4th August 2008, 11:20 AM
May I be permitted to pass on this information that has just appeared on the UK CKCS ClUB Web-Site
I'm sure when you read it ,that it really feels as if there is now Light at the End of the Tunnel for the Cavalier Breed in their Health Problems of SM and MVD
4th August 2008, 12:08 PM
Thanks Bet! Because I think most people won;t know what this post is about or what they should be looking for :), here's a direct link:
This is an initial commitment by the breed club to recommend breeder support and participation in heart and syringomyelia schemes to help with research and improve health in the breed. This is an important start and a clear indication that the breed club accepts the growing gravity of the situation with syringomyelia and MVD in the breed and the need to gather information for researchers to help better understand the conditions, inheritence, and breeding implications. The goal is to produce some estimated breeding values (EBVs) for any and every cavalier so that a breeder will understand the dog's risk of passing along these unwanted conditions. The EBV will not be a static number assigned for a lifetime but will change constantly as more information comes in on the health status (through cardio and MRI results) of siblings, progeny, and other relatives.
It would have been wonderful if there was a commitment to making at least some of these procedures required rather than recommended (for reasons noted below), but fingers crossed many breeders will indeed decide to contribute and participate. Breeders will also need to be open and honest about their dogs' current EBVs for this to have any meaning.
I'd have liked to have seen the breed club take a far stronger role on hearts for example -- unlike the US CKCS clubs, and the Swedish club, which dismiss the use of vet heart checks as totally meaningless, the UK club continues to remain neutral on that issue despite the decade of recommendation from its own official heart consultant and specialist Simon Swift that little to no progress has been -- or probably will ever be made -- on improving MVD statistics because there's no requirement that heart testing be by a cardiologist, not a vet. Until very recently, even for the Healthy Hearts list of clear heart cavaliers, owners could use vet tests. Yet as anyone who is familiar with MVD in the breed will know, research has shown for a decade that vets miss about 50% of early onset murmurs -- meaning any 'clear' cavalier actually could equally have a murmur! That simply isn't acceptable, as Mr Swift pointed out to the club last year, recommending yet again that if breeders truly care at all about reducing the extraordinarily high frequency of MVD, the club needs to require cardiac testing, not recommend it.
The club members involved with producing these recommendations will I hope now be at the centre of encouraging participation through some high profile, positive campaigns within the different regional clubs. Breeders need to see that others are committed to these guidelines and recommendations and there needs to be a climate of active participation or the recommendations will just be a paper statement that does very little in reality.
4th August 2008, 02:21 PM
Also see: http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=26078
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