Cavaliers of Southern New England supports the ACKCSC Charitable Health Trust. The Health Trust funds projects researching mitral valve disease, syringomyelia (SM), and other health issues that affect our Cavaliers. Our dogs make a difference in our lives – let’s make a difference in theirs!
Your puppy's health-conscious breeder has probably had his sire and dam tested for inherited eye defects (juvenile cataracts among them) and cardiac mitral valve disease (MVD). However, remember that Nature is not infallible, and as your Cavalier ages he may be subject to certain health concerns.
Any heart murmur detected by your veterinarian warrants further investigation to rule out any potentially serious condition. Any clouding of the lens of the eye, or irritation, may warrant medication and treatment. Juvenile cataracts (an inheritable form) and "dry eye" are known to afflict the breed on occasion. Slipping patellas (a bone in the knee) can occasionally be a problem that is correctable with surgery. As with most mammals, the Cavalier is not immune to cancers in various forms. Do keep your veterinarian posted on any sudden change in your Cavalier's appearance or demeanor.
Often, the grooming session is a time when you as an alert owner can detect lumps or bumps that should not be there. Your own vigilance is often your Cavalier's best defense against disease.
The Cavalier must be a house pet and kept inside with the family. If this is not your lifestyle, please do not purchase a Cavalier. He wants nothing so much as to be with the people he loves. Extremes of heat and cold are not well tolerated by Cavaliers and owners must be vigilant to keep them sheltered as they would their own human family. Under no circumstances should they be left outside for long periods on sizzling summer days, nor should they be left in a hot car -- heat prostration can occur with relatively little warning.
*Excerpt from the ACKCSC Flyer in PDF
American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Health Statement PDF