English Cocker Spaniel – Heart Disease: the Importance of Early Detection and Proper Treatment

Dog owner question

"Hi! Our English cocker spaniel, Spanci, is often tired and I have noticed that his breathing is faster than before. I have heard that this breed is prone to heart disease. What do you know about this and what can I do to spot the signs early and manage Spanci's health properly?"

Veterinarian's reply

"Hi! You are very correct to pay attention to Spanci's symptoms, as English Cocker Spaniels are indeed prone to certain heart conditions such as dilated cardiomyopathy and mitral valve disease.

Dilated cardiomyopathy

Dilated cardiomyopathy causes weakening of the heart muscle and dilatation of the heart chambers, leading to deterioration of heart function. Mitral valve disease is damage to the mitral valve on the left side of the heart, which also affects heart function.

Common symptoms of both diseases include fatigue, rapid breathing, coughing, loss of appetite and lethargy.

If you notice any of these symptoms in Spani, contact your vet immediately!

The vet will be able to perform the necessary tests, such as an eavesdropping test, ECG, cardiac ultrasound, or X-ray, to help make a diagnosis.

Treatment usually includes medication to improve heart function and relieve symptoms. In addition, a proper diet and moderate exercise can also help maintain Spanci's overall health.

By looking after Spanci and recognising the signs of heart disease early, it is possible to manage the condition and improve the dog's quality of life.

Always listen to your gut instinct and consult a vet if you are concerned about Spanci's health."