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Nicki
2nd July 2007, 06:51 PM
As many of you will be aware, more and more breeders are now MRI'ing their dogs to check for Syringomyelia {although the dogs can still be carriers, until a genetic test is available - which could be many years away if ever - this is the only diagnostic test available to breeders at present, so if breeders MRI scan and follow the breeding guidelines, this reduces the chance of affected pups being born}

Obviously not all dogs are getting good results, so the big question is:

What happens to the dogs who aren't clear?

In an ideal world, the breeders would have the space, money, time and love to look after every dog they ever bred or bought in, whatever the health problems, but realistically this isn't ever going to be the case, and if they have to keep all the affected ones and use their limited resources on them, they are not going to be able to carry on breeding - and these are the breeders we want to breed, as they ARE health testing. [FONT=Verdana]Many of these dogs are totally asymptomatic, and capable of leading good quality lives in the right homes, so it would be tragic for them to be PTS - if the breeders could bring themselves to do that. The alternative, which may already be happening, is that adult dogs become available and the new owners are not advised of the scan results...this could be temptimg to some breeders as they may assume that people won’t take a dog they know might be at higher risk of developing Syringomyelia.

Sadly if the new owner doesn’t know what to look for, and doesn’t recognise the symptoms, dogs could be suffering - and there is enough of that happening already

SO what I’m asking is this:
Is anyone prepared to take on a dog whom has been removed from the breeding program and may or may not go on to develop symptoms?

You would not be committing yourself in any way if you reply here or contact me by PM – it’s just to get an idea that I can then take back to breeders to let them know whether there are homes available.

Obviously normal procedures would still apply, the breeder would want to be happy with the home and you would want to be happy with the breeder. My understanding from the breeders I’ve spoken with is that they wouldn’t be expecting payment for the dog – but please don’t see this as a “cheap” way to get a Cavalier, you would need to be prepared to cover all the usual dog ownership costs especially veterinary care, {and you would probably not be able to get insurance cover for the Syringomyelia as this would be considered pre-existing.}

AFTER ALL we are saying that we want breeders to scan - but if the breeders do so, then perhaps we should share the responsibility for the consequences


Would I take on a Cavalier knowing that it was affected? Yes I would, I've seen that they can have a very good quality of life, and in many ways it's more manageable than MVD...I'm also aware of those who have had a very short painful life {which tends to be the ones showing symptoms at a young age, generally less than a year} so would be going into it with a balanced view.

I currently have 3 affected dogs, aged 3, 7 and 11, all of whom have a wonderful quality of life.

This site has many items of interest to anyone wanting to learn more about syringomyelia in cavaliers.

1) Numerous documents including general information and SM symptoms sheets are in the Health faqs:
http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=11

2) Clare Rusbridge's Syringomyelia Newsletters are archived here
http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=30

3) The SM Infosite, a sister site to this one, which is dedicated solely to SM information, is: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com (http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/)

matties mum
2nd July 2007, 07:49 PM
Yes I would be prepared to take on a dog if everone was happy to let me
The dog would be cover for everthing that he/she might need
-----Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney---Sam)

Karlin
2nd July 2007, 09:38 PM
I am hoping to work with Nicki and help develop either a standalone website or part of the SM site around support for adopting scanned dogs who may not be clear. :)

It is important to remember that people routinely adopt dogs that have NOT been scanned from breeders and from rescues and shelters -- puppies to adults -- that have no symptoms. Yet unscanned dogs are nearly as likely to go on and develop symptomatic SM as a scanned dog that has syrinxes and is asymptomatic, simply because the evidence so far shows such high levels of affectedness for syrinxes across the breed.

Also, the older the dog, the less likely it is, if it has no symptoms, to develop them.

Keep in mind that many of you have adopted asymptomatic dogs whose status for SM is a big unknown, but with few to no qualms, despite probably at least a 50/50 chance of that dog developing or having syrinxes over its lifetime. I'd personally rather know one way or another, the status of the parents at least, but I'd have no issue taking on an asymptomatic -- or indeed, now, a symptomatic -- dog. :) No more than it would bother me to knowingly adopt -- as so many here have -- dogs with heart murmurs. Many dogs with SM will live far longer, more comfortable lives than dogs with murmurs and congestive heart failure. And far more cavaliers will be euthenised from the pain and discomfort of MVD than SM.

Breeders do routinely home adults anyway; what will change is that those who scan will know the status of those dogs.

To raise the issue of breeder responsibility in homing scanned dogs with syrinxes, also raises the issue of breeder responsibility of homing puppies from unscanned parents, or unscanned adults, doesn't it? And of our role if we accept such dogs ourselves, preferring not to know, yet pressure breeders to scan. There are so many ethical levels with this affliction. Is it better not to know or to know with such a potentially serious problem? How do we support breeders who scan if the level of affectedness is very high and they will not be able to use some of their dogs in breeding programmes?

There's lots to think over for everyone who loves the breed.

Meanwhile there will be more and more dogs that are known to have syrinxes looking for homes, and it would be great to have a resource for people to find out more about caring for an SM dog. :)

Davy
3rd July 2007, 12:12 AM
Is anyone prepared to take on a dog whom has been removed from the breeding program and may or may not go on to develop symptoms?

At the moment no, but only because I don't have the finances for another dog, I'm hoping for that to change soon.

In the future, yes I wouldn't see it as a problem. I would view a dog that had a scan with a possibility to develop SM as no different from re homing an Cavalier that has no medical history for you to refer to.

I have already been to hell and back with a dog with cushing and the worst part was not having any information about the illness in the beginning. Once I got over that part, caring for her became much easier for the both of us.

With this site, not only do you get the information you need but the people here can also help you with personal and emotional part of dealing with a disable dog and that can be the hardest part of any illness.

I took SiânE on knowing her illness in the beginning. I learnt from this site of other problems (MVD) she can get in the long term but at the end of the day she is still SiânE, not an illness. I know one day it will get to be a bigger part of her life but thats nothing to good years I have had so far.

Lisa_T
3rd July 2007, 12:40 AM
I'm another who would say at the moment, no- but I would like to be kept informed of developments in this area as this is something I would definitely be interested in doing in the future.

Cathy Moon
3rd July 2007, 01:07 AM
Yes I would be prepared to take on a dog if everone was happy to let me
The dog would be cover for everthing that he/she might need
-----Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney---Sam)
Yes, I would and so would my OH.

JeanKC
3rd July 2007, 01:12 AM
When we choose to go to a 'higher end' breeder, we're spending a helluva lot of money for a pet. Part of the reason the price is so high is purported to be all the necessary health testing... so I'll be the 'buyer' out here to say as long as the breeders are preaching how important it is to scan, and test for eyes, hips, etc.... and as long as these breeders are having nothing at all good to say about those that don't... then, no, I don't feel the 'need' to share the consequences.

Now, that's not to say that we wouldn't take one of these dogs... just that I think a portion of the 'responsibility' is already being passed down in the price of the puppies.

KC

niamhx
3rd July 2007, 01:34 AM
I would i'm hoping to get another one soon in the next year. I would love to rehome an older dog rather than a pup. :D

Finn needs a buddy, and I have room on the couch for another one :luv:

Caraline
3rd July 2007, 02:32 AM
My answer is only a hyperthetical from way down here in Australia, but if I was looking for another dog I would not be put off by taking on one that MIR'd positive for SM but was currently symptom free. I think most of us here are aware that our un-MRI'd dogs may have some degree of SM anyway.

Kelly
3rd July 2007, 09:53 AM
Yes I would take a Cavalier knowing it was affected.

We went through hell a few months ago when they thought Chester had SM. He showed up clear to SM but has a slight malformation, he was only 7 months old so I understand with time this may well worsen.

The worst part for me was the not knowing. The time spent having his scan & tests seemed like forever and all I could think was that he was in pain and I should be doing something.

So, in my opinion, to know what you are getting, to be thoroughly converse with the problem & to know you are doing the right thing for them would be half the battle. Granted I know it would cause heartache down the line if they were severely affected but I think everyone, human or animal, deserves a shot at life and if they only have a couple of years, at least they have had something.

Just my opinion, I know others will think differently, but it wouldnt do for us all to be the same.