Our commitment to breeding dogs with healthy hearts

Specialist Veterinary Cardiologist, Dr Geoff Nicolson is returning to Tasmania next week to conduct heart testing and issue breeding certificates.

ANKC registered Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breeder, Erica Davison says, "These clinics are very important to us at Blacklash Cavaliers because we follow the healthy heart protocols recommended by Specialist Veterinary Cardiologists". 

Veterinary Cardiologists worldwide recommend that Cavalier breeders have their breeding dogs tested and cleared annually for Mitral Valve Disease (MVD). 

MVD is the leading cause of death in Cavaliers. Statistics show that over half of all cavaliers by age 5 years are afflicted and nearly all cavaliers by age 10 years, should they survive that long. MVD has been found to be 20 times more prevalent in Cavaliers than in the average dog breed.

Tasmania does not have a resident Veterinary Cardiologist, so prior to these visits, we travelled with our breeding dogs to Melbourne for testing.  The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club in Victoria are very proactive on the health testing front and hold heart clinics for breeders at their Specialty shows. Despite the best efforts of a small handful of breeders, the Cavalier Club in Tasmania has never held a clinic for breeders to screen their dogs. It is disappointing to see such a poor take up of breeders following the recommendations of Veterinary Cardiologists, yet they continue to breed puppies, Russian Roulette style. We need to be doing better, not just individually, but collectively if we want our beautiful breed to not only survive, but to thrive into the future. 

We are very grateful to the North Hobart Veterinary Hospital for organising these Specialist visits. Bookings can be made by contacting the North Hobart Veterinary Hospital on 6234 7044.

For more information on Dr Geoff Nicolson's work and for client handouts on heart disease in dogs, go to Veterinary Cardiac Services Australia.  

Find out more about specialist health testing at Blacklash Cavaliers here