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Thread: advice needed please for a newby

  1. #1
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    Default advice needed please for a newby

    hi everyone and nice to meet you all,im a new cav owner and wanted some advise please,ive had dogs all my life but never had a cav,long story short i became a new mummy to charlie aged aprox 9 (unsure tho as he was a rescue dog)
    i got him as a compaion for my elderly rottie,he has several health issues which the ex owner told be about,but im really concerned about his weight,from google cavs should be 8/14 pounds,and he weighs nearly 4 stone

    last owner was advised to put him on a pure chicken diet,and he lost some weight whilst he was there for 9 months,but hes not active,cant go for long walks,sleeps and snores all day,can anyone help please?

  2. #2
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    You are very kind to take this fellow in.

    I am not sure where on Google it says a cavalier should be 8-14 lbs as 8 lbs would be worryingly small for this breed! Minimum weight for the breed stadard is 12-13 lbs. Even 14 lbs would STILL be very small for most cavaliers. You need to take him to your vet for a full check-up. It is impossible to tell you exactly what your dog should weigh as he could be extra large... the breed standard is 12-18 lbs in the UK, 13-18lbs in the US. Many males, including show dogs, would be more in the 18-22 range though. A lot of cavaliers bred by casual breeders can be way over or under breed standard as well and a heavier weight way beyond breed standard might be perfectly healthy for him -- we really cannot advise you. You need your vet to weigh him, appraise his actual build, and tell you what weight would be a healthy range for him.

    You are right though -- four stone is absolutely huge for any cavalier and would make me wonder whether he is actually a cavalier and not a cross? Unless he is obese I have never heard of a cavalier quite that large, and even if grossly obese this would still be almost astonishingly large. As extra weight generally means serious health compromises it would be important to have him see a vet and if he is overweight, to get on a proper, guided, programme to reduce his weight. If he is obese than almost certainly his weight has been a big contributor to whatever health problems he has. If like most older cavaliers one of the problems is heart disease than it would be urgent to work to get weight off in a controlled, careful manner under vet advice, as obesity will seriously stress his heart and make heart disease worse.

    A vet or nutritionist would absolutely never put a dog on a diet of only chicken to lose weight so again you are right to be concerned -- not only could this be very fatty if skin and fatty pieces were fed, but it also would have been seriously nutritionally deficient. For all these reasons I would consider a vet visit to be an absolute priority for as soon as you can manage an appointment because his weight and his various health issues should be assessed and we cannot do that for you.

    If he is sleeping all day it is likely that he has heart disease which medications would likely greatly relieve and really improve his quality of life so again -- it is very very urgent to get him to a vet. Nine is fairly old for a cavalier though. If he is a rescue dog, isn't there a rescue organisation helping out and giving advice? A good rescue should have had him to a vet, assessed, etc and should be able to give you help and advice too and also provide current vet records.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
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    Not to make you feel worse but...OMG!! 4 stone?! I've never seen or heard of a cav even being able to carry that kind of weight on their small frame. Is he a cavalier mix? If you post a pic everyone here should most likely be able to tell. Can he go for short walks? Perhaps several short walks througout the day..? Has his thyroid been checked? This can soemtimes be the reason for extreme weight gain and fatigue. How much is he eating now? What are you now giving him? You can try mixing canned/cooked green beans or canned pumpkin into his food. Its filling, good for them and low in calories. You can also break his meal into portions and feed him 3-4 times a day to jump start his metabolism. Also give healthy treats like carrots. Feeding a premium food helps as its more nutritious and less empty calories. I agree with what Karlin said, definately get him in for an in depth check up! Good luck
    Last edited by Erin2854; 21st November 2010 at 06:52 PM.
    Erin aka Mommy to Polly (Blenheim) 3-30-2009 And Cat children, Salem, Emma & Ellie
    The love of my life
    "Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."
    Tobey- I miss you terribly my sweet boy. We will be together again

  4. #4
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    Erin, it isn't too uncommon for some cavaliers to be well up near 30lbs so they do not necessarily all have a small frame. It is most common for the breed to at least be 17-18lbs these days and many are up over breed standard (I mean show dogs now -- many would not show a dog under 15-16lbs as being a bit too small and males would almost always be top of breed standard or over). The breed after all, is the largest toy breed as well -- and many breeders do not even feel they should be in the toy category which was rather arbitrary! I think it is time for the standard to be rewritten because in reality so many of the male show dogs are already over 18lbs, and especially as there is evidence that breeding smaller size dogs (miniaturisation) is a contributing factor to the development of SM in toy breeds.

    This fellow really a case for a vet ONLY to assess I think though, as we have in the past had a couple of dogs up in the 30+ pound range and they were definitely 100% cavalier and that weight was healthy for those particular dogs. Historically it is likely some springer spaniel blood went into creating some lines of cavaliers and I know breeders who say every now and then this may well explain a larger dog. Still four stone would be particularly large! For a cross, though, it could also be a perfectly healthy weight -- so the weight *per se* is not the issue, nor really is the breed; it is the build of this dog. Hence the advice to see a vet. We cannot make an assessment on a discussion board as to what is a healthy weight for this particular dog and as health issues have been mentioned by Adele I don't think it wise to suggest feeding programmes without a vet making an assessment first.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    hi many thanks for all your replys,all i know is he was from a rescue origonly nearly 2 years ago,but sadly has been passed around ever since,last owner just 5 month and the one before just 5 months (poor boy)

    i will try and work out how to upload some pics of him,deffo going the vets 1st thing,he will walk for about 5/10 mins as a slow pace so thats what i have been doing since i had him,food wise ive been recomended a low fat dry food to mix with the chicken ect,but he has no teeth so this would have to be softerned its called James wellbeloved? heared great reviews,is it any good for charlie? and something called burns?

    many thanks in advance for all your help

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  9. #9
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    He looks all cavalier -- and somewhat obese but not massive. he could have a mix in there of a larger spaniel and still look very cavalier though too.

    I would definitely get him to a vet -- he needs his health assessed so you can find out what weight to aim for and have a vet determine why he can only manage such short walks. He may have joint pain, heart disease, bad patellas, back pain, thyroid problems -- you just want to have the vet give him a good once over and advise; this is very very important to do without delay. :thumbsup:

    he's got a lovely thick coat and sweet face. My guess is he is likely really struggling on walks due to excess weight putting pressure on his joints and putting strain on his heart and at his age he likely has a heart murmur that needs medication. He could improve enormously on heart meds.

    Let us know what your vet says.

    Given his weight and his pictures I'd guess he needs to lose at least a fourth of his current weight.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  10. #10
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    thanks for that karlin
    when i had him on thurs i was told he was just over weight,since then ive been told he has a heart murrner,atheritus (sp) underactive thyriod and a bad cough,which i think is a respority issue..due to his size

    oviously the owner wasnt prepared for the vet bills,im thinking? hence his rehome?

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