Understanding the Health Tests: What Every Cavalier Breeder Should Offer

Welcoming a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel into your home is the beginning of an exciting journey filled with joy, love, and companionship. However, before you bring your new furry friend home, it’s crucial to ensure they are as healthy as possible.

At Carlisle Cavaliers, we understand the importance of thorough health testing for our puppies. These tests not only ensure the longevity and well-being of the breed but also give you peace of mind, knowing that your new family member is free from common genetic disorders. In this blog, we’ll walk you through the essential health tests every responsible Cavalier breeder should offer and why these tests matter for your future pet’s health.

Common Health Issues in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are a delightful breed, known for their affectionate nature and charming personalities. However, they are also prone to several hereditary health issues. These issues include heart problems, eye conditions, and specific genetic disorders like Dry Eye Curly Coat Syndrome and Episodic Falling. Early detection and prevention through proper health testing are vital to ensure that your puppy leads a happy and healthy life.

Essential Health Tests Every Breeder Should Offer

Responsible breeders conduct a series of health tests to screen for common genetic disorders and physical ailments. These tests are crucial for maintaining the health standards of the breed and ensuring that each puppy has the best start in life. Here are the key tests that every Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder should perform:

Heart Examinations: OFA Heart Certification

One of the most common health issues in King Charles Cavaliers is Mitral Valve Disease (MVD). This condition affects the heart’s mitral valve, leading to heart failure if left untreated. To screen for this, breeders should perform heart examinations, including auscultation and echocardiography, to assess the heart’s condition.

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) heart certification is a standard test that evaluates the heart health of breeding dogs. Regular heart examinations and OFA certifications help breeders identify and avoid using dogs with heart conditions in their breeding programs, thus reducing the risk of MVD in future generations.

Patella/Knee Certification: OFA Patella Certification

Patellar luxation, or the dislocation of the kneecap, is another common issue in small breeds like Cavaliers. This condition can lead to pain and mobility issues. The OFA patella certification involves a thorough examination of the knees to ensure they are stable and healthy.

By ensuring that both parents are OFA patella certified, breeders can significantly reduce the risk of this condition in their puppies. It’s essential for prospective owners to ask for proof of these certifications before adopting a puppy.

DNA Testing for Genetic Diseases

DNA testing is a powerful tool in identifying carriers of genetic disorders. For Cavaliers, two critical tests are for Dry Eye Curly Coat Syndrome (CKCID) and Episodic Falling (EF).

Dry Eye Curly Coat Syndrome (CKCID)

CKCID is a painful condition where affected dogs suffer from dry eyes and abnormal skin and coat conditions. DNA testing can identify carriers of the gene responsible for CKCID, allowing breeders to make informed decisions and avoid breeding carriers together.

Episodic Falling (EF)

EF is a neurological condition that causes muscle stiffness and episodic collapse. Although not life-threatening, it can severely impact a dog’s quality of life. DNA testing for EF helps breeders identify carriers and ensure that affected puppies are not produced.

Why These Tests Are Important

Don’t make the mistake of not asking the breeder about health tests. Conducting these health tests is not just about following best practices; it’s about ensuring the future well-being of the puppies. Here’s why these tests are vital:

Healthy Puppies

Health tests help in identifying and mitigating the risk of hereditary diseases. By selecting breeding pairs based on their health certifications, breeders can produce healthier puppies with fewer chances of developing genetic disorders.

Peace of Mind for Owners

When you know that your puppy has been thoroughly tested and certified, it provides peace of mind. You can rest assured that your new pet is less likely to face severe health issues, allowing you to focus on building a loving relationship.

Maintaining Breed Standards

Responsible breeding practices, including health testing, are essential for maintaining the overall health and quality of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed. By supporting breeders who prioritize health testing, you’re contributing a better future for the breed.

Understanding the health tests that every Cavalier breeder should offer is crucial for any prospective puppy owner. These tests ensure that your new companion is healthy and free from common genetic disorders.

At Carlisle Cavaliers, we are committed to performing all these essential health tests on our dogs. They each have their eyes checked by an ophthalmologist and are OFA certified. Additionally, their hearts are not just checked by vets, but by a cardiologist, and they’re OFA certified. We believe in providing the best start for our puppies and peace of mind for their future owners. That’s why we offer a one-year health guarantee and a health contract.

If you’re looking for a healthy and happy Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy, look no further. We can deliver anywhere in the United States, ensuring that your perfect puppy is just a call away.

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