The best way to increase your chances of having a healthy Cavalier King Charles companion is to start out with a healthy Cavalier Spaniel puppy from a strong bloodline. The best Cavalier King Charles breeders will attempt to match healthy dogs as breeding pairs to reduce hereditary weaknesses in the breed.
Before buying a dog, ask the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder about the health of their dogs. Keep in mind that if the sire and bitch themselves may still be quite young, and any hereditary weaknesses in the sire and bitch may not have shown up yet.
In choosing your pet from among the puppies in the litter, look for:
- bright eyes free of any discharge or cloudiness
- ears with a sweet smell and no evidence of redness or “dirty” look to them
- fresh breath and gums that don’t appear swollen, red or bleeding
- a shiny coat with no bald patches, sores or rough spots
- a natural “gait”, no signs of lameness, stumbling or obvious injury to the legs and paws
Next, determine how many veterinarian examinations the Cavalier Spaniel puppy will have had before you take him home, what vaccinations will have been given and any comments the vet may have had. Most Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeders will provide you with a copy of the veterinarian’s initial exams.
Make an advance appointment with your own vet for an initial exam as soon as possible upon purchasing a puppy. Be sure the breeder will allow you to return the puppy if your vet discovers any significant health issue.