When buying a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, you need to do your homework. You want the best chances at getting a healthy, happy puppy and there are some wonderful breeders out there that are doing what they can to better the breed. Facebook makes the search easier. I am a member of many groups and have met a bunch of great Cavalier lovers as friends. Of course some are breeders and post their pictures of the beautiful puppies that were born. I can see people fall in love with the pictures and all the questions and homework are forgotten.
Here are some of the things to look for as far as health testing goes. Make sure they are able to provide you with certificates!
1) Are both parents over 2 1/2?
*Mitral Valve Disease breeding protocol requires both parents be over 2 1/2 and grandparents over 5, examined by a board certified Cardiologist and free of a heart murmur
2) An MRI on both parents and have followed the recommended Breeding Protocol?
3) Eye testing by an ophthalmologist on both parents. They should have CERF certificates
4) Hip Displaysia- Both parents' hips should have been x-rayed after age 2 years and cleared of HD by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
5) Patellar Luxation- Both parents' patellas should be examined and cleared by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).
The Canine Health Information Center has specific tests to qualify for a certificate. A certificate is not mandatory but it shows that the breeder has done the minimum tests that are recognized for this breed. It also is a database you can search which can help you in your search. According to the ACKCSC,
"Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Requirements
To qualify for CHIC, Cavaliers must be screened for Hip Dysplasia (OFA, Penn HIP or OVC),
Cardiac (OFA - exam performed by Board Certified Cardiologist. Recommended Annually.),
Patellar Luxation (OFA), and
have a CERF eye examination. Although it is not required, it is recommended that an initial CERF exam be performed at 8-12 weeks, with a follow up exam once the dog reaches 12 months of age, annual exams thereafter until age 5, and every other year until age 9."
OK now for the good. Facebook brought me Elton. Without meeting a friend on Facebook, I would have never known about her fostering Elton and I would be without this great Cavalier that I adopted. Also Facebook has been able to start groups when dogs are lost and people ban together for their return. I have seen so much good also.
There is a lot more in buying a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. I really like this blog post.
I also like the brochures the Cavalier Fanciers of Southern Ontario did.
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