Brittany Spaniel Health Guide
With the Brittany Spaniel, you get a dog that is exceptionally friendly and always eager to please its master. This dog breed is intelligent, curious, loving, and athletic. In addition, we see many families adding a Brittany to the home due to its even-temper and gentle nature, great for being around both children and other pets.
Another benefit to choosing this breed is that it typically has far fewer health defects that you would see with other breeds, especially those in the sporting category.
Brittany Spaniel Health Guide
While health issues are seldom a problem, the type you would expect to see include hip dysplasia, skin allergies, eye problems, and occasionally, epilepsy. With hip dysplasia, this common genetic disease affects the hips, causing looseness whereby the ball and socket no longer fit. The result is pain, inflammation, and some degree of lameness. Depending on the severity of the case, your veterinarian may want to try any number of medications now on the market, as well as lubricating shots. If these treatments options fail, it would be expected for the Brittany to be humanly euthanized.
When buying a Brittany Spaniel, especially one you plan to show or hunt with, you can choose a breeder that goes through a special certification process of both mother and father dog to eliminate the risk of hip dysplasia. This type of evaluation is done through a series of tests and x-rays and only by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or OFA. Therefore, as you begin shopping around for a Brittany, be sure to ask the breeder for the certification.
The Brittany can also experience problems with inherited eye diseases, which is also something else that can be checked for by a reputable breeder. Although the occurrence of eye problems cannot be eliminated altogether, the risk can be greatly reduced. Then, this particular breed also has potential for developing epilepsy.
This genetic disorder cannot be checked as with other health risks and unfortunately, it can show up at any age. If you begin to notice changes in your dog, specifically shaking, lethargy, or loss of appetite, have it checked by your veterinarian to rule out anything serious.
Sometimes, the Brittany will experience problems with a luxating patella, or “floating” kneecap. Although typically more common among smaller breeds, it can occur in the medium size breed too, including the Brittany Spaniel. In this case, the kneecap fits loosely, which means problems with arthritis, swelling, and pain, as well as a change of gait.
Most often, a luxating patella would not be noticed until after the dog reaches six months of age and then it is most noticeable after exercise, training, playtime, or walking.
Remember, serious health risks associated with the Brittany Spaniel are not nearly as common as what you would see with other dog breeds. However, other risks, which are considered rare, include thyroid problems, Umbilical Hernia, Cerebellar Degeneration, Portosystem Shunt, Discoid Lupus Erythematosus, Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Hyperlipoproteinemia,
Hemophilia A, and Complement Deficiency. These and a few other rarer instances do occur but if you purchase your Brittany Spaniel from a solid breeder, you should end up with a loving, gentle, and healthy dog.
Read More About Brittany Spaniel
- Brittany Spaniel Breed Information
- Brittany Spaniel : 10 Most Common Questions
- Brittany Spaniel Training Guide
- Owning a Brittany Spaniel : Breeder Recommendations