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Thread: Health testing for pet Cavaliers?

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    Default Health testing for pet Cavaliers?

    I'm wondering about health testing for Luke. There will be a health clinic at a few local upcoming shows, and I'm thinking of taking him and getting some tests. He is pet quality, and he is neutered. Luke is about 3.5 years old (DOB 2/7/09). He shows no signs of any problems, but I figured I should get him checked since he is active in flyball, and he does a little weight pulling (he's just pulling 2lbs or so right now, I think I want to get everything checked out before he gets into anything heavy). I'm just wondering though, what kinds of tests would you get for a pet cavalier, who will not be bred, but is active. At the show next month, I can get his heart and eyes done. At the show in November, I could do hips, eyes, heart, patellas, elbows and thyroid.
    I haven't seen any signs of any issues. Both parents were clear on hearts, hips, eyes, and patellas to at least age 5 if that makes a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukesmom View Post
    I'm wondering about health testing for Luke. There will be a health clinic at a few local upcoming shows, and I'm thinking of taking him and getting some tests. He is pet quality, and he is neutered. Luke is about 3.5 years old (DOB 2/7/09). He shows no signs of any problems, but I figured I should get him checked since he is active in flyball, and he does a little weight pulling (he's just pulling 2lbs or so right now, I think I want to get everything checked out before he gets into anything heavy). I'm just wondering though, what kinds of tests would you get for a pet cavalier, who will not be bred, but is active. At the show next month, I can get his heart and eyes done. At the show in November, I could do hips, eyes, heart, patellas, elbows and thyroid.
    I haven't seen any signs of any issues. Both parents were clear on hearts, hips, eyes, and patellas to at least age 5 if that makes a difference.
    Once a cavalier passes year one, we always take advantage of local health clinics. Usually they are limited to checking hearts and eyes, but some clinics include hip and elbow x-rays, patellas, and even hearing, all with veteriinary specialists.

    Any cavalier should be examined annually for eye problems and mitral valve murmurs. Just because a CKCS is a neutered pet does not prevent these common-in-the-breed genetic problems from cropping up. Health clinics give you two advantages to do so. First, they usually are much cheaper than regular appointments with veterinary specialists. Second, the clinics are local, while the specialists' offices may be hours away.

    If your dog is going to participate in strenuous physical activity (and flyball and weight pulling are the most stenuous), you FIRST should have his hips x-rayed for dysplasia and his patellas examined. We train some of our cavaliers in agility, which is less strenuous than flyball or weight-pulling, and we would not allow our dogs to even train for those sports without getting the hips and patellas signed off by vets. While you're at getting the hips and elbows x-rayed, I suggest that you send the x-rays in to OFA for review by a panel of OFA's three radiologists.

    If a BAER clinic is included, I'd take my cavaliers to it, too. Progressive hearing loss is common in cavaliers, and a BAER test will confirm your suspicions if you think one of your dogs has started to ignore your commands. Hearing loss in cavaliers is a sneaky disorder that creeps up very slowly, but by age 5 years, the dog could be almost completely deaf.

    For cavaliers in the USA and Canada, there is a frequently-updated list of upcoming health clinics at http://cavalierhealth.org/health_clinics.htm.
    Rod Russell

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    I would second what Rod says. I get my two heart checked annually at Cavalier Club sponsored health clinics, and Oliver was eye tested regularly when he was younger. Even if you aren't going to breed from them, with all the ailments that can afflict Cavaliers, it's useful to have an early warning of possible trouble. Our health clinics don't do any of the other tests, but Oliver has had two BAER tests privately (they're not expensive) that have picked up his increasing deafness.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

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    I would get the heart and eye tests done annually at a minimum. The shows that hold clinics are lifesavers.

    My understanding is that almost all Cavs will get MVD--it's a question of when not whether. It's importance to know as soon as a murmur shows up and then to track its progress each year.

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    I had no clue such health clinics existed or where I would even get this testing done on him until a few days ago. The one really close to me only has hearts and eyes. There are others in November and December that are doing all the rest. I'll have to get him scheduled for one of those.

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    I get Lucky and Sparky's hearts checked annually. If there is a problem, I want to know as soon as I can so I can make sure they get any treatment that might be necessary.

    I love that Cavalierhealth.org has such a complete list of Clinics. We go every year.
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukesmom View Post
    I had no clue such health clinics existed or where I would even get this testing done on him until a few days ago. The one really close to me only has hearts and eyes. There are others in November and December that are doing all the rest. I'll have to get him scheduled for one of those.
    I recommend that if any cavalier shows are near to you and are offering clinics, you take your dog to those clinics rather than others, because you get the added dividend of socializing your dog and yourself with other cavaliers and their owners.

    If you have a choice between a close by clinic offering only heart and eye exams, I suggest taking your dog to that one, and then in November or December, take your dog to the other clinic for the hip and elbow x-rays, patellas, and thyroid.

    And one other thing, about flyball. I recommend that you periodically get your dog's shoulders x-rayed. Flyball can reek havoc on a dog's shoulders.
    Last edited by RodRussell; 22nd July 2012 at 02:54 AM.
    Rod Russell

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lukesmom View Post
    I had no clue such health clinics existed or where I would even get this testing done on him until a few days ago. The one really close to me only has hearts and eyes. There are others in November and December that are doing all the rest. I'll have to get him scheduled for one of those.
    Me either, well I knew they had health clinics but I guess I didn't realize I could take advantage of them too. Fletcher is only 5 months old, I use a great vet but qualified specialists at these clinics would be much better over-all care for him. That sounds like an excellent choice for me. Should I wait until he is over a year old? I know heart for MDV is a must but what else, eyes, patellas???? Any specialists info would only be beneficial so I guess do what I can when I can?

    Melissa

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