I purchased a female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from Steve and Margaret Peg Friedrichs from Megabrooke Farm. The dog has since been diagnosed with a congenital defect at the age of 2.
After taking her to a neurologist, it was confirmed that she indeed had chiari-malformation/syringomyelia. A congenital defect that affects the brain and spine, causing symptoms ranging from mild discomfort to severe pain and partial paralysis, it is caused by a malformation in the lower back of the skull which reduces the space available to the brain, compressing it and often forcing it out (herniating it) through the opening into the spinal cord. The neurologist stated that indeed a dog can start to show symptoms as early as 6 months of age and that many times it is misconstrued as allergies (the condition is also known as neck scratchers disease) Her scratching began at 6 months of age and the vet was treating her for allergies the entire time. She was on numerous, anti-histamines, anti-fungals, shampoos and even had a skin scrape. It was not until we took her to the neurologist and got the MRI that it was confirmed.
Unfortunately, when I asked them to cover the MRI bill Peg refused and stated that as per her 1 year health guarantee, I did not meet the cut off date, even though the dog was symptomatic during the time the health guarantee was in effect.
Steve and Margaret Friedrichs also have another website called Backporch Farms www.backporchfarms.com they not only breed and sell Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, but also Basset Hounds, Toy Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Italian Greyhounds and English Bulldogs as well. Based on that information it is obvious that they ARE NOT breeding top quality, healthy dogs as their website states. As a matter of fact they had not even heard of the condition until I emailed them about it. How one can breed and sell that many dogs and not know anything about the genetic defects that can affect them is beyond me.
I am posting this to save other dog lovers the aggravation. I have contacted this company and no solution can been reached. Again, this is my own personal experience with these individuals and cannot speak for anyone else. I cannot even begin to tell you what this has cost me, not only financially but emotionally. Yes dogs get sick, there is a financial responsibility that comes with purchasing a pet but to have a dog diagnosed with such a horrible condition at such an early age is unimaginable.
Do your homework before buying a dog. Below is a link that offers information on how to purchase from a reputable breeder. Believe me you will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars in the end.