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For the less experienced breeders and other visitors we added a brief explanation of the (health-) terms that are used on this website. For more information please contact your breeders club.


COI (Coefficient Of Inbreeding):
The COI is a measurement of inbreeding; a percentage that shows the probability that both genes of a matched couple are identical. This calculation checks if any of the ancestors are related to each other. Typical values are: for brother/sister or parent/child 25%, half-brother/sister or grandfather/grandchild 12.5%, etc. The formula takes in account the distance of the ancestors. You can test your combination on the "virtual pedigree" page.The lower the result, the better. The breed-average in the UK is 9%. Ideally, the COI should be calculated over at least 10 generations with fully complete pedigrees. Please note that it is calculated in real-time, so the value only represents the information available in this database. You can adjust the number of generations with the settings for the pedigree.

AVK (Ahnenverlustkoeffizient = Ancestor Lost Coefficient)
This formula works with a given number of generations and calculates the quotient of the existing ancestors and the maximum possible ancestors. This is the percentage of unique ancestors in the pedigree.

Kidney Diseases

(FN) Familial Nephropathy:
Fatal kidney disease in young Cocker Spaniels. Onset of renal failure due to FN typically occurs between six and 24 months of age. Clinical signs may include polydipsia (excessive drinking), polyuria (excessive urinating), weight loss, lack of appetite, vomiting, or diarrhoea. FN is caused by an autosomal recessive gene. A DNA-test is available.

JRD (or PNP) :
Juvenile Renal Dysplasia: Affected puppies are born with underdeveloped kidneys, in which the nephrons are at a more juvenile stage compared to the development of the individual. The nephrons never reach maturity, so the kidneys never reach full capacity. Symptoms may vary between individuals and depend on the progression and severity of each case. They are similar to those involved in general kidney disease and include excessive drinking (polydipsia) and excessive urination (polyuria). Some puppies may seem difficult to housebreak, while others are fine until they start drinking a lot. They may develop a lack of appetite, weight loss, vomiting and/or dehydration.

The eyes:

GPRA (General Progressive Retinal Atrophy);
Inherited eye disease found in many breeds including Cocker Spaniels with varying ages of onset. This disease starts with night blindness gradually leading to total blindness. In Cocker Spaniels, PRA has a variable age of onset, from as early as 18 months to as late as 7 years. It is inherited as a simple autosomal recessive gene, meaning that a copy of the PRA gene must be inherited from both parents for the disease to occur.

Retinal Pigment Epithelial Dystrophy (RPED) Or CPRA (Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy):
Recent research shows that this disease in Cocker Spaniels is associated with an inherited metabolic inability to circulate Vitamin E around the dog's system. This results in a central loss of vision but not usually total blindness (affected dogs still maintain peripheral vision).

MPP (or PPM) Persistent Pupillary Membranes:
Persistent blood vessel remnants in the anterior chamber of the eye which fail to regress normally in the neonatal period. These strands may bridge from iris to iris, iris to cornea, iris to lens, or form sheets of tissue in the anterior chamber. The last three forms pose the greatest threat to vision and when severe, vision impairment or blindness may occur.

Disorder, where during the development of the eye remains of the blood vessels, which play a role in the nutrition of the backside of the lens, stay behind. Severity is expressed in grades: Grade 1: light form, often in one eye, small amounts of debris that remain unchanged. Grade 2-6 : increasingly severe types: both eyes effected, layer of coloured scar tissue situated on the back of the lens, lens can be malformed and can slowly show signs of cataract.

Abnormally large eyelid opening; may lead to secondary conditions associated with corneal exposure.

A conformational defect resulting in eversion (out-rolling) of the eyelids, which may cause ocular irritation due to exposure.

A conformational defect resulting in an "in-rolling" of one or more of the eyelids which may cause ocular irritation.

Lens opacity which may affect one or both eyes and may involve the lens partially or completely. In cases where cataracts are complete and affect both eyes, blindness results. The prudent approach is to assume cataracts to be hereditary except in cases known to be associated with trauma, other causes of ocular inflammation, specific metabolic diseases, persistent pupillary membranes, persistent hyaloid or nutritional deficiencies.

Cataract can be classified by age of onset: Congenital Cataracts: These are cataracts that are present at birth.
Developmental (Early Onset) Cataracts: Developmental cataracts are those that develop early on in life.
Senile (Late Onset) Cataracts: The cataracts that occur in dogs over six years of age are called senile cataracts.
And by location of the opacity on the lens:
- Anterior Cortex
- Posterior Cortex
- Equatorial Cortex
- Anterior Sutures
- Posterior Sutures
- Nucleus

A distichia is an eyelash that arises from an abnormal spot on the eyelid often causing irritation and inflammation of the eye.

Ectopic Cilia:
An ectopic cilia is a special type of distichia. It is usually found in younger dogs. The eyelash exits through the conjunctiva of the eyelid facing toward the eye, usually at the middle of the upper eyelid.

A hole in one of the structures of the eye. The hole is present from birth and can be caused when a gap called the choroid fissure between two structures in the eye, which is present during early stages of prenatal development, fails to close up completely before birth. The classical description in medical literature is of a key-hole shaped defect. A coloboma can occur in one or both eyes.

RD Retinal Dysplasia
Abnormal development of the retina present at birth and recognized to have three forms:
- Folds: linear, triangular, curved or curvilinear foci of retinal folding that may be single or multiple.
- Geographic: any irregularly shaped area of abnormal retinal development, representing changes not accountable by simple folding.
- Detachment: either of the above described forms of retinal dysplasia associated with separation (detachment) of the retina.


Hip Dysplasia:
(abnormal development of the hip joint) can be found in any breed, including Cocker Spaniels. It can cause lameness and pain in severe cases or produce no noticeable symptoms in minor cases. HD does not have a simple pattern of inheritance (it is a polygenic condition meaning it is controlled by several different genes) and whether an animal will develop HD is also influenced by external factors such as diet and exercise.

Hip Dysplasia conversion table from other countries:

Ofa FCI BVA (total score) Old
Excellent A1 0-4 (no > 3/hip) -
Good A2 5-10 (no > 6/hip) -
Fair B1 11-18 TC
Borderline B2 19-25 TC
mild C 26-35 +/-
moderate D 36-50 +
Severe E 51-106 +



Dilated cardiomyopathy is a disease affecting the heart muscle (the myocardium) which results in pump failure.


Hermaphrodite (XX-sry negative sex-reversal) Genetic females that have male sex-organs.