Being a cross between the Cavalier King Charles spaniel and Poodle, the Cavoodle has a genetic makeup that makes it less likely to be affected by certain defects. But while it has a lifespan of 10 to 14 years, this mix is still susceptible to certain health issues including the following:
Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease (DMVD)
DMVD is a condition that affects the heart valves of many canines. Dogs that suffer from this disease have a thickened valve that makes it difficult for blood to flow in a forward direction. Because of this, leakage progresses and the heart enlarges.
While this health problem is chronic and progressive, not all dogs that are affected by it end up developing heart failure. Some never even show any signs of this disease. Those that do can live an additional 12 to 18 months.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Also known as generalized progressive retinal atrophy, PRA is an inherited disease that results in gradual blindness. It is diagnosed by examining the back of the eye and looking for signs of retinal degeneration. It can also be identified before it develops through DNA testing.
Unfortunately, there is yet to be an effective treatment for this disease. Dogs that are affected are likely to end up completely blind. However, there is such a thing called antioxidant therapy wherein vision loss can be delayed.
Chiari-like malformation (CM) and Syringomyelia (SM)
CM is an abnormality wherein a dog’s skull cavity is too short for its large brain. As a result, the back part of the brain is pushed into the skull, obstructing the flow of the cerebrospinal fluid, or the fluid that flows in and around the brain and spinal cord. When this happens, SM can develop within the spinal cord, causing damage, weakness, and pain.
Symptoms of CM and SM may progress over time. Some dogs that are affected by this disease remain stable for years. However, others become completely disabled just weeks after the first symptoms.
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)
CHD is a skeletal condition wherein the thighbone and acetabulum (the socket in the pelvis) are a loose fit. This leads to the joints rubbing against each other, resulting in deterioration.
Luckily, there are several treatments for this condition. Those with less severe CHD are usually recommended to lose weight, undergo physical therapy, or take anti-inflammatory medications. Candidates for surgery can undergo total hip replacement, pelvic osteotomy, or femoral head ostectomy.