Be informed before you buy a dog! Dog shows and the breeders who want ribbons are crippling and killing dogs with their breeding methods. It's estimated that 50% of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have syringomyelia due to their skulls being deliberately bred so small that their brains are forced out the back of the skull and damages the spinal cord. This causes deformity and horrible pain. Symptoms usually appear between 6 months and 2 years.