View Full Version : please help im sooo scared

14th September 2008, 08:36 AM
hi as most of you will know i bring millie home in 2 weeks 6 days, we adore her and love her so much already we chose her when she was 5 days old and visit her every 2 weeks ( although its been every weeks last few). when me my husband & 9 year old son decided to get a pet to be part of our family we discussed breeds etc & because 3 of my work collegues have cavs and told me about there temperment etc they sounded perfect so of we went a bought millie, i must stress how fantastic the breeder is she has properly researched it and knows wjat she is doing & the pups are loved & cared for her her hubby and there kids. anyway acouple weeks ago i turned the tv on and that dogs exposed program was on i was upset as i didnt realise cavs had so many health issues, i spoke to gemma who was fantastic & reassured me both sets parents etc are both sound and the puppys are sound (they have been vet checked) and i was content again. but since browsing on the health forum ive read some really upsetting things about othere peoples babies and now im really scared for millie infact i become paronoid thinking its so common shes gonna become ill. im so sorry i didnt research the breed more i was so naive but we love millie so much i carnt even contemplaint not having her. i suppose what im asking is is this as common as im reading!! should i stop reading abouth health issuses!! im so hurting and worried i dont wanna be looking for symptoms all the time but obviosly wanna spot them.
very sad michelle:(

14th September 2008, 09:19 AM
Its hard when you hear all about their health issues.At least your reading up.We bought Alfs and i didnt know anything about the breed,all i regret is i should of taken my time and sought out a good breeder.thats what i think you should do,take your time and find a good breeder.I love him to bits and he suits are familys needs.They are lovely dogs and have a good outlook.I am just going to enjoy and take the bad and good.

14th September 2008, 10:35 AM
Totally agree with Justine. I have had Sam who has died with his heart and also going through the same now with Bonnie, it is not a nice thing to go through. Both of these dogs are/were rescues.
Even though ur breeder has said they have been vet checked this is not the same as having the proper health checks, Heart scans etc. Also are the parents and grand parents of the pups clear from heart murmers.
U could be lucky and get a healthy pup and the chances it will be till its about 5 or so and then more than likely it will develop the heart condition.
My advise get a breeder who has done all the right checks, before i found this board i bought Sally of a breeder never knew any difference, the chances are Sally all though clear now, she is 2 and a half, will develop these conditions.U have read up about this so do ur self a favour please go to a right breeder. It will save urself, ur family and ur pup lots of heart break in the future.
Good luck anyway what ever u decide.:xfngr:

14th September 2008, 10:42 AM
all breeds have their problems and cavaliers unfortunately can suffer with some terrible ones as im sure you have read, however they make the most amazing companions, as long as you are aware of the health risks you will be fine, just enjoy having her as it is too easy to get caught up worrying about all the health issues.
If something happens you just have to deal with it, I cant ever imagine having a different breed of dog, i would jsut always be very cautious and careful when choosing a breeder.
There are many people on this board that have lost their dogs before their time however their is also a huge number whose dogs have lived til 13yrs +
dont let your concerns get in the way of enjoying her:)

14th September 2008, 10:44 AM
thanks gem thats just what i wanted to hear reasurance thankyou! xx

14th September 2008, 10:48 AM
all breeds have their problems and cavaliers unfortunately can suffer with some terrible ones as im sure you have read, however they make the most amazing companions, as long as you are aware of the health risks you will be fine, just enjoy having her as it is too easy to get caught up worrying about all the health issues.
If something happens you just have to deal with it, I cant ever imagine having a different breed of dog, i would jsut always be very cautious and careful when choosing a breeder.
There are many people on this board that have lost their dogs before their time however their is also a huge number whose dogs have lived til 13yrs +
dont let your concerns get in the way of enjoying her:)

while i agree with what u are saying, seen as the OP now knows the risk would she not be better waiting another few months and doing abit more reserch on a good breeder. I know even then there is still a chance the dog could develope these probs at least she will know she did her best.
Like i said i have/am going through this at the moment and if i decide to get a pup in future i WILL be going to a reputible breeder.
While people keep buying pups of BYB we will never see a end to these horrible conditions and BYB will just keep churning out ill pups.

Reading back i sound very judgemental and rightous dont mean to be just with going through this once and now again its not something i would like to repeat. Its not a nice time for anyone to watch and when u get to the stage where u know enough is enough it is heart breaking. Like i was trying to say, now that the OP knows that she can "maybe" lessing her chances of going through this would see not be better do do this.

14th September 2008, 11:42 AM
The main issue is not whether your breeder is SAYING the dogs are healthy -- has she actually MRId her dogs? Does she know much about SM? Has she been able to show you 1) the heart test certs for both parents? Grandparents? Are both parents heart clear and OVER 2.5 years old? Are the certs from a vet or a cardiologist? Has she shown you hip scores, or eye tests?

Every breeder in the world will say their dogs are healthy and without problems -- otherwise how would they sell a single puppy? Some breeders will say they heart test -- but when you ask, they cannot show you certs and their dogs are underage for the MVD protocol, the single most important thing to lower the chances that your dog will get early onset heart disease.

You need not just a nice friendly breeder who is reassuring, but a breeder who can produce actualk PROOF that they have heart clear dogs, that they were heart clear within a few months of the actual mating, that they were the right ages fr breeding in the first place, and personally, I wouldn't even consider puppies from anyone who isn't doing some MRIing and would want to know the grades of the parents on MRIs and why they chose these particular parents for a pair. Both do not need to be A grade dogs but at least one should be and I'd want to know the qualities f the D dog that made it a good match for the A dog.

If your breeder cannot answer these specific questions and doesn't at minimum do heart testing and follow the MVD protocol, I would walk away from that puppy no matter how hard it may be. There are plenty of puppies out there from more health conscious breeders.

Anyone who gets a cavalier needs to understand that most will eventually get heart disease though -- please be sure you are familiar with what this will involve. Many cavaliers live a relatively long life -- however as has been pointed out many times, sadly the life expectancy IS lower because of heart issues. We have come to accept 10 as 'old age' for cavaliers because so many die at younger ages from heart problems or will be dead by 10, which is very young for small breeds. :( A small breed like a cavalier should routinely live til 14-15 and occasionally, beyond. This is the norm for similar sized breeds nit plagued with early onset MVD.

We need to stop revising our expectancies downwards and help the breed's overall health by ONLY ever supporting breeders who are breeding for health, not to gain income off puppies.

The overall health of the breed is equally our responsibility. Breed health isn't just about breeders -- it is about the personal choices we make in where we buy. If we buy from breeders who regularly risk introducing problems or perpetuating them, that continues the cycle and damages the breed. Please, folks, always opt for the health-focused breeder who breeds dogs of the right age, cardiac tests, and ideally MRIs. In the UK breeders can MRI for only £100 through their clubs, so there is absolutely no reason (except indifference) not to make this small investment in knowing the neurological status of breeding dogs!

14th September 2008, 01:17 PM
...in your shoes, if you have any doubts or niggles in your mind I would stop right now.

You have seen the film and it has made you think seriously about the health of this new puppy. That is a good thing to have happened.

If there is a way of reducing your chances of having a Cavalier with SM and MVD then you should do just this. Find a breeder that heart checks and MRI scans, have some history of that family as well. It will take time but it will be well worth it.

This little puppy is going to be a member of your family, for hopefully a long while and you want it to be a healthy puppy/dog. Please give this dog the very best chance of having a healthy lifetime, buy from a breeder that cares about health, has done the testing and will support you with your dog afterwards. Don't just take a persons word that their pups are well and healthy and vet checked, and to be honest a vet check simply isn't enough. See the papers and certificates for the parents, really learn about Cavalier health first.

It is going to be hard for you to walk away now but it is never to late to say no.


14th September 2008, 01:34 PM
Along with all the above very good advice ,try to think of all the cavalier owners you know ,are they happy with their cavaliers ? Are any older or are they under 5 years old?
The problems showing up now need to be tested for they don't always show up ,but many live happy lives even if problems surface later.
If you are trying to digest all this new information maybe it is an idea to wait a bit longer do more research and make a more informed choice. Don't worry about changing your mind, no reputable breeder would want you to take this pup with these doubts.People changed their minds even before this programme its part of the territory.In fact a phrase I often see which concerns me is "readvertised due to timewaster" often when these pups are still just weaned!There are a lot of people breeding cavaliers at the moment and want them off their hands ASAP.
You have a lot to think about ,you obviously have realised what lovely dogs and ideal family dogs cavaliers are. Reputable breeders need informed ,open minded owners to work with them to move forward with this lovely breed. Taking their pups knowing they have tried their best to produce a healthy pup and being aware problems sometimes crop up.
That said I would insure your pup and don't pay exorbitant prices and enjoy it, if you chose to buy.This list will give you all the help you need.


14th September 2008, 02:49 PM
but many live happy lives even if problems surface laterThanks for saying this; a health problem isn't necessarily hugely difficult to manage, including MVD and SM. And keep in mind that the Kennel Club health survey on their website states that 37% of dog owners of ALL purebreds say they have at least one health issue. So health issues are fairly likely to arise at some point in a dog's life. That isn't really acceptable either but that's why there's now a push to change perspectives on what is acceptable.

While the ultimate goal must be to reduce MVD and SM incidence and severity and to help the breed by only ever supporting breeders who are working in this direction too, many of us have dogs (or cats) with some health issues or disabilities and they get along fine and many such companions are amongst the most rewarding commitments we have made in our lives. There is never, ever a 100% health guarantee and if this is deeply worrying, then a pet probably isn't the right choice. Also owning a pet takes in responsibilities such as the emotional and financial commitment to care for a loved pet through health issues or accidents or the many things that can happen in an ordinary lifetime.

Many of us will be living with dogs with SM already. Without scanning, you don;t know. If the lowest level of incidence in the research groups holds true, then about one in three of cavaliers under 5 have SM. Many will have no symptoms or may only ever have quite mild symptoms. Many more without SM have a too small skull, and the brain may be pushed through into the spine. Again, without a scan, this can't be seen.

I think very few of us would want to get rid of our dogs on the basis of a scan revealing these things. And many of us on the board have diagnosed SM and MVD dogs that are managed. I have known Leo had SM since he was only 1.5; he turns 5 this week. While I constantly am considering how best to manage him, many here have met him and will agree I think that generally he is a happy, active little dog despite living with illness and having some more difficult days now and then. So is Lily. I wouldn't gived up either. I have friends who have lost dogs to other illnesses, accidents, or because the dog was lost or stolen, and I still have Leo. I have had going on 5 lovely years with him and plan to have quite a few more.

15th September 2008, 04:27 AM
Heart Disease caused 22.9% of deaths in adults 45-54 in the U.S in 1999. For adults age 85+, this statistic goes up to 39%. Does that mean we shouldn't have kids? 22.9% is huge, and the ages affected are barely middle age...certainly not what comes to mind when we think "heart disease".

Does this mean we will stop having babies because there is a 22.9% chance that their heart will kill them before they reach 54?

But think of it this way: Let's say you were having invitro fertilization done by an anonymous donor. If you knew that a huge percentage of the donors carried hereditary, life-shortening and crippling conditions, and you were offered the chance to limit the donor pool to those who had been screened as healthy so to improve your chances of a healthy child, wouldn't you do so with a resounding yes? You'd rather know that the child you were having had the best chance at NOT being born with a ticking time bomb for their beating heart. I don't know if anyone would play russian roulette in this case if they didn't have to.

When I bought Pixie, I knew nothing of the severity of cavalier health issues. I worried to death about it after reading more and more. I bought her a health insurance policy (something I'd never done before for a dog) and thought every time she itched her ears it must be SM. My paranoia was increased exponentially because Pixie's parents were unscreened, their health history unknown, and I was convinced that we were doomed. As it were, Pixie died this summer at 11 months of a tragic accident, so I'll never know what would have been her fate health-wise.

While searching for another cavalier, I was careful and had been informed. I asked aroud the breed club about breeders, and I chose a breeder who shows her dogs, who has her breeding animals screened and cleared (cardiologist eyes and patellas), who doesn't breed before 2 and 1/2 years, and who gives a written 3 year health guarantee. Does that guarantee that Bandit won't have trouble? No, but I feel a whole lot better about his future, and I know I did my part in supporting the breeders who are breeding for health and not for a quick buck. I could have returned to the guy who I bought Pixie from, paid 1/3 the cost of Bandit, and had an actual sister or brother of Pixie, but that would have been irresponsible knowing the things I knew now. It could also have been potentially heart-breaking years down the line.

As it is, I still cry when I talk about Pixie, and I miss her terribly. I can't imagine what it would have been like to watch her suffer, struggle and decline, and possibly have to put her to sleep one day because of avoidable, genetic health problems.

That said, I do understand that you are very torn, and this isn't easy for you either way. If you bring the pup home, you will have worry, you will feel guilt over supporting the breeder, but you will have the puppy you fell in love with. If you choose another pup down the road, you will probably feel you did things the right way. You'll grow to love that pup just as much, and worry less about it's health...but you will always wonder what became of Millie.

I don't envy you having to weigh all this out. I wish you the best in thinking it all through. There certainly is a huge grey area to ponder.

You will have to find the path that you have the most peace in taking.

good luck