The breed is generally healthy and sturdy with few health concerns. However, no breed is completely free of health related issues, the following is a brief list of some of the
more important health issues found in the breed:
Mitral Valve Disease (MVD): The most serious health problem found in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed is Mitral Valve Disease (MVD). This is a problem where the
left (or mitral) valve of the heart can thicken and degenerate leading to congestive heart failure and eventually death. MVD is common in most toy breeds, however, in the
Cavalier there is an unusually early onset with a more rapid progression of symptoms.
Syringomyelia: Found to be an inherited condition in Cavaliers. The condition occurs when a Cavalier is born without enough room in the skull that contains the back of
the brain. Damage is caused when fluid surrounding the brain is forced into the spinal cord. Signs of the disease are most commonly noticed in dogs between the ages of
six months and three years but has also been diagnosed in dogs as old as ten years. The most common symptom is scratching on, or in the air, near the shoulder when the
dog is excited or walkinig on a lead. Affected dogs may also be sensitive around the head, neck and front legs and often cry, yelp, or scream out in pain for no apparent
reason. They may also develop a permanently twisted neck or have a wobbling gait in the hind legs and/or weakness in the front legs. At present, the condition can only be
identified by MRI scan and there is no test available to identify carriers. For additional information on Syringomyelia, see Syringomyelia — Information relating to the
progress of the research being made into this disease, from The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club U.K. In addition,
Eye Problems: Cavaliers do not generally suffer from any serious eye problems, however, they can develop cataracts and other eye diseases.
While Cavaliers can be prone to other diseases, careful breeding by conscientious breeders helps maintain good health in the breed. If you are considering the adoption of
a Cavalier puppy, or any breed, it is very important to be selective in choosing a responsible and reputable breeder. Ensure that the prospective puppy's parents have all
health clearances. Breeding of any dog should not be done until after they have been proven to be free of evidence of significant hereditary diseases.
Vaccinations : Consult your breeder if the vaccination programme has not been completed to ensure the correct dosage. Adult vaccination should be given annually.
Teeth :Puppies start getting their 42 permanent teeth between 16 and 30 weeks. Check regularly to ensure each baby tooth is replaced with an adult one. Rawhide
chewbones help with teething but don't buy enormous ones designed for bigger dogs. Do not feed cooked meat bones and never chicken or pork but use raw beef marrow
Regular brushing the dogs teeth with a toothbrush or finger stool and a dog toothpaste is essential.
Anal Glands : Cavaliers often need their anal glands emptied some more frequently than others. A good indication is when they are regularly ' scooting ' their rear end on
Ears : Check the inside of the dogs ears regularly and if the dog frequently shakes it's head and scratches it's ears then investigate for an infection, wax buildup or earmites.
In summer it could be a grass seed which can be dangerous if ignored.
Eyes : Clean any stained fur in the eye area with cotton wool and warm water. At the first sign of any eye infection contact a Vet.
Snorting : This is a Cavalier characteristic especially when excited and not a cause for great alarm. It is a sudden breath intake accompanied by a snorting noise. It can
usually be stopped by placing the hand over the nostrils momentarily to restrict the intake of air. Sometimes it is accompanied by a flipped palate and here you can hold
the dog in your arms and a quick flick of its head should flip the palate back.