How long do Welsh Springer Spaniels live for?
Welsh Springer Spaniels are beautiful dogs who are energetic, playful, and great with a family. They usually live a long and happy life; however, before getting a Welsh Springer, it is important to consider the different factors which could affect their life span, as the breed is prone to several diseases. Find out more about the lifespan of a Welsh Springer Spaniel below.
Welsh Springer Spaniel Lifespan
Generally speaking, Welsh Springer Spaniels have a relatively long life span; however, they are also prone to several different diseases, affecting the time they live for. Whilst English Springer Spaniels will live for 10-15 years.
The Welsh Springer will live for between 12 and 15 years. But this may be shortened depending on their health. See section ‘How to Prolong your Springer Spaniels life‘ for more information about keeping your dog happy and healthy.
Factors Affecting Welsh Springer Life Span
There are two main groups of factors that can affect the lifespan of your Welsh Springer. Whilst some diseases develop over the dog’s lifetime, most illnesses that Welsh Springer Spaniels are at risk of are inherited. However, diseases are not the only cause of a shortened life for a Welsh Springer.
Genetic Health Problems
Although this may seem like something more common in humans, Welsh Springer Spaniels are actually at risk of three types of seizures. Reactive seizures are caused by metabolic problems like toxins and low blood sugar, and secondary seizures are due to brain tumors, trauma, or strokes.
However, primary seizures happen due to genetic reasons and can only be caused by inherited epilepsy. Although it can be controlled, there is no direct cure for epilepsy, which means that (depending on the severity of the seizure), it could, unfortunately, decrease your dog’s lifespan.
Hypothyroidism is a genetic disease in Welsh Springers, which means that the body cannot produce enough of the thyroid hormone. The condition can be treated easily, and there are lots of simple symptoms, so look out for hair loss, dry skin, weight gain, and aggression.
The chance of your Welsh Springer spaniel having heart problems is very high, as heart disease is a significant risk to this breed. The most common disease is Patent Ductus Arteriotis, which means too much blood is carried to the lungs, and strain is caused on the heart. It is recommended that you get your Welsh Springer’s heart checked every time you visit the vet.
Sadly, cancer is a very common problem in the older population of Welsh Springer Spaniels. Cancerous tumors can be treated easily if detected early on, so make sure to have regular check-ups with your vet during the later stages of your dog’s life.
Although the owners themselves usually cause this problem, obesity can sometimes come from a genetic source, which will make it harder for your dog to lose weight. However, this doesn’t mean that you should blame all weight problems on inheritance – the most likely cause of the issue is you!
Bone and Joint Problems
Whilst these will not directly affect life span, joint and bone problems can be very painful for your dog. Hip and elbow dysplasia are very common genetic issues in Welsh Springers, and depending on the severity, they may force you to have your dog put down. There is no cure, but finding these issues early-on means they can be prevented from getting worse.
Owner-caused health problems
Even though this is also a genetic condition, it is most likely that your dog is overweight because of you. Spaniels need plenty of exercise every day (at least two hours) to help keep them in shape. And overfeeding can also be the cause of this problem.
If your dog does not lose weight, it can increase the risk of heart problems, joint and bone problems, and decrease your dog’s life span by up to 2 years!
Lots of dogs (not just Welsh Springers) die every year in accidents. This can be anything from car accidents to drowning. It’s so important that you always keep your dog on a leash near the road, and to keep your eye on them whilst off the leash at all times.
Only ever take off the lead if you are in an open area with no nearby traffic (e.g., at a park), because even if your dog is trained to stay by your side, these animals are very unpredictable!
How to prolong your Springer Spaniel’s life
Although some problems are genetic and uncontrollable, there are still many ways to keep your dog healthy for as long as possible. Remember that as long as your dog has plenty of exercise, a healthy diet, and regular check-ups with the vet, they will live a very happy life.
Obesity – there are plenty of ways to treat obesity. More exercise and less food will help to keep your dog healthy. However, you mustn’t overwork your dog, as this is just as likely to induce a shorter life span. Also, remember that the cause may be genetics, and so do not make too many drastic changes because they may not even help.
Epilepsy – joint problems, and heart disease – all of these problems are best solved if they are caught early on. If you see any differences in your dog’s weight, stamina, or behavior, immediately contact your vet for a check-up. All these problems cannot be cured, but the right medication can keep them under control for as long as possible.
Cancer – again, early diagnosis is the key to keeping cancer at bay for as long as possible. Whilst it can be ‘cured,’ please remember that your dog may relapse, and regular check-ups with your vet are a good idea.
Thyroid Problems – although this disease can lead to more serious health problems, it can be cured with a simple pill if it is found in the early stages.
Welsh Springer Spaniels typically live for 12 to 15 years, but various factors can influence their lifespan. Genetic health problems like epilepsy, thyroid issues, heart disease, cancer, and bone/joint problems can affect longevity.
Owner-caused issues such as obesity and accidents can also impact lifespan. Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and veterinary check-ups can help prolong a Welsh Springer Spaniel’s life.
Early detection and treatment of health problems are crucial. Overall, attentive care and a proactive approach to their well-being contribute to a longer and happier life for these dogs.