View Full Version : why us..why at 9 years old

Super Princess
16th February 2011, 06:57 PM
Quite alot has happened since the last time i was on CT.

last time i was here..we were all together under one roof. Economy crashed..we were forced to sell our house of 24 years, forcing me to get an apartment of my own.
Since oliver was techincialy my parents dog..i had a cat and apartments that rent to pets let alone dogs are scares in victoria..oliver went with my parents to a town house they were renting untillt hey desided what to do.

my mom found a new job..out of the house and oliver would spend his days at grandmas house cause grandpa was retired and there to take care of him all day.

In november i phoned home to talk to my parents..only to discover dad had rushed oliver to emergency that night..he was caughign alot.

after many tests and xrays, it was discoverd oliver had a enlarged heart.
it was not curable, and he had bettween 6 months and 1 year..the vet just didnt know.

I was dumbfounded. the little guy with a big heart acutalluy had a big heart.

wrose yet..i was loosing him. I would have to watch him slowly go down hill adn there was not a damn thing i could do to help him. to reach out and save him.

I didnt understand..why him..why us why at 9 years old..9 that seemed so young..i woulda assumed we had a good few more years left together.

so i googled..and what i learned stunned me.

welll most here already know what i learned.

50% of cavaliers have heart issues by age 5, almost all by age 9..if they live to be that age.
this site was telling me oliver and i..were among the lucky ones?

oliver had been born with a heart murmer..something a the back of our minds never came to play untill this year.

the site also said that the statistics for cavaliers these days were longivity of 5 years - 9 years.
serously? i am still shocked by this.
5 years??

yes therse lots of pups that outlive this statistic but from someone who had always planned on adopting another at some point when i settle myself into a house with a back yard.. as much as i am head over heals in LOVE with tihs breed..5 years seems so young thats the longivity of a hampster is it not?
so sad. :(

Ive already posted in the memorial..we had to put oliver down on monday..a day dedicated to love we gave him the ultimate gift of love.
he took a turn for the worst on thursday..his tummy had swollen up. he was uncomfortable..having issues breathing..just wasnt happy..and we said we would not watch him suffer. not for something we knew we coudlnt beat.

So i guess i have no real questions or points in this thread other then im still so shocked..

5-9 years? What are other peoples thoughts on this discussion...its almost a crisis thats taken over the breed.

16th February 2011, 08:27 PM
I am so sorry you lost your dear sweet Oliver.

Cavaliers do have health issues, but I don't think the average Cavalier dies at the age of 5 years.

16th February 2011, 09:31 PM
Poor sweet Oliver, I am so sorry you have lost him. Many owners here including myself have sick dogs, so we understand and know how you have felt and feeling now. This poor beautiful breed are cursed with some of the worst health problems.

My heart goes out to you and your family.

Karen Rawlins
16th February 2011, 09:48 PM
I can't imagine how you must feel. My Churchill was just diagnosed with SM and he is only 3 1/2 years old. I love him so much and don't want to lose him. But you know what, I wouldn't change a thing. I may only have him for a short time (i don't know how long) but the love that I have received in return is more than worth it. I wouldn't trade my time with Churchill for anything. As to whether I would buy another cavalier, yes I would. They are wonderful dogs. Good luck and I am soo sorry for your loss.

Karen Rawlins
16th February 2011, 09:53 PM
I already sent a reply so I hope this doesn't come across twice. Anyway, my Churchill is only 3 1/2 years old and has been diagnosed with SM. He is doing well for now and I don't know how long I will have him. Honestly the time that I have had with him and hopefully that will continue for a while, has been wonderful. The unconditional love that I have recieved from him is well worth the trouble. I love him soo much and can't imagine how you must feel with the loss of Oliver. As to whether I would get another cavalier when he passes???? Yes I would they are wonderful dogs and companions. Good luck and so sorry for your loss.:(

Super Princess
16th February 2011, 10:30 PM
thanks everyone. It's been a hard few days. miss him more then anything.

its really good to hear other peoples opinions on this here, because google is full of staril websites with scarry information.
all dog breeds have issues..and indvidual dogs things come up..i wouldnt change the short 9 years i got with my boy for the world..i wouldnt.

i think..that when our babies get sick, its then when our love really shows through.
some people toss in the towl..weather its they cant afford it or dont want to, but its the people that go that extra mile for their fur babies as they would for their real babies that shows how much we love them. if that makes sense.

theyre like the dream bread..as im sure everyone here would agree. perfect size..temperment..adorable. i have a few years still before i will have the opportunity to think about adopting again.

17th February 2011, 03:22 AM
Hi Chelsea,

I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Oliver. I can feel the pain your going through as I too have lost many beloved pets over the years. I love my boy Jack with all my heart and he is 2 years old with CM. I hope to have many years with him but will treasure whatever time I am granted.
Again I am sorry for your loss, it is so very painful.
Hugs to you and your family

Jasper and Holly
17th February 2011, 05:08 AM
Hi Chelsea,
So sorry you lost Oliver. I lost my Sam at 12 years from MVD and it's an awful thing to deal with. My heart goes out to you.

17th February 2011, 07:13 AM
I'm so sorry for your loss. :flwr:

Sadly the statistics you have read are mostly true. It is well established that about half of cavaliers have murmurs by age 5 (a shocking statistic) and almost all will have one by age 9-10. The average age of death for the breed is generally given as around 9-10, which is very young for a toy breed, but some say 7-10 or so. I have never seen 5 quoted as an average age of death for the breed and that is definitely not correct. Most dogs of their size should live to more like 14-16. It is (at least until recently) heart disease alone that has accounted for this curtailment of several years off the cavalier lifespan. sadly now they also are contending with syringomyelia.

MVD is a tragedy for this breed and can be very hard to watch progress, especially in an otherwise healthy dog.

17th February 2011, 08:37 AM
Sorry for your loss!
I thought I read before that the average life span is 10 years old. I bought my cavi from a breeder because Piper's grandfather had lived to age 17 and his dad was 8 and still healthy. I hope I get as lucky with him but am happy have any amount of time that I'm given.
I also just wanted to say hi to a fellow Canadian :)

18th February 2011, 12:59 PM
Really sorry for your loss, we lost Sonny to MVD nearly a year ago , we had him for 8 years. It was so distressing. It's so unfair that this beautiful, loyal breed have so many health problems.

When we lost Sonny I couldn't bear the thought of another dog but we've since adopted another rescue Cavalier Kaley. My hubby was a bit hesitant because of the Cavalier health problems and he didn't want to me to have to go through all that pain again. That being said Kaley is healthy just now (touch wood) and I'm so glad we have her. I think unless you've had a Cavalier for a pet , you don't realise how wonderful and precious they are:lotsaluv:

2nd April 2012, 04:48 PM
Hi Chelsea, I am so sorry that you lost your faithful friend Oliver & I understand your grief. I am actually trying to find out what IS the average age of a cavalier. I got Jack in 1999. He came from a lovely home. We saw his Mum; adorable, exactly what I wanted & we were thrilled. To the vets....no problems. We had done it the right way, followed the advice. Three months later, we got Lady. This time, the home was awful. Several CKCS's tied by leads in an old, dirty house. I did what one is told not to do.......I wasn't going to leave Lady there! Vet said "heart murmur"...... Lady got her meds every day. But Jack got only 8 years before dying of congestive heart failure. Lady got 13 years & eventually, we had to do the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. She died of kidney failure! The lesson? We got lucky against the odds with Lady.
I will always have a cavalier in my life. I adopted Coco 3 years ago. She was abandoned by a breeder. Lice ridden, skin & bone, anxious, teats distended. 3 years later, probably now around 7/8, she is a joy. I still cannot believe that affectionate little beauty is the same dog. Now, Max (who's 3) is another story. Christmas, a death in the family, a cousin with a litter of puppies, a weak moment....I bought him! So far, he's healthy. But I do feel that every cavalier lover should demand safe-breeding practices, particularly in terms of health. It should be a labour of love. Yes, it is costly to do it properly. But worth it!

2nd April 2012, 10:54 PM
Im so sorry for your loss. :hug:

Super Princess
23rd April 2012, 07:55 PM
It's now over a year since I lost my boy.
I am about to move into a suiet that allows dogs do I have been searching for a breed best suited to me.
I asked a month ago in the general cafe 'would you do it again' I swore when I lost Oliver I wouldn't.
But searching and seeing ALL breeds with their own Health issues. I don't know.
I contacted Oliver's breeder just now.
The other dogs I was looking at are shar peis. Which have their own issues. But truth be told. I'm never more happy them when in the presence of a cavalier.

Sm scares me. Maybe more then Mvd.
I don't know.

This community continues to be such a huge support. I am so Greatful.

23rd April 2012, 09:06 PM
It is a hard decision.

The average lifespan of a cavalier is estimated at around 10-12ish, unfortunately -- this is not on average a long-lived breed and does have its health issues. We all face that consideration when giving our heart and home to a cavalier.

I definitely would not go with a cavalier unless you have a breeder who does proper testing -- MRIs, cardiologist auscultations for hearts, eyes, etc and follows the breeding protocols. Otherwise your risk of an early loss and a long term, costly health condition is considerably higher (about a three times higher risk of SM for example). A breeder following heart protocols would generally have a much longer average lifespan for her dogs. Those that I know of would have many dogs going to 14-15 for example.

Shar peis are very, very different from cavaliers, can be dog aggressive, and have a lot of their own health problems. The excessive face wrinkles in the modern version of the breed causes painful problems for many of them. The Chinese version is quite different with fewer wrinkles. Keep in mind the breed is a fighting dog in background and needs to be managed with this in mind. One shar pei info site notes they are very strong willed dogs needing confident handling, can be dog aggressive, need socialisation and this: "If the dog meets cats and children while they are still young, they usually will not have a problem with them." That "usually" would mean you'd have a lot of responsible active management ahead with this breed.I know the people who do shar pei rescue in Ireland and they are very careful on rehoming them.

Given the pain you are still experiencing, maybe it is still too early to consider a dog -- loss of a loved companion can take time to recover from especially if the loss was traumatic. :flwr:

One very serious thing to consider is that while you may have a sublet now that would allow a dog, you could need to move at any time and finding another could be very difficult. Most rescues and breeders I know would not home to people who are renting simply because one of the main reasons people hand dogs into pounds and rescue is "My landlord won't allow dogs" or "I had to move and can't find a rental that takes dogs." You would need to be able to guarantee finding suitable housing for the next decade at least, with a new dog and that would need to be an important thing to think about. When I did rescue and had to take in dogs from people whose landlords would not let them keep a pet, this was very traumatic.

I didn't get a dog until I was well into my work career, at the point I'd decided I no longer wished to travel a lot, and when I finally owned my own home, though I badly wanted one. I just didn't feel I could offer a reliable home or the time until then.

There are a lot of issues for you to consider and no easy answers.

Super Princess
25th April 2012, 02:43 AM
It is a hard decision. its one i thought i had decided already.
Ive been looking at different breeds for a while now.. and theres nothing else i can see myself with..
Ive been asking around to the breeders in the provice, and so far ..the MRI's are scanning for cm/sm right? So far i havn't found one that will scan for that because the tests are so expensive. olivers breeder says $3000 dollars per dog t get scanned.
Everone so far seems to do the other tests includeing heart tests.

One of hte big issues the sharpeis get are fevers.., and yeah the agressivness because they were bread to be fighting way back then. It was interesting.. I registerd on a board much like CT..to ask questions (which is someting i never did before oliver) and i was very pointed i wanted to know about health..the topic got a bit heated..oops. but i ended up getting a message from a user on a local victoria messageboard ive been on for YEARS..who actually owns two shar peis and randomly saw my post there and asked if it was me.. she too is warning me against getting them. but siad she'd be more then happy to meet with me and her dogs.

When i do adopt (whatever breed i end up with) it will probably be around the 2 year mark. Im not going to rush into it..it'll be fall or winter at the earliest. almost 2 year mark of when i lost oliver.
I do still miss him of course. he was the light of my life, and it was probably the worst thing ive gone through.
but i think that hole is starting to heal up a bit..i dont tear up or feel the pain i felt before everytime i think and talk about him.. I think it happend around christmas and valentines day.. i knew christmas eve would be the hardest for me because i remember so clearly the last christmas with him..having him there..and then a year later doing our same christmas eve routine without him.

The rental thing is... it's someting im gonna have to live and deal with.. ive been to mortage brokers..and alone..i will never make enough to own my own place. But im one of those peopel. quite like everyone on this board i bet..who dosnt belive in giving up their animal because your moving..i would never choose a place that wasnt pet friendly..and if the worst happens..and i have to move out before i can find a dog friendly place..my parents live in town and id have room to go there untill the right place came up. we're a pretty close family.
actually..i think thats where pup would be hanging out while im at work. grandpa (grandma and grandpa live in the basement suiet) is retired..and he used to look after oliver for my parents when they worked. they were good company for eachother.

But we'll see. my dad is a little cautious for me..because oliver had several issues.. he was our high miatence dog before he had any serious health issues.
we're pretty sure he was deaf.. his skin itches never ended...we went from vet to vet to vet trying to get to the bottom fo it..never did. later on in his life his eyes got cateracts(spelling?) and the vet said he would eventaully go blind.. he never did..his stomach was super sensitive