Well today has been a dark day for me. The weather has been yuk, with it raining & overcast all day, so the news from the cardiologist who examined Charlie today that he has the beginning of Mitral Valve Regurgitation or its commonly used name heart murmer has been like a lead weight in my head & heart since hearing the news this morning & now I will try to purge myself on my blog to find some positive from this.
Charlie is now over 5 years old & is are main Cavalier boy. Over 5 years old it is recommended by the Kennel Club & Cavalier King Charles Club UK to have breeding stock cardiologist tested over 5 years old. A cardiologist vet is a specialist in hearts & I am very lucky that the one I saw today is one of the top heart specialists in the UK.
On examination of Charlie it was found that he has a Grade 2 heart murmer & although 6 months earlier their was no sound of this on his heart today their was. This murmer is not effecting his health now & may not cause him any problems until later life but on the advice of the vet we will not breed from him again. Some Cavalier breeders would still deem him okay to breed with as over 5 & only just starting to have a murmer but this in the long term will not improve heart health overall within this breed, so with a heavy heart I have booked Charlie in tomorrow to be neutered as it would be unfair to keep him entire & very frustrated for the rest of his life.
With great sadness we will look to rehome Charlie as it would be fairer on him to go to a home were he will not have memories of being a stud dog & the smells & sights of the girls on heat, so that his new life as a neutered dog will be an easier transformation for him. We will rehome him to the right home for free but the home will be vetted & lots of questions asked as Charlie is a very loving, easy going, active, athletic, friendly & all round sweet boy. If you know or feel that Charlie could make your family complete please contact me by email email@example.com or phone to find out more about this amiable chap on 01769560969. He is microchipped, vaccinated & has a recent clear eye certificate.
The fall out from this today with Charlie is that the pups that we bred from him have a chance of developing a heart murmer just over 5 years of age. All his pups have been bred from girls who have parentage with heart murmers when occuring being in old age which is exceptable as all breeds can get this heart condition but it is the Cavalier & a few other breeds that the problem is that a high proportion of them are developing heart murmers in far to early an age. My hope & statistacally looking at it is that most of Charlie's offspring will not if they get a heart murmer get it until later in life.
Today has been hard to digest for me & to talk to the cardiologist vet & for him to say he is actually seeing the problem with the murmer presenting itself earlier & earlier in Cavaliers & feels little improvment at this time is being seen in the Cavalier is a great disappointment to me. If you look at the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club website & look at the list for Cavaliers with cardiologist clear heart excaminations over 5 years of age you will see only around 29 dogs in 2010 made that list & from this figure you can deduct that either a lot of Cavaliers are presenting with heart murmers at over 5 years old or breeders are not testing their breeding stock. I feel it is a mixture of both these things as it is hard to put your dog up to be tested & then learn the worst but it is not the end of the world & if breeders do not test & record how are we to improve things as at the moment we have a small nucleus of breeders trying to improve Cavaliers health so we have a small nucleus of Cavaliers that we can breed hopefully for better health but then breeding from a small foundation of dogs is what has lead us to the problems we have now, so we need all breeders to health test, record results & not breed a Cavalier who has a problem or once they know a health problem has arisen.
I will try now to draw positive from today. I have taken council with my husband & mum. I also talked to my vet who does all my regular vet work & I have come to the decision to breed predominantly Cavapoos as although heart murmers are present in some Toy & Miniature Poodles when presented in a Poodle they are in older dogs & rarely seen in young Poodles so by doing this cross I feel that I am breeding a lovely companion dog who has a much higher chance of not having health problems that we see in Cavaliers or Poodles. All Cavalier girls will have their hearts anually listened to & results recorded by are GP vet & anually eye tested. Then for the first couple litters we will crossbreed with the Poodle producing Cavapoos. Then when the bitch is 5 years of age we will cardiologist test & if no signs of heart murmer over 5 years old only then will we breed a litter of Cavaliers & hopefully this will help to breed Cavaliers with a higher chance of a healthier heart.We will use male Cavalier dogs that have both parents over 5 years old with a clear heart or they are over 5 with a clear heart. This is a long term plan so we now will not breed any Cavaliers for the next 12 months with 3 of are girls hitting 5 years old next year they will be cardiologist tested & fingers crossed we will then breed a litter of pure Cavaliers Summer 2012.
Hope this all makes sense & if you would like to know more about what I am trying to do & are breeding program please feel free to contact me by email howarthmurch@btinternet or phone 01769560969.
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!