Cocker Spaniels have been one of the most popular breeds in theUnited Statessince the 1880s. One of the smaller members of the spaniel family, cockers have long been used as gun dogs, flushing and retrieving game for hunters. Dogs of this breed are relatively compact in stature and possess either a silky or wavy coat which may be black or tan in color. Cocker Spaniels require daily exercise to stay active and regular brushing to prevent matting. These dogs are very intelligent and friendly which makes them excellent family pets.
Generally, Cocker Spaniels can be expected to live between eleven and fifteen years but they are prone to several conditions which may shorten their life span. Cocker Spaniels are particularly prone to ear infections and eye problems in addition to other conditions like hip dysplasia and epilepsy. Pet insurance may help you cover treatment and medications for these conditions.
Because Cocker Spaniels have long ears which often drag on the ground during play, they are prone to infections. Common symptoms include scratching, head shaking and pain. Though ear infections can easily be treated by a veterinarian, typically for less than $100, it is best to prevent them by keeping the dog’s ears clean and dry.
Cocker Spaniels are prone to a number of eye problems including cherry eye and glaucoma. Cherry eye, or glandular hypertrophy, is a condition in which the gland of the third eye lid slips out of place. This condition can be easily repaired by surgically repositioning the gland, a procedure which generally costs between $300 and $700. The gland can also be surgically removed to prevent recurrences, but this may lead to future problems with tear production.
Glaucoma is an inherited condition common in Cocker Spaniels characterized by heightened eye pressure. This condition often results in pain and vision loss which can be treated medically with eye drops or surgically to destroy fluid-producing cells. Medical treatments are generally cost-prohibitive and glaucoma surgery ranges from $2,000 to $4,000. Many pet owners choose not to treat this condition because dogs are highly capable of adapting to loss of vision in one or both eyes.
Hip Dysplasia is a condition in which the femur intermittently pops out of the hip joint rather than fitting snugly within the groove. This condition leads to the degeneration of the joint, arthritis and eventual lameness. Surgical repairs for this condition cost between $1,500 and $3,000 per hip for total hip replacement and joint repairs can be done for around $2,500.
Many breeds of dog suffer from epilepsy, a condition characterized by seizures and convulsions. Seizures range in severity and, if untreated, can be severe enough to result in death. Though this condition cannot be cured it can be managed with medications like phenobarbital or potassium bromide for as little as $0.10 per dose.
Disclaimer: Symptoms, conditions, and costs may vary. Consult a licensed veterinarian to inquire about treatment options and cost of care for your particular situation. Check actual coverage and benefits for your dog to determine whether you will be covered by pet insurance.