"However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results"
Winston Churchill


We feel that as longtime breeders of American Cocker Spaniels we should have a page about some of the recent HEALTH CONCERNS in our breed and in all breeds, whether they are purebred or mixed breeds. It is now, not only a BREEDERS PROBLEM, but a problem that ALL DOG OWNERS must face as we CANNOT ALWAYS PREDICT how ENVIRONMENTAL AND GENETIC FACTORS will affect our lives and the lives of our dogs HEALTH now and into the FUTURE.

Although we here at CAL-ORE COCKERS have been very FORTUNATE that in our 30 YEARS of BREEDING AND SHOWING American Cocker Spaniels that we have NOT had any MAJOR HEALTH PROBLEMS. We have on a few occasions had some problems with MAMMARY CANCER, CYSTS,and so far one case of LYMPHOMA, and occasional problems with DRY EYE resulting from the after effects from CHERRY EYE. Whenever we have come across any potential problems the dogs in question are NO LONGER USED IN OUR FUTURE BREEDING PROGRAMS.

Most of our dogs have lived on average to be 12-13 years old and at least one Chocolate who was just 12 days shy of his 16th birthday. All of our breeding stock is checked once or twice a year for the usual health requirements for our breed. These tests include the following:


1. All breeding stock tested by a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (ACVO) & entered Annually & Permanently in The American Spaniel Club Health Registry (ASCHR) for SLT/PRA Clear (Cataract & Progressive Retinal Atrophy & No Retinal Folds).

2. Blood tested for Factor VIII (VWD) & X

3. OFA-Hips X-Ray

4. Thyroid tested.

5. Prior to breeding, all breeding stock (Male & Female) are checked for Brucellosis.


We felt compelled to form a HEALTH PAGE where we can list numerous LINKS to a variety of web pages with VERY INFORMATIVE GENETIC & HEREDITARY INFORMATION about Health problems common to ALL BREEDS of Dogs, NOT just the American Cocker Spaniel.

This time in history will be forever remembered for the CONCLUSION of 20 Years of Research & Study of DNA to learn how both Animal & Human DNA are composed and what makes some species have life threatening illnesses and others who are immune to the same HEALTH RISKS.

Hopefully with this new knowledge we will be able to eliminate most of the Medical & Hereditary Health Problems in all breeds of dogs.

We hope in the following pages you will find the answers to some COMMONLY ASKED questions regarding the health of your family pet.


Health Links

"Learning is a treasure that will follow it's owner everywhere."
Chinese Proverb

Inspire Truth
"Lying makes a problem part of the future; truth makes a problem part of the past."
Rick Piting, Lead to Succeed



Genetic Testing for PRA
PRA Today: Current Research in Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive Pupillary Membrane in Dogs
Retinal Dysplasia and Retinal Folds
Animal Eye Specialists
CERF - Canine Eye Registration Foundation
ASC - Health Registry Part 1
Eyevet Consulting Services


Blood Test Information

BMD Health Links (vWD Blod Disorder)
Factor X

Coagulation Disorders including Factor X (Stuart factor)
(You will need to Scroll down to the Title: Inherited Blood Disorders and click onto Coagulation (bleeding) Disorders this will take you to the page titled: What are Coagulation Disorders?)

Factor VIII

Haemohist (This is why you do not want a Blood Disorder in your Breeding Program)



OFA - The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
Unilateral Hip Dysplasia, Nutrition, Exercise, and Pain Relief
PennHIP - The Universityy of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program



BMD Health Links
BMD Health Links 3 (Scroll down to the Title: HYPOTHYROIDISM)
OFA Genetic Databases - Thyroid Database
Immune System & Disease Resistance



Canine Brucellosis
SHOW DOG MAGAZINE=article on Brucellosis

Dog-to-Human infection sparks off Health Fears 

PUBLIC HEALTH officials and vets have been warned to look out for a potentially serious disease which can spread from dogs to humans, following the first recorded case of the infection in Britian. Brucella canis, endemic in other parts of the world, can cause flu-like symptoms in people, including fever and fatigue and, in some rare cases, damage to the heart lining. The condition usually responds to antibotics. 

Officials last week praised the actions of vets in Caversham, Berkshire, who raised the alarm after treating the pet of a Spanish family which had traveled from the US. The dog spent six months in quarantine, but the disease had not revealed itself. The vets, and officials from the veterinary laboratories agency, reported the case in the Veterinary Record, the profession's journal. 


They said brucellosis should be considered in any animal from an endemic area which displayed signs of spinal or urinary tract disease. Owners and dog breeders should be warned of the possibility of catching the disease. 

James Dunne, who examined the dog at the Oakley veterinary clinic, suspected the disease after x-rays for an apparent slipped disc revealed unusual signs of infection. He sent blood samples for tests and recommended neutering the dog, because the bacteria responsible are found in the reproductive organs. Samples confirmed B canis. The dog responded well to antibiotics and had since been to Spain and back, this time under the pet passport scheme which avoids quarantine. 


Mr. Dunne said the incident raised concerns over the increased travel of animals from foreign countries. "Regardless of the dog being quarantined, it still managed to bring disease into Britain. I think we have managed to catch something that could have slipped away from us." 

Robert Smith, a clinical scientist with the public health laboratory service in England and Wales, said: "Making vets and health professionals aware of this is a very important step." 

Infection of stray dogs could cause difficulties, but well-looked after pets should not pose a hazard to owners, particularly if vets were on the lookout, he said. A similar infection causing abortions in cattle was endemic in mailand Britain until the late 1970s and is still present in Northern Ireland. In England and Wales, there is less than one human case a year. There are also about a half dozen human cases a year of another related animal disease in sheep and goats, usually among visitors or Britons with relatives in the Middle East and Mediterranean countries. It can be contracted through unpasteurised milk or cheese. 

The above information came from Our Dogs Newspaper - Your Complete Guide To Pedigree Dog Shows, Dog News, Breed issue 8-30-2002 in Britian.



Canine Epilepsy Network
Canine Epilepsy and diseases that cause seizures in dogs



Punnett Squares, A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words by Dr. Carmen Battaglia
On The Brink - Ruin Or Recovery?
The Canine Diversity Project
The Dog Genome Project
Finding the Genes that Determine Canine Behavior
Genetic Selection
Scientists Uncover the Gene Blues
Genes and Hips



Canine Cancer Network
Ovarian Cysts and Their Impact on Bitch Fertility
CSU Animal Cancer Center
Nutrition And Cancer
Cancer Is A Treatable Disease


Other sites of interest

ASC Health Registry
Working Retriever Central Library
OPTIGEN - diagnostic lab service and information for genetic diseases in purebred dogs
Boxer Hypothyroidism
AKC Canine Health Foundation
Encyclopedia of Canine Veterinary Medical Information
EMS and Veterinary Medicine
AVMA Pet Poison Guide
Animal Instincts Vet Schools
VetGen - Purebred Animal Genetic (DNA) Disease Testing and Profiling
ASPCA/NAPCC Information Page
Pets with Diabetes
Canine Medicine Chest
Poisonous Plants


We, Lisa and I, here at Cal-Ore Cockers want to THANK ALL the people who have researched and entered all the wonderful Medical information that you will find on our Health Links pages. This includes many Veterinarian's, Breeder/Exhibitors, and many pet owners whose concerns and questions about the health problems of their beloved pets, whether they were Cocker Spaniels, or other Purebred dogs or mixed breeds, prompted us to go searching for answers on the Net.

This is a very Time Consuming Project and one that can get out of control as one becomes almost obsessed in looking for the WHY, HOW and the SYMPTOMS that our Canine friends may be exhibiting or ones that we want to be on the look out for, so if, heaven forbid, ones loving pet, show dog or breeding stock, should become ill, we will be able to catch it in the beginning or early stages and know what to expect and what to do.

We especially want to personally THANK a very dedicated gal, Robin Camken, for giving us her Permission for us to include her BMD HEALTH INFORMATION LINKS on our Health Links Page. Robin has spent thousands of hours and many months and maybe a number of years researching & putting together her BMD LINKS. Thank goodness for her as it has taken us almost 2 years, since we started, in researching and finding all the other sites we offer on our Health Links. Robin's Links are quite easy to read & understand. They have pretty much the same types of medical info. that we were looking for that pertains to the Cocker Spaniel.


Disclaimer: Cal-Ore Cockers offers Links to other pages for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. We may not have thoroughly viewed the entire contents of ALL the Web Sites listed and cannot guarantee that ALL the contents are appropriate or accurate. We ADVISE you to check any information out THOROUGHLY before making any purchases & before making any Medical decisions ALWAYS check with your Veterinarian first.


We have spent thousands of hours searching the Web for information & Links. Researching Old Books, Magazines and talking to Long time Breeder/Exhibitors in our search on the Cocker Spaniel's History. We hope you find them helpful, but PLEASE note these pages are COPYRIGHTED.
DO NOT COPY, Transfer, or Download the content or Photo's of these pages onto another Web page or Web site without our written permission.

Copyright © 1999-2004 CAL-ORE COCKERS
Nancy L. Ray and Lisa L. Ray
All Rights Reserved