Common Health Problems for This Breed

Common Health Problems for This Breed

This dog breed is well-known for producing lovable, affectionate lap dogs—though they’ve also been known to retain a bit of that ‘sporting dog spirit’ they were bred for! But what’s the best dog food for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels? We’ve actually done a ton of research about this—and here’s what we’ve come up with.

As a smaller companion dog, the Cavalier tends to grow to about 1 foot in height (at the shoulder) and 13 to 18 pounds in weight. This is a dog breed with pretty simple exercise needs. They enjoy a daily walk, but tend to tailor their physical activity to the habits of their owner. Aside from being a bit on the ‘active’ side when indoors, this dog is pretty easy to care for.

A less active Cavalier will need about 400 calories to stay fueled and energized throughout the day—while a moderately active dog will require a bit more—somewhere closer to 500. If your dog tends to be highly active, then you may find yourself feeding him or her somewhere in the ballpark of 800 calories a day or more—depending upon his/her exact weight and exercise schedule.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are actually pretty healthy dogs—though, like any breed, they can be susceptible to a number of different diseases and conditions.

You can save yourself a lot of trouble by buying your dog from a reputable breeder. Try to choose breeders who test for all of the most common genetic diseases, including Episodic Falling Syndrome, and make sure to ask a lot of questions before ordering your puppy—just to make sure that you’re not getting a dog from someone who doesn’t know how to properly raise and socialize it!

At any rate, here are some of the most common conditions that can arise within the breed. Not all King Charles Spaniels will end up with these—but it’s good to be aware of what could potentially go wrong.

Mitral Valve Disease

This condition, also known as MVD, is unfortunately common among King Charles Spaniels. Basically, this problem starts as a heart murmur—but it eventually gets worse and worse until it ends up causing heart failure. They can actually end up with this disease at a pretty young age (1 to 2 years of age), so make sure to schedule regular vet check-ups throughout the life of your pet—so that you can keep an eye out for it.

Dietary salt restrictions might help a pet with MVD or some other form of heart disease. There are also some drugs that can be used to help treat dogs that have been diagnosed with the condition. Check out this article for more information.


This condition, to put it in basic terms, occurs when a dog is born with insufficient room in the back part of the skull. This causes the fluid that surrounds the brain to be forced through a smaller-than-normal opening into the spinal cord.

This is an inherited condition, and is becoming more and more common in Cavaliers. Some symptoms include excessive scratching around the ears, general pain that doesn’t seem to come from anywhere in particular, and a weakness in one or more limbs.

Dogs with this condition might experience relief when treated with anti-inflammatory drugs—but surgery is usually required for more serious cases. For more information on the disease, check out this article, published by the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club .

Episodic Falling

This is a rather unusual, seizure-like affliction that affects Cavaliers—though exactly what causes it is still not known (other than the fact that it can be detected with a DNA test and is passed down through the genes). Since the causes aren’t known, it’s difficult to say what you should or shouldn’t do to alter your dog’s diet if he or she ends up developing symptoms—though everyone seems to agree that feeding a high-quality diet that contains plenty of vitamins, minerals, and healthy protein is essential.