Health / English Springer Spaniel
The goal of English springer spaniel breeding is to produce healthy and agile dogs typical to this very mobile breed. the dog must be able to perform it's original function as a flushing- and fetching bird-dog.
English springer spaniels are part of the Finnish Kennel Club's PEVISA- program. this requires that all dogs used for breeding have their hips x-rayed and their eyes examined for congenital defects. It is also recommended, that only fucosidosis -free (non carrier) dogs be used for breeding. the breeding-committee sthives to identify other possibly hereditary diseases in the breed. Although the breed is fairly healthy, there have been some instances of epilepsy, allergies and auto-immune diseases, to name a few. Precise information on these illnesses is not readily available, so input from the owners of afflicted dogs is vitally important. All said input is naturally confidential and published only for the use of the breeding-committee and not available on the internet as are the health exams governed by the PEVISA- program.
Mating and whelping usually succeed without incident in the breed. Bitches care for their pups without assistance and supplementary feeding is rarely needed in the early stages. Easy breeding is crucial to the success of the breed and a thait we thy to retain.
In addition to breeding-stock, "family pets" are also encouraged to have health exams. This provides the breeding-committee, as well as individual breeders, extremely valuable data on the overall health of the breed. The health of the breed must be a matter of concern for all. Especially older, over seven-year-olds, should have eye-exams, because many hereditary defects are not detectable at an early age. It is important to remember that the dog does not lose value in any way even if something is discovered in the exam. The vast majority of defects are asymptomatic and often go unnoticed (therefore giving no cause for an examination) but these defects can be compounded and made more severe by generations of breeding afflicted dogs.
Hip- and elbow-dysplasia
The annual hip x-rays of English springer spaniels in 2010 found 78% to be healthy (A- and B-rated). the remaining 22% received a C- or D-rating and there were none classified as E (severe). Statistically, this is a marked improvement to the 30% abnormal of just a few years ago. Elbows are rarely x-rayed in English springer spaniels, but what results we do have indicate that elbow abnormalities do not present themselves in the breed to any degree. In 2010 34 dogs were examined and 29 of them found to be completely healthy (0) and the rest of them had result 1 .
Of the dogs examined for congenital eye-defects in 2010, approximately 6% had some findings (PRA, HC or RD). Of these, PRA is combated with the strictest bans: know carriers are not allowed to breed and line-breeding to them should be avoided. Line-breeding is not recommended for carriers of any of the other hereditary eye-defects as well.
The breeding-committee will only approve pairings where both the dam and sire are fucosidosis -free (i.e. not carriers of the gene). Most litters in Finland are fucosidosis- free (non carriers).
All the examination results you can find from KoiraNet (database of Kennel Club of Finland).