Would you get a...

(10 Posts)
ADogCalledLamb Wed 21-Sep-16 19:46:07

King Charles Cavalier? I love them but am concerned about the risk of Syringomyelia. I've read that about 90% of the breed are affected by the condition, which sounds awful for the dog and costly for the owner.

Opinions please!

8DaysAWeek Thu 22-Sep-16 11:27:20

I've always wanted one! They are the sweetest natured little dogs. DH thinks they look like aliens but that's another story.
Not sure exactly of that stats for SM but even if 90% have it 90% aren't clinically affected, so I wouldn't worry about that.
My main reason for not getting one is they almost all die young of heart failure. You'd be lucky if they didn't develop a murmur young and need costly meds when they were middle aged. In any case, you need pet insurance for any breed so you would just make sure you had great cover and that would deal with the costs. The heartbreak is another thing though sad

LimeJellyHead Thu 22-Sep-16 11:29:37

I just saw this new report, if it is of any use to you:

Syringomyelia affects 'one in 60' Cavaliers mrcvs.co.uk/en/news/14957/Syringomyelia-affects-'one-in-60'-Cavaliers

Elephantsaremygods Thu 22-Sep-16 11:31:09

I would but I have grown up with them. My mum's current is 10 years old and still healthy.

They are the gentlest, sweetest, most docile dogs. Fabulous with children.

You take a risk of health problems with any pedigree breed but you can mitigate this by going to a reputable breeder.

ADogCalledLamb Thu 22-Sep-16 12:18:40

Thank you all for your replies, much appreciated.

Tough decision to make hey! How would you go about finding a reputable breeder?

Elephantsaremygods Thu 22-Sep-16 12:30:57

Look for ones listed on the kennel club website. A decent breeder won't sell pups to just anyone, they'll ask you lots of questions to make sure you're committed and able to look after one. You should also be able to see the mum - don't trust any breeder who won't let you do this. Breeder should have their puppies worked, vaccinated, chipped etc and should have th certificates to prove it

Elephantsaremygods Thu 22-Sep-16 12:31:20

Wormed, not worked!

No, way too many health issues. I've known 5 or 6, all died around 8 having suffered with heart and joint issues for several years prior

TrionicLettuce Thu 22-Sep-16 14:54:49

How would you go about finding a reputable breeder?

I'd start by approaching the breed club, they should be able to put you in touch with breeders who are planning litters. Champdogs and the list of KC Assured Breeders are also reasonable starting points, particularly Champdogs as you can filter the list of breeders by those who health test.

There is a certain amount of denial of the severity of issues within the breed so you really need to do your homework and make sure any prospective breeders are realistic about health issues and are doing everything they can to avoid them.

Both parents should ideally have had their hip scores (with a result less than the breed average), they should have a current eye test (these are done annually to check for signs of eye problems which don't have a DNA test available yet), the should have had an MRI test to check for Chiari malformation/Syringomyelia and have had DNA tests for both episodic falling and dry eye/curly coat syndrome. The breeder should be happy to show you all the official documentation for these tests for their bitch and have copies of the same for the stud dog they used but you can also look up results (providing you know the dogs' KC names) on the KC Health Test Result Finder. They should also be following the breed club MVD scheme, where both parents are clear of heart murmurs at 2.5 years old and all four grandparents are clear at 5 years old.

There aren't many breeders who are doing all these tests. Eye testing and the DNA tests are quite commonly done. The heart scheme and MRIs (which cover arguably the two biggest issues in the breed, though they're not absolute guarantees that puppies won't be affected) are starting to catch on, more and more breeders are utilising them now. The real weak link at the moment seems to be hip scoring, very few breeders bother with it at all even when they've done everything else.

ADogCalledLamb Thu 22-Sep-16 17:03:00

Brilliant advice Trionic, thank you for taking the time.

Time for some serious research confused

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