Whether breeding a pet or for the show ring Breeders have a responsibility to produce the best they can by following testing guidelines and only mating together healthy Cavaliers. When purchasing a Cavalier prospective owners should ask Breeders to show proof that parents of the pup have been health tested. Below are samples of certificates you may expect to see in New Zealand: (click on certificate for bigger view)
If you are purchasing a Cavalier with the intention of breeding then it is essential you see proof that parents of the pup or the pup itself have been DNA tested and certified clear for Curly Coat/Dry Eye Syndrome and for Episodic Falling Syndrome. Examples below: (click on certificate for bigger view)
At 'Darilance' all our Cavaliers have been heart tested by a Veterinary Cardiologist and eye tested by a Veterinary Ophthalmologist.
Our UK & Australia imports originate or descend from Carolus Kennels (UK) who came first on the CKCS Club Over 5's Clear Heart Award List in 2005 & 2006 and runner-up for a number of other years.
The dam/grand-dams and other relatives of our UK and Australian imports have had MRI scans and been passed clear of SM.
Two DNA tests were launched in April 2011 by Animal Health Trust (UK) for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. These tests have been developed to determine if a Cavalier carries a mutant gene that would cause Curly Coat/Dry Eye Syndrome or Episodic Falling. All potential breeding stock at Darilance have been tested.
Much has been written about health issues in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on other websites by professional and knowledgeable persons. Below are some links to information on health testing and research for the breed.
More about hearts and Mitral Valve Disease
More about eyes and Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia
More about SM/CM
Carolus website (including Heart & MRI results)
A Practical approach to Cavalier King Charles Spaniel health issues
Animal Health Trust (UK) - DNA testing facility