View Full Version : Strategy in Germany to beat SM- interested in your opinions

29th April 2006, 10:11 PM
Dear all,

in Germany we only have about 600 puppies born per year, as such we have been very fortunate to be lesser affected than other countries with SM, and have the benefit of learning from suffers elsewhere.
The general level of knowledge amongst Cavalier owners in Germany regarding SM is very little (I count myself amongst those people).

There is currently an argument goin on between the three major clubs in Germany about how to combat SM. Two of the clubs have decided to mark the pedigree certificates of certain dogs who have had offspring which are "neuroligically suspicious" i.e. supposedly have SM. The other club is against this as they claim that there is not enough scientific evidence to support stigmatising the dogs in this way.

As we are a bit backward regarding SM - I would love to hear the opinions of the users of this forum on this matter.

kind regards,

29th April 2006, 10:36 PM
Thanks for this information -- very interesting to see how the different clubs are apporaching the issue.

The level of affrectedness would statistically be the same in Germany as anywhere else though of course with much fewer puppies, people wouldn't see as many cases. But as these dogs are all fairly closely related, and most German dogs only a generation or two away from British dogs, the level of affectedness should be about the same.

Personally I think that probbaly any dog can be connected to one with SM. So marking a pedigree would not actually be very relevant if the information is this vague. Probably far more relevant is to push for breeding dogs to be MRId, espeically studs, and to consider the Rusbridge breeding protocol: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/protocol.htm

The key thing is to try as best as possible, given the knowledge and tools available, to breed away from severe forms of SM. It makes sense that milder levels of affectedness and asymtomatic dogs are probably less likely to produce severely affected offspring than severely affected, symptomatic dogs.

Have the German breed clubs considered the efforts in the US and the UK by the national clubs to set up health registries? The UK club enables breeders to list MRI'd dogs. This helps breeders looking for breeding dogs that would fit within the breeding protocol.

29th April 2006, 10:56 PM
Have the German breed clubs considered the efforts in the US and the UK by the national clubs to set up health registries? The UK club enables breeders to list MRI'd dogs. This helps breeders looking for breeding dogs that would fit within the breeding protocol.[/quote]


thanks for your very constructive comments, I do not know if the German clubs are intending to set up health registries, the impression I have is that some "shirk" from the cost of MRIs here, but I think that the idea of a health registry is a much more postiive approach to the matter, as it does not stigmatise anyone, but encourages people.
I will pass this on to my club.
Thanks again!


29th April 2006, 11:49 PM
One thing that is apparent is that this is an important breed issue and no one should be stigmatised for having produced SM-affected dogs -- because it would be nearly impossible not to have produced them, going by results coming from the various research projects. I don;t know of anyone who has MRId multiple cavaliers and had every one get an all clear on both the malformation and syringomelia as well. The (positive) goal should really be to identify which breeding dogs are the best possible candidates for certain matings with other appropriate dogs. Unfortunately at this time this does require MRIs. Educated puppy buyers though are beginning to ask breeders whether their dogs are MRId and are willing to have the cost of those MRIs distributed across litters. Also as Dr Rusbridge argues, at least the studs should be MRId as their genes affect the breed as a whole in a more profound way.

Everyone is grappling on how to best address this. Many feel the best guidelines are to use the Rusbridge breeding protocols which despite a lot of naysaying, do have a lot of flexibility built in to them. All signs are that it is impossible to preserve the breed if only all-clear cavaliers are bred -- and very, very few of these have been found. But the protocol DOES allow for affected cavaliers that are asymptomatic to be bred according to a best-practice model.

Some in the Dutch national club have done a lot of work in this area and worked closely with Clare Rusbridge. I could get a good contact there for you if there is interest by the German clubs in talking to them.

I would encourage the German clubs to contact Margaret Carter of the UK national club's health committee as she can explain what they are currently doing as club initiatives. Here's some info from her on the latest intitatives:


And her contact details are:

Mrs Margaret Carter
Tel. 01707 262035
Email: mareve-ckcs@ntlworld.com

Also Dr Rusbridge or her research assistant Penny Knowler would be very open to being contacted by the club, I am sure. I also have a DVD of Dr Rusbridge's latest lecture on SM which has a Q&A session with breeders and she discusses the breeding issues. This is available from me for €20 with all proceeds going to SM research; anyone interested in this can contact me (email or PM buttons below my post will do the job!). This would give German breeders a good understanding of the current state of research, issues, and a really insightful view of what SM is and why it occurs.

Dr Rusbridge's contact details are on the breeding protocol link I posted above.

The SM site is a site I run. If someone wants to do a translation of any of the documents there into German, for German breeders/pet owners, they would be very welcome.

4th May 2006, 08:12 PM
Hi Karlin,

thank you as well for your very construcutve comments. It is very important that we gedt the views of people outside the country. I will pass this information on to the club "elders".

If you like I can help to translate some of the web pages into German, which would help to get the content of the site better understood in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

kind regards,

Katherine :D

4th May 2006, 10:44 PM
It's important for people to work together on this and for there to be an international perspective and an international conversation, I think.

The most relevant pages for translating would be Dr Rusbridge's information sheet, her treatment diagram, my symptoms sheet, and the "Help! Is this SM' page. If you want to do any of those I will set them up on the SM site to supply some basic information for German speakers. :)

4th May 2006, 11:01 PM
I will give it a go this weekend, and see how far I get ;)

Rod Russell
5th May 2006, 12:42 AM
Google will translate webpages automatically. Go to http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en and insert the webpage you want translated and request translation from English to German. Did you know that Cavalier Health translates to Gesundheit Cavalier?

In fact, it will even translate this message: Google übersetzt webpages automatisch. Gehen Sie zu http://www.google.com/language_tools?hl=en und setzen Sie das webpage, das Sie übersetzt wünschen ein und bitten Sie um Übersetzung von englischem zum Deutschen.

Sie sind das meiste Willkommen.

Rod Russell
Orlando, Florida USA

5th May 2006, 12:57 AM
Rod, they are pretty crappy translations, though, as you can see if you go to a German website and ask for a translation into English!! :lol: The online translators are useful for getting the gist of a page's content, but can get things amusingly or sometimes very badly wrong, especially idiomatic phrases and native expressions. You really need a good speaker of both languages to undertake a translation. An automatic translator would be stumped by a lot of the medical terms as well. For this task I'll stick with a warm-blooded human! 8)

Rod Russell
5th May 2006, 03:15 AM
Hey, it's a starting point. Otherwise, I'd spend all weekend flipping through my well-worn, tiny English-Deutsch-English dictionary and still never find the translation for caudal occipital malformation syndrome. Now we all know it translates to occipital ißbildungschwanzsyndrom! :roll:

Rod Russell
Orlando, Florida USA

5th May 2006, 10:02 PM
Hi Russell,

I am bilingual in German and English which is why I offered to do the translation, but thanks for the tip, it might help on some of the general bulk , which with then need careful proofreading and changing as the systems can come up with bizarre results.
kind regards,

6th May 2006, 01:19 AM
That's true, can be useful as a starting point to get the bulk of it done. I just have had nightmares trying to do translations even of basic pages on some sites -- the English is pretty garbled! :lol: Every now and then I need to get an article translated at least somewhat as part of research and find I can usually get the gist well enough, but that is about it.

9th May 2006, 07:26 PM
These texts are a nightmare! But I will not give up :)