New heart scheme for Cavaliers
A new heart scheme has been launched to reduce the occurrence of mitral valve disease (MVD) in Cavalier King Charles spaniels.
The scheme has been launched by the Kennel Club, in collaboration with the Veterinary Cardiovascular Society (VCS) and the breed clubs.
Dogs will be assessed using a grading system that advises owners if their dog is affected by heart disease, and provides guidance to breeders on how to reduce the risk of producing affected puppies.
Assessments will initially be carried out in groups by cardiologists, who will then grade the dogs using a pre-defined protocol.
Hannah Stephenson, a cardiologist at VCS said: “With heart problems being the most prevalent condition in Cavaliers - Mitral Valve Disease is a condition that we see on a daily basis - the scheme is a great step forwards in improving the health of these dogs.
“Obtaining and centralising the data through this scheme will also go a long way in protecting the health of the breed and contributing to future research.”
Bill Lambert, senior health and welfare manager at the Kennel Club, added: “Developing the scheme collaboratively with the VCS and the breed club was crucial and we look forward to working alongside breeders, who we encourage to utilise and support the scheme.
“It is these people who are making the important decisions that determine the breed’s future and our job as the Kennel Club is to support them and offer them the tools to do this in a way that will improve the breed’s health.”