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Field Spaniels-Everything You Need To Know
Health Defects in Fields

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Health Defects in Fields

Health Issues in Fields

Eye Disorders
 
CATARACTS
This is seen in older dogs but has cropped up occasionally on dogs under 5 years of age. It is a growth that can range from a small speck to completly covering the eye. Depending on the size, vision can be greatly impaired. A surgical proceedure can remove the cataract.
 
ECTROPIAN
This is the most common eye problem in the breed. Also called "loose lids", simply put the eyelids hang or are looser than normal. While not life threatening, dust and other foreign items can enter the eye causing mild to severe infections. Mild cases can be treated with eye ointment or creams from a veterinarian. Severe cases require ean eye "tuck" where the lids are tightened. This condition can be both hereditary and enviromental.
 
PROGRESSIVE RETINAL ATROPHY(PRA)
This is a touchy subject in Field circles. This disease appears mainly in older dogs although there have been two cases in Canada where it was detected in dogs under the age of 3 years. Symptoms start as nightblindness and gradually progress into total blindness. Unlike most other eye disorders there is NO cure for PRA.
There have been "whispers" of cases in the USA but NO ONE has admitted to it. The three cases in Canada were all from the SAME dam that was imported from the UK. And I owned one of these dogs.
Many USA breeders will say that this was a Canadain bred problem or only found in Canada. Make sure ANY puppy you buy comes from parents AND grandparents that were cleared by CERF* from age 2 years and up. Because this is generally a late developing condition, a 4 year old bitch that was cleared at age 2 and not checked again is no beter than a bitch that has never been checked.
 
RETINAL FOLDS/DYSPLASIA
Simply put, "folds" are small blind spots in the eye whereas "dysplasia" are larger and more severe. With folds a dog can live a normal life and never notice the slight distortoin in his vision. Dysplasia can lead to retinal detachment causing blindness.
This can be detected in puppies as early as 8 weeks of age. CERF* strongly suggests that ALL puppies be checked at 6 months also.
It should be noted that adults that have retinal folds CAN produce blind puppies so ANY dog with these problems should never be bred.
 

HIP DYSPLASIA(HD)
This is the MOST common ailment in almost ALL breeds of dogs.
This is caused by the hip ball and socket not connecting properly. Symptoms range from mild arthritis to severe pain while walking or running. Lamenes, pain, irritibility when touched on the rear and limping are all signs of HD.
Confirmation is made by an x-ray of the hips. Treatment ranges from medication to hip replacement to euthenasia.
This has also been a tough topic with ALL dog breeders. Some say hereditary and some say diet and enviroment. Truth is all three play into it. Injury causes it as does malnutrition. And breeding parents with HD will result in puppies with hip problems.
ALL Fields used for breeding MUST be checked for hip dysplasia through OFA** PENHIP*** or OVC**** and cleared. Ratings range from excellent to good to fair to poor. Before you buy a Field puppy make sure BOTH parents were checked at 2 years of age and have passed.

LUXATING PATELLA
The patella is the knee cap. With this disorder the knee cap "floats" or slips away from the leg. This can also run from severe to almost no symptoms. Lameness or unusual movement is noticeable. Surgery is the only cure. You vet can easily check for this.

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