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View Full Version : "who says Cavaliers don't live long and healthy lives?" - Cavalier Club yearbook



Nicki
17th April 2010, 04:15 PM
After losing Teddy and Fufu in the same week, it was hard for me to read one of the adverts in this year's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel yearbook.

There is a lovely photo of their young Ruby, saying that her Great Great Grandmother passed away last August aged 16, the advert goes on to say "who says Cavaliers don't live long healthy lives!!!”


Well I do, as this has NOT been our experience.

Of course I'm pleased for them that their Cavalier lived to this age and sincerely hope that all their other Cavaliers since and in the future have also led and will continue to lead long and healthy lives.






Our experience to date:

We have lost 7 Cavaliers of our own, aged 3; 5; 6; 7 {two}; 8 and 12 1/2. Also Fufu, our long term foster, at 12.

ALL of them have been lost from illness/disease - two with Syringomyelia, one with epilepsy, one with cancer, two with pancreatitis, one sudden death {suspected to be snapped chordae tendineae in the heart} , and one whom suffered with MVD {full story below}.


All except one rescue Cavalier came from Cavalier Club members - two {and Fufu} from the same breeder. One we bought as a puppy and one was bought for showing/breeding. The rest have been rehomed at between 7 months and 6 years of age {either show run ons or retired show/breeding dogs}

We've now lost 5 of our beloved companions in 20 months.

I don't understand it, we feed a quality diet; they have the best veterinary care {with specialists as required, I've travelled hundreds of miles to see cardiologists and neurologists. Fortnatley most of them have been insured...}

They have walks every day – off lead running; free access to a huge garden and lots of fresh air; they are with us nearly all the time.

We did make the mistake of allowing our first Cavalier to become overweight after neutering - he then attended a clinic at our vets to lose weight. Since then I have been extremely careful, our dogs are regularly weighed and I also weigh all their meals - so they are not overweight as I know this leads to problems.



Some years back we were very friendly with a breeder - she had a beautiful Tricolour girl with whom we fell in love. She very kindly gave her to us as a Wedding present {she had tried to breed from her unsuccessfully}.

A few years later Peaches developed a heart murmur at the age of 5 - the breeder blamed us - she even said that Peaches' harness was too heavy and that had caused the murmur!! {Actually her litter sister was discovered to have a murmur too when she visited the vet later that week...}

Soon after we noticed that Peaches would run for a bit, and then stop and refuse to move. We took her to the vet and discovered that she had luxating patellas on both sides, also she was x-rayed and discovered to have moderate/severe hip dysplasia :(

She was referred to an orthopaedic vet - and underwent surgery on one of her knees. He actually described her rear construction as a disaster :(

The knee cap was running down the inside of the knee, there was no groove for it to run in. The surgery was very successful and we hoped to carry on and do the surgery on her other knee and then for her hips, however her MVD became substantially worse and the vet did not want to operate.

Peaches developed arthritis which she coped with for a few years, but eventually we were unable to control the pain effectively and she was put to sleep to prevent her suffering. Peaches was the 2nd Cavalier we lost, Fillipa had did suddenly two years before.

Peaches' breeder continued to blame us for all Peaches' problems - and when told of the sad news, actually sent a card saying "First Fillipa, now Peaches" - to us it felt like she was accusing us of murdering them :eek::(:( So cruel when we were devastated at losing a 2nd beautiful girl. Needless to say, we are no longer friends.





So part of me feels worried that people will think we mistreat our dogs and that is why we've lost so many so quickly...

Margaret C
17th April 2010, 05:17 PM
After losing Teddy and Fufu in the same week, it was hard for me to read one of the adverts in this year's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel yearbook.

There is a lovely photo of their young Ruby, saying that her Great Great Grandmother passed away last August aged 16, the advert goes on to say "who says Cavaliers don't live long healthy lives!!!”


Well I do, as this has NOT been our experience.

Of course I'm pleased for them that their Cavalier lived to this age and sincerely hope that all their other Cavaliers since and in the future have also led and will continue to lead long and healthy lives. ...

Breeders and exhibitors will boast about their golden oldies but quietly ignore, and are sometimes only too willing to forget, their young cavaliers that died too early.

Wonderful although it is for anyone to be able to proclaim that their dog has reached the age of 16, other cavaliers must have died very young for there to be an average life expectancy of 10 years.



So part of me feels worried that people will think we mistreat our dogs and that is why we've lost so many so quickly...

Dear Nicki, nobody who knows you and have seen you with your dogs could ever think that.
You have been very unlucky. Your dogs, on the other hand, have been very fortunate cavaliers to be owned by someone who cares as much as you do.

BIZA
17th April 2010, 06:02 PM
I am really lucky as i am sitting here with Emily who is at least 13yrs, Roger 12yrs, Misty and Folly around 12ish all cavs and a Collie Kez who is 17yrs 5months and a Leo Indy who is 14yrs. All the cavs are off puppy farms and i dont really know their exact age but if the age was right when i had them then the ages are correct.

Bet
17th April 2010, 06:18 PM
After losing Teddy and Fufu in the same week, it was hard for me to read one of the adverts in this year's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel yearbook.

There is a lovely photo of their young Ruby, saying that her Great Great Grandmother passed away last August aged 16, the advert goes on to say "who says Cavaliers don't live long healthy lives!!!”


Well I do, as this has NOT been our experience.

Of course I'm pleased for them that their Cavalier lived to this age and sincerely hope that all their other Cavaliers since and in the future have also led and will continue to lead long and healthy lives.






Our experience to date:

We have lost 7 Cavaliers of our own, aged 3; 5; 6; 7 {two}; 8 and 12 1/2. Also Fufu, our long term foster, at 12.

ALL of them have been lost from illness/disease - two with Syringomyelia, one with epilepsy, one with cancer, two with pancreatitis, one sudden death {suspected to be snapped chordae tendineae in the heart} , and one whom suffered with MVD {full story below}.


All except one rescue Cavalier came from Cavalier Club members - two {and Fufu} from the same breeder. One we bought as a puppy and one was bought for showing/breeding. The rest have been rehomed at between 7 months and 6 years of age {either show run ons or retired show/breeding dogs}

We've now lost 5 of our beloved companions in 20 months.

I don't understand it, we feed a quality diet; they have the best veterinary care {with specialists as required, I've travelled hundreds of miles to see cardiologists and neurologists. Fortnatley most of them have been insured...}

They have walks every day – off lead running; free access to a huge garden and lots of fresh air; they are with us nearly all the time.

We did make the mistake of allowing our first Cavalier to become overweight after neutering - he then attended a clinic at our vets to lose weight. Since then I have been extremely careful, our dogs are regularly weighed and I also weigh all their meals - so they are not overweight as I know this leads to problems.



Some years back we were very friendly with a breeder - she had a beautiful Tricolour girl with whom we fell in love. She very kindly gave her to us as a Wedding present {she had tried to breed from her unsuccessfully}.

A few years later Peaches developed a heart murmur at the age of 5 - the breeder blamed us - she even said that Peaches' harness was too heavy and that had caused the murmur!! {Actually her litter sister was discovered to have a murmur too when she visited the vet later that week...}

Soon after we noticed that Peaches would run for a bit, and then stop and refuse to move. We took her to the vet and discovered that she had luxating patellas on both sides, also she was x-rayed and discovered to have moderate/severe hip dysplasia :(

She was referred to an orthopaedic vet - and underwent surgery on one of her knees. He actually described her rear construction as a disaster :(

The knee cap was running down the inside of the knee, there was no groove for it to run in. The surgery was very successful and we hoped to carry on and do the surgery on her other knee and then for her hips, however her MVD became substantially worse and the vet did not want to operate.

Peaches developed arthritis which she coped with for a few years, but eventually we were unable to control the pain effectively and she was put to sleep to prevent her suffering. Peaches was the 2nd Cavalier we lost, Fillipa had did suddenly two years before.

Peaches' breeder continued to blame us for all Peaches' problems - and when told of the sad news, actually sent a card saying "First Fillipa, now Peaches" - to us it felt like she was accusing us of murdering them :eek::(:( So cruel when we were devastated at losing a 2nd beautiful girl. Needless to say, we are no longer friends.





So part of me feels worried that people will think we mistreat our dogs and that is why we've lost so many so quickly...


Nicki,

I just don't know how to answer your Post , only to say I am so sorry about what has happened.

All I know is that ,yes there are some Cavaliers who are lucky enough to live to a good age, but some Cavalier Breeders should not think this the norm for the Breed.

Some continue to bury their Heads in the Sand about the MVD and SM Problems,...

OK ,our Mags lived to 15 ,but Sweep died at 4 as a result of his Heart Problem.

Then there was Ailsa, 7.

Cindy Lou 8

Sharrie 8.

All from MVD.

What I think is happening at the moment ,is that there is a Spin being orginized as a PR Exercise about the Cavaliers' Health Problems being put across by some Cavalier Breeders ,to try and cover up the true extent of the Health Trouble in our Breed.

I think though that it it too late for that to being believed, too many of the Cavalier Buying Public, now know what Questions to ask many Cavalier Breeders about whether they Health Test their Cavalier Breeding Stock etc.

I was told in a Private E-Mail, not to Rock the Boat about wanting the Proposal Passed at the Forth Coming CKCS AGM ,whch would only allow Cavaliers their Title if they had passed a Health Test.

Are a number of the Show Going Cavalier Breeders only concerned about their Egos and have no concern about Health of the Cavalier Breed.?

It sure looks like as if that is the case.

Sorry Nicki, if I have got on my Soap Box again,and wen't off at a Tangent about your Distressing Post, but every-thing came back to me about our Heart Breaking Experiences .

Bet

Kate H
17th April 2010, 10:04 PM
I think many of us have shared your experience, Nicki. Of my three who have died (until Aled, I'd only had one at a time, going back nearly 30 years), one came from an SA breeder, mostly English bloodlines, he was 4.5 years when he died very unexpectedly of rampant gastro-enteritis. The second, who I had at 3 years old from an SA friend, again mostly English breeding, died of MVD at not quite 8, having been seriously ill for almost 9 months; her mother and all her siblings also died of MVD. The third one, from a leading English breeder, managed to make 10 before dying of sudden onset MVD. Of my present two, Oliver is well-bred from show stock and has mild SM but is almost 9 and very fit; Aled is a puppy farm rescue, is almost 3 and has a Grade 3 murmur. It's great when Cavaliers live to a good old age, and yes, quite a few do - but at the other end, far too many die young, or at least younger than they should. But except for letting our Cavaliers get overweight, I don't think anything we do or don't do really makes any difference - I didn't breed any of my dogs, they were bred in ignorance or deliberate carelessness and that was not our responsibility - we just have to cope as best we can with the consequences.

Why do we still go on having Cavaliers after all this heartache? Because no other breed is quite like them and we can't imagine life without one! But I share your sense of frustration.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Charlifarley
18th April 2010, 07:00 PM
So part of me feels worried that people will think we mistreat our dogs and that is why we've lost so many so quickly...
Nicki, I don't know you personally, but I have read many of your posts in the last year or so, and I couldn't imagine you ever mistreating your dogs. You come across as a kind and caring, knowledgeable and experienced dog owner, so please don't be worried about peoples perception of you, because it could only be a positive one. :flwr:

Sabby
18th April 2010, 10:47 PM
Nobody on this Forum would ever think that you mistreat your dogs or don’t look after them. It’s the opposite; you do all you can possibly do for your dogs and give them the best medical care there is. I don’t know you personally but one thing I know from your posts is that you couldn’t love your dogs anymore then you do and if I had to entrust someone with my three babies I know they would be safe with you.

Karlin
18th April 2010, 11:09 PM
Peaches' breeder continued to blame us for all Peaches' problems - and when told of the sad news, actually sent a card saying "First Fillipa, now Peaches" - to us it felt like she was accusing us of murdering them So cruel when we were devastated at losing a 2nd beautiful girl. Needless to say, we are no longer friends.


That is just beyond disgusting and cruel -- I know many other breeders know you very well and know you have been a fantastic, caring home for your cavaliers, as well as doing rescue work and being very generous and thoughtful to others when their dogs have not been well, to support rescue, to get dogs health tested, and so many other things.

I think you have had a very difficult burden with several of your much loved cavaliers, but on the other hand, those dogs had their health difficulties picked up and cared for, which is more than can be said for many who ignore signs or rehome ill dogs or never seem to notice problems. I do notice an awful lot of people including breeders ion some of the email lists and discussion boards who have terribly itchy cavaliers with vague 'ear problems' and 'allergies' or 'diet problems'... that always seem to do better when given the same remedies that can help mask SM, and then the problems always recur, and they never are sure what the allergens/diet issues are... and are absolutely resistant to the idea this could possibly be SM and will not scan because the problem, of course, has to be allergies :rolleyes:. That may well be the issue, but few of these people ever seem willing to even have a clinical exam by a neurologist -- the solution must be raw feeding, a different type of bedding, or cleaning ears more often. Given the rate at which this breed scans with syrinxes, you have to wonder about so many of these dogs.

I love this breed but the level of health problems are depressing. I have two of five with MVD -- both from show breeders -- and have rarely had a single rescue cavalier over age 5 without a murmur and some as young as three with severe murmurs. Two of my five are confirmed with SM, one from a show breeder, and I would guess Tansy also has some degree of SM due to occasional bouts of characteristic scratching with no apparent underlying cause. She's a registered dog as well.

To say the health issues are all due to puppy farmers or poor care is ridiculous -- any neurologist or vet can disprove that these are puppy farmer issues because they see the dogs coming in with diagnosed heart and neurological issues and know they are as likely to come from club breeders as of no clear origin (Geoff Skerritt confirmed this to me last time I was in to have dogs scanned; other neurologists say the same about their *clinical* (not the breeder-scanning programme) cases -- eg the dogs that are presented as actual patients, not as breeding dogs to be scanned for a grade. These problems are genetic health issues with their origin in breeding choices.

I am glad someone can identify a longlived cavalier and the more, the merrier -- we all would be gladdened by a long roster of old dogs! -- but such an advertisement was thoughtless when many are dealingwith tragic health issues. And perhaps if a breeder is sure a long lived dog is truly healthy, they would submit the dog's DNA, heart scan, eye and MRI results? Wonder if that dog in the ad has even been MRId?