The number one site for the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed in the UK.
We are grateful to Bet Hargreaves from Scotland who has written about :
LONG LIVING CAVALIERS
"Even though some Cavaliers have died at such an early age from the heart trouble that afflicts our Breed, I would like through my hobby of collecting the ages of long living Cavaliers to show that it is not all doom and gloom for them.
At time of this article " Sherry", sire Sunninghill Bellman, dam Maudie of FFymomwen was the oldest Cavalier I know about, she lived to 18 years and 7 months, then "Cello" sire Kindrum Ludo, dam Kindrum Rose Petal lived to just over 18 years, followed by "Donna" sire Romeo of Crustadele (15), dam Lochbuie Crisdig Faith (14 ½) who lived to just 6 weeks short of 18. (see below re Tuppence 19yrs 5 mths)
But perhaps the most useful information of all was the number of litter mates who lived to a good age. Two litter mates lived to 16, 3 from another litter lived to 15 and at the moment I know of 41 litters who had litter mates living to 14 years of age and older.
On individual ages of long living Cavaliers 16 have lived to 17 years
65 to 16 years
Could this be as good a way as any to help in the struggle to combat the heart problems in our beloved Breed, use only Cavaliers with clear hearts at time of mating and have as many long living Cavaliers in the pedigree background as possible. Since even Cavaliers who have developed early murmurs and gone on to live into double figures have had many long living Cavaliers in their pedigree background.
Click here for list of some long lived Cavaliers
If anyone would like to know the ages of their Cavaliers ancestors please contact me and I will try and give as many as possible. In saying this, have our long living Cavaliers left more than precious memories behind, but also genes for long healthy lives for their descendants.
As well as collecting the ages of our "Golden Oldies" I have also been sent around 90 pedigrees from both the UK and America of Cavaliers who were suffering from heart trouble and about a month after having their vaccination their heart condition suddenly deteriorated and they died shortly afterwards. Could any Cavalier owner whose Cavalier seemed to have had an adverse reaction from their vaccination please contact me at :
so that I can pass the information on to a University that is shortly to be looking into seeing whether some of our Cavaliers could be at risk through this".
Bet has since written to say........
Could I try to explain to fellow members of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club why. after around 30 years of having Cavaliers but many many tears we will never have another Cavalier because of the heart trouble afflicting the breed.
When the Cavalier was being established in 1928. this can't he proven did one or more of those founding stud Cavalier dogs have a genetic heart fault ? and as Mrs. A. Pitt the founder of the Cavalier Breed said in a Cavalier magazine here in Britain in 1957 no thought had been given as to the future health of the Cavaliers, because the breeders at that lime were in-breeding over and over again to the same stud dogs. 1 do know that there were Cavaliers dying of heart trouble in the 1950's whether from M.V.D that will never be known, but quite a number of those Cavaliers were the result of in-bred pedigree backgrounds. Is this the reason why around 50% of the Cavaliers in Britain have heart murmurs by the age of 5 years of age? It's even worse in Canada where 50% have heart murmurs by 4 years age.
Since those faulty genes could have come down through the generations because of close/line breeding I suppose those figures will be much the same in America because in breeding would have taken place to get the Cavalier breed established
What this means is that for Britain 41 % of Cavaliers will be carriers of heart murmur genes and around 9% of Cavaliers will be clear of those faulty genes. I have been involved in collecting names and pedigrees of long living Cavaliers for a number of years and what is so noticeable is how often those Golden Oldie Cavaliers have so many ancestors not from the Show Scene in their pedigree backgrounds.
Is this now the time for Cavalier breeders, for the future of the breed, to bite the bullet in order to widen the genetic pool of Cavaliers and start using Cavaliers for breeding that are not winning in the Show Ring?
I have been collecting quite a few hundred pedigrees of Cavaliers who have died at a young age, 5-7 years from heart trouble, mainly from Cavalier Pet Owners, like ourselves over the years and very few Cavalier Breeders in Britain can say they've had no heart trouble in their lines
UPDATE March 2005 - Not All Doom and Gloom
Tuppence is the oldest living Cavalier known, 19 years, 4 months and is still going strong, eating well. It is so gratifying to know that some of the long lived Cavaliers in her pedigree background, CH Rosemullion of Ottermouth lived to 13 years as did his sire and dam, also, Kindrum Roulette, who lived to 14, are in some of today's Cavalier pedigree backgrounds, such as CH Alberto of Kindrum who lived to 15, and in the background of CH Homaranne Caption who lived to 15 and his sire AUSTCH Homerbrent Henry 16, who were born in the 1970's.
Also in Tuppence's pedigree is "Donna" Lochbuie Sweet Refrain, who lived to 18 years less 6 weeks. Perhaps this can show that Cavaliers can and do live on to an old age, but could this be because of having a number of long lived ancestors and that when planning breeding programs this should also be considered.
Sadly Tuppence died in April 2005 of cancer, living to one week short of 19 years and 5 months.