king charles spaniel breed information

common health issues

Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition in which the ball and socket of the hip joint do not fit well together, resulting in a hip with increased laxity. This laxity can lead to degenerative changes and depending on the severity, may require surgical correction.

Corneal dystrophy is weakness in the layers of the cornea. Severely affected dogs are prone to painful corneal erosions and ulcers. Some types of corneal dystrophy result in lipid or cholesterol deposits on the cornea, which are generally painless and do not interfere with vision. Treatment varies depending on the severity of the lesions.

Entropion describes the inward rolling of the eyelid, often causing the eyelashes to come into contact with the eyeball and cause irritation and often ulceration. Many affected dogs will require surgical correction and severe cases may require multiple surgeries.

The retina lines the back of the eye and is responsible for transmitting visual stimulus to the brain. Retinal dysplasia is a malformation of the retina which can range from mild retinal folds to severe dysplasia with detachment of the retina and blindness. Visually impaired dogs generally adapt to life well due to their keen sense of smell.

Also known as aseptic necrosis of the femoral head, Legg-Calve-Perthes is a disease of the femoral head (or ball) of the hip and causes lameness in young, small breed dogs. The blood supply to the femoral head is cut off, causing the bone to die. Treatment inevitably requires surgery to the affected hip.

Authorities agree that the King Charles Spaniel originated in the Far East and later emerged in England, appearing in portraits of noblemen in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. The black-and-tan-colored dogs were reportedly the favorites of King Charles I, so early breeding programs focused on that variety. In the late 1600s, they were interbred with Pugs, which resulted in a smaller dog with the now characteristic flatter nose, rounded head and big eyes. Treasured as a merry, affectionate companion dog, the King Charles Spaniel was also said to be a fine small hunting dog, particularly with game birds.

Today, the breed is one of four varieties of English Toy Terrier, divided by color: Blenheim (mahogany red and white); Ruby (rich mahogany red); Prince Charles (white with black and tan markings); and King Charles (black and tan). The Prince Charles and King Charles varieties’ coats are longer, but regular brushing is all that is needed to keep them neat. These small dogs, weighing between 8 and 15 lbs., need moderate daily exercise to stay happy and fit.

The King Charles Spaniel is a wonderful family dog, known to be gentle, playful, loving and sweet. He is friendly with other dogs and with children, though he can be willful and demanding. He needs a consistent leader who can keep any behavior issues at bay with firm but gentle treatment.

Playful personality aside, the King Charles Spaniel is still prone to a number of hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect his health, and your family’s budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses King Charles Spaniels are prone to include joint conditions such as hip dysplasia and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease; and eye conditions such as distichiasis, retinal dysplasia, entropion and corneal dystrophy.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your King Charles Spaniel inherits his mother’s bad eyes or his father’s bad hips, you’re protected.

Use the condition checker tool to learn what common conditions your pet may have.

claim calculator

  • your share of the cost: $450
  • Petplan's reimbursement to you: $1,550
  • coverage remaining in policy period: Unlimited
    (full policy limits are reinstated upon renewal)