King Charles Spaniel Health Issues


The King Charles Spaniel is a breed of small dogs that originates from the United Kingdom. King Charles Spaniels are playful, cuddly, friendly-minded lap dogs with an average life expectancy of 9 to 15 years. They are listed among brachycephalic breeds, and due to the specific shape of their head, muzzle, and throat, these dogs are sensitive to anesthesia and very susceptible to heatstroke. This breed is also known to suffer from some eye and heart problems. Below is a list of the most common health issues that have been reported in this breed over the years.

Common Health Issues in King Charles Spaniels

The health issues reported in King Charles Spaniels:

  • Orthopedic issues: patellar luxation, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, scoliosis, arthritis, intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
  • Skin problems: demodectic mange, dermatitis, ichthyosis
  • Eye problems: cataracts, corneal dystrophy, corneal ulcers, keratitis, keratomalacia, distichia, entropion, retinal dysplasia, microphthalmia, optic disc drusen (ODD), “cherry eye”, keratoconjunctivitis sicca/”dry eye”, conjunctivitis/”pink eye”, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), canine blindness
  • Ear problems: primary secretory otitis media/”glue ear”, congenital deafness
  • Gastric problems: colitis, gastritis
  • Heart problems: mitral valve disease (MVD), tricuspid valve disease, congestive heart failure, patent ductus arteriosus, atrial fibrillation, pulmonary valve stenosis, aortic thrombosis
  • Blood clotting disorders: idiopathic asymptomatic thrombocytopenia, macrothrombocytosis, hemophilia
  • Urinary problems: urinary tract infections, bladder and kidney stones
  • Birth defects: cleft palate, umbilical hernia, open fontanelle, fused toes
  • Periodontal disease
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Chiari-like malformation (CM)
  • Syringomyelia (SM)
  • Allergies
  • Epilepsy
  • Seizures
  • Cancer
  • Obesity
  • Metabolic disorders

Although this breed is prone to developing the aforementioned diseases, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all of these health issues will certainly occur in every King Charles Spaniel, but it is good to be aware of them if you own a dog of this breed or you are planning to get one. Please keep in mind that the list is not arranged in any particular order; so it doesn’t mean that the health issues from the top of the list occur more often than the health issues from the bottom of the list and vice versa.