Bordetella Bronchiseptica: is a highly communicable bacterium that causes severe fits of coughing, whooping, vomiting, and, in rare cases seizures and death. It is the primary cause of kennel cough (see below). There are both injectable and nasal spray vaccines available. I recommend only using the injectable (shot version) of the vaccine and not the nasal vaccine. Many times the nasal vaccine can cause a mild case of kennel cough to appear especially in puppies.
Canine Distemper: is a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal (GI), and nervous system of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (dogs), wild canids, raccoons, skunks, and other animals. It causes discharges from the eyes and nose, fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching paralysis, and, oftem, death. There is no specific drug for the virus--the symptoms can be alleviated, giving the dog's immune system a chance to fight it off.
Canine Hepatitis: is a disease of the liver caused by a virus that is unrelated to the human form of hepatitis. Symptoms range from a slight fever and congestion of the mucous membranes to severe depression, vomiting, jaundice, stomach enlargement, and pain around the liver. Many dogs can overcome the mild form of the disease, but the severe form can kill. There is no cure, but doctors can treat the symptoms.
Canine Parainfluenza: is one of several viruses that can contribute to kennel cough (see below).
Corona Virus: is a nasty virus that usually affects Cavalier King Charles Spaniels' (dogs') gastrointestinal systems, though it can also cause respiratory infections. Signs include most GI symptoms, including loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Doctors can keep a Cavalier (dog) hydrated, warm, and comfortable, and help alleviate nausea, but there is no drug that kills corona viruses.
Heartworm: Though there is no vaccine for this condition, it is preventable with regular medication. The name is descriptive--these worms lodge in the right side of the heart and the pulmonary arteries (that send blood to the lungs), though they can travel through the rest of the body and sometimes invade the liver and kidneys. The worms can grow to 14 inches long and, if clumped together, block and injure organs. A new infection often causes no symptoms, though dogs in later stages of the disease may cough, become lethargic, lose their appetite or have difficulty breathing. Infected Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (dogs) may tire after mild exercise. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. The disease is treatable if caught early. You can either treat with monthly medication or you can have your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel tested every 6 months.
Kennel Cough: also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, results from inflammation of the upper airways. It can be caused by bacterial viral, or other infections (see bordetella and canine parainfluenza), and often involves multiple infections simultaneously. Usually the disease is mild and self-limiting, causing bouts of harsh, dry coughing, sometimes severe enough to spur retching and gagging, along with a loss of appetite, but in rare cases it can kill. It is easily spread between Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (dogs) kept close together, which is why it passes quickly through kennels and shows. Antibiotics are usually not necessary, except in severe, chronic cases. Cough suppressants can make a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (dog) more comfortable.
Leptospirosis: unlike most diseases on this list, is caused by bacteria, and sometimes evinces no symptoms at all. When symptoms do appear, they can include fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, severe weakness and depression, stiffness, muscle pain, or infertility. Antibiotics are effective, but the sooner they are given, the better. There are only 2 or 3 cases reported each year here in the United States so it is not as common as one might think.
Lyme Disease: unlike the famous "bull's eye" rash that people exposed to Lyme disease often spot, no such telltale symptom occurs in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (dogs). Instead, an infected Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (dog) often starts limping, his lymph nodes swell, his temperature rises, and he stops eating. The disease can affect his heart, kidney, and joints, among other things, or lead to neurological disorders if left untreated. If diagnosed quickly, a course of antibiotics is extremely helpful, though relapses can occur months even years later.
Parvovirus: attacks the gastrointestinal system and creates loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and often severe, bloody diarrhea. Extreme dehydration can come on rapidly and kill a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (dog) within 48 to 72 hours, so prompt veterinary attention is crucial. There is no cure, so keeping the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (dog) hydrated and controlling the secondary symptoms can keep him going until his immune system beats the illness.
Rabies: is a virus that invades the central nervous system, causing headache, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death. Treatment within hours of infection is essential, otherwise death is highly likely. Most states require rabies vaccination at set intervals (every one to five years). Check with your vet about local rabies vaccination laws.