Friday, 18 March 2011


In early January, we had a rare sunny weekend.  So out we went, towards the offleash area at Harbourside Park by the North Shore Auto Mall. 

We caught another Cavalier, his owner Nancy, and Nancy's friend playing fetch near the end of the parkway.  While Darwin and Ellie were scavenging around for tree bark.. we chatted away about the breed and gushing over our furkids - we are two truly proud Cavvie mommas :)

Ellie and Darwin both have a serious condition known as Syringomyelia (SM) and Chiari-like Malformation (CM).  Also known as "neck scratcher's disease", fluid-filled cavities are formed within the spinal cord near the brain.  To put into better perspective, imagine putting your thumb over the nozzle of a garden hose.  The turbulence can create pockets of fluid (called syrinxes) in the spinal cord that press on nerves, which can cause pain and disability.  There is no cure, but treatment options are available to ease the pain.
This condition is especially common in Cavalier King Charles, but other dog breeds have been diagnosed as well.  For more info on CM/SM: please visit and

Ellie is currently on 150mg of Gabapentin, 3x a day.  So far, she is her usual self and we only notice some of the symptoms during the day.  She exhibits fly-biting (licking in the air/biting at imaginary flies) and some excessive scratching at the neck area.
Darwin was also on Gabapentin and has undergone decompression surgery to alleviate the pain.  Post-surgery and rehab.. Darwin looked as healthy and happy as ever, with bundles of energy!  
As you can see in the picture below:

Here's Darwin - soo adorbs!

Oops - did not mean to turn this post into a long ramble - but it is really important to note, if you are ever considering a Cavalier pup or adult, or any purebred for that matter, please research the breeder thoroughly to ensure proper health testing is done.  Ask for proof of health testing, and if in doubt, don't be afraid to ask others for help!

Some helpful links:
A forum for everything you need to know about the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.  Health, diet, training, showing, you name it!

Find all up-to-date information on breed related health issues and connect with other users for guidance and support.

"Are we done yet?!" (Eyeing that branch.. mmm treebark!) <3

"Finally! Nom nom nom"

No comments:

Post a Comment