tibetan spaniel breed information

common health issues

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.

The retina is responsible for transmitting light to the brain where it is interpreted as an image. PRA causes deterioration of retinal cells and causes blindness. It can affect puppies as young as a few weeks old, or may appear later in life. There is no treatment or cure, but blind dogs usually can lead quite happy lives.

Cataracts describes the transparency of the lens in the eye.While cataracts are a common finding in older dogs, many breeds, including Cavaliers, have a genetic predisposition to juvenile cataracts, i.e., occurring in young animals. Hereditary cataracts can occur as early as six months of age and progress to complete loss of vision by two years old. The good news is that most affected lenses can be treated surgically. Cost of treatment: $1,500 to $3,000 per lens.

These conditions are commonly associated with a merle coat with excessive white. Microphthamlia is a small eye which appears recessed in the eye socket, and can come with defects in the cornea, lens and retina. Partial deafness can also occur with this condition. Affected pups are often blind, but can compensate well for lost vision.

These personable little dogs were known as the “little lions” of Tibetan monasteries, where they kept their Lama masters company. Frequently sent as gifts to palaces in China and other surrounding countries, they were sometimes mixed with other native breeds, like the Pekingese. It was through such gifting back and forth that the Tibetan Spaniel of today appears as he does. Tibetan Spaniels not only served as faithful companions, they also were employed as watchdogs for the monasteries, alerting monks to the presence of strangers.

Tibetan Spaniels are compact dogs, standing about 10 inches tall at the shoulders and weighing anywhere between 10 and 15 pounds. They make for an ideal companion dog to any family, but thrive where they can get the most human interaction. This is not a dog who keeps to himself – he needs his family’s company. His diminutive size and similarly low exercise requirements make him fit to live just about anywhere, even a tiny apartment.

Tibetan Spaniels are true “easy keepers” with minimal grooming needs. Due to his watchdog heritage, he may be slightly aloof with strangers initially, but will warm up quickly and win every heart he meets.

Aloofness apart, Tibetan Spaniels may still be prone to hereditary and congenital conditions that can adversely affect their health – not to mention your budget. Some of the conditions and illnesses Tibetan Spaniels are prone to include eye conditions such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, microphthalmia and retinal dysplasia; and urinary conditions such as cystine urolithiasis.

Thankfully, Petplan pet insurance covers all hereditary and chronic conditions as standard. Which means if your Tibetan Spaniel inherits more than just a gift for companionship, you’re covered.

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)