Please watch the video Rabies Vaccination Video about the caution one must use in administering Rabies vaccinations!  Know before you go!

Health Issues in Cavaliers
  • MVD - (Mitral Valve Disease) Statistics reveal that 50% of all Cavaliers will have a heart murmur by the age of 5. By the time a Cavalier reaches age 10 the number rises to 99%.  Mitral Valve Disease is an acquired disease that develops over time. It is the breakdown of the mitral valve which causes blood to flow backward in the heart. This causes the heart to enlarge as it works harder to get oxygen to the tissues.  The breed clubs suggest that breeders wait to breed Cavaliers until age 2 and a cardiologist clear both the sire and dam. In addition to that, it is also suggested that the parents of the sire and dam have all reached age 5 with heart clearances as well. Don't believe any breeder who tells you, "We don't have MVD in our lines."  Mitral Valve Disease is in all Cavaliers and in all lines.
  • Eyes - Cavaliers in a breeding program should have their eyes cleared by a board certified ophthalmologist. In general, Cavaliers do not suffer from chronic eye diseases but the sire and dam should be cleared of all genetic diseases. 
  • SM - Syringomyelia is a neurological disorder that is caused by a backskull that is not large enough for the cerebellum (part of the brain). This causes pockets of fluid to form inside of the spinal cord. Some of the symptoms of SM pain can be excessive scratching around the neck, leg lameness, twisted spine and occasional screaming. The only way to conclusively diagnosis SM is to do an MRI.
  • Hips - Although hip dysplasia occurs more commonly in the larger breeds Cavaliers can suffer from this disease as well. Breeders should have both the sire and dam x-rayed at the age of two and submit the x-rays to The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals for an evaluation. Ratings of Fair, Good and Excellent are passing.
  • Patellas - The patella is the kneecap. Luxating patellas are a very common problem in all Toy Breeds. Patellas should be held in place tightly by ligaments but when they luxate they pop in and out of place, sometimes permanently staying out of place. Surgery to repair a patella can cost up to $1500 per kneecap. Cavalier breeders should have their Cavaliers cleared of patellar luxation.
It is important to remember that not all Cavaliers suffer from the above conditions. However, buying from a reputable breeder, who checks their dogs for these things regularly, is highly recommended. 

Search the OFA site, The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, for a breeder's dogs. You can simply type the dog's registered name (often found on the breeder's website) into the search box and hit the little blue button (search). Any health tests that the breeder has submitted to the OFA can be seen there. *Please note that just because a dog doesn't show up on that site does not mean that they have not been health tested. Some breeders choose to not submit health testing to the OFA. However, if the dog has EVER been evaluated for hip dysplasia (after the age of two) that one test MUST come up on the site as the OFA is the only organization that can clear a dog's hips (officially).Please take time to read about the CHIC designation which the OFA assigns to all dogs who are fully health tested according to the breed club suggestions!