What I fear: Treating Cavalier King Charles Spaniel heart problems

Owner's question

"Hi! The thing is, I have heard that Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs often have heart problems. I have one of these dogs and would like to know what are the signs to look out for and how can I prevent these problems?"

Vet's detailed answer

"Hi! It's great that you are thinking ahead and proactively seeking answers.

Dogs of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed are indeed prone to heart problems, especially mitral valve disease (MVD).

MVD

This disease causes the mitral valve of the heart to thin and not function properly, which can lead to heart failure over time.

Signs of MVD include coughing, difficulty breathing, decreased activity and rapid breathing or difficulty swallowing. If you notice these in your dog, make sure you take him to the vet!

To prevent the development of this disease, the most important thing is to have regular veterinary check-ups with your dog.

The recommended frequency is once a year, but if your dog is older or has been diagnosed with MVD, more frequent is necessary.

In addition, a balanced diet and regular exercise are important.

Although these do not guarantee prevention of heart disease, they can contribute to your dog's overall health and well-being and can reduce the severity of the disease if it develops.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs are prone to heart disease, but veterinary care, proper nutrition and regular exercise can all help prevent and manage the disease.

Always monitor your dog's behaviour and well-being and take the signs of heart disease seriously."