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View Full Version : Should you put loyalty to other breeders before the welfare of the dogs they breed?



Margaret C
22nd August 2008, 12:52 AM
First I must say that I know many wonderful caring breeders, that have tried so hard to produce healthy cavaliers. I am so proud to call them friends.
It is the breeder that does not consider the welfare of the dogs they breed that I wish to change.

I have been asked on another, mainly pet owner, list if I thought it
was right to break the confidentiality of another breeder?

My reply was that I did not think I should put loyalty to another breeder before my concerns about puppies that are being bred from a dog with a painful inherited disease.

Interestingly this answer has not yet shown on the list, although other critical comments about me, from the small core of breeder members, have continued to appear.

Margaret C

misty
22nd August 2008, 01:07 AM
Margaret, I admire your strength of conviction and, to my mind, there's only one answer :).

I worry for this wonderful breed and its' future. As much as I love Cavaliers, it breaks my heart to see more and more being bred to be in pain.

Too many people bury their heads in the sand and I highly respect breeders who are trying to ensure the future good health of our darling breed, by carrying out the recommended tests and scans.

cecily
22nd August 2008, 01:10 AM
Margaret, when staying 'loyal' to a breeder who knowingly breeds dogs with something like symptomatic SM is seen as the right thing to do, I just don't know what kind of world we are living in! Many terrible things happen in this world when people stand by and say nothing. But every so often someone like yourself comes along to make a stand, and I hope you find that many, many people stand alongside you. You know the merits for what you do, as do the many pet-owners and responsibe breeders on this board :flwr:

CavyMom
22nd August 2008, 01:15 AM
I agree, as hard as it is, if there's a problem with a dog, I think that needs to come before loyalty to any breeder. I face the same problem with my Italian Greyhounds - They have no where near the extent of problems as cavs, but I get so sick of breeders that don't do any health testing, and claim there's no problems in this breed that require it - VWD, seizures, and patella luxations are getting worse and worse in IGs because of breeders like that!!! And some know there's a problem in their lines, and still refuse to do anything about it or even warn puppy buyers, it's very sad!

Cathy Moon
22nd August 2008, 03:32 AM
Margaret, I think you did the right thing, and I admire you for speaking up. It took a lot of courage, and you will most likely need to draw on your courage many times in the future. I will never forget what you have done, and truly hope we are all strong enough to only purchase our future cavalier puppies from the truly ethical breeders (we need to know who more of them are!)

When a group of people, like the breeders who colluded with the BIS breeder, choose to cause harm to others and to hide behind a code of silence, you must stand up for what is right. Otherwise you are conspiring with them, a very painful place to be.

In a college level psychology class, our professor said, "be careful what you do." He went on to explain that when people choose to be dishonest, their beliefs about themselves have to change in order to make themselves right again in their own minds. What eventually happens is they become so dishonest about everything that they no longer know right from wrong.

Many of us on CavTalk have expressed how shocked and appalled we are knowing about the 26 litters sired by a dog after he was diagnosed with a syrinx before age 2. Some of our members have puppies from the litters who are now symptomatic. This is unconscionable. You did the right thing - don't ever question it.

frecklesmom
22nd August 2008, 03:52 AM
Margaret, they choose to lie and promote questionable health in a breed that is so loved. There cannot be wrong in declaring there horrible secret. What arrogance they and their supporters have shown and what compassion and integrity you have shown. God bless you and keep you strong in this righteous endeavor.

Nicki
22nd August 2008, 10:20 AM
When Jan Fennell {The Dog Listener} first thought about breeding herr Springer Spaniels, she was told by an experienced breeder that she may never improve the breed, but neither should she do any harm to it....

That really stuck with me, I think there are many Cavalier breeders who would do well to think on that...

My understanding was that you hadn't actually broken confidentiality anyway - the lady concerned didn't do herself any favours and I hope that she will now be removed from the Cavalier club for her actions.

You have my full support - the health and welfare of the dogs MUST come first...

Maxxs_Mummy
22nd August 2008, 10:35 AM
My understanding was that you hadn't actually broken confidentiality anyway - the lady concerned didn't do herself any favours and I hope that she will now be removed from the Cavalier club for her actions.

You have my full support - the health and welfare of the dogs MUST come first...

Nicki,

I doubt she will be removed when she has the Southern CKCS club backing her up :mad: - as far as i am concerned, they should both be removed in disgrace!


Margaret,

I truly admire your courage of conviction to say what you did on tv. Stand up for your rights and those of our beloved breed. Some people just should not own dogs let alone be allowed to breed from them, full stop.

If this was put into human terms and there was a set of parents having babies that were going to be deformed, being beaten / starved or whatever. would you then be castigated for speaking up about it? It would seem that because 'it's only a dog' it doesn't seem to matter :mad: :cry*ing:

Sabby
22nd August 2008, 10:58 AM
Hi Margaret

Loyalty to Breeders? Where is the loyalty from Breeders like that to this beautiful breed ? If there would be more people like you we probably wouldn't have that many problems with this lovley breed right now.

Sabby

sins
22nd August 2008, 11:06 AM
I've been thinking about this all week and the only comparison I can think of is the MRSA scandal in our hospitals.It's been covered up for several years,ignored,people who highlighted the problem were villified. Those in authority pay lip service to the problem ,but noone takes responsibility,noone enforces the solution but yet someone will have to mop up the mess.
The welfare of the dogs must come before loyalty to the breeders.
I think in time most breeders will come around to this way of thinking.They just need to be shown the way by the core group who are scanning and most importantly, you've reached people like me who are considering breeding and if you can convince the novices that this is the way to go then there's hope that todays starter will be tomorrow's successful breeder and I think over the next ten years some very attractive clean lines will emerge and that the breeders of those cavaliers will work together for the welfare of the breed.
Sins

*Pauline*
22nd August 2008, 11:35 AM
You did the right thing. You will get a lot of stick now but only from those who, like Cathy said, are lying to themselves. At every step of the way, breeding and buying, we all have a responsibility to make the right choices but without the knowledge of who is not working with ethics and what can go wrong where can we start? Information is key.

Stand strong.:thmbsup:

THE_LYNX_EFFECT
22nd August 2008, 02:55 PM
After watching the program the other night I wondered if there would be a thread related to the program and I am glad to see there is.

Margaret, you did what was in the best interest for the welfare of the breed as a whole. Myself and my wife only have 1 Cav, but I can sincerely say that you have our full admiration and support.

I was distraught at the sheer disregard some of the breeders showed for there breeds health, placing far more value on the looks of the dogs. I am not going to drone on as this page would soon fill up with my ramblings and utter intolerance for these people.

Again, Margaret, well done!!! Keep up the good work.

Karlin
22nd August 2008, 03:49 PM
I have been given permission to crosspost this from another list and it is directly relevant to Margaret's question -- the person is known to me but I have removed her name for her own privacy. She feels it is important for this to be known to help the breed and stop the deliberate breeding of affected dogs, in Lucky's name.


Subject:Re: Controversy over BBC documentary on cavaliers

Here's my 2 cents worth.
I had a beautiful dog named Lucky. He was an owner handled AKC champion
at age 18 months but even months before that he had some SM symptoms.
Lucky required SM surgery once at age 2 and PSOM surgery 3 times. Lucky
died from complicatons of his 3rd PSOM surgery but I strongly suspect
the symptoms that led to his repeat PSOM surgery were probably due to
recurrent SM. Lucky repeatedly attacked one of my other dogs so
severely and so repeatedly and without warning that I eventually had to
place him with a vet cardiology resident. He died about 6 months after
he went to live with her.

Why am I rehashing this....because Lucky's sire was the pictured BIS
winner on the documentary. That made this pretty personal to me. I
tried to contact his sire's breeder/owner by mail (I have never found an
email address for her) to let her know of Lucky's problems but NEVER
heard anything back from her. Since we live on different sides of the
Atlantic, I did not go by for a visit. I did get very gracious feedback
from his dam's owner but nothing from the sire's side. It took 2 dogs
to create Lucky. The fact that his sire has been bred so extensively is
really sad to me. I hate to think that there are other dogs out there
with Lucky's difficulties. I hope there aren't but I'll never know
because that information is not easily obtainable.

I wish first and foremost that Lucky had not had to go through all the
difficulties he went through. I wish that I could have not gone through
the heartbreak of loving him, putting him through surgery, dealing with
dog aggression in a breed that should not be aggressive, having to make
a choice of which dog to keep, having to give him away, and then having
him die. I wish that I felt I could contact a breeder and not feel
anxious about asking about health testing, including MRI's for SM. I
wish I could have another cavalier like Lucky but without SM. I don't
know if any of these wishes will ever come true.

Alison_Leighfield
22nd August 2008, 05:06 PM
Margaret,

The answer is simply NO. The dog has to come first. You did the best and the only thing that a decent person could do. Well done :)

The owner of the BIS on the film obviously hasn't a decent bone in her body or a conscience for what she was doing. How she sleeps at night with all the harm and pain and suffering she has caused is beyond me. Those that support her are surely just as bad and as much to blame. I would like to see some action from the club towards her, do you think that will ever happen???

To the person with name removed:

My friend has a young Tri bitch by this BIS dog and sadly also by MRI found to be SM affected. I am so sorry that you lost your darling Lucky. Our thoughts are with you. I hope one day your wishes will come true and you find a lovely companion to share happy times with again.

Alison.

Aileen
22nd August 2008, 07:44 PM
Margaret,
You did the right thing the dogs have to come first
---Aileen and the gang (Barney---Jazzie---Sam)

Cathy T
22nd August 2008, 09:30 PM
My reply was that I did not think I should put loyalty to another breeder before my concerns about puppies that are being bred from a dog with a painful inherited disease.



Loyalty to the breed MUST come first and have a higher priority. I know that you have gotten a lot of flack but you absolutely must know that they are so many of us out here that support you and admire your convictions.

elaine181000
22nd August 2008, 11:29 PM
Margaret ... you are my hero and the voice for so many of us who are either unable or just don't know how to speak up. Never give up, we will always always support you. Thank you for everything you've done, and every risk you've taken to help this wonderful breed. I wish every breed could have you and Carol Fowler to fight their corner. Hopefully as a result of the programme, public opinion will change and people will start to ask questions, and try to find out about these horrific conditions before they buy a pup. Public opinion CAN force change, we all just have to shout long enough and hard enough (and to the right people).

Oh and to keep this on topic ... loyalty is a two way street - if breeders are loyal to the breed, and give these wonderful dogs a fighting chance, they can expect loyalty from us. But if they are selfish, irresponsible and greedy, then I'd rather have a dogless home (or <gasp> have a cat LOL) than give them a reason to breed more SM/MVD affected dogs. And that's tough for me to say because our Lucy is the love of our lives. Until we got Lucy I could never have imagined how much a person could love a dog. It blew me away :)

Karlin
23rd August 2008, 12:21 AM
What has been interesting to me to watch on the various lists is that it is all the breeders, and all the ones I would expect, in a tizzy over what was shown (and interestingly some are shocked, SHOCKED about what is going on in every OTHER breed that was shown... but whatever was there about cavaliers is all a terrible lie :rolleyes:). And the people who actually buy the bulk of the puppies, the pet owners, are totally supportive of the whistleblowers and of the film producers (the film also has had good reviews from the TV critics).

From private conversations I also know how much broad support is there from the many, many breeders who are health focused. Some of those regret that some puppy buyers may move away from the breed for some time, but also recognise that might not be a bad thing for demand to drop as cavaliers are a mainstay of the BYB and the puppy farm, and they all hope the film will force the clubs and KCs to be more health focused (not just to fund research now and then but to actually require registered breeders to breed for health and show healthy dogs). For those who argue that 'the public' will now avoid show breeders and rush to the BYBs -- well goodness, not anyone with a lick of sense who spends any time researching the breed in the first place! And if the quality in health terms of the dogs produced by some show breeders is no different from casual breeding by BYBs and puppy farmers, then what does it matter? It is little consolation to the pet owner to find she has a sickly dog that has to be euthenised, but at least it looked nice! :mad:

There's been a huge demand from people to learn how to find health focused breeders, what to ask, etc, in the days since the film ran. Those breeders are out there. People will find them.

The saddest thing is seeing some breeders on some of the lists posting the most unbelievably ignorant posts about SM -- regardless of whether they think the film was right or wrong, the fact that they clearly know zilch about SM (and displaying it!) yet are breeding themselves is absolutely shocking. How far down in the sand must their heads have been? Have they even read the information provided on their own club websites? I guess not!

*Pauline*
23rd August 2008, 01:32 AM
I just feel like I can never have a second Cavalier now, it's really upset me. I hope when the time comes, I can get some help from people on here to find a good breeder and increase the chances for a healthy pup. If I'm not convinced they exist, I can't bring myself to have another. I bet I'm not alone in this. :(

Visitor
23rd August 2008, 03:30 AM
Hi Margaret,

I'm just a visitor here, but I just wanted to add my words of support. You were so very brave to speak out as you did, and I know that it has already been at great personal cost.

Reading the overwhelming number of positive responses here, I'm sure that it will not be in vain. There will be be many less dogs who will suffer from this crippling and excruciating disease in future because of what you've done.

God bless you.

Alison_Leighfield
23rd August 2008, 10:13 AM
Pauline,

I understand your worries.

Thats why I do rescue. :)

I love this breed so very much but don't honestly know if I would buy a puppy again with the risk of SM being so high. Not yet anyway.

I was fortunate once to be able to buy a young scanned clear Cavalier at 2yrs, my lovely Whitney and if I never have another clear Cavalier in my lifetime then I was so blessed to have her come my way. I couldn't ask for a lovelier little companion. I truly love her to bits. Every day I just treasure her.
Although she was scanned clear of SM it doesn't mean that her whole life will be free of any other health problems and I know this, that is just common sense.

Taking Cavalier rescues and helping with rescue and P/F Cavaliers allows me to help with the breed, it enables me to make a difference to a little dogs life, and to those that stay with me as part of my family long term, the need to love and care for them seems to come before what may follow with any health related problems afterwards, getting them into a good home with love and care and giving them a good life is the main priority. My heart just goes out to them.

Pauline perhaps you might think along the same lines? help with Cavalier rescue, even if it's home checking or helping with transport runs? or temp fostering? you will find that there are lots of ways to help without you actually owning one, that would take the worry away for you, think about it :)

Alison.

sins
23rd August 2008, 10:29 AM
that might not be a bad thing for demand to drop as cavaliers are a mainstay of the BYB and the puppy farm,
I was thinking about that as well and I think you'll can expect a very busy 2009 with all the rescues.No doubt there will be numerous "upgrades" to other dog breeds.
Like Pauline I am not not going to buy a second cavalier for the time being.Hopefully this show being aired coupled with the economy tightening will force BYBs to consider why exactly they're breeding animals.
You can already see the prices dropping on websites and hopefully if exporting dogs to the USA becomes very difficult or not cost effective it'll hit the puppy farmers.
Sins

*Pauline*
23rd August 2008, 11:10 AM
Pauline perhaps you might think along the same lines? help with Cavalier rescue, even if it's home checking or helping with transport runs? or temp fostering? you will find that there are lots of ways to help without you actually owning one, that would take the worry away for you, think about it :)

Alison.

I would LOVE to be trained to home check or foster. How do I go about it? I can't drive a car but am happy to use public transport. Not wanting to sound selfish, but I think Dylan is better with girls, I wonder if a male dog with possible problems may not be nice to him, maybe I'm wrong and I need advice on that? Are you allowed to be choosy in that respect or will that rule me out as a foster?

Alison_Leighfield
23rd August 2008, 03:05 PM
Pauline, I am going to PM you with some details ok x

Alison.

Karlin
23rd August 2008, 03:41 PM
Although she was scanned clear of SM it doesn't mean that her whole life will be free of any other health problems and I know this

Unfortunately with this progressive disease, that means for SM too, as it doesn't mean a 2 year old that scans clear will continue to scan clear of SM :(. Under the neurologists's guidelines, this would also have been too young for an A grade. Likewise though Jaspar scanned as a clear/clear 4 years ago, he was just over one at the time. Ss he was not rescanned after age 2.5, he only remains a D grade cavalier.

If I have reason to go to the UK where the dogs could come with me, I'd have the boys rescanned and scan Lily as well, because I suspect she has mild SM. I'd like to see where they are now and I know it would be very useful for researchers to better understand how dogs scans may change, if at all, over time.

For anyone interested, the details and the reasoning behind the breeding recommendations are here:

http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/breeding/breeding/breeding.html

Neurologist Geoff Skerritt feels they should be even stricter, but others argue if this were the case, it would be hard to find any dogs to breed at all and important genetic diversity would be further lost. it is very difficult for researchers to make a call when weighing up a realistic approach. Hopefully the estimated breeding values project will help, but again, the word 'estimated' is worth considering -- they can only be estimated based on what information exists and is supplied on all types of scans, A-F grades. The estimations will be weaker if a broad range of information isn't obtained by Sarah Blott.

Daisy's Mom
23rd August 2008, 04:14 PM
I too, would be very hesitant to buy another purebred Cavalier in the future. If people knowingly breed affected dogs, and others breed dogs too young to tell if they are affected, then where is one to turn?

In all honesty, if we ever get another dog, I would probably go to Petfinder or the local shelter and just find the smallest, sweetest, cutest mixed breed dog I could. Yes, they may also have health problems, but at least I'm not contributing to the demand for Cavaliers, and I'm not unwittingly rewarding someone for weakening the breed even more. And I'm saying this as someone who bought from a very good, ethical breeder who is involved in rescue.

If breeders do start routinely scanning for SM, AND they don't breed till after 5 years old with only clear dogs, then the gene pool is made even more drastically tiny and I'm sure other problems would begin to crop up. I don't know what the answer is, but it very much would concern me to buy a Cavalier from even a great breeder after knowing all this. Not to mention that if these guidelines were followed religiously, a pet quality Cavalier would probaby be $5000. I just couldn't justify spending that when there are thousands of sweet dogs in shelters hoping to find a home before they are put to sleep.

It's all very upsetting.

Cathy Moon
23rd August 2008, 04:48 PM
There are still some breeders who are very health-focused (to the extent that I am comfortable with) and who can see things from the pet owner's point of view. Just by watching the varied responses to the BBC show, I'm already thinking of several I'd want to contact in the future.

Colin and I love this breed so much, we would never want to be without 2-3 cavaliers. If I ever sound like I am down on the breed, it is because I am in my own way grieving what we are now facing with Geordie. He is going downhill in front of our eyes, and I cannot bear the thought of losing him. I wouldn't wish this on anyone; that's why I'm so verbal about health testing.

Moviedust
23rd August 2008, 04:59 PM
Is avoiding the breed really the answer?

If cavaliers lovers vow to never buy another purebred cavalier, what's the impetus for breeders to up their level of health checks and scans if they don't have people willing to buy their puppies? The folks who end up buying the pups will be people who don't know much (if anything) about the breed's health concerns, so in all eventuality, the breeders would be more inclined to do LESS, not more.

It seems to me that insisting that breeders participate in protocols and follow more stringent breeding guidelines is the only way to support improvement in the breed. The only way we can support these changes is by continuing to buy cavaliers from breeders who work toward making health their number one priority in each and every litter.

This action would result in the diminished number of cavaliers being bred by BYBs and Millers, and it would motivate show breeders to take on a greater responsibility toward the health of the dogs they already love. Yes, I can imagine that some show breeders will stop breeding because they don't have the money or other resources to do the scans with knowledgeable vets. It's a shame that a passion that some people have for breeding and showing their cavaliers will diminish because it's just too expensive. But these breeders are perhaps the very wisest of all--if they stop breeding because they can't meet the demand for health testing, they at least put the well-being of the breed above their own personal gain and pleasure.

Cathy Moon
23rd August 2008, 05:04 PM
It seems to me that insisting that breeders participate in protocols and follow more stringent breeding guidelines is the only way to support improvement in the breed. The only way we can support these changes is by continuing to buy cavaliers from breeders who work toward making health their number one priority in each and every litter.
Totally agreed! So the next step is finding breeders who are very health-focused (including MRI scanning) and supporting them by buying their puppies.

Karlin
23rd August 2008, 05:35 PM
:xctly:

Good breeders have always been there. They were there on Monday before this documentary aired. They are still there today, several days later.

I think what has shocked many people is to discover they perhaps bought their cavalier without researching thoroughly.

Some are finding that the problems outlined on Pedigree Dogs Exposed relating to cavaliers are EXACTLY the reasons there's a whole section on finding a good breeder on this site, as SM and MVD emain the two big health issues. That has been true for at least half a decade for both; longer for MVD.

I have said many, many, many times ad nauseum NOT to believe websites, NOT to believe what a breeder says, NOT to simply go by who a friend or online contact recommended. The film certainly confirmed the risks of doing so.

The health certs that are recommended are gone into in detail here and on other sites. There are many threads here on finding a good breeder. I have a thread on decoding breeder websites. I have warnings posted about some of the more questionable people selling dogs.

I have information here (http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/breeding/breeding/puppies.html) on what to look for if you want to find a breeder who MRIs.

I have asked people to support the researchers -- which many have with kind donations! -- and this continues to be needed.

There is no scientific proof anywhere of 'hybrid vigour' except a minor drop in the likelihood of genetic disease in a first generation cross. However as most such crosses come from parents of poor breeding, this is unlikely to have a significant effect. I have a household representing 22 years of dogs in which only one has ever had a major health problem -- Leo with SM -- but Leo on his medication has a fairly ordinary quality of life. I have plenty of friends with crossbreeds with health issues.

At the end of the day -- get the dog you like, get a dog that needs a home, get a dog from an excellent breeder.


If people knowingly breed affected dogs, and others breed dogs too young to tell if they are affected, then where is one to turn?

To where people always should have turned in the first place -- to breeders they researched about exactly these issues. :thmbsup:


AND they don't breed till after 5 years old with only clear dogs, then the gene pool is made even more drastically tiny

There is no recommendation anywhere that breeders wait til dogs are five unless they do not have any heart history on the parents of the breeding dog. It is easy to verify this by simply asking the breeder, as any puppy buyer should, for the heart certs for parents and grandparents.

The cavalier gene pool is not considered drastically tiny. Sarah Blott, who is a geneticist, says she feels it is actually reasonably diverse, more diverse than many of the breeds mentioned in the documentary! The thing is to support research to identify which are the best dogs and best genes to conserve to bring more health back into the breed and reduce the high risk carriers.

I hope that is encouraging news for people wanting a cavalier! :)

Cathy Moon
24th August 2008, 07:40 PM
I would think that kennel club members on both sides of the ocean who are owners of healthy studs over 5 years of age would want to have them MRI'd. Hopefully as many as possible will be identified soon, since the demand for A rated studs will increase.

Colin and I are considering how we can help out cavalier breeder friends by helping raise a 'hopeful' puppy for them, to be MRI'd when the dog is old enough and added into the breeding program if the rating is a good one. We feel this is something we can do to help the breed. :lotsaluv:

chloe92us
24th August 2008, 08:31 PM
I believe a major goal should be that the STUD DOG be MRI'd since that dog has such a vast contribution to the population (perhaps upwards of 30+ litters). I hope breeders will start demanding potential studs be cleared and the rest will follow suit. Hopefully all dogs will be scanned in the future, but I think the reality now is that not many are.

*Pauline*
24th August 2008, 09:14 PM
I believe a major goal should be that the STUD DOG be MRI'd since that dog has such a vast contribution to the population (perhaps upwards of 30+ litters). I hope breeders will start demanding potential studs be cleared and the rest will follow suit. Hopefully all dogs will be scanned in the future, but I think the reality now is that not many are.

That's a very good idea, a good start.

ross
27th August 2008, 02:57 PM
I would just like to say I fully support all Margaret C is doing to expose what is going on in our wonderful breed.
I have owned cavaliers for almost 30years i have only ever kept dogs.I used a blenheim dog 4 times at stud in the early 80's , he lived until he was 15yrs old and never had a major health problem
I have shown at Crufts on several occasions, but my showing days are over.
I now have 2 fit and healthy 5 yr olds who will never be used at stud, but if I was ever in any doubt that they were unwell I would have them scanned and the results made public to all concerned.
As a point of interest there is a list of scanned dogs on The Cavalier Club website but no results
WHAT IS THE POINT OF THAT?
Would any of those owners if asked reveal the results
I would doubt it
I rest my case

Cathy Moon
27th August 2008, 04:08 PM
As a point of interest there is a list of scanned dogs on The Cavalier Club website but no results
WHAT IS THE POINT OF THAT?
Would any of those owners if asked reveal the results
I would doubt it
I rest my case
Ross, you're not alone!

There are many current and future cavalier owners and also some breeders 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?

Brian M
27th August 2008, 04:42 PM
Hi

And a very big thank you for suggesting something that i as a poor humble pet owner who has no desire to either show nor breed would dearly love to a see a data base created with no connection to anybody being only there as a guide for the Mr Prospective Puppy Buyer and of course as a huge incentive for happier healthier Cavalier Puppies of the future.

hbmama
27th August 2008, 07:26 PM
I doubt that an "MRI screened breeder list" will ever be available, simply because it would probably shut down the vast majority of even those who are considered reputable breeders. Since studies are now showing that up to 90% of the cavaliers out there have at least some degree of a Chiari malformation, that would tremendously narrow the field of clear breeding dogs.

It is almost a no win situation. If the gene pool of available studs is severely limited, then we are probably going to be re-visiting the MVD and other ailments common to the breed.

I think that the first priority should be to maintain the MVD breeding protocol. Then require that MRI's are completed and if the "champion/show" dog, or grandparent has a syrinx or medium to severe CM, it cannot be used as stud or as a breeding bitch. (In a perfect world, of course.)

I will hope for the best with my girl, and probably not get another Cavalier until these serious health issues are hopefully someday under control. I praise and heartily support those who are working diligently to come up with with a future solution, because these are absolutely the most adorable, devoted, loving dogs I have ever known.

pippa
27th August 2008, 07:37 PM
I would like to say margaret C that you are a brave lady for standing up for what you believe in and I support and admire you for it.

frecklesmom
27th August 2008, 07:48 PM
There is a database of sorts at http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/-it does not include SM screening for CKCS and I don't think it is the easiest to use and wonder how helpful it is overall. I've looked at it twice and maybe I'm not concentrating but it's a bit of a muddle to me-dog owner, not breeder.

Karlin
27th August 2008, 08:35 PM
It is worth posting again the actual breeding recommendations available at this time, which were agreed as best advice possible right now by a group of the key researchers on CM/SM. While there are those who feel they should be even stricter, I do not know of a single researcher or neurologist who thinks they should be more relaxed.

http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/breeding/breeding/breeding.html

The guidelines allow for the malformation as it was nearly impossible to find dogs any longer without it. That is why the researchers decided to remove the A+ grade which was the clear/clear designation.

The guidelines also allow for a very small syrinx in an A dog at 2.5 years old.

Other grades would allow for larger syrinxes in asymptomatic dogs. But any sensible person would certainly see that a very large syrinx or lots of small syrinxes would not be a good option for breeding. Also 'asymptomatic' is very subjective and even with best intentions, symptoms are easy to miss (as we see from the many people who say they at first just thought their dogs had 'quirks', not to mention vets who might spend two years treating a dog for allergies. In addition, many breeders kennel their dogs or keep them in separate dog rooms where symptoms -- which often happen only at night or first thing in the morning -- would easily be missed). I would like 'asymptomatic' to at the very least mean after an exam by a neurologist as they can pick up symptoms by a clinical exam that owners often miss.

Many of the best A dogs have shown up simply through low cost MRI screenings. There will be many more out there too. The more A dogs from clusters of As, the better chance for the breed to build towards less pain, less onset, later onset with the widest genetic diversity.

KR
28th August 2008, 02:37 AM
:xctly:


I. I have a thread on decoding breeder websites.



Hello Margaret,

I do not like to judge people, so I will not start now. I find it preferable that there be rules in place, the sort of breeding rule I have to abide by so that one never need ask the question wehter it is more important to be loyal to a person or a breed.

I have quoted Karlin above - I have read your post, and have discovered that my website would not pass muster. This is because I do not post every details of my health testing of my dogs. the reason I do not do this is because health testing was alwyas in my eyes the norm - nothing to brag about. my puppy buyers see the health certificates of my dogs, and also have faith in me. So, my website will continue not to pass muster.

kind regards,

Katherine

Karlin
28th August 2008, 12:09 PM
Katherine -- do you mean your website wouldn't fit with the list of things to watch out for on the Decoding websites article (I didn't write it by the way -- a club affiliated breeder in the US wrote it!)?

http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?p=277464#post277464

But it doesn't argue that all health testing results must be listed on a website -- it argues to beware of sites that vaguely claim the dogs are health tested, and to look for sites where the dogs have been tested with tests that actually matter.


Look for sites where breeders list what tests were done. Just shots and worming breeding dogs is not enough!

Though I would also agree with this argument that is is good practice to list results on breeding dogs:


All dogs are heath certified – If you see just this and nothing else, this should be a red flag. A breeder should state what tests have been done and the results for any dog they are breeding be it a male or female. It is up to you to know what tests should be done in the breed at minimum and what tests can be done.

Many reputable breeders in the US do list tests and results or link to OFA so that a buyer can check what has been done and the results. Most reputable cavalier breeders in the US will note their dogs are cardiologist tested as a routine statement if they are doing this. It is one of the fastest ways to pick out a potentially questionable site amongst North American breeders - if they simply say 'heart testing' or 'vet checked'.

If breeding dogs have the good results they should have to be in a breeding programme in the first place, it certainly contributes to a more open atmosphere of discussing health and not hiding it for results to be on sites. I learned a lot about what the key issues were for cavaliers by reading breeder sites that linked to OFA in the US and reading the club sites that go into such things in detail. But all websites vary, and many breeders do not have very detailed sites. I have found though that some of the most elaborate sites are the BYBs, full of testimonials and pictures of puppies in flowerpots etc, and vague claims of 'vet checked healthy cleared puppies'.

The main point though is that people still need to ask their breeder what they are doing and ask to see the clearances for hearts etc. A website is only a starting point. The more information on a website, the easier it is to get a true sense of a breeder's programme.

ross
28th August 2008, 03:24 PM
The more I read the sadder I get:( I really feel for all those owners that are facing heartache .
On a personal note I consider myself to have been very fortunate that none of my dogs have had any major health problems, and all the ones that I have lost lived to between 11yrs and 15 yrs.
As for the show world Been there ! done that!
I am just so thankful my 2 5yr olds are happy and healthy
My final thought for the day is-
What is going to happen to all the puppies that some and I REPEAT some of the so called lovers of the breed
cannnot sell ?
Are be going to see rescue centres full of these poor souls?
I think we probably are A sobering thought.:(

ross

Cathy Moon
28th August 2008, 06:01 PM
There is a database of sorts at http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/-it does not include SM screening for CKCS and I don't think it is the easiest to use and wonder how helpful it is overall. I've looked at it twice and maybe I'm not concentrating but it's a bit of a muddle to me-dog owner, not breeder.
I think you are referring to the CHIC database? We had an earlier discussion about it, and found that MRI screening can be added to the database if the breed club ever agrees to do it. Here is the earlier discussion thread: http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=26196

Cathy Moon
28th August 2008, 06:21 PM
I doubt that an "MRI screened breeder list" will ever be available, simply because it would probably shut down the vast majority of even those who are considered reputable breeders. Since studies are now showing that up to 90% of the cavaliers out there have at least some degree of a Chiari malformation, that would tremendously narrow the field of clear breeding dogs.

It is almost a no win situation. If the gene pool of available studs is severely limited, then we are probably going to be re-visiting the MVD and other ailments common to the breed.

I think that the first priority should be to maintain the MVD breeding protocol. Then require that MRI's are completed and if the "champion/show" dog, or grandparent has a syrinx or medium to severe CM, it cannot be used as stud or as a breeding bitch. (In a perfect world, of course.)

I will hope for the best with my girl, and probably not get another Cavalier until these serious health issues are hopefully someday under control. I praise and heartily support those who are working diligently to come up with with a future solution, because these are absolutely the most adorable, devoted, loving dogs I have ever known.
After all that has recently transpired in the cavalier world, I truly believe it can happen, and it will happen to at least some small degree, because there are cavalier breeders who have committed themselves to MRI scanning their dogs and following the breeding recommendations. In fact, many have been scanning their dogs all along, quietly - so they will not come under attack from other breeders who choose not to scan. We all get to choose how we spend our money - some people don't drive nice cars and don't go on vacation trips so they can put their kids through college.

And Karlin has recently posted the breeding recommendations in this thread - it is something that is reachable/doable. It's a choice.