View Full Version : Books at Petsathome

27th February 2008, 09:07 PM
... was flicking through a CKCS book in P@H today and ended up dancing mad. The back of this book mentioned SM, but claimed its incidence in Cavs was 0.02% and therefore wasn't an issue worth worrying about. I took the book up to the counter and pointed out that this book was giving false information and that in fact SM incidence in Cavs was closer to 70% (Karlin, correct me if I'm wrong). The girl at the til gave me a funny look and put the book aside. I bet anything you like it ends up on sale again.


27th February 2008, 10:42 PM
It isn't really known what the incidence level is, but in a range of research samples MRId over the past several years, between about 35-70% of the samples had syrinxes (the higher number is in the samples that include older cavaliers; the lowest figure was in a sample of dogs under 5).

I don't now where that .02% figure originally came from but incredibly (and also not referenced) a mere 0.002% level of incidence is noted here:


This particular condition is known to affect less than 0.002% of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels so odds are very much in your favour that your dog would not have this condition. If your dog is scratching or displaying some of the other symptoms more than likely it is due to another cause such as allergies which is a common condition in dogs. If concerned see a veterinarian for evaluation.

This is the same breeder who runs the www.aboutcavalierhealth.com website. It has been drawn to her attention numerous times that this figure remains on her own kennel website under her health articles. She gives no figures on the health site:

As of yet there are no firm statistics available for the incidence of this condition in the Cavalier. While it seems to be currently diagnosed in some numbers it may well be that, since this condition has only recently been recognised and there is now a way to diagnose it (MRI), that previously unexplained symptoms are being diagnosed as SM and this will level out. Though serious and devastating to the dogs affected and to the owners of affected dogs, the majority of Cavaliers are unlikely to have this condition.

Implication for breeders

Due to the unavailibility of MRI machines in many areas and the high costs it is not practical for breeders to have all their breeding stock tested at this time. In fact, as this condition is still in the early study stages not enough is known about the age of onset to allow us to know at what age or how often this test should be performed.

Actually there are a wide range of statistics from numerous university and independent studies and the figures are fairly consistent in showing at least about 35% affected with syrinxes. These are via diagnosis with MRIs so there isn't any element of guessing due to 'previously unexplained symptoms'. There is also a high level of consistency in recommendations from neurologists on when to start testing (around 2.5 if for breeding purposes) if the point is to reduce the incidence of early onset SM using an approach already widely accepted for MVD. There's a lot that isn't known but there's also quite a bit now that is. The problem is that MRIs remain expensive especially in the US but many breeders complain that £175 for an MRI in the UK via the half dozen low cost schemes set up specifically to help breeders is too expensive as well.

27th February 2008, 11:19 PM
Actually, Karlin, the quote you give re the quoted percentage is word-for-word what the book said, so I obviously left out a 0, there. Hmm. Incidentally, I noticed that while a number of other CKCS sites were listed on the back, neither CT nor your site on SM were included.

Cathy Moon
28th February 2008, 12:47 AM
:confused: Out of curiosity, what year was the book published?

28th February 2008, 01:35 AM
I think it was probably done in the past couple of years. Judging from the spine, I expected it to resemble the book I already have and it was completely different. For some reason 2003 is sticking in my head, but i probably made that up...

28th February 2008, 10:07 AM
I just dont want to upset any-one ,but could I mention that it's been said that around 50per cent of Cavaliers could be suffering from SM .

That would mean that about 50, 000 Cavaliers in Britain have the condition ,since there are around 100,000 Cavaliers living to-day at 10 years of age .

When you think about this figure of 50,000 Cavaliers perhaps having SM ,I dont think it's possible to quote that .

Maybe the 50 per cent of Cavaliers having SM are those examined by Neurologists .

The only way for Scientific Data to be given about SM figures in Cavaliers would be for a random sample taken of Cavaliers ,not those actually suffering from the condition .

In Britain ,at the moment ,the only Scientific Survey that has been carried out ,was by the Kennel Club ,in their Health Survey ,for Cavaliers , Neurological Problems , including SM 2 per cent .

This was done about 2 years ago

I'm not making light of the SM problem in any way ,but please think about the figure of 50,000 Cavaliers in Britain having SM ,I just dont think that that can be the right figure .


28th February 2008, 12:33 PM
This is where a lot of the problems arise, people read books that were published anything up to and over 20 years ago, it is always worth checking the publishment date of any book you buy, the way that research is hurtling ahead in all area's it is very difficult to find books with 100% totally accurate information in them, the internet really is the best place to find out the latest news IMHO!!

Barbara Nixon
28th February 2008, 12:54 PM
While in PaH, some months ago, I caught part of a demo dvd they were playing, showcasing their own range of breed books. The cavalier excerpt said that they are not easy to train. Based on what ?