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Thread: Questions regarding gettng a Cavalier...

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    Default Questions regarding gettng a Cavalier...

    Hi there. I am new to the forum. I don't have a cavalier...yet. My daughter has inherited my love and passion for animals, especially dogs. She is very interested in getting a small breed dog that she can show (conformation, obideince, agility, 4-H, etc...) We have looked at many different breeds and the breed that she is most interested in and I feel would be an excellent match for our family is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I have had several clients (I am a dog trainer) that have them and am familiar with the breed, but prior to doing some onlie research for breeders and discovering this site I had no idea of the serious health issues surrounding this breed. My questions are what is the likely hood of getting a puppy with little to no problems? Does anyone reccomend a breeder in the US that does health screening/testing? Do you still advise getting a Cavalier even with the health issues they can have? I was a vet tech for over 20 years so I can handle medicating,etc. I am more concered about the quality of life for the dog.

    thanks so much!
    Laura

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    Hi Laura, and welcome. I am hoping that someone that has more experience with Cavs and health issues will leave a response. I've only had my Claire just a year, and it's my first Cavalier.
    Cindy and Claire
    Claire was born on Feb7, 2010

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    I was waiting for others to answer your questions, but no one seems to have jumped in, so, here goes:


    Quote Originally Posted by lccreature View Post
    ... My questions are what is the likely hood of getting a puppy with little to no problems?...
    The likelihood is good that, as a puppy, the cavalier will be healthy, if obtained from a responsible breeder.

    The likelihood is that, before the cavalier's fifth birthday, it will have a 50-50 chance of developing a mitral valve backflow murmur. Those odds get worse each day thereafter.

    The likelihood is about 90-10 that as the dog matures to adulthood, by age 2 years, if it is examined by an MRI scan, it will have Chiari-like malformation, and the likelihood is about 60-40 that it also will have syringomyelia.

    The likelihood is about 35-65 that it will develop an eye disorder, like dry eye.

    The likelihood is about 30-70 that it will become deaf by about five years.


    Quote Originally Posted by lccreature View Post
    ... Does anyone reccomend a breeder in the US that does health screening/testing?...
    I think the better practice is to recommend how to find a responsible breeder, but keep in mind that every litter is different, and a breeder can be responsible about breeding one litter and then irresponsible about breeding another litter.

    I suggest that you read the article at this website about how to find a cavalier puppy in the USA.
    http://bit.ly/eSn7ud

    Quote Originally Posted by lccreature View Post
    ... Do you still advise getting a Cavalier even with the health issues they can have? ...
    I would. I've never met a cavalier I didn't want to take home. But, that's just me.
    Rod Russell

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    It's a completely personal choice, but it's good you are investigating the health issues Cavaliers are prone to so you can make an informed decision. My pup, Lady, is 6 months and she is the perfect companion. Even though I was aware that Cavaliers had some health problems, I admit I did not know the extent of it, and even though Lady is currently in perfect health I would personally consider other breeds before getting a second.

    That being said, Lady has been easy to train and is the most beautiful and loving dog I have ever had. Since joining this forum I have realised how important pet insurance is and so now I am not so concerned financially if she does experience ill health in the future, although I certainly hope for her sake that she remains healthy.

    I hope you get more replies from more experienced owners.
    Matilda
    Mummy to Lady (Blenheim Cavalier) and Lola (Silver Tabby British Shorthair)

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    Cindy, Rod and Matilda, thanks for your responses!

    Matilda, I see that you have a silver tabby british shorthair, I absolutely LOVE those cats. I bet she is adorable!

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    http://www.roycroftinformationcenter...come Page.html
    Quote Originally Posted by lccreature View Post
    Hi there. I am new to the forum. I don't have a cavalier...yet. My daughter has inherited my love and passion for animals, especially dogs. She is very interested in getting a small breed dog that she can show (conformation, obideince, agility, 4-H, etc...) We have looked at many different breeds and the breed that she is most interested in and I feel would be an excellent match for our family is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I have had several clients (I am a dog trainer) that have them and am familiar with the breed, but prior to doing some onlie research for breeders and discovering this site I had no idea of the serious health issues surrounding this breed. My questions are what is the likely hood of getting a puppy with little to no problems? Does anyone reccomend a breeder in the US that does health screening/testing? Do you still advise getting a Cavalier even with the health issues they can have? I was a vet tech for over 20 years so I can handle medicating,etc. I am more concered about the quality of life for the dog.

    thanks so much!
    Laura
    Hey Laura,

    I want to give you my personal experience and feelings about this having owned a Cavalier with SM. I would still get another Cavalier even knowing there are health issues. I am not familiar with other breeds but I do know that there are recommended protocols breeders can follow to help reduce an inherited condition. I'm sure you know there are no guarantees and as far as comparing to other toy spaniels, I don't know there health issues.

    I will say that this forum is more health focused and is where pet owners will go with SM or MVD health issues. Not all, but keep that in mind. Also know that Rod's link is from his website and is very thorough but it lists every possible condition a Cavalier can have. The statistics can be alarming and from reading his post, I wanted to mention that it is more important on doing research and finding a good breeding.

    It's a personal choice, along with Rod's website www.cavalierhealth.org, and the puppy buying guide here I recommend this site also cavalier info center but I would contact the parent clubs in the usa. www.ckcsc.org and www.ackcsc.org to start, as well as
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    Quote Originally Posted by anniemac View Post
    ... Also know that Rod's link is from his website and is very thorough but it lists every possible condition a Cavalier can have. ...
    Not quite; in fact, not even close. It only lists the serious ones that may not develop or appear at or soon after birth. It also does not include every genetic defect known to occur in cavaliers. It focuses upon the most severe traits, those that are lethal, painful, blinding, causing deafness, requiring lifetime treatment, or requiring surgery.

    There are several other genetic defects which are fairly prevalent in the cavalier King Charles spaniel but which are not classified as severe or life-threatening. And, thus far, the website has excluded some rare disorders which CKCSs are believed to be predisposed to, such as various eosinophilic syndromes (other than eosinophilic stomatitis), myotonia, xanthine urolithiasis, lymphangiectasia, a mutation of the dystrophin gene causing a form of muscular dystrophy, and pneumocystis pneumonia due to immunoglobulin deficiency.
    Rod Russell

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    Quote Originally Posted by RodRussell View Post
    Not quite; in fact, not even close. It only lists the serious ones that may not develop or appear at or soon after birth. It also does not include every genetic defect known to occur in cavaliers. It focuses upon the most severe traits, those that are lethal, painful, blinding, causing deafness, requiring lifetime treatment, or requiring surgery.

    There are several other genetic defects which are fairly prevalent in the cavalier King Charles spaniel but which are not classified as severe or life-threatening. And, thus far, the website has excluded some rare disorders which CKCSs are believed to be predisposed to, such as various eosinophilic syndromes (other than eosinophilic stomatitis), myotonia, xanthine urolithiasis, lymphangiectasia, a mutation of the dystrophin gene causing a form of muscular dystrophy, and pneumocystis pneumonia due to immunoglobulin deficiency.
    The point is you would still get a cavalier. I guess you don't have every condition but you do have a lot of information. Anyway, Laura if you decide on a Cavalier, it is a wonderful breed. If there is another one that suits you better, wonderful. I wish you luck and I am glad you are trying to do research before buying a puppy.
    Last edited by anniemac; 16th June 2011 at 11:02 PM.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    Quote Originally Posted by RodRussell View Post
    Not quite; in fact, not even close. It only lists the serious ones that may not develop or appear at or soon after birth. It also does not include every genetic defect known to occur in cavaliers. It focuses upon the most severe traits, those that are lethal, painful, blinding, causing deafness, requiring lifetime treatment, or requiring surgery.

    There are several other genetic defects which are fairly prevalent in the cavalier King Charles spaniel but which are not classified as severe or life-threatening. And, thus far, the website has excluded some rare disorders which CKCSs are believed to be predisposed to, such as various eosinophilic syndromes (other than eosinophilic stomatitis), myotonia, xanthine urolithiasis, lymphangiectasia, a mutation of the dystrophin gene causing a form of muscular dystrophy, and pneumocystis pneumonia due to immunoglobulin deficiency.
    Are you trying to scare people Rod? It seems to me that you are. All animals including the human race have genetic defects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingCav View Post
    Are you trying to scare people Rod? It seems to me that you are.
    Well. you would be wrong. If you don't want to know what genetic health problems this breed has, then just delete or don't read about them.

    I am referring to serious genetic disorders that cavaliers are reported by veterinary researchers to be predisposed to. I don't make this stuff up. If you have a complaint about researchers doing genetic research in this breed and reporting on it, then complain to the researchers and not the messenger.

    If you want to remain ignorant about mitral valve disease, Chiari-like malformation, syringomyelia, episodic falling, PSOM, progressive deafness, cerebellar infarcts, dry eye, curly coat syndrome, eosinophilic stomatitis, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, masticatory muscle myositis, giant platelets and low platelet counts, then be my guest.

    I just hope you're not a cavalier breeder.
    Last edited by RodRussell; 17th June 2011 at 01:03 AM.
    Rod Russell

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