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Posted: 9th February 2023

Awareness of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel heart disease drops
Ninety-five per cent of respondents agreed that a dog breed's popularity is influenced by celebrities and current affairs.
Survey shows fall in identifying breed's common issue.

A recent survey on Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) has found that public awareness of the heart disease this breed experiences has dropped, with only 41 per cent of those surveyed identifying the breed as being very prone to heart disease.

Carried out by Vita Animal Health, the survey explored public perceptions of Cavalier King Charles spaniels, owing to the manner in which pop culture and current affairs influence the popularity of certain breeds. With the coronation of King Charles III rapidly approaching, the veterinary industry is keen to educate prospective owners on the breed's issues.

Of those surveyed, only 39 per cent of respondents said that they felt confident that they could identify the signs of heart disease.

Dr Rachel James, veterinary cardiology specialist, explained: “The CKCS has long been a very popular breed of dog in high demand, due to their loving and placid nature making them perfect family pet. 

“We know that sadly at least 50 per cent of CKCS have evidence of MVD disease by the time they are five, with 98 per cent of dogs affected in their lifetimes. However, we can help our clients when selecting this breed to choose a puppy that is less likely to develop MVD at an early age, by utilising the heart testing scheme.”

Discussing the implications of the study, Dr James said: “This study has given us an insight that there is so much more we can do to help owners not only to understand heart disease in their dogs but also educate owners on how best to choose healthy puppies.   

“We need to engage more with our owners and offer more client education to help owners make informed choices.” 

Following the study, Vita has made a resource available to veterinary professionals in order to help with owner education on the breed, which can be accessed on the Vita Animal Health website.

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