically ill, and so too disease clinically
C + C

100 % C

all puppies are genetically ill and can too disease clinically
A C-dog can also be used for breeding together with an A-dog. If we only would use A-dogs for breeding, we would restrict the breeding base to much and we would lost valuable genetic informations.

Castration & sterilization

The following considerations should be made, before deciding for or against castration or sterilization:
- Castrated or sterilized dogs tend to be overweight
- Castrated or sterilized dogs tend to overgrowth of woolly, the coat gets dull and become matted quicker
- Castrated or sterilized females tend to urinary incontinence
An operation should be good considered respectively should an operation only be done, when there is a medical necessity (par example pyometra at females or exaggerated sex drive at males).