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Bibianna Cavaliers and Finnish Lapphund

Buying a Cavalier

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A little about the breed.....
Buying a Cavalier
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Hopefully your Cavalier will be with you for many years so please take the time to research the breed and find a reputable breeder.  A good breeder knows the inherited problems of the breed and does their best to breed healthy, happy pups.  Breeders will ask questions to be sure that you are a suitable owner and that the breed will fit in with your lifestyle.  Please don't take offence.  We really do get very attached to 'our babies' and want to be sure we sell to good homes!

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Cavaliers are not a frail breed but there are some inherited diseases to be aware of and it is important to go to a reputable breeder who is doing their best to breed sound dogs.

Mitral Valve Disease (MVD) - a condition where the heart valves deteriate at a younger age than they should. This can lead to death at a much younger age. It cannot be detected by a vet in a baby puppy but is something that the parents need to be checked for. If a pup has no murmur this does not mean they will not develop a murmur as they get older. Ask the breeder if the parents have been checked by a cardioligist. Not all breeders have access to specialists but most capital cities have at least one. Breed clubs usually hold clinics run by specialists. If the dogs have been checked they will have a certificate from the specialist.

 

Eyes - Cataracts. Breeding dogs can be checked by an opthamoligist before breeding. Breed clubs usually hold clinics run by specialists. The specialist will also look for things such as extra eye lashes which can grow into the eye and cause problems. If the dogs have been checked they will have a certificate from the specialist.

Slipping patellas - the kneecaps slip causing the dog pain. If they are bad this is usually repaired by surgery.  This is fairly common in small breeds of dog.
 
Hip Dysplasia - not a huge problem in the breed but it does exist and I have known Cavaliers so badly affected they have been put to sleep.
 
'Snorting' - not a disease but something you should be aware of...... Cavaliers sometimes make a strange, sneezing/snorting - can't quite get their breath sort of noise! It is usually when they are excited. I was not aware of this when I bought my first Cavalier and had him off to the vet very quickly. I know I haven't described it well but if you hear it you will know! To help him gently pull his nose down between his front legs or stretch his head out and gently rub his throat. They can usually stop then. It is not life threathening but can give you a fright!

Summer
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'Cavaheart Summer Fling'

Nobody can guarantee that a pup will not develop a problem as he grows.  A breeder who is specialist testing is doing their best to breed healthy pups.  Unfortunately Cavaliers are such a lovely breed that there are many people breeding in a quest to make money and have no idea about health issues or doing the right thing by the breed.  Please do ask lots of questions of breeders.  If breeders are doing the right thing by the breed they have nothing to hide and will willingly show you health certificates.  They will be happy for you to come and meet the pups mother (and father if they own him) and show you where the pups are raised.  A puppy raised in the home will be used to the usual household noises and probably be handled more than a pup raised outside in a kennel.
 
Rescue  Quite often there are older Cavaliers needing new homes and some breed clubs run a rescue service.  These dogs come from dog pounds or have been surrendered by their owners for a variety of reasons.  These dogs can make wonderful pets and do bond well with their new owners.  Please consider adopting a rescue dog if you are looking for a Cavalier.  The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club of NSW runs a rescue scheme and can advise you of any dogs they may have looking for a new, loving home.  Contact them on 1300 555 364.  The club has a website you can visit where you can meet some of the lovely dogs who have been happily rehoused.  http://www.cavaliersnsw.com/