Cavalier King Charles Spaniels may have health issues that need to
be considered, whether you buy a puppy from a reputable breeder or
rescue one. Two of the most concerning are Mitral Valve Disease (MVD)
and Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia. (CM-SM)
Mitral Valve Disease
This is a disorder of the heart whereby the mitral valve does not close properly when the heart pumps out blood . This is a common problem in Cavaliers and can affect as many as 50% by the age of 5 and almost all by the age of 10. This inherited disease often ends in congestive heart failure. MVD can be treated and Cavaliers can live without symptoms for years. However, it is important that all Cavaliers be monitored throughout their lives by a veterinary cardiologist.
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Chiari and Syringomyelia
They are serious genetic disease that again, is prevalent in the Cavalier. It is a serious neurological disease that has become increasingly diagnosed in this breed and in other small breeds. Researchers suggest that the problem is likely to be a mismatch between the size of the skull (too small) and the size of the brain (too big) This promotes overcrowding and a disruption to cerebral spinal fluid flow (CSF). Symptoms and levels of pain can vary from mild to severe. This genetic disease is not easily treated and although research by very dedicated specialists continues in earnest the pathogenesis is still unknown.
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