Custom Search

Health and Diseases: Familial Nephropathy (FN), progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and hip dysplasia

Familial Nephropathy (FN), a fatal kidney disease in young English Cockers Spaniel, was unfortunately quite prevalent in the breed in the 1980's until research instigated by the English Cocker Spaniel Club established that this was a hereditary condition with a simple recessive mode of inheritance (as with PRA - Progressive retinal atrophy).
Familial Nephropathy (FN) is a recessively inherited renal disease that has been recognized in the English Cocker Spaniel for more than 50 years.
Familial Nephropathy (FN) is a form of "hereditary nephritis" which refers to a group of glomerular diseases that are linked to genetic collagen defects.
Onset of renal failure due to Familial Nephropathy (FN) typically occurs between 6 and 24 months of age.
Clinical signs may include polydipsia (drinks more), polyuria (urinates more), weight loss, lack of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhea.
These symptoms are commonly associated with any type of renal failure.

The French company, Antagene, has the European licence to offer the FN test and has done so since February 5th 2007. More details can be found at


PRA (Progressive retinal atrophy) is a group of genetic diseases seen in certain breeds of dogs and, more rarely, cats.
It is characterized by the bilateral degeneration of the retina, causing progressive vision loss culminating in blindness.
The condition in nearly all breeds is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait (as with Familial Nephropathy), with the exception of the Siberian Husky (inherited as an X chromosome linked trait) and the Bullmastiff (inherited as an autosomal dominant trait). There is no treatment. PRA is similar to retinitis pigmentosa in humans.
Progressive rod-cone degeneration (PRCD)
This is a disease with normal rod and cone cell development but late onset degeneration of the rod cells that progresses to the cone cells.
English Cocker Spaniel: Occurs late in life, usually at 4 to 8 years old.
It is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait and has been linked to the ninth canine chromosome.


Hip Dysplasia HD (an abnormal formation of the hip socket) can be found in many animals and occasionally in humans, but is generally associated with bigger breeds of dog but it can be found in any breed, including our English Cockers Spaniel.
Hip dysplasia (in more severe form) can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints or produce no noticeable symptoms in minor cases.
Hip Dysplasia (HD) doesn't have a simple pattern of inheritance (It is a polygenic trait, that is affected by environmental factors in the production of the final phenotype) and whether an animal will develop Hip Dysplasia is also influenced by external factors such as diet and exercise.
Hip dysplasia (HD) is one of the most studied veterinary conditions in dogs, and the most common single cause of arthritis of the hips.
At present, the incidence of HD (Hip Dysplasia) in the breeds is being monitored to determine if there is a problem or not

English Cocker Spaniel:
Familial Nephropathy, progressive retinal atrophy and hip dysplasia

We are not a breeding.