MVD is one of the most prevalent health issues in the Cavalier today. MVD, which stands for Mitral Valve Disease, is a progressive ailment in the CKCS. It is the degeneration of the mitral valve which causes blood, which should move from one heart chamber to the next, to backwash into the chamber it should be leaving. Overtime, the heart will enlarge and breathing will become impacted. Often it will lead to Congestive Heart Failure (CHF). Medications can assist in quality of life at this stage but prognosis is guarded with many dogs dying from the disease as it progresses into advanced stages.
The CKCS is known as a breed that is highly affected by MVD. Current statistics place numbers at 50% by age five and 90% by age ten. It is therefore important that a prospective Cavalier owner make certain their chosen breeder is testing their breeding dogs' hearts annually. While this does not guarantee that a puppy will not eventually develop MVD, it better the odds of a healthy puppy for longer.
Further information on MVD and the Cavalier can be found on the links below: