Did you know that pet owners can have hearts, eyes, hips and patellas checked, cleared, and certified (if you want a certificate) for a fraction of the cost you’d pay a specialist? The veterinarians at these clinics are Opthamologists, Cardiologists, and experienced in x-raying hips and patellas in the correct position.
Here’s a feed of clinics near you!
We conduct a number of genetic tests to make the best possible breeder choices to promote the health and longevity of our beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Everything you want to know and more about our testing protocol for issues that require MRIs or X-Ray imaging.
We test every dog at least once a year for heart health and certify through OFA. We conduct ascoltation (use of stethascope) until the age of five, when we have conduct an EKG.
Sourced from the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club-USA
After decades of giving, combined vaccinations on a yearly basis, the majority of veterinarians concur that annual vaccinations may not be needed,and are likely harmful to your pet. This opinion is supported by Dr Ronald Schultz Ph.D. who is recognized as a pioneer in clinical immunology and vaccinology and his work is well known in both the allopathic and holistic veterinarian communities.
Dr Schultz and his colleague, Dr. Tom R. Phillips, PhD, wrote the following which is taken from Kirk’s current Veterinary Therapy XI (Small Animal Practice), page 205. Kirk’s manual is the reference “bible” used by most veterinarians.
A practice that was started many years ago and that LACKS scientific validity or verification is annual re-vaccinations. Almost without exception there is no immunologic requirement for annual re-vaccination. Immunity to viruses persists for years or for the life of the animal. The practice of annual vaccination in our opinion should be considered of questionable efficacy ……………… unless required by law (ie Rabies vaccinations in some States).
Whilst the established veterinary community has differing opinions as to how often and how many vaccines to give a puppy, as well as what types of vaccines and which manufacturers are best for puppies and adult dogs, it is a known fact that more vaccines do not necessarily translate into better protection for your puppy or adult Cavalier. The more vaccines continually and simultaneously injected into your dog, the more his immune system will be compromised. In the long run, your Cavalier's immune system could give up working just at a time when your dog needs it the most -- in old age.
There is no question that your puppy requires his basic puppy vaccinations (distemper, parvo and rabies) up until he is 18 – 24 months old however the question is how valuable are annual vaccinations thereafter. According to Dr. Schultz, puppy vaccinations last for the duration of a dog’s life and re-vaccination can be detrimental to the long term health of a dog. In order to further protect your Cavalier's long term health and immune system, rather than automatically vaccinating your adult Cavalier annually, blood test him every three years for Parvo & Distemper Titers and Rabies Titers. If your dog's Titers are high, there is no need to vaccinate.
What is a Titer? Vaccine titers consist of a blood test which measures specific concentration of antibodies to different diseases (i.e. canine distemper, parvovirus, herpes etc). The only way we can quantitate any kind of measurement on how the immune system responded to the vaccines is by checking the concentration of antibodies in the blood. However, it is important to understand that just because the patient has developed titers in their blood, it doesn’t mean that he/she will be protected 100%. The same holds true for vaccines; just because the animals have been vaccinated, it doesn’t mean that they will be protected at all. In fact, the USDA-Biologics department requires for the vaccine to be only 52% effective (not protecting the animal but increasing the serum antibody titers)!
It is up to the immune system to react to the invading organism and hence maintain the system in the best shape as possible. There have been studies done in which pets that have no measurable humoral antibody titers, have been exposed experimentally to viruses and they have not developed the disease. In these cases, cell mediated and secretory immune functions have presumably conveyed protection. Remember, memory cells are the ones that will carry the “floor plan” on “how to” build up the antibodies needed to fight the infection.
Current Vaccination Recommendations for Dogs
Distemper & Parvo: According to Dr. Schultz, (AVMA 8/15/95) when a vaccination series given at 2, 3, and 4 months and again at 12 – 24 months with modified live virus vaccine, puppies program memory cells survive for life, providing lifelong immunity. Dr. Carmichael at Cornell and Dr. Schultz have studies showing immunity against a challenge at 2 – 10 years for canine distemper and 4 years for parvo. Studies for longer duration are pending. There are no new strains of parvo as one manufacturer would like to suggest. Parvo vaccination provides cross immunity for all types.
Rabies: It should be a killed vaccine and there are State Laws governing how often a Rabies vaccine should be given.
Turning the world on its head, Catherine O’Driscoll gives ordinary dog owners and lovers the information that vets won’t or can’t tell you. Her aim is to share the truth so that dog lovers everywhere can make informed choices about the well-being of the pets they treasure. There is solid scientific research to demonstrate that vaccines can be harmful. The “tiny minority” of dogs being harmed by vaccination is a significant, significant number.
What Vets don’t tell you about Vaccines. Catherine O’Driscoll ISBN#095230483 X
Available from Our Pets, P O Box 2094, Fort Macleod, Alberta, T0L 0Z0, Canada
Vaccinations NOT Recommended
Multiple components in vaccines compete with each other for the immune system and result in lesser immunity for each individual disease as well as increasing the risk of a reaction.
Corona: Corona virus is only a disease of puppies. It is rare and self limiting (dogs get well in 3 days without treatment). Cornell and Texas A&M have only diagnosed one case each in the last 7 years. Corona virus does not cause disease in adult dogs.
Leptospirosis: Leptospirosis vaccine is a common cause of adverse reactions in dogs. Cross protection is not provided and protection is short lived. Lepto vaccine is immuno-supressive to puppies less than 16 weeks.
Lymes: Lymes disease is a tick borne disease which can cause lameness, kidney failure and heart disease in dogs. Lyme disease prevention should emphasize early removal of ticks. Amitraz collars are more effective than Top Spot (do NOT use both at the same time) as amitraz paralyses the tick’s mouth parts preventing transmission of disease. Top Spot (Frontline) kills the tick within hours of the bite and an infected tick must be attached for over 8 hours before the disease can be transmitted. Efficacy of the Lymes vaccine is questionable however Cornell supports the one made by Rhone Merieaux/ Merielle. Unless your dog keeps getting re-infected with Lymes disease (even after the aforementioned Frontline is administered), then I would avoid this vaccine and use Frontline as a protection against ticks. Frontline has been known to be very safe and effective.
Bordatella: If you need to board your dog at a commercial boarding establishment, they often require a Bordatella vaccine. In this case, it is recommended that the internasal vaccine, Inter Trac II, be given. If you do not board your dog, then this vaccine is unnecessary. We have found this vaccine to be only effective against a small handful of kennel cough viruses of which there are thousands of these types of viruses floating around. We have also found that healthy, adult dogs just do not contract the virus and if they do, it is extremely mild.
IMPORTANT: Only ONE vaccination per vet visit should be administered to your dog throughout his/her life. Multiple vaccinations compete with each other and can be harmful.
Vaccine Information from W. Jean Dodds, DVM
Use only killed 3 year rabies vaccine for adults and give it separated from other vaccines by 3-4 weeks. In some states, they may be able to give titer test result in lieu of booster.
Do NOT use Bordetella, corona virus, leptospirosis or Lyme vaccines unless these diseases are endemic in the local area or specific kennel. Futhermore, the currently licensed leptospira bacterins do not contain the serovars causing the majority of clinical leptospirosis today.
Do NOT recommend vaccinating bitches during estrus, pregnancy or lactation
Vaccination Newsflash [CIMDA support] RE; J DODDS VACCINE PROTOCOL
Please be aware that all 27 veterinary schools in North America are in the process of changing their protocols for vaccinating dogs and cats. This is welcome news and you should print this out and take it with you to your Vet should you need reinforcement against over-vaccination.
Some of this information will present an ethical & economic challenge to Vets, and there will be skeptics. Some organizations have come up with a political compromise suggesting vaccinations every 3 years to appease those who fear loss of income vs. those concerned about potential side effects. Politics, traditions, or the doctors economic well-being should not be a factor in a medical decision.
New Principles Of Immunology
Dogs and cats immune systems mature fully at 6 months. If a modified live virus vaccine is given after 6 months of age, it produces immunity, which is good for the life of the pet (i.e.: canine distemper, parvo, feline distemper). If another MLV vaccine is given a year later, the antibodies from the first vaccine neutralize the antigens of the second vaccine and there is little or no effect. The titer is not "boosted" nor are more memory cells induced. Not only are annual boosters for parvo and distemper unnecessary, they subject the pet to potential risks of allergic reactions and immune-mediated haemolytic anemia. There is no scientific documentation
to back up label claims for annual administration of MLV vaccines. Puppies receive antibodies through their mothers milk. This natural protection can last 8 - 14 weeks. Puppies & kittens should NOT be vaccinated at LESS than 8 weeks. Maternal immunity will neutralize the vaccine and little protection (0-38%) will be produced. Vaccination at 6 weeks will, however, DELAY the timing of the first highly effective vaccine. Vaccinations given 2 weeks apart SUPPRESS rather than stimulate the immune system. A series of vaccinations is given starting at 8
weeks and given 3-4 weeks apart up to 16 weeks of age. Another vaccination given sometime after 6 months of age (usually at l year 4 mo) will provide LIFETIME IMMUNITY.
W. Jean Dodds, DVM
938 Stanford Street, Santa Monica, CA. 90403
310-828-4804; Fax 310-828-8251
CKCSC Health Registry, 5+ Year Clear Heart
CKCSC Open Health Registry
American Veterinary Medical Association Vaccination Guidelines:
List of links about vaccines:
Look up any Kind of Health Problem:
A brief discussion of the structure and function of the heart and a classification of cardiac murmurs facilitates understanding the difference between normal and abnormal cardiac conditions in CKCS.
Each side of the heart has three chambers separated by two valves. On the right side of the heart, the right atrium receives deoxygenated blood from the body and transmits it to the right ventricle. The right ventricle pumps the blood into the pulmonary artery and then the lungs. The tricupsid valve separates the right atrium from the right ventricle and the pulmonary valve separates the right ventricle from the pulmonary artery. After blood is oxygenated in the lungs, returns to the left atrium and is pumped to the body by the left ventricle by way of the aorta. The mitral valve separates the left atrium from the left ventricle and the aortic valve separates the left ventricle from the aorta.
Heart murmurs are vibrations caused by turbulent blood flow across structures inside the heart. Murmurs are classified in three ways: first, according the valve causing the vibration; second, by the timing of the vibration in relation to the pumping function of the heart, and, lastly by the intensity (or grade) of the murmur. There are six grades of cardiac murmurs:
There are several types of heart murmurs heard frequently in CKCS. They may be innocent, flow murmurs not suggestive of disease, or pathologic, indicative of genetic, inhereditable valvular heart disease.
Innocent, flow murmurs. These murmurs are caused by normal turbulent blood flowing across heart valves of young dogs. These low-grade murmurs (less than a grade 2) decrease with age as the heart matures and are not associated with congenital heart disease.
Murmurs associated with heart disease. CKCS are susceptible to abnormalities of heart valves on both the right and left side of the heart. These abnormalities may be present and evident at birth and therefore are considered congenital. Examples of these include aortic and pulmonary stenosis and the patent ductus abnormality. Mitral valvular disease is considered separately and is felt to represent an adult (mature dog) onset, representing genetic heart disease. The valve itself is normal at birth, but in some dogs degenerates prematurely and sometimes rapidly, leading to disease.
Careful physical examination and additional testing facilitates the diagnosis in a young, asymptomatic dog. Over time, progressive deterioration of the congenitally abnormal valve produces symptoms. Narrowing of the pulmonary valve (stenosis) is the most common valve affected on the right side of the heart. On the left side of the heart, both the mitral valve (leaking or regurgitation) and aortic valve (narrow or stenosis) may be affected.
Pulmonary Stenosis. Stenosis of the pulmonary valve produces a systolic murmur heard on the right side of the sternum. The intensity of the murmur is proportional to the severity of the narrowing of the valve and enlargement of the right ventricle. In mild cases, one may only hear a grade 1 or 2 murmur. In more pronounced stages, the dog may develop right-sided heart failure with peripheral edema. In its most severe form, the pulmonary valve is severely deformed and narrowed and the right ventricle enlarged and weak. The right ventricle then fails and cannot pump blood to the lungs, a fatal condition.
Mitral Value Disease. Malformation of the mitral valve is characterized by valvular thickening and redundancy and/or degeneration of the muscles which support the valve. These structural changes allow the blood to leak backward from the left ventricle into left atrium during the pumping action of the left ventricle. This systolic murmur is best heard on the left side of the sternum. Progressive leaking leads to enlargement of the left atrium and ventricle. As blood floods the lungs, the animal develops exertional shortness of breath, and has decreased exercise tolerance. Eventually heart failure results.
Aortic Stenosis. Narrowing of the aortic valve produces a systolic murmur best heard on the left side of the sternum. Similar to pulmonary stenosis, the intensity of the murmur correlates with the degree of severity of the narrowing of the valve. With progressive narrowing, the left ventricle enlarges and thickens in an effort to generate sufficient pressure to propel the blood forward into the aorta. Eventually the left ventricle fails and is unable to eject blood to the body. The murmur is then is barely audible.
Patent Ductus Arterious. Before birth, blood bypasses the deflated lungs through the ductus arteriosus, a hollow blood vessel connecting the pulmonary artery and the aorta. At birth, the lungs inflate and the ductus arteriosus closes, thereby separating the pulmonary and systemic blood flow circuits. In rare situations, the ductus arteriosus fails to close (a patent ductus arterious) and blood flows from the aorta to the pulmonary artery when the left ventricle contracts (systole) and from the pulmonary artery to the aorta when the left ventricle relaxes (diastole). The murmur is continuous, heard in both systole and diastole, on both sides of the sternum. The loudest component is the systolic murmur. A patent ductus arteriosus results in excessive pressure and volume of blood in the lungs. Eventually, both sides of the heart fail.
At the 1998 symposium, the panel reported that mitral valve disease is the leading cause of death of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. Cavaliers are 20 times more prone to have MVD than other breeds. It is hereditary, passed on from generation to generation by the parents, grandparents, and earlier ancestors of our dogs.
The panelists concluded that, ideally, Cavaliers should be 5 years of age or older and heart-clear when they are first bred. However, recognizing the problems associated with breeding females for the first time at 5 years of age, the following was recommended as a secondary approach to reducing the incidence of MVD:
The Brood Bitch should be a minimum of two and a half years old with a clear heart and with both parents with clear heart certificates issued at five years of age or older.
The Stud Dog should be a minimum of two and a half years old with a clear heart and with both parents with clear heart certificates issued at five years of age or older.
All clear heart certificates must be signed by Board Certified Veterinary Cardiologists.
To use an older stud dog with a clear heart certificate issued as late in life as possible is highly desirable. However, an older dog with a slight murmur should not be ignored. It is strongly advised that breeding stock under 5 years old be limited to those with clear heart certificates.
The extent of MVD can be decreased, and the age of onset can be delayed, by breeding only Cavaliers which have been examined by Board Certified Veterinary Cardiologists at age 2 1/2 years or older and found free of MVD murmurs, AND whose parents were similarly examined at age 5 years or older and found to be murmur-free. We refer to these dogs as being “Heart-Clear”.
Raising the age of onset of MVD should be every breeder's immediate aim. The best way to approach this is to select breeding stock with good heart records behind them. It is strongly recommended that ALL Cavaliers be auscultated (examined with a stethoscope) by a Board Certified Veterinary Cardiologist at 2 1/2 years of age or older and annually thereafter, especially within a year of being bred, and the results submitted to the Health Registry.
These guidelines are based on the current recommendations of geneticists and cardiologists and may be updated and reissued by the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, USA when further research becomes available.
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA): http://www.ofa.org
Canine Health Information Center (CHIC): http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/
Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA): http://www.ofa.org
Canine Health Information Center (CHIC): http://www.caninehealthinfo.org
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