Serving Florida ,Georgia and Beyond
I am a breeder, not a veterinarian, thus my recommendations are based on experience and the knowledge i have gained through Cavalier Health Seminars and speaking with individuals from my vast network of Cavalier breeders. Please feel free to discuss any of my recommendations with a qualified professional.
Please...DO NOT OVER-VACCINATE YOUR CAVALIER!!!!!
Vaccinations contain modified live viruses. Cavaliers are very sensitive to these vaccinations and may actually suffer severe adverse reactions due to over-vaccination. It has been studied and determined by Cornell University and other veterinary colleges that a puppy's first series of immunizations last a lifetime.
Most Cavalier breeders choose to follow Dr. Jean Dodd's Protocol for vaccinations. It has been accepted by the 27 top veterinary schools in the USA. This protocol is available as a downloadable PDF on the Resources Page. Please read. In summary:
Lepto and Corona: I recommend from experience that you do not vaccinate Cavaliers for either Lepto or Corona as both of these vaccines are know to cause severe side effects on Cavaliers, such as seizures and liver damage, and occasionally death. I advise that you do not let your veterinarian, however good their intentions, to persuade you otherwise.
As a breeder I worm all puppies on a regular basis. When they go to the vet at around 8-12 weeks for their Health Certificate Exam, the doctor performs a fecal test to make sure there are no parasites. The vet then gives a final dose when he/she receives the health certificate. If you are concerned about parasites at any time in your dog's life, you can simply collect a fecal sample to take to your vet to be tested without having to have a full exam. You should always get a fecal exam prior to administering any worming medication.
Be sure to have your vet check your pup's baby teeth at 6 months (at the time you get your first rabies shot) to make sure they are all out. It is common for Cavaliers to retain teeth, and they MUST be pulled if retained. They begin teething at 4-1/2 months and will finish at about 6 months.
Brushing teeth is excellent from 6 months on. Many people successfully clean their dogs teeth on a regular basis, and this is a good practice if you are able to do so. However, a yearly dental cleaning by a veterinarian is recommended. This is usually performed under general anesthesia, which permits the vet to do a deep cleaning under the gums. Some vets will do a cleaning without anesthesia, however it is not as thorough because it is too painful to do a deep cleaning in this manner, and if during the process it is discovered that any teeth need to be removed the vet will most likely need to use anesthesia after all.
To keep the teeth clean, use K9 Cravings Dried Duck Feet as chews 2-3 times a week under supervision. Avoid pigs ears, hard bones, antlers, chew hoofs, Greenies and small rawhide chews (the really big ones are not likely to get accidentally swallowed)
Fleas Carry the Eggs of Tapeworms. No Fleas = No Tapeworms!
In the interest of keeping my dogs exposed to a minimal amount of chemicals I do not routinely administer flea and tick medications. I only treat the dogs if I find there is a problem. You will find that there are a lot of opinions regarding the best products to use for flea and tic control so at this time I recommend that you consult your vet, but I try to avoid treating dogs on a monthly basis simply for "prevention.." You can send me a private message and I will discuss which products I use.
Occasionally, Cavaliers “flip their palate” in the back of their throats when they get excited. You will immediately know this has happened if your dog begins making a repeated loud “snorting” sound and appears anxious. Some people refer to this as reverse sneezing. The episode will eventually resolve by itself, but it is easy and kinder to provide assistance. Dogs get scared when they cant breathe, which makes it even difficult for them to stop.
To help,simply put the heel of your hand (or your index finger) over the end of the dog's nose and open the mouth to force the dog to breathe through the mouth and swallow. Swallowing is how they palate goes back in place. The snorting should stop quickly. Repeat if necessary. Snorting may never occur with your dog, or possibly very occasionally. It is nothing to worry about, just a factor of anatomical construction of a small breed.
DO NOT OMIT!!!!! Heartworm medication must be administered monthly, with annual testing required if you get your pills from a veterinarian.There are several options available. I give my dogs Liquid Ivermectin, which I add to their feed once a month. It can be precisely measured and contains the exact same ingredient as the pills a vet will sell you but at a fraction of the price. Contact me if you would like more information of where to purchase this product and how to measure it as you only need to give a very tiny amount each month.
IMPORTANT: If your Vet is doing a blood panel (FOR ANY REASON), please make them very aware to hand count. NEVER machine count. Cavaliers have unusually high platelets, DO NOT treat for this! I have an article for you to give your Vet if they are not aware of this platelet issue ONLY in Cavaliers.