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Cathy Moon
10th August 2008, 01:52 PM
Here's an idea that could help the cavalier breed. It would have to be adopted by the national cavalier clubs.

In the September 2008 Dog Fancy magazine, the breed of the month is Dogue de Bordeaux. This breed has just joined AKC's working group in July 2008.

The breed has serious health problems, so in 1998 the Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America (DDBSA) created a health testing tracking program called the Stars for Healthy Dogues Program. The club keeps an updated database, viewable for to the public, of all Bordeaux who have received passing scores from canine health registries that screen dogs for the following health problems known in the breed:


Hip dysplasia
Shoulder dysplasia
Elbow dysplasia
Cardiac disease
Patellar luxation
Eye problems
Hypothyroidism
Von Willebrand's disease

This listing is kept up-to-date by the club, and when it's time for a dog to be tested again, it is indicated on the list. The club also indicates which dog's owners are no longer club members.

Here it is:
http://www.ddbs.org/healthystars.html

If something similar could be developed for cavaliers, there would be visibility for all, and it would provide a better way for puppy buyers to check out the health status of at least sire and dam, and hopefully in the future the entire pedigree health status could be validated.

As the owner of a 5 year old cavalier, my most beloved Geordie who has SM and grade 4 MVD and who came from a reputable breeder, a health registry like this would help me and thousands of others when we want to buy a cavalier puppy with a better chance for a healthy life.

Cathy Moon
10th August 2008, 03:22 PM
I found a much better example of a breed health tracking database - the Berner-Garde Database for Bernese Mountain dogs:
http://www.bernergarde.org/dbaccess/

I actually tried it by going to the Bernese Mountain Dog organization home page: http://www.berner.org/. I looked up a local club for Illinois, chose a kennel name from the breeder referral list, and pasted the kennel name into the Berner-Garde search criteria after clicking on 'Dogs' in the left navigation: http://www.bernergarde.org/dbaccess/BG_Main.html. The database for the dogs in that kennel name displayed and then I was able to review the dogs' health information.

This is what we need for cavaliers!

Karlin
10th August 2008, 07:01 PM
That's really interesting, Cathy, I'll have to take a closer look at what they are doing. There is actually an ACKCSC database I think but it has been hard to get many breeders to participate so far -- I know Anne Eckersley has worked very hard to promote breeder support. It isn't as extensive as the Dogue one.

OFA does enable some tests to be placed publicly but it isn't as extensive either and of course just includes some types of testing and there isn't any context really for people viewing it or interested in a given breed -- eg if I am a puppy buyer looking for a cavalier, what are the breed health issues, what tests are recommended by the breed clubs, what do the scores mean, how often should they be done to have meaning (eg hearts annually, but hips, once perhaps?).

Seaborne
12th August 2008, 05:22 AM
Hi, Cathy, are you familiar with CHIC--the Canine Health Information Center? The AKC parent club is actively participating, and it's a good start...those of us who've submitted dogs have to provide current OFA results for cardiac, eye, patella, and hip tests. (www.caninehealthinfo.org (http://www.caninehealthinfo.org)) And Anne E. definitely participates in this. (She bred and co-owns my Chloe.)
--
Best,

Cathy Moon
12th August 2008, 01:06 PM
Hi, Cathy, are you familiar with CHIC--the Canine Health Information Center? The AKC parent club is actively participating, and it's a good start...those of us who've submitted dogs have to provide current OFA results for cardiac, eye, patella, and hip tests. (www.caninehealthinfo.org (http://www.caninehealthinfo.org)) And Anne E. definitely participates in this. (She bred and co-owns my Chloe.)
Robyn, I do remember looking up some dogs in CHIC, and it's a good start - very easy to look up individual dogs and entire kennel names, etc. This makes it so easy to identify health focused breeders.

As an improvement, I was thinking about breed-specific health problems along with the 4 main tests. Do you know whether or not additional screening results could be added to CHIC? For example, many cavalier pet owners like me would like to have the ability to view MRI screening results on sire and dam before we purchase future puppies.

The Dogue de Bordeaux database keeps track of 8 different tests and whether the time limit has expired on the test, also whether the owner is still a club member, etc.

WoodHaven
12th August 2008, 04:22 PM
Robyn, I do remember looking up some dogs in CHIC, and it's a good start - very easy to look up individual dogs and entire kennel names, etc. This makes it so easy to identify health focused breeders.

As an improvement, I was thinking about breed-specific health problems along with the 4 main tests. Do you know whether or not additional screening results could be added to CHIC? For example, many cavalier pet owners like me would like to have the ability to view MRI screening results on sire and dam before we purchase future puppies.

The Dogue de Bordeaux database keeps track of 8 different tests and whether the time limit has expired on the test, also whether the owner is still a club member, etc.

CHIC is breed specific -- That is why in cavaliers it is Hips, Heart, Patella and CERF. There are literally dozens of diseases that you can test for. Test results aren't always reliable either. I had an older spay female that came back moderately hypothyroid. I KNEW she wasn't. We waited 8 weeks (after a tooth infection cleared up) and she is no where near hypothyroid. Her T3 came back right in the middle of NORMAL.

I don't turn in my test results. I give test results to all puppy buyers and I will discuss test results with people that need to know.

Seaborne
13th August 2008, 01:18 AM
Robyn, I do remember looking up some dogs in CHIC, and it's a good start - very easy to look up individual dogs and entire kennel names, etc. This makes it so easy to identify health focused breeders.

As an improvement, I was thinking about breed-specific health problems along with the 4 main tests. Do you know whether or not additional screening results could be added to CHIC? For example, many cavalier pet owners like me would like to have the ability to view MRI screening results on sire and dam before we purchase future puppies.

The Dogue de Bordeaux database keeps track of 8 different tests and whether the time limit has expired on the test, also whether the owner is still a club member, etc.

Hi, Cathy--
From what I understand, tests can definitely be added or subtracted to/from the CHIC database, depending on what the national parent club decides as more information becomes available for specific breed concerns. I would like to think that in time we'll see something added for SM; Karlin will know lots more on this than I do. :) I cannot believe that the SM issue will go unaddressed by the database too much longer?
As an aside, it's awful that MRI screenings are so prohibitively expensive in the US. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, :D but I think a great deal more breeders would have their dogs tested if facilities weren't so geographically limited and the cost wasn't so high. I'm actually waiting for a quote on an elective MRI for one of my girls right now, expressly so I can budget for it! I'll post what I learn in the next couple of days.
--
Best,

Cathy T
13th August 2008, 02:46 AM
Good luck with your upcoming scan Robyn. I can't tell you how nice it is to hear of a breeder doing an elective MRI. Gives me hope!!!

WoodHaven
13th August 2008, 03:03 AM
Hi, Cathy--
From what I understand, tests can definitely be added or subtracted to/from the CHIC database, depending on what the national parent club decides as more information becomes available for specific breed concerns. I would like to think that in time we'll see something added for SM; Karlin will know lots more on this than I do. :) I cannot believe that the SM issue will go unaddressed by the database too much longer?
As an aside, it's awful that MRI screenings are so prohibitively expensive in the US. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, :D but I think a great deal more breeders would have their dogs tested if facilities weren't so geographically limited and the cost wasn't so high. I'm actually waiting for a quote on an elective MRI for one of my girls right now, expressly so I can budget for it! I'll post what I learn in the next couple of days.
--
Best,

Ahem, I've paid between 1400 and 2400 for MRI's.

Cathy Moon
13th August 2008, 01:08 PM
It's wonderful to know that there are breeders like you who are scanning their dogs. It is the right thing to do and offers us hope. :flwr:

There are many current and future cavalier owners who would like a reliable and publicly viewable database providing this information. How else can we find health focused breeders? And by health focused, I mean focused on SM as well as MVD and the other screening tests.

Mainly I don't understand why information like this is kept hidden and secret, when people want to do what's right for the cavalier breed.

Would it be wrong for someone outside of the club to create a database that includes SM screening results?