With the Brittany Spaniel, you
get a dog that is exceptionally friendly and always
eager to please its master. This dog breed is
intelligent, curious, loving, and athletic. In
addition, we see many families adding a Brittany to
the home due to its even-temper and gentle nature,
great for being around both children and other pets.
Another benefit to choosing this breed is that it
typically has far fewer health defects that you
would see with other breeds, especially those in the
While health issues are seldom a problem, the type
you would expect to see include hip dysplasia, skin
allergies, eye problems, and occasionally, epilepsy.
With hip dysplasia, this common genetic disease
affects the hips, causing looseness whereby the ball
and socket no longer fit. The result is pain,
inflammation, and some degree of lameness. Depending
on the severity of the case, your veterinarian may
want to try any number of medications now on the
market, as well as lubricating shots. If these
treatments options fail, it would be expected for
the Brittany to be humanly euthanized.
When buying a Brittany
Spaniel, especially one you plan to show or hunt
with, you can choose a breeder that goes through a
special certification process of both mother and
father dog to eliminate the risk of hip dysplasia.
This type of evaluation is done through a series of
tests and x-rays and only by the Orthopedic
Foundation for Animals or OFA. Therefore, as you
begin shopping around for a Brittany, be sure to ask
the breeder for the certification.
The Brittany can also experience problems with
inherited eye diseases, which is also something else
that can be checked for by a reputable breeder.
Although the occurrence of eye problems cannot be
eliminated altogether, the risk can be greatly
reduced. Then, this particular breed also has
potential for developing epilepsy. This genetic
disorder cannot be checked as with other health
risks and unfortunately, it can show up at any age.
If you begin to notice changes in your dog,
specifically shaking, lethargy, or loss of appetite,
have it checked by your veterinarian to rule out
Sometimes, the Brittany will experience problems
with a luxating patella, or “floating” kneecap.
Although typically more common among smaller breeds,
it can occur in the medium size breed too, including
the Brittany Spaniel. In this case, the kneecap fits
loosely, which means problems with arthritis,
swelling, and pain, as well as a change of gait.
Most often, a luxating patella would not be noticed
until after the dog reaches six months of age and
then it is most noticeable after exercise, training,
playtime, or walking.
Remember, serious health risks associated with the
Brittany Spaniel are not nearly as common as what
you would see with other dog breeds. However, other
risks, which are considered rare, include thyroid
problems, Umbilical Hernia, Cerebellar Degeneration,
Portosystem Shunt, Discoid Lupus Erythematosus,
Patent Ductus Arteriosus, Hyperlipoproteinemia,
Hemophilia A, and Complement Deficiency. These and a
few other rarer instances do occur but if you
purchase your Brittany Spaniel from a solid breeder,
you should end up with a loving, gentle, and healthy