The English Cocker Spaniel is generally a healthy breed with no major problems. I do, however, ensure that I test for some inherited conditions that can affect the breed. The most significant conditions are PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) which can cause blindness and FN (Familial Nethropathy or shrunken kidney) which are both recessive (meaning both parents must carry the faulty gene to produce affected progeny). Some Hip Dysplasia is also seen in the breed. Hip Dysplasia is more complex and it is likely that several different genes are involved. My dogs have had DNA tests and x-rays and are tested clear. I also use BAER tests to check that my dogs' hearing is normal. 

Although it is often overlooked grooming is an important part of your dog's health program. Generally speaking, cockers need daily brushing as they are a breed which can easily mat when they are in full coat. Patting the dog with the brush isn’t good enough; brushing needs to be thorough and you need to work from the skin to the end of the coat and over the entire body area of the dog including feathering, the ears, behind elbows, under the armpits, around the rear end, and under the chest. You need to keep nails trimmed and brush their teeth with dog toothpaste.Routine brushing and combing takes about five minutes daily, removes dead hair and dirt, prevents matting, as well as stimulates the blood supply to the skin which not only allows your cocker to enjoy attention, which is craved, but also gives a healthier and shinier coat.

Just imagine what your hair would look like if you didn't run a brush through it daily!