15th June 2014, 07:53 PM
General newbie questions!
I was hoping that some of y'all will be able to help me with some newbie enquiries?
Basically I have been in contact with a lovely Cavalier hobby breeder who is wanting to rehome one of her dogs. He is 2 and a half years old, neutered and was originally intended to be used for breeding but he isn't "excellent" enough for her to breed him so she needs to find him a forever home as a normal pet instead.
I know that Cavalier breeders shouldn't even consider breeding their dogs until they've had that 2-2.5 year health test so that sounds good to me.
This is what she specifically told me:
"He did not test well enough to breed from. That said he has a fantastic pass for eyes, heart and EF,DY,CC. I am a breeder and will only breed from the very best, any thing else I have neutered and find suitable pet homes for them."
Now this sounds fine to me and I will be talking to her soon to find out more information about his health, temperament, etc. but in the meantime I'm researching like crazy and I was wondering if anyone knows if there sounds like there are any problems here? Specifically that he passes well but not well enough for breeding which is perfect for me as I would've had him neutered anyway, but does it sound like he'd have any specific health problems due to not being breed-quality if you know what I mean? (Other than the general breed health issues.)
Also I am totally oblivious to what EF, DY and CC are! Hurhur.
She's letting us have him on a trial basis (my idea) for 2-3 weeks to begin with to see how he gets on in our home and if all goes well we'll take him on permanently.
Also I was wondering roughly how much y'all feed your dogs every day? We were thinking of feeding whatever the breeder feeds but then slowly switching onto the Royal Canin Cavalier specific food, and I've read that they typically need 80-100g a day? So I was thinking of feeding 40-50g twice a day, morning and evening, to avoid any feeding conflicts with our cats that get fed twice a day.
Does this sound right?
Thanks so much in advance, all advice is totally appreciated!
P.S. On the offchance that this breeder actually uses this forum, I apologise for my impatience! XD
15th June 2014, 09:04 PM
Welcome to the forum. To start with the easy query, EF is Episodic Falling, DY should be DE for Dry Eye, and CC is Curly Coat - all hereditary diseases that can be tested for in a low cost genetic test.
If he had 'fantastic passes' for all these things and heart and eyes, what was the test he did less well on? The only one left that hasn't been specifically mentioned is an MRI scan for Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia (CM/SM). Well done to the breeder if this is why she is neutering the dog and removing him from her breeding programme, but I think you need to push her on this one. If he has been MRI'd you need to see the actual result certificate (and ask for a copy of it to show to your own vet), and if he has tested positive, think carefully about taking him on. CM/SM is a progressive disease and if he doesn't have obvious symptoms now, he may develop them in the future. It can be very painful and cost a lot of money in medication. If he has tested positive and is not insured, evidence of CM/SM from the scan may count as an 'existing condition' if you insure him yourself and may not be covered. You may decide to have him anyway even if he has a positive MRI, but just be aware of what you may be taking on. You will find plenty of information about CM/SM here, and if he does have it, plenty of help and support from other forum members. Both my Cavaliers have CM/SM but are generally well controlled by medication; others on this forum are not so fortunate, and we have had dogs being put to sleep because their pain had become uncontrollable.
Sorry if I sound negative, but CM/SM is a real scourge in Cavaliers and anyone taking on a Cavalier needs to check it out (if they can - one of my dogs with CM/SM is a rescue and didn't scan positive until I had had him for 2 years). A good breeder will be honest about it - with the limited gene pool in Cavaliers, anyone can get it in their breeding. It's what they do about it that is important. Your breeder seems to be taking the right action, but you need to know more about what you may be taking on. If his MRI only shows Chiari Malformation (which most Cavaliers have) he may never develop serious problems - on the other hand, CM alone can cause many problems, it's completely unpredictable. If you decide to have him anyway, you will probably have a great pet - they really are a wonderful breed - but you need to be able to make an informed decision.
Fingers crossed it will all be OK!
Kate, Oliver and Aled
15th June 2014, 09:38 PM
Thank you so much!
Don't worry about sounding negative, this is all incredibly helpful information and will make it so much easier for me to ask the right questions and make the right decision.
16th June 2014, 01:04 AM
I'm not sure what "Royal Canin Cavalier specific food" is, but just its name makes me suspicious that it is a gimmick. We are in the US, so please excuse the use of ounces (oz.) and pounds (lbs.). We feed our cavaliers two meals per day. The adult males get 6 oz. per meal and the adult females get 4 oz. per meal. So that is 3/4 of a pound per day (340 g) for the males and half a pound (227 g) per day for the females. Our food is homemade and raw meats and vegetables, well ground and mixed together.
Originally Posted by Nathus D Dorkus
16th June 2014, 01:29 AM
I checked the web and found out what Royal Canin Cavalier King Charles Spaniel" food is. It is a dry food, which we would call a kibble in the US. It's primary ingredients are:
Originally Posted by RodRussell
"rice, vegetable protein isolate*, dehydrated poultry protein, maize, animal fats, hydrolysed animal proteins, beet pulp, vegetable fibres, ..."
Frankly, if I had a bag of this around, I'd let visiting rats eat all of it. A few decades ago, one US hamburger chain of restaurants campaigned against another one with the question, "Where's The Beef?" Well, I ask Royal Canin, "Where's the meat?" Any dog food worth feeding to any cavalier should start out with some fresh meat of some sort. It doesn't have to be beef; it could be chicken, or turkey, or some other substantial portion of fresh muscle meat.
Royal Canin thinks that the primary ingredient to feed cavaliers should not be meat of any sort, but instead should be "rice", followed by something called "vegetable protein isolate", and then, in third place, something called "dehydrated poultry protein". Most all dry dog foods contain an abundance of carbohydrates, like rice, because they give the kibble the body it needs to hold itself together. So, Royal Canin is more concerned with making sure that its little bits of kibble don't crumble, than it is concerned about providing cavaliers with a healthful diet.
Bottom line? Dump the Royal Canin dry food and give your dog some real meat. Over here, when we get caught short in having our home-prepared dog food, we resort to a canned variety, like Merrick. I don't think that Merrick is sold in the UK, so look for canned food (tins?) with the primary ingredients, first of all, a fresh meat of some sort, followed by fresh vegetables.
16th June 2014, 02:12 AM
See now, I originally thought that wet tinned food was a better option, but it was searching around on this forum that made it seem like a dry complete food was a much more common, favoured option so I started to look into that instead. Brands like Eden and Burns came up a bit, then we saw that Royal Canin had a breed specific food (which I totally think is a gimmick too but so long as the food was okay regardless it didn't matter to me, you know?)
So I looked up threads on this forum about it and, to be fair they were from a couple of years ago, everyone seemed to think that it was totally fine and there were no problems with it.
And you feed your dogs 2 to 3 times the amount I've read is normal (through desperate searching), so you can see why I am puzzled and trying to figure out what food and how much is best. XD Haha.
Sadly I simply do not have the budget for raw feeding or home made food, though I do think it's a great option in general, so I've been trying to find something affordable but good, you know?
16th June 2014, 02:26 AM
Nathus, I don't recommend that anyone feed a raw, homemade diet, unless they have a lot of free time on their hands. But I do recommend that they feed at least a canned (tinned) food with an ingredient list that starts out with fresh meat with a recognizable name, followed by fresh vegetables and as little, if any, grains or other carbohydrates as possible. (I admit that we do add either cooked sweet potatoes or some other carbohydrate to our raw food diet, to help our dogs maintain their weight and for the valuable nutrients they contain. But it certainly is not a main ingredient.)
Originally Posted by Nathus D Dorkus
As for how much per meal, I would simply follow the directions on the tin. The quantities of raw food we feed our dogs is based upon what it takes for them to maintain their proper weight.
16th June 2014, 06:02 AM
That was my original thought! But then I looked into it and everywhere, from here to dog owners I know, pointed to using dry food instead. So I'm rather baffled haha.
I'd love if some more people could give me input as to how they personally feed their dogs too. C: