Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

King Charles Spaniel Facts

King Charles Spaniels can suffer from a disorder called syringomyelia. This is caused when a deformity of the bones in the dog’s skull presses on the spinal cord as it leaves the head. Fluid gathers around the spinal cord and causes pain and a tingling sensation, which leads to unusual symptoms such as scratching the air or chasing imaginary flies. Unfortunately, this condition is serious and treatment is limited, although dogs that are diagnosed early do best.

Fact

We paid £2, 407 to treat Milo the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for syringomyelia in 2014

Eye conditions

Eye problems can be very common in dogs. Dry eye, for example, occurs when a dog isn’t producing sufficient tears. Another common, painful eye irritation is corneal ulceration, which occurs when the surface of the cornea becomes grazed as a result of scratches from other animals or vegetation, foreign material in the eye, chemicals, heat or smoke, or infection. ‘Cherry eye’ occurs when the tear production gland pops out from inside the lower eyelid. Although this isn’t a painful condition, it looks unsightly and will interfere with tear production if it is left untreated. Overall, treatment depends on the type and severity of eye problem (cherry eye, for example, requires surgery). Some treatments may be required for life to keep the dog’s vision in good health.

In our experience, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are twice as likely to need treatment for eye conditions than all dogs we insure

Gum disease

Gum disease occurs when some (or all) of a tooth’s deep supporting structures become inflamed. This begins when food, bacteria and minerals accumulate along the gum line, leading to the build-up of a brown scale known as tartar. When this undermines the gum the condition is called gingivitis. Eventually, small spaces can form between the gums and the teeth creating pockets of space for bacteria to grow, resulting in what is known as periodontal disease. The bacteria from infected gums can spread around the body and damage the liver and kidneys. This condition can be prevented by brushing the teeth and ensuring dental descales, helping the dog to lead a normal, pain-free life.

We paid £1, 397 to treat George the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel for a mouth disorder in 2014

Slipped discs

Like several other breeds with long backs and short legs, King Charles Spaniels are susceptible to slipped discs, also known as ‘intervertebral disc disease’. This occurs when the discs between the vertebrae (backbones) become damaged and brittle with age or general wear and tear. This makes the discs prone to rupturing, moving (‘slipping’) and pressing against the spinal cord itself. Treatment depends on the cause and location of the problem but may include medication, rest and possibly even surgery to help the dog live a comfortable life.

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