The cavoodle is a popular crossbreed between the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and the Poodle. Dog lovers often choose them for their good looks and friendly personality. But what about their health?
Like any other dog breed, Cavoodles may develop some health problems their owners should be aware of. Cavoodles may suffer from seven common health issues, including patellar luxation, syringomyelia, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, mitral valve disease, epilepsy, and cataracts.
If you’re considering getting a cavoodle, it’s essential to be aware of the general health considerations for these dogs so you can take care of them better.
This article will detail some of the most common health issues that cavoodles can suffer from. We will also discuss veterinary checkups, vaccinations, general health considerations, life expectancy, and many others.
General considerations about Cavoodles’ health
Cavoodles, otherwise known as Cavapoos, adapt well to family life. They are friendly, loyal, and obedient dogs because of the happy and sweet disposition of the Cavalier King Charles and the intellect of the Poodle.
They are kind, loving, devoted, and amusing and are great companions for people with allergies due to their low-shedding qualities.
However, like other dogs, Cavoodles have general health considerations that owners should watch for, particularly in terms of diet, grooming, and mental stimulation.
Things you need to know about a cavoodle’s diet
Cavapoo owners should feed their dogs a high-quality and veterinarian-approved diet. Whether you make this food at home, purchase it from a pet store, or buy it from any other supplier, ask the vet for direction and approval so you can come up with a diet suitable for their age, weight, and other health aspects.
Cavoodles require this diet to access all the nutrients they need for a healthy life. They tend to consume tiny amounts of food at a time, so it is imperative to get smaller kibble sizes designed specifically for mature small breed dogs. With the guidance of your vet, secure supplements when necessary to ensure that they obtain sufficient amounts of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Generally, veterinarians advise owners to feed Cavapoos with dry food as this breed is highly susceptible to tooth decay and tartar buildup.
Dr Ian Billinghurst is a veterinarian who specialises in pet nutrition. Not surprisingly, after conducting extensive clinical research on the devastating effects of feeding commercial dog foods; he recommends feeding a Biologically Appropriate Raw Food Diet or BARF. He has written books on the benefits of feeding a diet of raw foods and how to prepare those foods for your dog.
Raggy Dogs, experienced family breeders of cavoodles feed and recommend a raw food diet consisting of human grade proteins, vegetables and supplements.
Smaller dogs, like Cavapoos, naturally have proportionately bigger teeth, which can cause an increase in plaque buildup and dental crowding, leading to gum irritation.
Although having relatively big teeth, Cavoodles have a lesser bony ridge that carries the sockets of their upper teeth, which renders them more susceptible to various dental problems.
To keep your cavoodle’s teeth clean, include raw meaty bones in their diet. Bones such as lamb and beef brisket, chicken necks, pork bones, fresh whole sardines and beef marrow bones (cut up and frozen) are perfect for maintaining your cavoodle’s dental hygiene.
Regular grooming will keep your Cavapoo healthy
A Cavoodle’s grooming needs vary according to its coat type.
Owners must brush poodle-type Cavapoos every few days as they shed relatively little. On the other hand, those with coats resembling Cavaliers shed more than Poodles, so they require less grooming.
As you can see, their dominant genes determine their grooming routine.
In addition, a popular method for keeping a Cavapoo’s coat more manageable is clipping. Hence, owners should do this frequently to avoid matting.
Also, due to the Poodle breeds’ propensity for ear infections, all Cavoodles should have their ears often examined. As an owner, you can protect them from ear diseases by checking their ears from time to time for any odours or discharge.
Groomers recommend that Cavapoos obtain professional grooming every six weeks. While you can groom these dogs all by yourself at home, a professional groomer will be able to cover everything from a bath, hair cut, brushing of teeth, cleaning out their ears, and wiping discharge away from their eyes.
Cavoodles need mental stimulation
Cavoodles don’t need much exercise because they are a smaller breed, but they will benefit from frequent walks for their psychological and physical health.
Because of their social and friendly nature, Cavapoos get along with most friendly animals.
They are a social and clever breed, so you want to prevent a Cavoodle from being bored, acting out, and becoming unhappy. For this reason, cavoodles need a lot of mental exercise and one-on-one time with their owners.
So if you plan to be away for a long time, give your Cavoodles plenty of toys to play with to keep them preoccupied.
What is the life expectancy for cavoodles?
The lifespan of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is between 12 to 15 years. On the other hand, a Poodle has an 18-year lifespan. Because of its genetic variability and parentage, Cavoodles have an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years.
Aside from taking care of them, one of the best ways to be with a Cavoodle for a very long time is to get one from a responsible, reputable, and licensed breeder.
Breeders who are diligent about taking pedigrees seriously only produce healthy litters. However, if this is not possible, you can always apply the general recommendations for maintaining your Cavoodle’s health, such as the ones listed in this article.
Cavoodle veterinary checkups
To ensure that your cavoodle is in top shape, bring them to a vet clinic for regular wellness checkups once a year. This way, vets can keep track of their health as they grow.
Each time, bring a stool sample of your dog so your vets can examine them for parasites and heartworms.
Take your Cavapoo pup to the vet within its first week at home, especially if you have other dogs within the house. Doing so will ensure that your new puppy is healthy and that it can live within the same area as your other furbabies. Virus infections like parvo and distemper can quickly spread, so this precaution can save you from losing your canine companions.
More importantly, get your Cavoodles to the nearest veterinary clinic once you notice anything unusual with their physicality, temperament, or behaviour.
Vaccination for cavoodles
Vaccinating your Cavapoos keeps them away from life-threatening diseases. Giving them adequate access to vaccines can help them live a long and healthy life.
There are three core vaccines that Cavapoos should get in Australia: canine hepatitis, canine parvovirus, and distemper. Many countries also vaccinate against Rabies. These are the most common and transmissible diseases that all types of dogs are in danger of getting.
Other vaccines that your Cavoodles can obtain to minimise their risk of exposure to certain illnesses include:
- Bordetella Bronchiseptica and Canine Parainfluenza. This bacteria is highly contagious. It causes kennel cough, which can result in severe coughing, whooping, vomiting, and, in rare instances, convulsions and death.
- Canine Coronavirus (CCov). The COVID-19 virus that affects humans is different from the canine coronavirus.
Although it can result in respiratory infections, canine coronavirus often impacts dogs’ digestive systems, leading to nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It is vital to note that no medication can kill this virus. Hence, acquiring this vaccine can keep your Cavoodle away from the severe abdominal discomfort, lethargy, and decreased appetite brought by CCov.
- Heartworm. Consult your veterinarian about beginning a heartworm preventative when your puppy is between 12- and 16 weeks old. Although there is no vaccination to prevent this disease, your veterinarian will prescribe a heartworm treatment that your Cavapoo should take regularly. There are yearly heartworm injections that offer a continual release over 12 months. The yearly heartworm injection for a cavoodle size dog, costs approximately $60-$100 depending on the vet.
Heartworms can migrate through the rest of the body and occasionally infiltrate the liver and kidneys. They often infest the right side of the heart and the pulmonary arteries, which carry blood to the lungs.
- Leptospirosis. This is a bacterial infection obtained from infected water and soil. It’s a disease that can transfer from animals to humans. Symptoms include jaundice, stiffness, muscular pain, infertility, renal failure, vomiting, stomach discomfort, diarrhea, lack of appetite, extreme tiredness, and lethargy.
- Lyme disease. Lyme disease, or borreliosis, is an infectious, tick-borne illness resulting in limping, enlarged lymph nodes, increased fever, and decreased appetite. If neglected, this illness can cause serious harm to a Cavapoo’s joints, kidney, heart, brain, and other organs.
You can take your Cavoodles for their first round of vaccinations as early as the beginning of their weaning period, which is 6 to 8 weeks old. They can get their succeeding vaccines every 2 to 4 weeks until they are 14 weeks old.
Most common cavoodle health issues
In mixed breeds, stronger, healthier genes tend to predominate—and because Cavoodles are a mixed breed, they are in a reduced risk group for various illnesses.
However, there are seven common health issues observed in Cavoodles: Patellar Luxation, Syringomyelia, Hip Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Mitral Valve Disease, Epilepsy, and Cataracts.
This problem develops when the patella or the kneecap bones of your Cavoodle are not correctly aligned. As a result, they slide in and out of position, resulting in discomfort and an irregular gait.
Mild instances often do not need treatment and have little to no effect on the dog’s quality of life, while severe cases could necessitate surgery.
In syringomyelia, the development of your Cavapoo’s skull is too tiny for its brain. Depending on this illness’s severity, the dog may feel only minor discomfort or intense agony.
Visit the vet as soon as you notice your dog’s frequent whimpers, scratches, and sensitivity when touched in the neck, head, and shoulders.
Hip dysplasia is a disorder that causes discomfort and disability at the hip joint because the thighbone and hip do not come together correctly.
Vets can prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs to treat less severe instances, but surgery may be necessary for more severe ones.
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
A group of eye conditions known as progressive retinal atrophy slowly deteriorates the retina, resulting in night blindness at first and eventually complete blindness.
Although there is no treatment, most dogs adjust to the loss of eyesight relatively easily as long as their surroundings don’t change too much.
Thankfully, breeders can DNA test breeding dogs to determine if they carry PRA. Breeding two carrier dogs together, will produce cavoodle puppies affected by this form of blindness. Ethical breeders DNA test their breeding dogs and provide results to their puppy buyers as part of their puppy packs.
Mitral valve disease
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is prone to mitral valve disease. Your Cavapoos may experience heart murmurs as the first sign of MVD, which could worsen until the animal dies of heart failure.
If you own a Cavoodle, knowing this type of heart disease is a must as it typically affects Cavalier King Charles Spaniels earlier than other breeds.
As a crossbreed of a Spaniel and a Poodle, this disorder may pass on to Cavoodles.
Hence, Cavapoo owners should watch out for this. Signs of exercise intolerance, an increase in respiratory rate, and cough might emerge as this condition progresses. Dogs who suffer irregular cardiac rhythms may also faint.
Epilepsy is a neurological condition characterised by unexplained seizures, which are abrupt spikes in the brain’s electrical activity that manifests as twitching, spasms, shaking, tremors, or convulsions.
It’s typical in several breeds, and a hereditary cause is likely involved. Scarily, many commonly used flea and tick products have been associated with causing seizures that have been so severe they have killed small dogs such as cavapoos.
Like people, Cavoodles can get cataracts when a hazy membrane covers the lens of their eye, impairing their vision. Veterinarians can eliminate this eye disease via surgery.
Do cavoodles have heart problems?
Because they are a mixed breed, Cavoodles are less likely to contract any diseases. However, like other dogs, cavoodles may also develop heart problems due to aging, obesity, and nutrition.
The most common heart problem encountered in cavoodles is degenerative mitral valve disease, which Cavaliers are notorious for and can pass it on to cavoodles.
The condition causes heart murmurs, but sometimes it can have more severe complications like congestive heart failure.
To prevent the disease, check on the parent’s health and talk to your breeder to learn about any health problems you should be aware of.
Cavoodles may suffer from seven common health issues, including patellar luxation, syringomyelia, hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, mitral valve disease, epilepsy, and cataracts.
On top of this, Cavapoos may also suffer from other deadly diseases when unvaccinated.
However, being a mixed breed, the chances of your Cavoodle developing these health issues are low, especially if you are mindful of your dog’s diet, vaccinations, and regular vet checkups.
Raggy Dogs occasionally have a carefully planned litter of beautiful and healthy cavapoo puppies; no more than once per year. You can visit their website for more details, or learn further about different breeds and other essential information on their blog.
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