Question by Loretta M: Does anyone have a King Charles Cavalier with Mitral valve disease?
I plan to purchase a King Charles Cavalier puppy but have read about mitral valve disease in this breed. I have read that by 5 years old 50 to 60 percent get this disease and by 10 years old are dead. This article is by a Dr. Nelson a cardiac dog surgeon from Texas. Does anyone know or have information on this . thanks
Answer by Sissee
I have a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. His mom is currently 10 and heart clear – this is very rare, his dad is 7 and heart clear, so if luck is with me, my guy will fair pretty well.
Is MVD seriously in the breed and a problem. Absolutely. I do personally know four other owners who are dealing with MVD, one in a Cavalier that is three.The best way to avoid it if you really want a Cavalier is to purchase from a breeder who is following protocol and waiting to breed until her dogs are older and heart clear. Unfortunately there is no genetic test for MVD.
Cavalier Health Org has some really clear information on what breeders should be doing – what you should ask.
This first is about MVD in the breed,
This next is about Cavalier health overall,
Please be aware there is another painful neuro-spinal condition that is prevalent (but mostly asymptomatic) in the breed called Syringomyelia (CM/SM). 4% of Cavaliers are euthanized because of it. Estimates look like 70% are carriers. As of this spring breeders are REQUIRED by protocol to breed only if one in the pair has been MRId and graded “A”.
Please do not accept a breeder’s word that their lines are clear of MVD and SM. There are no lines clear. Geneticists have studied this thoroughly.
Keep in mind that most every toy breed has a fairly high rate of MVD, but no where near what we see in the Cavalier.
I could not any more highly recommend a breed for temperament. They are absolutely wonderful dogs.
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