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Thread: Any additional health issues with "teacup" Cavs?

  1. #1
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    Default Any additional health issues with "teacup" Cavs?

    Do the "teacup" Cavs (8 to 10 pounds) have any additional health problems other than the usual Cav health problems? I have had a lot of people ask for them lately. We have always bred to the middle range of the breed standard (14 to 16 lbs), and it just does not seem healthy to me to breed for an 8 lb. Cav. I have not seen any of the teacup size ones do well in the ring...in fact just the opposite...I have seen some 20 lb. dogs do quite well, even though they are technically out of the breed standard weight range.

    I have heard that the smaller sized ones tend to have more health problems, don't show as well because of bone structure and angles, and often end up with heads that are too large or legs that are too short.

    So, is that generally true?. I would like to give people honest, accurate answers...but I just don't have the information.

    Thanks

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    I had a question about this too when I got Lucky, because I was seeing a lot of those teacup Cavs as well. Karlin gave me a very good answer to my post (called "Adult Size")

    Thought you might find this link helpful: http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/v...ght=adult+size
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

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    Thank you so much Lani.

    I read the entire thread, and I have to say I agree 100% with Karlin. Now I have some real information to give people when they ask "why don't you breed the little tiny ones?" Up to now, I've just told them I didn't think it was the right thing to do, but now I can answer the question in more depth. Thank you!!

  4. #4
    Mic Guest

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    When I got my second cav, I was adamant to find a pup who was NOT the alpha...a mistake I made prior. I wound up falling in love with the runt of a litter, a little, submissive, adorable fella. I struggled to keep his weight at 12#. He was not a good eater...very picky...not interested in any food. He had numerous health issues that are probably more prevalent with runts: patella surgery, platelet inconsistencies, difficult neuter surgery. Yes, he was cute. But I can't imagine breeding two cute runts to get teacups. It sounds like a recipe for disaster.

    I think I have the opposite "problem" with my dog now. Cappy is 6.5 months, eats everything he can get a hold of, and weighs 13.6#. Since I don't show or breed, it really doesn't matter to me if he's a large cavalier, as long as he's in proportion and not fat. I just want him healthy and happy.

    ~Mic

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    Cupcake was the runt of her litter (though both her parents were within a healthy range for the breed) and even though she is absolutely adorable at a year old and 10 lbs I would be very cautious about getting a teacup Cav. She is incredibly picky about her food (though perhaps that is just her) and when she gets sick things can go downhill very quickly because she doesn't have a lot of reserves. The vet says she is at a healthy weight, but I wouldn't be too upset if she filled out a bit more. She is very well proportioned in my opinion, though I'm not up on the showing standards.

    Anyway, personal story here, when we first brought her home she became horribly ill and dropped down to 1.5 lbs. She wouldn't eat, she would rarely drink and she had to be hooked up to an IV for 2.5 days. Thankfully, after $1500 in vet fees and a significant amount of emotional turmoil, she picked back up and was fine (ended up she had worms, the breeder "forgot" to worm her - how is this even possible?). Before we found out what was going on the vet told us runts often have an issue with the way food is digested in the liver - a liver shunt.

    After that experience I'd be really careful and mentally/financially prepared before getting a "little guy." I don't regret bring Cupcake into our home for a second, but I wish I had been a bit more knowledgeable about runts.
    Kendra
    Mommy to Cupcake and Nila & Auntie to Nacho

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    When I got my second cav, I was adamant to find a pup who was NOT the alpha...a mistake I made prior
    How can I pick a puppy who isn't the alpha?

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    A good breeder will be able to tell you very easily which is the most dominant puppy in the litter because they will have spent time observing and interacting with all of them to socialise them. The one that comes straight to you is also most likely to be the alpha pup. Hence it is a good idea to ask the breeder about each puppy's personality and not make the mistake of thinking the one that comes to you first has 'chosen you' (unless you want that personality!!) -- it is almost definitely going to be the most outgoing puppy in the litter and hence, more of a handful than any of the others, often with more of a mind of its own. Many people find this was not the personality they expected! So it is good to always talk to the breeder about personalities as that will be far more important than colour or markings ever will be to most people.

    That said Jaspar was NOT the alpha and is quite submissive with other dogs but he has a very strong personality with people, as anyone who has met him will know! Someone here who has met him kindly described him as 'a character'...
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    platelet inconsistencies,
    Mic are you aware that cavaliers can have oversized platelets which vets unfamiliar with the breed will totally misread as a serious platelet problem? It is very important not to treat for this, and have the vet handcount platelets when it appears that they don;t have enough platelets. There's more info stickied to the top of the 'Health' section of the Cavalier Library section.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  9. #9
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    Gosh, I didn't even realize that there were teacup Cavaliers, I need to do some more reading! My sister has a teacup Poodle, and incredibly that little dog is going on about 13 or 14 years of age, I was very surprised that she has been so healthy and long-lived as I had heard that they are sometimes prone to more illnesses than the usual sized dog.
    ~Renee, Bentley & Bailey & Maddie

  10. #10
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    I have two cavaliers. Cedar is just shy of 12 lbs, and Willow just weighed in at 10.4lbs on Monday. While Cedar came from a breeder, she was not a good one. Willow is a rescue from a puppy mill. Both dogs are one year old.

    While I fully anticipate health problems in the future (and perhaps not so distant future at that!), right now both dogs are healthy. Willow is being treated for excessive tearing at the moment, but otherwise she and Cedar have not had any significant problems. Neither is picky about food, either. They dive in when it is feeding time and they steal whatever the can.

    While I do not at all suggest that breeding for "teacup" size is the way to go, I do not the little ones to be looked over due to a fear that they undoubtedly will be picky eaters or have frequent issues. Just like any dog, some can be picky, but others will not. Some will be healthier than others. Size should not be the only reason for selecting (or not selecting) a dog/puppy.
    Cindy
    Cedar (tri), Willow (blen), & Holly (ruby)

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