Health diseases associated with cavalier king charles spaniel

What comes into your mind when you think of cavalier King Charles Spaniel? When we speak of this breed, what comes first into the minds of most listeners is its origin; given the name King Charles. Indeed Toy Spaniels have been in existence for many centuries and even until now they are still gaining popularity as household pets among many families.

However, owners and soon-to-be owners should remember that fame and history are not the only things associated with this adorable breed. Two genetic defects common to Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed are mitral valve disease and syringomyelia. Heart mitral valve disease (MVD) is a degeneration of the heart’s mitral valve, one of the four sets of valves in a dog’s heart. The disease is characterized by the inability of the longer valve to close fully after each pumping action thus gives way to some blood to flow backwards from the ventricle back into the atrium. Based on statistics, more than half of all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affected by the disease at age five thus the expected lifespan is only between seven to ten years.

On the other hand, syringomyelia occurs due to obstruction to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow. Symptoms of the disease may ranger from mild discomfort to severe pain and partial paralysis. Another common symptom of the disease is scratching in the air near the neck thus referred to as “neck scratcher’s disease”. The disease is usually recognized among dogs between six months to three years of age nevertheless dogs of any age especially those with more severe diseases and unhealthy lifestyle can be affected by the disease.

Keratoconjunctivitis sicca can also be seen in this breed. Also called dry eye, the disease is caused by decreased or inadequate tear production. Infections, trauma or reactions to drugs can cause injury to the tear glands or damage to these glands thus lead to the disease. A dog affected with this disease develops a thick, yellowish discharge. If left untreated, the disease will lead into chronic eye infections and may progress into corneal ulceration and worst, blindness. Other eye disorders common to this breed are cataracts, corneal dystrophy, distichiasis, dry eye syndrome, entropion, microphthalmia, progressive retinal degeneration and retinal dysplasia.

By learning more about these diseases, you can take steps to prevent them from coming and harming your beloved canine friend.