The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a popular toy breed renowned for its gentle nature, which combined with their long, silky coats, makes them popular pets and great therapy dogs. Originally bred as house pets for wealthy English aristocrats, this breed is now known as an excellent family pet. These dogs are great companions for children and they are generally very easy to train – they are often trained for competition in obedience and agility. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, or Cavaliers for short, require weekly brushing but are not demanding in their need for daily exercise.
Unlike many small breeds, Cavaliers are not typically afflicted with debilitating eye diseases but they are prone to a number of other serious health concerns including mitral valve disease, patellar luxation and syringomyelia. Pet insurance may help you cover treatment and medications for these conditions.
Mitral Valve Disease
This heart condition is the leading cause of death among Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and it affects almost half of all dogs of this breed by age five. Mitral valve disease, or MVD, is a condition in which the heart’s mitral valve degenerates, resulting in black flow of blood and eventual heart failure. Surgical repairs for this condition are cost-prohibitive and even medications are not guaranteed to control the symptoms. The most standard treatment for this condition involves dietary changes to reduce sodium intake and regular vet check-ups which can cost between $30 and $100 per month.
This condition is one in which the patella, or knee cap, slips out of its normal position. Patellar luxation affects nearly twenty percent of Cavaliers and it can lead to degeneration in the joint, arthritis and eventual lameness. Adult Cavaliers should be tested annually for this condition and, if they are diagnosed, surgery is typically required. The cost of reconstructive knee surgery generally ranges between $1,200 and $4,000.
Syringomyelia, or SM, is an inherited condition which is becoming more common among dogs of this breed. This neurological disease is diagnosed in dogs born with inadequate space in the skull to accommodate the brain. As a result of this condition, spinal fluid is forced through an opening too small. Common symptoms of this condition include excessive scratching, pain and weakness in the limbs. While mild cases of this condition can be medically managed, surgery is often the only option for severe cases. Tests and surgical treatments for this condition can cost upwards of $2,000.
Disclaimer: Symptoms, conditions, and costs may vary. Consult a licensed veterinarian to inquire about treatment options and cost of care for your particular situation. Check actual coverage and benefits for your dog to determine whether you will be covered by pet insurance.