This article is a list of the most common springer spaniel problems, with links to the more detailed articles on this site. Click the underlined words for more information.
Most hereditary problems with springers can be screened for, and may be known about by the breeder from the history of the parents and grandparents. Fortunately, the more common problems such as hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy and retinal dysplasia are being bred out of the springer stock.
Some bloodlines may have a higher incidence of cataracts.
If a young springer (less than 1 year old) is exercised too hard (particularly with jumping), then hip joints may not grow into a healthy adult shape, causing joint pain and arthritis in later life.
Apart from the hereditary eye problems mentioned above, there are a couple of other conditions which are not uncommon.
Entropion is the inward growth of eyelashes. This can be corrected. Outward growth (ectropion) is less common.
Cataracts may occur with any dog (indeed, as with any older person).
Inflammation of the ears (otitis) is fairly common in dogs with long hairy ears if the ears are not groomed and cleaned regularly.
These are usually due to infectious diseases, damage or allergic reactions. In general, treatment is straightforward.
Springers are, in general, well behaved. Although ‘rage’ is talked about from time to time, it has been hard to pin down, and evidence tends to be anecdotal. Springer spaniels have an even, affectionate and loyal temperament, though they love fun and can get excited. Any behavioural problems are usually due to a lack of, or poor, training.
Springers occasionally react when in the company of other dogs of the same sex.
As with most domesticated animals, excessive feeding or poor diet, without exercise to compensate, can lead to other problems such as constipation, diabetes, weight problems and hypertension. Avoiding these is a matter of following suitable feeding and exercise guidelines for springer spaniels.