View Full Version : Mackie- rescued pup- now what?

15th April 2009, 02:53 AM
Hello everyone! I have introduced myself on the puppy page, but I will give a little more background to help with the question I am about to ask.

Mackie is my 12 week old little boy who was rescued by a local resuce group from an Amish puppy mill here in Ohio. He was about to be sent to the auction and the wmoan in charge paid his randsom (the Amish absolutely will not let them go for free, they would rather kill the pups than do this). I saw his photo on petfinders and was so excited! I had been looking for a cavalier puppy for months, from breeders and had a few leads. However there was something about him. I knew he was mine and he won my heart immediately. The only problem was I am VERY INFORMED about the health problems that can occur in poorly bred Cavaliers.

As the weeks have gone on (We have had him 3 weeks now)- I am falling in love more and more each day with him. I feel like I am watching him like a hawk for problems he might have and it is making me sad. I don't want to lose him!!!

OK- so now the question: What "symptoms" do I need to watch for with these genetic disorders? And to what degree? I would love to chat with the families that adopted the brothers to hear what their vets have said about their babies as well. I have not discussed this with the rescue but I will.

The vet so far says he looks beautiful! No heart murmer at this point. But I still feel worried. Any advice is appreciated.

15th April 2009, 03:04 AM
Don't worry about the health issues. They will just eat away at you. Relax, train Mackie and love him everyday and if/when issues arise deal with them. I would recommend that you get insurance because if he does have problems it will help offset it greatly in the long run!

15th April 2009, 03:10 AM
Hello Mackie and welcome.
The site is a mine of information, take a look in the Library where you will find much reading.

My advice would be to stay informed about the health issues but enjoy your little man, relax and have fun with him.


Cathy T
15th April 2009, 04:28 AM
I can totally understand what you're feeling. But, keep in mind that even a well-bred Cavalier can be faced with some serious health issues. Believe me...I know. I've been through a couple of health issues with my two, but we've addressed them, overcome them and moved on. That said, what can you do? Don't overreact or be overly sensitive. Since you are informed on health issues you will know if something needs addressing. Enjoy Mackie and live in the day. Wouldn't it be so sad to worry so much you don't enjoy him...and there's nothing wrong with him? Get regular check ups at your vet, sign up for annual health clinic if they're available to you but most of all, enjoy your boy. Feed him a good food, give him exercise and love him. That's all anyone can do. :)

15th April 2009, 10:48 AM
Keep in mind too that the two most serious problems, MVD and SM, are progressive and highly unlikely to appear in dogs that are young -- especially heart murmurs. You simply will not see MVD in a young puppy -- even at age 2 or 3, that would be extremely young.

Most cavaliers will eventually have MVD, unfortunately, so most of us (as in nearly 100%) will eventually be dealing with this illness, half of us by age 5. So if anyone opts for a cavalier they really must realise this is sadly, the situation with the entire breed and just remain informed and get annual health checks and ideally as the dog gets older, cardiologist checks (which can be easily found at a steep discount at dog club events, see www.cavalierhealth.com for health clinic lists. Generally people don't start to cardio test til the dog is around 2 but some will go at age 1).

SM also seems to be prevalent in the breed with very high numbers of research samples affected (the minimum in larger samples has been 30% plus with an actual syrinx). Fortunately most are not symptomatic but again this is an issue people with cavaliers need to know about.

I agree with others that you need to simply focus on and enjoy your dog, be aware of what to watch for as your dog gets older, and ideally, keep pushing for breeders and clubs to work to prevent or at least minimise these two health problems.

15th April 2009, 09:07 PM
THank you all! I am so thankful for these replies. I am going to check into health insurance and also just stay informed. That is part of the reason I joined this group. Oh and also because of all of the beautiful pictures! Your dogs are all beautiful!!!

I do enjoy Mackie every day. In fact, he is sleeping on my lap right now like a tiny baby. Since my own babies are 7 and 4 years old, Mac is soothing the desire for another infant, since DH says no more.

I feel the need now to become more active in the fight against puppy mills in our area especially. My eyes have been opened to the problem and I just can't ignore it now.

THanks guys. You have helped to make me see that I don't need to "worry" just be vigilant.

Mindy (mackie & Theo's mommy)

Brian M
15th April 2009, 11:05 PM
Hi mackie

Pls Pls enjoy him for what he is which is a beatiful little cavalier puppy full of adoration and masses of love just especially all there for you ,so pls dont go looking for problems that arent there ,I clarify that comment by saying that virtaually all cavaliers get unwell sometime but so do us humans as well some early than others some virtually never .Time goes so quick so pls enjoy his puppy stage and then Kay Sera Sera . enjpy today he is with you right now.:)

Kate H
16th April 2009, 07:02 PM
Hi Mackie

My rescue (also from what you call a puppy mill - puppy farmer here) at 20 months has a grade 2 heart murmur. It may never get much worse, it may get very much worse - but there's nothing I can do about it except keep him fit and be careful in hot weather, and enjoy every day with him. I also have an older Cavalier with SM but no symptoms - but all I can do is know what to look for if things get worse, and be thankful that so far both my Cavaliers are fit, healthy and happy dogs and we have so much fun together.

Enjoy your puppy!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

17th April 2009, 09:04 PM
Everyone here had great advice for you in just enjoying him and taking him for yearly health checks to keep an eye out for MVD, etc.
The other essential advice is getting health insurance that covers congenital/heredity conditions and covers for life (not just for the policy year you are in). You will regret it if you don't!
The two companies who get high marks consistantly in the US are
Petplan www.gopetplan.com (http://www.gopetplan.com) and
Embrace www.embracepetinsurance.com (http://www.embracepetinsurance.com)
I personally can vouch for embrace. It is a little pricey, though. Now that I have two cavaliers covered, I am thinking of saving money by going to Petplan, but I am not sure what I'll do yet. I know Embrace is awesome. I only have heard that petplan is.