Tell me about Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Patchworkpony

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My research is showing me that so many have heart problems that I am now scared to buy one as I don't want to lose a young dog. How many make old bones I wonder?
 

Elsiecat

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Lovely dogs. I have them and I have known plenty. Never met one that I didn't like.
One of mine is about 10 now and is just as active as she was as a puppy despite always having a minor heart murmur. Mine have never had health problems except one who has had ear infections once or twice.. But she is nearing on 5 so can't really complain if that's all the ailments she has ever suffered.
 

JillA

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Mine are 9 and 11, so hardly failed to make old bones. One was bought as a puppy, the oether came out of a puppy farm. Both have heart murmurs, one grade 4, the other not so bad. The older one with grade 4 can be managed with medication when she gets breathless but getting and keeping her fit has helped so the meds are on hold for now. The other has no symptoms of any health problems at all. I know plenty of cavvie owners through a group on FB and so far all have healthy dogs of all ages. The reason those of you at vet surgeries see so many problems might possibly be because there are just so many cavvies around, they are delightful dogs.
Patchworkpony, make sure you see the parents and ask the breeder about their health, that is as much as you can do and is the same whatever breed you go for, none are perfect IMHO, many non working breeds have health problems of one sort or another thanks to generations of breeding for appearance.
 

Patchworkpony

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Lovely dogs. I have them and I have known plenty. Never met one that I didn't like.
One of mine is about 10 now and is just as active as she was as a puppy despite always having a minor heart murmur. Mine have never had health problems except one who has had ear infections once or twice.. But she is nearing on 5 so can't really complain if that's all the ailments she has ever suffered.
I'm not sure what a heart murmur would mean - is it foolhardy to deliberately buy a breed that has health problems or do most dogs have health problem these days? They certainly seem more prone to inherited problems than horses.
 

Elsiecat

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I'm not sure what a heart murmur would mean - is it foolhardy to deliberately buy a breed that has health problems or do most dogs have health problem these days? They certainly seem more prone to inherited problems than horses.
I think if you are to look objectively that any and every dog breed has it's list of problems. I think if you look carefully and find a dog with health tested parents, then you can't go too far wrong.
Despite cavaliers being fairly prone as a breed to health issues, I will never be without one of them. Take from that what you will! :)
 

Patchworkpony

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I think if you are to look objectively that any and every dog breed has it's list of problems. I think if you look carefully and find a dog with health tested parents, then you can't go too far wrong.
Despite cavaliers being fairly prone as a breed to health issues, I will never be without one of them. Take from that what you will! :)
Thanks Elsiecat - that is reassuring to know. I wish someone could PM me with some reliable breeders. Was about to look at puppies from a so called top breeder and it turns out she imports puppies from Ireland that have health problems!
 

burtie

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I acquired 2 lovely elderly (9 and 11) CKCS a bitch and dog that I fostered for a friend who couldn't keep at her new address, they both lived to age 15, the only health problem being minor strokes in the last year for the bitch. The dog was completely deaf and blind for his last year or so, but always the happiest sole you could meet!
 

JillA

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Thanks Elsiecat - that is reassuring to know. I wish someone could PM me with some reliable breeders. Was about to look at puppies from a so called top breeder and it turns out she imports puppies from Ireland that have health problems!
Look at the Kennel Club Cavalier Rescue? Most breeds have rescues which consist of responsible breeders who will try and rehome any in need. Not that you might want a rescue but most of the rescues are run by breeders and I imagine those breeders are more responsible than most?
http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/findaclub/breed/list.aspx?id=6149
 

MurphysMinder

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I don't think a heart murmur is the end of the world, I have one and am doing okay and I am no spring chicken!
Patchworkpony try sending a pm to Levrier on here, her mother is one of the top Cavvy breeders in the country.
 

justholdon

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My 8 year old Cavvy has a heart murmur but you honestly wouldn't tell and he's still more active than most dogs his age. I think a lot of people stop exercising the as much when they find out they have heart murmurs, but we've just kept up his normal routine and he seems much better for it.
 

Emmahi

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I have three cavs! They are aged 11,7 and 3. Only problem I have had is with the oldest ones teeth - have had to have them cleaned by the vet twice. The oldest one has a heart murmur now, but is not on any medication and still goes for an hour walk daily up and down hills!

I love them as a breed. AWAYS friendly with both humans and other dogs. I never consider them disappearing on walks or wandering from home. Totally easy, friendly little dogs who always are happy to go for walks or come with me out hacking or running alongside a bike! If it's pouring with rain they are not bothered if I jib at a walk either!
I got all of ours from local people who have bred the odd litter, so know their backgrounds. Wouldn't have any other breed. :)
 

Patchworkpony

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My vet (who is very doggie) has advised against buying a cav unless I 'have very deep pockets for vet's bills' - now I don't know what to do. I love the breed but she said there are enormous health problems with them. Grrr..
 

Levrier

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My vet (who is very doggie) has advised against buying a cav unless I 'have very deep pockets for vet's bills' - now I don't know what to do. I love the breed but she said there are enormous health problems with them. Grrr..
Yeah vets always do say this - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing I think the quote goes :D I have racked up way more in vets bills for my 4 rescue greyhounds over the past few years than my relative has for her 9 or so CKCS, and my greyhounds dont have any genetic health problems.....
 

Patchworkpony

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Lévrier;12680330 said:
Yeah vets always do say this - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing I think the quote goes :D I have racked up way more in vets bills for my 4 rescue greyhounds over the past few years than my relative has for her 9 or so CKCS, and my greyhounds dont have any genetic health problems.....
Thanks Levrier - my OH says enjoy one now and worry about the future if and when something goes wrong. He's probably right, it's just that I lost my beloved fell pony very young from a genetic problem and have never completely got over it.
 

Levrier

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I can understand that entirely PP, I am sure I would feel the same if I were in your position.

It is a shame that there are so many people who have bad things to say about CKCS nowadays, obviously the health issues DO exist and ARE widespread, but I find it hard to reconcile the things people say with the hundreds of CKCS that I have known over the past 30+ years who have been such happy healthy little dogs who on average have lived to 12-14 years old :)

As has been said so often on this thread, it is a matter of finding the right breeder.....they are out there :) :)
 

CAYLA

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I have a very healthy super energy loaded cavalier. My nana used to show and breed them years back. Hers suffered very few health issues and lived forever. My nan passed away and my grandad still has their last cavalier and she is 15 years old with no health issues. As suggested it's all about encouraging finding a good breeder for healthy stock rather than the back street kind pumping out bad from bad.
 

Patchworkpony

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Thanks again Levrier for your down-to-earth encouragement and thank you Cayla for sharing that - I feel much more cheerful about getting a cavalier now and plan to start looking in the early part of next year.
 

JillA

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There seem to be some offered on Preloved, or Pets4Homes - not puppies but some as young as a few months. Probably the product of puppy farms though, you could ask to get them health screened if you were worried
 

Levrier

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There seem to be some offered on Preloved, or Pets4Homes - not puppies but some as young as a few months. Probably the product of puppy farms though, you could ask to get them health screened if you were worried
I wouldn't touch them with the proverbial bargepole unfortunately - you can be sure they will be from puppy farms :(
 

JillA

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Lévrier;12714108 said:
I wouldn't touch them with the proverbial bargepole unfortunately - you can be sure they will be from puppy farms :(
I have homed two who came this route, neither in the first flush of youth, and neither with expensive health issues. One whose owner had owned from a puppy butwas having to move into non dog accommodation and another whose circumstances had also changed and could no longer keep her beloved dog. Only one was ex puppy farm (as a brood bitch) and she is a real charmer, so pleased and grateful to have a real home with room to run and play. Beware of generalisations - you can find lovely dogs through ads, I know a good many who have. Lots of rehoming charities pick them up and then charge a hefty adoption fee, because cavvies are so appealing and sought after. Many Tears do, as do Pendle Dogs in Need. Just ask all the right questions - where did it come from, did they see the dam when they bought it, has it all the relevant innoculations and pedigree, etc etc.
Depends whether you want to do it for the dog or for yourself really I guess.
 
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Levrier

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I have homed two who came this route, neither in the first flush of youth, and neither with expensive health issues. One whose owner had owned from a puppy butwas having to move into non dog accommodation and another whose circumstances had also changed and could no longer keep her beloved dog. Only one was ex puppy farm (as a brood bitch) and she is a real charmer, so pleased and grateful to have a real home with room to run and play. Beware of generalisations - you can find lovely dogs through ads, I know a good many who have. Lots of rehoming charities pick them up and then charge a hefty adoption fee, because cavvies are so appealing and sought after. Many Tears do, as do Pendle Dogs in Need. Just ask all the right questions - where did it come from, did they see the dam when they bought it, has it all the relevant innoculations and pedigree, etc etc.
Depends whether you want to do it for the dog or for yourself really I guess.
My generalisations were based on the fact that the OP has repeatedly expressed her concerns about potential health issues with CKCS - a puppy farm is not the way to go if you are looking for a healthy pup :)
 

Patchworkpony

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Lévrier;12714606 said:
My generalisations were based on the fact that the OP has repeatedly expressed her concerns about potential health issues with CKCS - a puppy farm is not the way to go if you are looking for a healthy pup :)
I totally agree with everything you say.
 

Levrier

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I totally agree with everything you say.
Thanks PP :) I rang my mum again tonight, she has been asking around for tricolour bitches but there is nothing out there - anyone who is breeding are selling their pups before they are born. Hang in there, you will get to the front of the queue soon :)
 

Patchworkpony

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Lévrier;12715215 said:
Thanks PP :) I rang my mum again tonight, she has been asking around for tricolour bitches but there is nothing out there - anyone who is breeding are selling their pups before they are born. :)
Thank you so much for that but this is exactly what I have found so reluctantly I have decide to forget this breed and think about something else as there seems to be too much stress attached to even finding a puppy.
 

MurphysMinder

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I think you will find that no matter what the breed a decent breeder is unlikely to have puppies sitting there ready to go when you contact them. Instead of the search being stressful why don't you look at it as just part of the planning for the new member of your family. The last litter of GSDs I had, 3 people had been waiting for ages, one for nearly a year. I kept in touch throughout the bitch's season, when she was mated, scan etc so they were part of the whole process and one said to me it was brilliant being involved from so early on. The chances of finding a well reared, fully health tested puppy available at 8 weeks old are going to be slim I'm afraid.
 
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