View Full Version : Hip Displaysia/Health Insurance

6th August 2006, 05:22 PM
Hi guys..

I am just wondering if anybody knows current statistics on Hip Displaysia in Cavaliers? The reason being is because I am looking for a proper health insurance to put Kosmo on. I have had a month of this free, and a month of that free due to different things we got for him.. (like a free month for microchipping and stuff like that..) His expiration is coming up soon and I am looking to move forward to something more permanent..

The company I have in mind is called VetInsurance. It's about $30 a month and it covers up to $15,000 for the lifetime of the pet. The only portions the owners are respnsible for is the exam fee and the first $25 for every night of hospitalization if need be. You also pay 10% of the total bill. The only red tape to ths plan that I can see so far is that they don't cover hip displaysia.... So is it something to worry about or is it usually not that serious of a problem with Cavaliers? I read on their site that they will cover diagnostic testing with a referral which is what attracts me the most because if I ever suspect Kosmo having symptoms of SM then it will cover the diagnostic MRI (seeing dollar signs already for that one.) I am most worried about SM and MVD.. ..

Thanks for any information! (:

6th August 2006, 05:34 PM
You need to see if they cover genetic disorders, not diagnostic MRIs. As SM is considered a genetic disorder they wouldn't necessarily cover it for SM, if they don't cover inherited disorders. If they don't cover hip dysplasia it sounds like they won't cover inherited/genetic disorders.

As far as I know only one US-based insurance company covers enherited problems but I don't recall which one any longer. I'm sure someone here knows which is is? Also this may be different for Canada. Most insurance doesn't cover inherited conditions.

6th August 2006, 08:09 PM
They don't say anything about not covering inherited conditions, they only say no coverage against hip displaysia. They don't cover "pre-existing" conditions, but can an inherited genetic disorder be classified as a pre existing condition even if there are no symptoms presented for lets say, the first 4 years (as in some cases with MVD?) Gee Karlin, now you got me thinking!!

We do not insure:

Preventive healthcare including vaccinations or titer test, flea control, heartworm medication, dental care and prophylaxis(meaning cleansing of the teeth’s surface), de-worming, nail trim, anal gland expression and grooming

For pets that have not been neutered or spayed prior to their 1st birthday, the following items;
prostate problems, hormonal skinproblems, testicular tumors, peri anal tumors, urinary tract disease, mammary tumors, uterine and ovarian problems, whelping,giving birth, diabetes;or injury due to fighting, collision with a motor vehicle or aggressive behavior.

This exclusion does not apply to pets that have been spayed or neutered prior to their 1st birthday or spayed or neutered within 30 days of being adopted by you from a provincially licensed animal shelter.

OTHER EXCLUSIONSWe do not insure the costs, fees or expenses associated with: Injury due to any intentional act by you or a member of your household. Elective procedures, cosmetic procedures, including but not limited to tail docking, ear cropping, de-clawing, dewclaw removal,ear cleaning, skin folds, nail trims, deciduous teeth.

Boarding or transport expenses other than as provided under the Additional Coverage and Benefits section of this policy.

Illness or injury arising from an activity if the same or a similar activity caused injury or illness within 18 months prior to thecoverage inception date.

Pre-existing cruciate ligament problems to one leg as respects the cost of treatment for problems of the other knee.

Diseases preventable by vaccines and prophylactic medications (such as heartworm, lice, internal parasites and fleas).

Conditions arising from or as complications of conditions excluded or limited by this policy.

Abnormalities either present at birth or prior to the policies inception date. This includes conditions that are detectable by a routine physical exam by your veterinarian, regardless if they have been noted or examined. (so I am assuming this means as long as I get him on ins. before he developed some kind of heart murmur even though it might be an inherited condition he still wasn't presenting with it when he was initially examined.. which means he should be covered, am I right?)

Dental disease, however we cover the cost of extractions of damaged teeth and of reconstruction of lower canine teeth if resultingfrom injury from teeth caused by an accidents.

Claims in any way arising from the lack of use and/or implementation of preventive healthcare products and/or methods when such products and/or methods would be in accordance with generally accepted veterinary standards.

Routine healthcareincludes:vaccinations, flea control, heartworm medication, de-worming, dental care, ear plucking, grooming, and prudent regular care.

Anal gland expression, including infection, impaction, and abscess.

Special diets, pet foods, vitamins, supplements, grooming costs, shampoo and bathing (including medicated baths);

Any claim for loss by a nuclear incident as defined in the Nuclear Liability Act, nuclear explosion or contamination by radioactivematerial.

Illness or injury arising from any specific activity of which we give you written notice, unless the illness or injury occurs prior to the delivery or sending by us of such notice.

Alternative therapy including, but not limited to, holistic, homeopathic acupuncture, physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments.

Breeding or conditions relating to breeding, whelping, and queening

Behavioral problems, behavior altering medications, training or therapy;

Diagnostic tests for conditions excluded by this policy and complications of conditions excluded or limited by this policy; (so since SM is not a condition excluded by this policy and is no mention anywhere of it being limited, then a diagnostic test not pertaining to anything excluded in this section should be covered, right?)

Injury, illness or condition caused by war or war activities, whether war be declared or not.War activities include civil war,insurrection, rebellion, or revolution or any act or condition incident of any of the foregoing;


Taken from www.vetinsurance.com

This is found in their "fine print and exclusions" section. According to this I think if the vet feels he should be sent for an MRI to test for SM then it should be covered? Or am I missing something?

And what are other people currently using for insurance? I just want to get the best plan I possibly can at a reasonable price.

if you go to the vetinsurance.com website and click on canadian resident and click shop and compare you can compare vetinsurance, petplan, and petcare. I don't think VetInsurance is available in the US yet though.. !

7th August 2006, 12:44 AM
The only way to really find out if they cover hereditary conditions is to call them and ask for clarificatioin. Better yet, email them so that their reply would be documented.

I have Petcare. The other plans i checked were VPI and the AKC plan that is provided as a free trial when you register a dog. I just looked on the AKC plan website, the company is called PetPartners. They do exclude "congenital" conditions. I dont know if that would also imply hereditary conditions. What i liked about them was they have $7000 per illness, but i didn't really look at the fine print so i'm not sure what that means.

Thanks for posting this, i was looking at the comparison chart. I really like that $15,000 for whatever you need policy. If a dog had MVD and SM, i dont' have an idea of how much money that can run into. How much is brain surgery? I need to find out. MRIs are not cheap, and a dog could need 2 or more. That $15000 to use for whatever might come in handy. It depends on what people need to spend on SM in their dogs' lifetime, which i have no clue.

The Petcare plan that's comparable to the Vet Insurance you're looking into only has $3000 per illness as they say, but it's only $22.95 a month, whereas they say it's $35. Their plan that is $35 is $5000 per illness category, which sounds a lot better than $3000. For either of those plans, the copayment is 30%, not 20% as they say on their comparison chart--maybe they've gone up.

I pay a higher premium, $53, for double coverage and 100%/no copayment. I have $6000 per illness category to use for each of 12 illness categories, which is a total of $72,000 lifetime, which is overkill, a dog would be awfully unlucky to have to use all of that up, but would surely not survive to use it all. Anyway, I am so glad you posted this info because until i read it, i didn't understand my policy. I just read it. Now, i need to find out whether $6000 is enough for SM in a lifetime.

Reading over my policy, it sounds pretty good, i mean, they cover a lot, they don't seem to exclude much of anything except a few breed things (not cavalier), and of course, pre-existing conditions. But if i had the $35 ("competitively priced") plan, i would not be as happy with it because of the 30% copayment.

Petcare does cover all hereditary conditions. It has a few specific breed exclusions, none for cavaliers. My policy says what is covered includes "any illness within, or affecting, all or part of the heart, blood vessels, nose, nasopharynx, larynx, airways, lungs and thoracic cavity." that is in the Cardiovascular/Respiratory disease category. For the Nervous system category, it says it covers "any illness within, or affecting, all or part of the brain, spinal cord, and nerves." In the musculoskeletal category, it says "any illness within or affecting all or part of the muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and intervertebral discs." I called on the phone before i signed up and asked about cavaliers and MVD. I was told "all hereditary conditions," except for those specific breeds. In all there are 12 categories, eyes, digestive system, infectious diseases, cancer, etc. Each one pays up to $6000 with the premium i'm paying.

If $6000 isn't enough, especially for SM, i would seriously look into the plan you posted. I sent them my email address, to let me know when it becomes available in the US.

I need to find out how much patella surgery costs. And what treatment for MVD can run in a dog's lifetime.

VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance) did not cover hereditary conditions, i called them on the phone to clarify and they don't.

I did look into the AKC plan but not very closely because i wanted the 100% coverage with Petcare.

There is also the option of paying $22.95 a month for the same plan except only $3000 per illness and 30% copay. Or, you can get 100% coverage, no copay, $3000 per category, for $38 a month. (these premium amounts are what they say on their website, but it varies some by where you live--mine is about $3 a month less than what it says on their website).

Unlike the vetinsurance.com and also i think the petpartners AKC plan, my Petcare plan covers flea treatment and conditions relating to fleas, or other parasites.

The Petcare plan includes some other things like $250 for boarding kennel or home care up to $25 a day if ithe owner is hospitalized and not able to care for the dog for more than 48 hours, $150 for use in searching for him if he gets lost, and $100 for euthanasia. Also $500 reimbursement in case of accidental death. No deductable on those four things. They do cover flea control and related conditions.

The one i have is called QuickCare Gold double coverage. The ones they have that come closest to the $35 a month on the comparison chart are the regular Quickcare Gold $3000 per illness category, but with the 100% coverage (the 30% copay one is only $22.95), or the Quickcare Preferred which is $5000 per illness category with 30% copay.

Thanks again for posting this. The idea of having $15,000 lifetime to use for anything other than the exclusions, is attractive. If you find out if they cover hereditary things, please post. I like their limit on copayments too. But for a similar price i could get the Petcare one with no copayment at all, but with per incident deductible which i think witht he regular quickcare is $75.

My head is spinning, there are so many variables.

I do want to find out now how much SM can potentially cost, with surgery, and also patellar surgery, just to get an idea of what we are dealing with here, in order to know if my insurance is adequate. If it could cost $10,000 to treat SM over a lifetime, then it might be better to have that $15,000.

7th August 2006, 01:46 AM
If you are collecting costs of different illnesses, Pippin just had juvenille cataract surgery in June and that cost $2600.00 and there are follow-up visits for the next year, all costing more money. He wasn't even 3 years old at the time of the operation. He is doing great though and I am so glad he had it done and I think he is glad too. He can finally see again.

I too have been considering pet insurance for all 3 dogs. I got a quote for PetCare insurance at it will cost me $816.00 a year total. I have been to the vet's all of June & July and now August for Luke's ear & tonsil infection, so I am thinking the insurance is the way to go. Wish I had though of it BEFORE all the vet bills, but it is very likely that the cavaliers will continue to have other health issues in the future.

Since Merry & Pippin have the same Dad, she may develop cataracts too and the insurance will come in very handy. Also, I remember what Molly from NJ wrote recently about her 4 dogs all getting old at the same time and how much money she had spent in one year at the vet's office. I will be in the same situation down the road. Mine are all a year apart in age and if what I read comes true from me, all cavaliers will eventually have MVD.

Just like Judy recommended, I too sent them an email yesterday asking about all the hereditary conditions that cavaliers get and if they are covered. It wasn't clear on the Petcare website. I am waiting for their answer, they must not check their emails over the weekend.

7th August 2006, 02:41 AM

We have the PetCare QuickCare Gold policy. It's $35 per month and covers $3,000 per category with 100% coverage after a $50 copay. I just submitted the claim form last week for Spencer's patella surgery. It was $1,600. I'm also going to do rehab with a holistic vet but am not sure if that will be covered as well.

Take care,


7th August 2006, 02:51 AM

I just got off of the phone with the vet insurance company. I asked them specifically about certian hereditary conditions and why do they have a testamonial on their website from a customer bragging because they are covering her for special medical food when it says clearly in their exclusions that they don't cover special food? I guess nothing is ever black and white, like they claim.

I asked her specifically about MVD and SM and you know what she did? She said "I'll have to get back to you" after me having to explain MVD and SM in great detail. I even had to spell SM for her! lol whatever.. Apparently that's a question for her manager.

So anyways she told me that unlike it says in their fine print section there are some certian genetic ailments that they did not cover. However, the only example she gave me was of Hip Displaysia, which is clearly stated on their website. She said if it's something that is almost guaranteed such as german sheppards and hip displaysia then they might not cover it. I asked for information of their specific health exceptions on Cavaliers though, so I will let you know when I get that. If they don't have MVD or SM as an exclusion then I will probably go one step further and ask for that in writing or an email so that I have documented proof of it. (I've been pooped on too many times to take another chance.. especially something that could potentially cost so much money.)

Having SM, MVD, and luxating patallaes all three are highly unlikely however it's good to know that if the unlucky time comes then you have nothing to worry about. I'de rather pay $50 a month than $2500 if something happened and we had a broken leg or something.


I can't find on the pet care website where it says that there's an option for double coverage. How'd you get this feature? Maybe it's only available in the US?

$50 a month is not too bad to pay if you're getting all of those copayments and whtaever dropped. That gives you a good piece of mind too as you can take him to the vet whenever you suspect anything fishy.


OH my goodness, cataract surgery was $2600?! My eyes lit up like dollar signs when I read that figure!! That's insane!! Putting it into perspective my whole dining room set was that much!! Did you get a specific wrap sheet on what conditions exactly are covered for their $816 plan?

It's awful that Cavaliers have so many frequent health problems. FOrtunately other than the stray runs here and there we haven't had any problems. I am hoping it will continue like that forever, but the reality is that I have to be prepared for the worst.

I am trying to do all of my research before it's too late but it's difficult when there are so many shady areas on this subject.

7th August 2006, 03:39 AM

We have the PetCare QuickCare Gold policy. It's $35 per month and covers $3,000 per category with 100% coverage after a $50 copay. I just submitted the claim form last week for Spencer's patella surgery. It was $1,600. I'm also going to do rehab with a holistic vet but am not sure if that will be covered as well.

Take care,


Whitney, that was both knees, right? How's Spencer doing so far? If the holistic vet has a DVM license, there should be a way of them covering it. Or, if you can get his surgeon to recommend it. that's great that you have a holistic practitioner. maybe the vet could put something in general terms on the claim form, "rehabilitation therapy follow up to knee surgery" or something like that, and submit a claim for whatever it costs. Do you know what the holistic rehab will involve?
good luck!

7th August 2006, 03:54 AM
Charleen--that's great that pippin can see again! Such a young guy. Sorry you've had to spend so much, glad it helped him so much. You must be shell shocked from vet bills, insurance seems like probably a good idea.
The first month i had Zack, during the 30 day waiting period for the insurance when there was no coverage, zack ran up $1100 in vet bills just like that. For diarrhea and vomiting. I was shaken by how fast it could add up, a vet visit here, an injection there, an emergency room visit here, an xray there, a blood test here, a stool sample there. Ch-Ching. $1100. It was such a relief when the 30 day waiting period was over, He's had one more illness since then which cost between $500 and $600, and they paid instantly--check was issued the day the claim form was faxed. cool.

7th August 2006, 04:01 AM
I'm just waiting to hear by on my email about my questions with Petcare, but the more I read on this particular thread, I really think that this insurance is money well spent. I really appreciate the dialogue.

7th August 2006, 04:31 AM

I just got off of the phone with the vet insurance company. I asked them specifically about certian hereditary conditions and why do they have a testamonial on their website from a customer bragging because they are covering her for special medical food when it says clearly in their exclusions that they don't cover special food? I guess nothing is ever black and white, like they claim.

How did they field that one? Good question.

....Having SM, MVD, and luxating patallaes all three are highly unlikely however it's good to know that if the unlucky time comes then you have nothing to worry about. I'de rather pay $50 a month than $2500 if something happened and we had a broken leg or something.

yeah--it's bad enough to have the stress of a sick baby. To have catastrophic expenses on top of that is something i'm willing to pay not to experience.

I can't find on the pet care website where it says that there's an option for double coverage. How'd you get this feature? Maybe it's only available in the US?

Here's the webpage:
On the right as you scroll down, see where it says "Double your illness coverage," below that where it has a chart titled "Quickcare God Program Coverage Details", and the column on the right says "Double Illness category." They dont' actually have a plan called "Double Illness," It's kind of hidden. On my policy it says "Quickcare Gold" and in parenthesis it says "Double illness."

$50 a month is not too bad to pay if you're getting all of those copayments and whtaever dropped. That gives you a good piece of mind too as you can take him to the vet whenever you suspect anything fishy.

Yes. I've never had this kind of insurance before, where you make claims. At work, i have the kind where you just go to the doctor and it's paid for, except for a small copayment. So i was kind of worried about filing a claim and then having to haggle with them about what they would or wouldn't pay, and having it take a long time. So i was really pleasantly surprised when they covered everything i claimed and so fast, it was hard to believe. I'm still not quite grasping how easy it was, i'm still expecting it to be harder. But as i get used to it, it will really help reduce stress if Zack gets sick.

7th August 2006, 11:07 AM
Actually to me it sounds like they probably exclude genetic conditions -- the clause (which I think you have misinterpreted) that says conditions present at birth *including* anything found bu a vet on an exam to me sounds like genertic, inherited disorders -- as the disposition towards these would be present at birth.

SM is present at birth -- at least the conditions for it to develop, because the skull malformation is there and the malformation alone can cause the same complex of symptoms.

So it is important to get these clarifications directly from the company. Also be aware insurance companies can change their policies. Personally I fear that as SM seems to be prevelant in the breed, is increasingly in serious forms, and is costly to diagnose and treat, it will eventually be removed from coverage by the few companies that cover it. :?

Overall I do feel insurance is well worth the cost for 1 or 2 dogs (at least by Irish/UK prices; our premiums are a lot lower I think than the US). Once you start to get a number of dogs it is probably cheaper to just save money into a fund each year to cover health costs if needed.

7th August 2006, 10:05 PM
Karlin, do you have a sense of how much people have to pay for medical costs for SM in the worst case scenario in the US, like, if there is a fairly early onset with severe symptoms, MRIs, medication and surgery?

My idea of treatment for MVD, which is minimally informed, is that its generally treated with medication, along with emergency room hospital treatment for symptoms of heart failure or arrhythmia or ??

I'm not familiar with cases where the valvular disease has been treated with surgery, such as valve replacement or pacemaker, and whether that is common. I need to get an idea of what these costs can run into too in the worst case scenario but am not sure how to get this information.

It would be great if there were a resource that gave even rough estimates or ranges of the expense involved in medical treatments, allowing for geographic variation

7th August 2006, 10:12 PM
I don't know costs with MVD but the tests are probably what is most expensive. they don't do valve replacements -- there was a post on this somewhere a while back. The survival rate isn't very high or very long.

SM can be very costly. MRIs for diagnosis range from $400 (low cost clininc in NYC) to a more typical $1000-2000 (however the $400 MRI wouldn't be suitable for planning a surgery, it is just a diagnostic MRI). Surgery is about $4-5,000. Usually another MRI is done a year after or so. Then there are drugs, the most expensive being Neurontin. Usually the dog stays on that.

7th August 2006, 11:19 PM
Thanks, it sounds like, worst case scenario, SM can definitely exceed $6000, if surgery were chosen.

8th August 2006, 11:46 AM
I got a call back from the VetInsurance company yesterday. They told me that they will cover anything related to MVD and or SM!! Can you believe that? They said specifically that they don't feel that it's the owner's fault if the dog gets sick.

As far as your premium increasing for the amount of claims that you make they told me that most companies are similar to a driver. If the driver runs into a pole a million times then the insurance will go up because their driving is considered "reckless." However, they said they don't believe that any animal should be punished for being sick no matter how many times it happens because you can't help illnesses. That's why they give comprehensive coverage up to $15,000. How you wish to use it is how you wish to use it, no questions asked.

They were willing to compare any other companies over the phone and openly told me to go and research them should I choose because they said they firmly believe any well informed pet owner will choose them for insurance.

As far as the special food goes he said they will not cover prescription diets such as hypoallergenic food or anything like that, however, (and this is the exact analagy that he used,) if your dog swollows a tennis ball and needs special food to break up the tennis ball then they will cover that.

All hereditary conditions are covered, except for hip displaysia, assuming that the condition is not pre-existing at the time of enrollment, or it does not present itself within the first 30 days of enrollment.

If SM happens to be one of those things that the company "decides" to exclude, I hope that should we happen to battle it we are the "deciding turn factor" so we will be covered! SM really seems like a pain - so costly. :( I pray to God that we don't have to deal with it.

Anyways I am really glad that they called me back with this news yesterday. It makes me breathe/sleep better. (I was gonna say eat, but obviously I never have a problem with that. :rotfl: )

Thanks guys and take care!! I'll let you know should they decide to change anything important in their policies!!


8th August 2006, 05:51 PM
thanks for that report, that is important information. I will definitely look closely at their plan when it becomes available here.

Their comparison chart with respect to Petcare is not correct, it should be revised. They have distorted information to make their plan look better, which doesn't present the best impression. The 'competitively priced' (their term) Petcare policy has 100% coverage, no copayment, $3000 per illness for 12 illness categories, $36000 lifetime benefit, $38 a month, $75 deductible per incident, i think.

Like they say, it would be the unusual animal that would use up the $15,000. My cat is 13 and i've probably paid $200 in vet expenses in her life, although now that she is old that will probably change. All the dogs i had before never had vet bills. Of course, that was in the days when animals were healthier than they are now, and the decline in pet health is something i hope someone is looking into. There are some people who attribute the change to increase in vaccination exposure, but whatever it is, need for vet care has increased since i last had dogs 20 years ago. I think that SM has been increasing in frequency, at least some experts say that though there is controversy about it i think.

as far as judging how much insurance coverage is neeed, cavaliers seem to have more medical issues that the average dog. i have to consider that.

So a cavalier just might be one of those dogs who would use up the $15000 and would be more likely than some other breeds to use it up (i am assuming those are American dollars they're talking about. If they're talking about Canadian dollars, that would be a lot less coverage relative to expenses in the US, wouldn't it?)

If i was young, like in my 20s or 30s, i would not see it as a problem to risk the vet costs going several thousand over the $15000, but i'm 57 and hoping to retire before too long, and my pension is pretty small, like less than half of what i make now, and i don't own a home, so it woud be unwise to go into debt several thousand dollars at this stage or to use up the small amount of savings i have.

The same is true of the other insurance plans. On Petcare, i have $6000 per illness category. That is probably adequate for most categories, more than adequate, but SM might go over--but that would probably be a worst case thing, i don't know. I need to research that by talking to people who have experienced SM. I think that the competitively priced $3000 per illness category on Petcare is probably adequate too, for most pets, but not sure about Cavaliers. Again, if i were young, it wouldn't be a problem to risk a debt of several thousand, there would be time to pay it off before retirement. but for me, with a cavalier, $3000 per illness category is probably not enough.

If the vet insurance.com comparison chart was more accurate, it would show that for $3000 a month 70% coverage, Petcare's premium is $23 a month, not $35. For $23 a month, that's the best value i've seen yet looking at plans on the web.

If the vetinsurance company's total coverage was $20,000 US lifetime, i think i'd feel secure with it (at my age) but need to get a more realistic feel for whether $15000 would adequately cover a cavalier with MVD and SM and knee surgery and eye or ear treatment. It's very appealling to be able to use the coverage for whatever is needed.

I like that they gave you a timely personal reply. And it's very good to hear that insurance companies are assessing it to be worth their while to offer coverage of these conditions.

About car insurance, my insurance company assesses fault. You can have all the accidents you want without them raising your premium if you are assessed not to have been at fault. They don't penalize you for being unlucky and being harmed by something you had no control over. so I would say Vet Insurance is not using a correct analogy there, if that's true of other car insurance companies as well. I do think that their policy is probably like other policies in specifying that if the pet's condition is caused by owner negligence or abuse, it won't be covered.

I'm glad you brought up this issue because i never have seen any information from Petcare about raising premiums. That's not mentioned in my policy. so i will call them and ask if my premiums will be raised related to how many claims i make, or how much my claims cost! That's a very important matter. I will tell them about the vetinsurance company's comparison chart and their assertion that Petcare will raise my rates if i make claims, and see what they have to say.

8th August 2006, 06:27 PM
Personally I think one of the biggest causes in the decline of pet health is people who breed purebred dogs with no knowledge of pedigrees, breed health issues, genetics and how genes work, and who don;t do any of the basic tests to clear their breeding stock for key health problems. These MUST be specialist clearances -- not 'what the vet says'. A vet cannot assess something like cardiac health.

If we as puppy buyers purchase puppies from breeders who do none of the above then we contribute to the problem of gradual decline in overall breed health. Tip offs are, they do not show their dogs so they have NO idea of what a proper breed example looks like and therefore are likely breeding dogs that should never have been bred; cannot produce documentation on testing; they say their lines are clear of disorder X; they says their dogs come from champion lines from country Y which has no problems with that health condition; they register their dogs with bogus registries (http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=216) because their breeding stock are poor quality, unregistered dogs to begin with; they are not selling their puppies on limited registration because they don't care if YOU breed their poor breed examples -- they may even encourage you to breed to 'make back the cost of your puppy'!; ... and on and on.

8th August 2006, 06:59 PM
makes sense karlin.
i don't recall if what i read about decline in pet health applied to mixed breeds as well.
what you said about showing dogs and knowing what the proper example of the breed looks like--recently i read a post by a breeder on a cavalier SM list that suggested the possibility that breeding for a certain look may have contributed to increasing SM frequency. Is this a common or respected hypothesis? I'm sure it must be controversial because of the challenges in trying to understand and explain all the cases of SM, and inevitable speculative nature of most ideas at this stage in the development of knowledge.