View Full Version : A couple questions

17th December 2007, 08:56 PM
I'm still very new to the Cavalier breed, I've been around them for a couple years and learned quite a bit, but nothing has prepared me for the wonders of actually having Amber in my home! I do have a couple of concerns, though, that I'm hoping I can get answers for.

1. First off, before this comes off wrong, I do have an appt at the vet for her tomorrow. When I cleaned her ears, I noticed a really nasty black gunk in both ears, her ears where just nasty! And I notice she's been scratching at her ears quite a bit, the vet didn't have any appts until tomorrow, is there anything I can do to relieve the pain/itching until I take her to the vet tomorrow?

2. I know this is going to sound funny to more experienced cavalier owners - But how do I keep her hair out of her food? I swear Amber's eating more of her ears then her food!

3. I eventually plan to show Amber just for fun (she's already had 3 litters in her lifetime, and in my book, that's plenty!), what is the best way to help her build coat? She just weaned a litter about 4 months ago and her coat is still pretty thin. Any good tricks to thicken her coat up?

4. Amber's not eating very well, she's only been here since Thursday evening, so she's still very new to my home, but I'm a bit surprised her appetite hasn't picked up by now, she's turned down the usual tricks I use with my IGs to get them to eat, anyone have any good ideas here?

5. Does anyone feed a raw diet with a cavalier? I feed all my IGs raw because I've found they do much better this way, and after the huge dog food scare a couple months ago I figure it's safer this way as well, I've researched IGs long and hard so I know what they'd be eating in the land they originated from. Right now I'm feeding Amber kibble, but especially since she's not eating well, I'm tempted to try her on raw, any experiences with cavaliers and raw?

17th December 2007, 09:26 PM
On the first two questions, the black gunk almost certainly means she has ear mites and there's nothing you can do til she gets some medications from the vet. On keeping her ears out of food, you need to get her a snood to tuck ears into. Or use soft headbands that are very stretchy -- scrunchies tend to be too tight except on very small cavaliers. Snoods: http://www.allthingscavalier.com/. Spaniel bowls can work for large cavaliers but unless you get a handmade bowl done, most spaniel bowls are too big for cavalier heads.

Lots of people feed raw with cavaliers and are happy doing so, including many on this site, who will argue the pros. :). Personally I feel the risks are significant in feeding raw and know some former raw-advocate holistic vets who now feel the same having seen definite problems. I almost had one dog end up in emergency with a raw chicken wing-- they do not necessarily safely get digested at all and I've seen the sharp bone shards myself, from a wing fed 12 hours earlier. Many feel there are benefits that outweigh known risks with microorganisms and raw bones (raw bones definitely can still be dangerous -- I am lucky I didn't end up with a dead cavalier). Of course many things can be risky including rawhides so it becomes a decision on risk vs benefit and personal comfort zones. Feeding raw isn't any longer a risk I personally will take.

I would just stick with a regular feeding approach and not try any tricks to get her to eat. Just food down, give her 10 minutes, whatever she doesn't eat gets lifted, don;t make any fuss. No treats, no food til the next scheduled time. Cavaliers can be very manipulative about food. But do have your vet check her just in case lack of appetite is due to illness.

17th December 2007, 09:41 PM
Thank you for your responses. I've used snoods to keep my IGs ears warm when we go for walks, I never thought of using them to kep Amber's ears out of the way, but that does look like a very good idea, I'll give it a try! If I do decide to stay with kibble, what brands to Cavaliers usually do good on? Before I switched to raw, my IGs got Canidae Chicken and Rice or Nature's Variety, what protien and fat levels should I be looking at with a cavalier?