As responsible breeder I believe we must promote good practice by giving prospective owners the chance to take home a heathy, well-adjusted puppy. Our Kennel, Harrenhal , is registered with RSCE- Spanish Kennel Club no.:24117 and FCI – Federation Cynologique Internationale: 488/19
All our dogs are health tested for AON, GPRA and FN and we only use stud dogs that all have certification by an approved veterinarian/clinic.
Before anyone breeds a dog, they should have done their homework, researching pedigrees of both the dam and the sire, going back at least five generations – looking for known health issues. Health Tests determine the chance a dog may pass a disease causing gene on to its offspring.
Buying puppies from health tested parents will not just reduce future veterinary costs but enables the owner to spend many happy years with their beloved pets.
PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)
This is an inherited disease found in many breeds of dogs with varying ages of onset. There are various types of PRA but the one most commonly seen in Cockers is:
GRPA (General Progressive Atrophy): This is also known as prcd-PRA. The disease results in night blindness which gradually leads to total blindness. In Cockers, PRA has a variable age of onset, from as early as 18 months to as late as 7 years. It is inherited as a simple Autosomal Recessive Gene, meaning that a copy of the PRA gene must be inherited from both parents for the disease to occur. With recessive conditions like PRA, there are 3 genetic categories- affected, carrier and normal. Affected animals have two copies of the faulty PRA gene; one is inherited from each parent. Carrier animals have one faulty copy of the PRA gene but appear healthy and cannot be distinguished from normal dogs by eye screening. Normal animals are entirely free of the faulty gene.
Familial Nephropathy (FN)
Familial Nephropathy (FN) is a fatal kidney disease in young Cocker Spaniels. Onset of the disease is typically between 6 months to 2 years of age. Affected dogs are born with an abnormal structure in the walls of their kidney tubules, meaning they are unable to remove waste products from the blood and to produce urine as they normally would do. This in turn causes further damage to the kidneys. The condition has a rapid onset and affects young dogs, and is ultimately fatal.
The clinical signs of FN include excessive thirst and urination, loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, anorexia, halitosis (bad breath), poor coat quality and pale mucous membranes. A diagnosis can be made based on the presence of blood proteins in the urine and/or abnormally high levels of waste products in the blood.
Familial Nephropathy is a simple inherited trait which is autosomal and recessive. This means a dog needs to inherit two copies of the mutated gene for it to be affected by the disease. If a dog has only one copy of the mutation – carrier, the dog will not be affected and it will remain healthy, but it may pass on one mutated gene to some of their offspring.
Adult Onset Neuropathy (AON)
Adult Onset Neuropathy is a progressive weakness due to a neuropathy which has been recognised as an autosomal recessive, hereditary disorder in English Cocker Spaniels. Clinical signs typically begin between 7.5 and 9 years of age and consist first of an uncoordinated gait or wobbling in the hind limbs. The stance in the hind limbs is wide-base and the hocks will drop lower to the ground.
The weakness eventually progresses to also involve the front limbs. When dogs become non-ambulatory on all limbs, difficulty in swallowing also become apparent. The neurologic signs seem to progress gradually over 3 to 4 years and more slowly than those of degenerative myelopathy. This condition was initially thought to affect only solid Cockers but carriers have now been detected in all colours. As with any other Autosomal Recessive conditions like AN, there are 3 genetic categories- affected, normal and carriers. Breeders can use the available DNA test at O.F.A