When working in an animal hospital you tend to see certain breed trends, or breeds that are becoming more popular. A breed we are seeing more oftern here at Kingsbrook is the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. As an owner of a CKCS myself, I can understand why so many people fall in love with the breed. Cavaliers are a playful, happy, devoted breed that usually do well with children, cats and dogs. They require moderate exercise and grooming. A good walk and daily brushing will usually suffice. CKCS are sporting dogs so do not always do well with small mammals or birds. They often will chase anything that moves so keeping on a leash if not fenced is imperative.
Anyone who has any knowledge of dogs knows that every breed comes with their list of medical concerns. Unfortunately CKCS has some serious and potentially costly health issues. The following are the issues we see most often:
Heart Disease: CKCS are 20 times more prone to Mitral Valve Disease than any other breed.
Cataracts and Cherry eye
Luxating (dislocating) Patellas
Syringomyelia: A progressive neurological disease of varying severity. A larger number of CKCS have this than any other breed.
Since any of these can be severe enough to require care from a veterinary specialist it is important to realize owning a CKCS can become quite costly. My owne Cavie has had trips to a veterinary neurologist and regularly sees a cardiologist. We have a client here at Kingsbrook that owns two young CKCS and has already started saving for potential costly health issues later in life. Smart move!!
The AKC recommends to check for ant hereditary diseases several generations back when considering purchasing a Cavalier. Even this does not guarantee a perfectly healthy dog.
Although my sweet 14 year old Cavie requires a spread sheet to keep track of al his medications, I know I will own another one day. Before Aquiring a new pup, I will be researching it’s medical history and have a nest egg for major, unexpected medical concerns. Having owned a CKCS I know it is more likely than not that I will someday be spending money taking it to a veterinary specialist but also realize that they are worth every penny spent.