Watch video: Cavalier health problems

Margaret Carter, from Cavalier Matters, shares with us the sorts of health problems that may affect Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Cavaliers are a delightful breed but many, these days, suffer from a range of health issues. The most typical are: eye problems, heart problems and a specific neurological problem, Syringomyelia (SM). Margaret tells us how these and other typical problems manifest.

For example, Mitral Heart Disease (MVD) is where the heart ages too quickly and can lead to coughing, feinting and even death. We find out about some not very well known issues such as episodic falling syndrome and ‘dry eye curly coat’ which leads to problems with their eyes, can cause blindness, skin lesions, bleeding nails, cracked and bleeding pads.

Irresponsible breeding of Cavaliers has resulted in a situation where 70% (at the time of filming in 2012) will have Syringomyelia by the time they are 6 years old. A responsible breeder will check for these problems and only breed from healthy dogs.

Margaret explains how to tell that the breeder you have chosen to purchase your Cav puppy from, has taken the right precautions to ensure your dog is as healthy as it can be. But, should the worst happen, and you have a dog with these health issues, she explains what support is available. With simple tests to check for health problems, it seems surprising that any breeder would want to bring a puppy into the world knowing that it was going to suffer.

0:00 Introduction
0:37 What health tests should cavalier breeders do?
1:32 Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) in Cavaliers
2:02 Syringomyelia (SM) in Cavaliers
3:47 Other health issues in Cavaliers
5:50 Websites and other support for cavalier health problems
6:30 How to buy a healthy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier Matters ( provides advice for potential and existing owners of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels including hereditary health issues.

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