Dog Health Care June 2, 2017 Share 0 Tweet Pin 0 Share 0 Why Pet Insurance for Cocker Spaniels is a Sound InvestmentThe Cocker spaniel is a pup-ular breed that started out as a hunting dog, retrieving birds in the field. But that silky coat, enviable eyelashes, and long ears soon captured our hearts to earn them a place by the hearth. As a fur-family member they deserve the best, in sickness and in health. Pet insurance for your Cocker spaniel means access to the most up-to-date treatments, to get them up on their paws and back home where they belong. A Hairy Problem Arguably the Cocker's most distinguishing feature are those ears. Often reaching to the tip of their nose and covered in long luxurious curls, they are a canine indulgence which can sometimes get our fur friend into trouble. As a dog that likes to run with their nose to the ground, the Cocker is apt to sweep up grass seeds with those ears. Undetected, the grass awns migrate down the ear canal and cause terrible ear ache. Then there's the fact that heavy hairy ears seal off the ear canal and make it a cosy breeding ground for bacteria. Therefore it's pretty much guaranteed a spaniel owner will need to get treatment for their dog's ears at least once in their lifetime....which makes pet insurance for Cocker spaniels a sound investment. Why Pet Insurance for Cocker Spaniels is ImportantEar problems and Cockers, go together like bread and butter...but what of their other health issues? It is a sad fact that some of these conditions are potentially life-threatening such as sudden destruction of their red blood cells or cancer of the anal gland. There is good news in that treatments are available, especially with an early diagnosis. But of course those therapies aren't cheap. Immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia can require a blood transfusion, in fact more than one. Whilst cancer of the anal sac requires prompt surgical removal, possibly followed by chemotherapy. All of which makes the provision of pet insurance sound good sense. Find out about Cocker spaniel health problemsKnowledge is power. Read up on the health problems linked to Cocker spaniels so you can decide if pet insurance will give you peace of mind. Sounding Out Cocker Spaniel Health Problems and the Costs InvolvedConditionSignsTreatmentCostSudden severe anaemiaLack of energyCollapseLong courses of steroids MedicationBlood transfusionEmergency consultation £120Investigations £400Hospitalisation £600 /nightAnal sac cancerPain when toiletingWeight lossSpread to internal organsSurgery RadiotherapyDiagnosis £400Surgery £600 +Specialist appointments £200BlindnessBumping into thingsNo treatmentSpecialist diagnosis £300EpilepsySeizuresAnti seizure drugsMRI scan £1,500Tablets £1 – 2 /day for lifeEar InfectionsEar acheBad smellMedicated dropsAntibiotic tabletsEar flushBottle of drops £25 (one treatment course)Enlarged heartLack of energyCoughFluid on the belly Tablets for lifeHeart scan £200Monthly heart tablets £90Greasy skinGreasy coatFlaky dandruffItchinessMedicated washesAntibioticsMedicated shampoo £22 / bottleDrugs £60 / monthHear what we’re saying about why pet insurance policy is a sound decision? We will now explore these medical issues in more detail so as you know what to look out for in your Cocker Spaniel’s pet insurance policy. Pet insurance for Cocker spaniels means you don’t need to worry about vet bills should your dog become sick with the following problems. Sudden Severe Anaemia Cocker’s are active dogs who love to be busy. So imagine how you’d feel if one morning it was an effort for your Cocker to get out of bed? However, this may be the only sign you get that your dog is suffering from a condition where the body attacks its own red blood cells. Immune-mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA) is linked to the Cocker breed, and episodes happen for no clear reason. Much like a cyber attack on your computer, if the problem isn’t identified and shutdown, the results are disasterous. If you are worried, lift the dog’s lip to cheek the colour of their gums. These should be a healthy pink, just like our own. If the gums look pale or even white, then dont delay and seek urgent veterinary attention. To reach a diagnosis means analyzing a blood sample to check the number and type of cells present. In addition, looking at a blood smear under the microscope can identify damaged cells and give the vet a speedy answer. Treatment can involve blood transfusions and drugs, such as steroids, to switch off the immune attack. Both diagnosis and treatment can be costly, especially when the dog needs intensive care. In addition, a dog that suffers from one episode may have repeat attacks and so a pet insurance policy with lifelong cover per conditions is ideal. Anal Sac Cancer You know all that embarrassing butt sniffing that dogs do? Well, what they’re doing is checking out is the other dog’s scent signature. This unique blend of aromatic oils is produced by the anal sacs, located either side of the anus, hence the need to sniff bottoms. It is a sad fact that the Cocker spaniel is more likely than other breeds to develop cancer of the anal sacs. The earliest warning signs may be the dog being uncomfortable going to the toilet. This shouldn’t be ignored because this is an aggressive cancer which spreads early to other parts of the body. If anal sac cancer is suspected the vet will surgically remove the anal sacs and scan the patient to check for secondary spread. Catching the problem early is crucial, hence the importance of pet insurance for Cocker spaniels so that the pet parent doesn’t worry about the expensive of check ups on a whim. Blindness Some lines of Cocker spaniels are vulnerable to an inherited form of blindness called Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). The signs develop slowly over months to years, and affects young to middle-aged dogs. The first hint of a problem is poor vision in low light, such as difficulty finding a favourite toy on the floor. It’s important a specialist examines the eye to ensure other treatable problems are not missed, but sadly for PRA there is no treatment. Epilepsy The Cocker spaniel is amongst breeds known for having seizures or fits, for which no underlying cause if found (This is the definition of ‘epilepsy’.) If your dog has occasional fits then no treatment may be necessary. However, for dogs that have regular or severe seizures, then anticonvulsant medication is essential. In addition to the cost of medication (an average of £2/ day for life) the patient needs regular blood tests to monitor drug levels in the blood and check the liver is healthy. This is a strong argument for pet insurance cover that provides protection for life. Ear Infections If ever a dog was a martyr to their ears, it is the Cocker spaniel. Those heavy ears are a double whammy because not only does the earflap trap the air to creature a warm, moist environment that bugs love, but the hair hoovers up grass seeds which track down into the ear canal. A Cocker pet parent should look into their dog’s ears every single day, to check for grass and sticks and remove them. In addition to looking, a “sniff test” is a good idea. If your nose picks up a bad smell, then off to the vet’s it is. A simple thing such as an ear infection can be troublesome to clear up. This can involve swabbing the ear in order to select the best antibiotic to use and liberal applications of costly drops. There’s also a chance that the dog with regular infections requires surgery to remodel the ear canal to allow more air to circulate. All of which means we don’t like the sound of ear infections and its effect on your pocket. Enlarged Heart Cocker’s are prone to dilated cardiomyopathy, and in this case having a big heart is a bad thing. This in involves the heart muscle losing tone so the heart becomes baggy and saggy – much like a balloon that’s lost its stretch. Diagnosis involved heart scans, which are ideally repeated over time to monitor the condition. There are drugs available which support the heart and slow deterioration, but they are costly and will be needed for the rest of the dog’s life. Greasy Skin Not all Cocker health problems are serious and dramatic, some are just downright annoying. This is the case with seborrhea oleasa, a condition where the skin produces too much oil. This sounds harmless enough, but it leaves the coat feeling and looking greasy. Then, worse than this, it encourages the growth of a yeast that thrives in these conditions. This yeast is the doggy equivalent of athlete’s foot and is intensely itchy. This leads to your pet pal becoming obsessed by chewing and licking, which can cause secondary skin infections. Diagnosis can involve skin biopsies and scrapes costing several hundred pounds. The treatment is a long-term commitment to medicated washes and occasional courses of antibiotics. Pet Insurance for Cocker Spaniels Those long ears and big brown eyes may steal your heart, but don’t let them steal your wallet! An active dog like a Cocker spaniel needs to be out enjoying life. When they become unwell, it’s important to get veterinary help. Many of the problems Cockers suffer from respond best when caught early, so don’t let financial concerns delay a trip to the vet. Sadly, ill health in Cocker’s can occur at any age, so taking out pet insurance for your puppy is ideal. Then continue that cover as the years pass, in order to have cover in place for their senior years (when it can be difficult to find first-time cover.) If you are unclear what to look for in a pet insurance policy, and how to match products to needs, check out our No-Nonsense Guide to Finding the Best Pet Insurance for Dogs Don’t delay: Protect your dog today!