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Arlene
1st September 2008, 02:27 AM
Katherine, speaking for myself I am upset with the bunch of them, the woman exposed, the breeders who own the bitches, and as well, when looking behind in pedigree, the breeders of this stud dog who seem to disregard MVD and SM protocal as well. His sire had 20 litters already (World Pedigrees) well before the minimum 2 and a half year age minimum.

As it appears the information regarding the scan was not a secret I am upset with others surrounding these dogs, as well, for the "code of omerta" that is being followed by many.

I love this page "The Biggest Problem" which I think very appropriately describes some of what is going on here.

http://devinefarm.net/rp/biggest.htm

I hope and pray that this kind of exposure will make some of the breeders involved think - for the sake of Cavaliers!

Arlene and her three: J P - Alaskan Husky, Missie - Cavalier x Tibetan Spaniel, Rocky - All Sporty Cavalier :)

Jay
1st September 2008, 05:06 AM
Arlene, that article is excellent. You are so correct that it describes this situation dead on.
J.

Karlin
1st September 2008, 04:46 PM
It is absolutely true that it takes two to tango. It isn't hard to go find the dams that were bred but the question is: were the owners told of the dog's MRI result? The focus is also on the sire because the dog was knowingly bred after advice was given not to breed -- and further bred even after the confrontation at the Malvern show.

But again, let's set aside SM and look at MVD. The MVD protocol has been around for a decade. The health reps of all the clubs advise puppy buyers -- at least pet buyers! -- to only ever buy puppies from breeders who can show heart certs and who follow the MVD protocol. Yet this one dog is testimony that breeders themselves totally disregard this protocol and breed/obtain dogs in disregard for the protocol (as pointed out earlier, this dog, his father and grandsire were all bred well outside the MVD protocol). This dog was bred over and over long before the MVD protocol age of 2.5 years, starting from when he was NINE MONTHS OLD. Indeed he had had SIX litters and 23 puppies from matings that happened up to the point he was only a YEAR old, 14 litters by the time he reached the minimum age of the MVD protocol.

Some of the breeders involved are some of the best known names in the UK. The club puppy gazette will indicate the owners of the dams. If they care so little about MVD in the breed, what hope anyone will ever use any of Sarah Blott's estimated breeding values for SM? Surely it is past the time the clubs stopped this lip service about valuing health and actually DID something about it? No wonder the club's own cardiologist adviser, Simon Swift, is so exasperated!

These are statistics verified by the Kennel Club records:

Born on 3 Oct 2003. He has had at least 35 litters, producing a total of 128 pups (I think more since then as there are two litters on the ground now).

He was MRId around 16 months. After diagnosis, he went on to sire 23 of these litters (77 pups).

He performed 14 matings which resulted in litters before the age of 2.5 years (given a 62-day pregnancy).

Litter birthdate/ Number of pups

05/08/2004 6
11/10/2004 5
05/11/2004 5
25/11/2004 1
06/12/2004 1
27/12/2004 5

(early 2005 = MRI)

22/02/2005 8
24/02/2005 5
07/03/2005 2
18/03/2005 3
19/03/2005 5
10/04/2005 5
27/05/2005 5
01/06/2005 5

(now age 2.5 years)

13/07/2005 4
22/08/2005 3
23/09/2005 6
25/09/2005 3
19/12/2005 2
29/01/2006 1
25/03/2006 2
27/03/2006 2
05/06/2006 5
19/06/2006 6
18/07/2006 3
18/07/2006 4
26/08/2006 5
27/09/2006 2
22/10/2006 4
?? 0 (litter aborted - registered 19/03/2007)
18/11/2006 6
04/01/2007 2
16/03/2007 1
07/04/2007 1
23/05/2007 3
10/12/2007 2

Cathy T
1st September 2008, 05:11 PM
NINE MONTHS OLD. Indeed he had had SIX litters and 23 puppies from matings that happened up to the point he was only a YEAR old, 14 litters by the time he reached the minimum age of the MVD protocol


I can't even begin to tell you how disturbing I find this!!! He sired that many puppies before he was even a year old?? That is wrong on so many levels I don't even know where to start.

Arlene
1st September 2008, 05:24 PM
Karlin, thank you for listing those.

I do believe you missed a very important early litter born in Canada.

One offspring can be found here, a girl born 23/10/2004, sired by Beauella Radzinski.

http://www.ackcsc.org/2007national.htm

This girl is also the littermate to "Lucky", the SM afflicted Cavalier written about by Cheryl Gilbert in a letter that has been crossposted somewhere on this list. She has another littermate in the USA as well who has been DNA profiled, which means probably bred.

Arlene and her three: J P - Alaskan Husky, Missie - Cavalier x Tibetan Spaniel, Rocky - All Sporty Cavalier :)

Karlin
1st September 2008, 05:34 PM
Ah thanks -- yes as they were not KC registered puppies, the litter wouldn't appear on the KC stats.

FranklinFreckles
1st September 2008, 07:40 PM
I have a question relating to SM, and since this is such a hopping board I thought i would come pester you all with it :rolleyes:

Seeing the description of SM on this program, and reading about it online, I am confused as to how this can affect older dogs.

I would imagine that we would be seeing symptoms as soon as the dog was growing and matured to their full adult size? Forgive my ignorance, but do their brains continue to grow after they have reached one or two years of age?

Or is the problem existing from the beginning, but the constant smushing and wear and tear is what makes symptoms not show up until later?

Is there ever an age, without doing an MRI scan, where you can assume your cavalier is not likely to develop these symptoms. A line in the sand to make it and breath a sigh of relief?

Also, I saw on this thread (or another about the same topic) the evolution of cavalier's head shapes and skull formations. Does the shape of your dogs head play any role at all? Are more "standardized" and flatter faced dogs more likely or is there nor real evidence to suggest that.

My cavalier Franklin http://flickr.com/photos/24034832@N08/2627442738/ (http://flickr.com/photos/24034832@N08/2278503927/) has a relatively long nose compared to some cavaliers so, naturally, I am curious.

Hearing that perhaps 50% of cavaliers might be affected with SM, and the fact that I have two... ack it's just a scary thought. :neutral:

Karlin
1st September 2008, 09:00 PM
SM is the development of syrinxes in the spine, nothing to do with the brain directly. Indirectly, probably yes. This is my explanation on www.smcavalier.com:


What is syringomyelia?
Syringomyelia (sir IN go my EEL ya), or SM, is a potentially painful condition caused by a skull malformation -- the Chiari-like malformation (CM), similar to the Chiari malformation in humans -- that makes the skull too small for the brain. CM often forces the brain to squeeze (herniate) through the opening into the spinal cord. This obstructs the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) circulating around the brain and spine, causing pressure to rise, similar to placing a thumb over the nozzle of a garden hose. This turbulence can create pockets of fluid (syrinxes) in the spinal cord that press on nerves, which can cause pain and disability. There is no cure -- the aim of treatment is to alleviate pain.

Whether skull size or shape has anything to do with it has not been proven. An initial study showed no correlation but I believe more is to be published on this -- this month.

SM and symptoms can develop at any point in the dog's life as the condition is generally progressive. There is no point at which a dog can be said to be clear unless it doesn't have the malformation at all, which is relatively rare. I know of cavaliers that only became symptomatic after age 10 and others at 12 weeks so it is highly variable.

Nose length isn't really believed to have anything major to do with it. Being a toy breed apparently does. Small breeds with long noses, like yorkies and dachshunds and poodles, and chihuahuas, also have been reported with it. However shorter nosed breeds including cavaliers seem more disposed. The two top breeds are cavaliers and then Brussels griffons.

One human SM specialist who spoke at the first SM conference in London noted that the condition remained an enigma even after 30-40 years of study. It remains poorly understood.

Maxxs_Mummy
1st September 2008, 09:25 PM
So let's forget SM entirely for the moment. The MVD protocol has been around for a decade. The clubs -- and their health representatives -- have long advocated using this and tell puppy buyers to ONLY go to breeders who can show the proper heart clearances and where the parents are of appropriate age.

Yet these top winning dogs, who especially in the case of boys, may father hundreds of puppies -- are being bred by breeders who are NOT following the heart protocol, the most basic breeding protocol in the breed because MVD is the number one killer of the breed.

Think about it.

And please: ASK for certs the next time anyone buys a puppy and ASK for grandparents certs and CONFIRM the age of the parent dogs!! Walk away from any breeder who cannot produce cardiologist (not vet!) certs for both parent and grandparent generations and where the dogs are under the age of the MVD protocol.

Karlin,

I couldn't agree more. It took me 18mths to find a good breeder who was prepared to show me (and also provide photocopies of) these certificates for both dam and sire and their parents. Maxx's parents were 5 and 6 when he was born and they are both still going strong.

He is now 9 and not a sign of any sort of murmur at all. I know he has SM but thankfully, at the moment it's not causing him too many problems. He still thinks he's a puppy and when Geraint takes him out for his long walk, he runs most of the way and keeps looking at Geraint as if to say 'come on, shift your bum I want to go faster'. He could run for at least a mile and still not be out of breath :eek:

Saying that, he's snoring his head off at the moment after getting a new tricolour cavalier toy as a belated birthday present and gving it what for at playtime LOL :rotfl:

Margaret C
4th September 2008, 12:32 AM
It is two weeks since the programme was shown & the repercussions for me have not ended

I said on the film that I had seen the BIS winning dog's MRI scan and it showed he had SM.

The scan was not shown to me in confidence, it was openly being shown around a dog show as other exhibitors can confirm.
There was no breach of confidentiality, I did not start receiving certificates for the voluntary MRI list until 6 months later &, as it started as a list for 'clear' cavaliers, this dog most certainly was not eligible

Now it appears there is a petition going round the UK shows with the aim of getting me expelled from Cavalier Club

Have a look at....http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/news.htm 'Looking in the mirror'

Welcome to my world

Margaret C

frecklesmom
4th September 2008, 02:16 AM
So sorry you have to endure this, Margaret. I guess they are at "Circling the wagons". What can we do to help?

Cathy Moon
4th September 2008, 03:43 AM
Margaret, there must be something we can do. You are not alone; you have many supporters here.

Aileen
4th September 2008, 07:14 AM
It is two weeks since the programme was shown & the repercussions for me have not ended

I said on the film that I had seen the BIS winning dog's MRI scan and it showed he had SM.

The scan was not shown to me in confidence, it was openly being shown around a dog show as other exhibitors can confirm.
There was no breach of confidentiality, I did not start receiving certificates for the voluntary MRI list until 6 months later &, as it started as a list for 'clear' cavaliers, this dog most certainly was not eligible

Now it appears there is a petition going round the UK shows with the aim of getting me expelled from Cavalier Club


ave a look at....http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/news.htm 'Looking in the mirror'

Welcome to my world

Margaret C


Margarret I am so sorry that certain people are so small mind
what you are saying is for the good of the breed
many thanks for getting up and doing what a lot of people on here would like to do if we could
---Aileen and (Barney---Jazzie)

Jan Bell
4th September 2008, 08:35 AM
Margaret,

My first post here, but I have been following the subject and writing to everybody possible (as suggested by Beverley Cuddy on the Cold Wet Nose blog).

I am so sorry to hear that these blinkered people can't see that unless there are people like you who are willing to act the future of the CKCS is pretty grim.

I wrote to Jemima from Passionate Productions earlier this week to thank her for the programme as it has brought the problems with Cavaliers (and many others) to public attention, and this will hopefully lead to change. She replied saying that she is getting a lot of grief from 'a certain element' within the Cavalier community - no doubt the same people who are rounding on you. How sad that these Cavalier 'lovers' care more about their own egos than the future of this lovely breed.

I haven't written to the CKCS yet (on my list) but I will be doing so today. I don't suppose it wil change anybody's attitude there, but at least I will feel I am doing something, and I can add my disgust at their treatment of somebody who truly has the dogs welfare at heart.

I have two Cavaliers Toby (11) and Rufus (1) - so far they are ok, but I know know that SM can appear at any time. I think the breeder I got Rufus from was one of the good ones - she had heart certificates for the mum and dad - also, we had quite a long conversation about how it's better to have an older sire as any health problems will show up. But of course there are no guarantees about SM, and I didn't ask the questions, as at the time, I didn't know much about it.

As I say, I am following all the blogs so that if there is anything I can do I will know. You have a lot of support Margaret, and we need people like you and Carol Fowler. The Kennel Club are not going to do anything voluntarily so it's going to be up to public pressure to move attitudes.

My very best wishes to you. Jan

Margaret C
4th September 2008, 11:45 AM
Thanks for all the encouragement.

This week the 'Dog World' paper has again described the film as a 'Wake up call' in articles by boxer breeder & geneticist Dr Bruce Cattanach & championship show judge Andrew Brace.

Dr Cattanach writes " I feel sorry for the Cavaliers. On top of their heart disease they now have this truly horrific disease ,syringomyelia"

The Cavalier breed notes however, written by a friend of the BIS winner who has used the dog in question three times I believe, and exported a champion dog sired by him to Canada, are a graphic illustration of the article described in my post above.
They are a complete denial about the scale of the problem.

The opinions of a human rheumatologist who is married to a cavalier breeder in Australia are aired again.
Does anyone really think that this man can possibly know more than the neurologist that took this dog's scan & all the other researchers into this condition?

Do your best to get a copy if you can, I think you will find these breed notes make very interesting reading.

Margaret C

Jan Bell
4th September 2008, 12:42 PM
Well, just spent most of the morning composing a letter to the Kennel Club and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club which I will post today.

Not that they will take any notice of it, but I feel a lot better having done something positive.

Jan
Owned by Toby and Rufus

*Pauline*
4th September 2008, 02:28 PM
Well done Jan :thmbsup:

Alison_Leighfield
4th September 2008, 03:19 PM
Trying to talk to the K.C is a total waste of time from my own experience. I can't see that they care about animal welfare at all, it's all about the money.

They revoked a breeders Accredited status last year under much pressure due to complaints regarding the awful conditions from where I picked up an older throw out from. Believe me this place was a hell hole for those dogs, Cavaliers and Shelties together, a filthy stinking place. Unbelievable outdoor living conditions.

Yesterday I notice they have her yet again selling more Cavalier pups on the K.C puppy list just without the Accredited Breeders status. I talk to them and they inform me that they are "A Registration Agency" she is able to use them regardless of whats happened :( it's just useless.

Those poor dogs. I'm furious they allow this to continue.

Alison.

HollyDolly
4th September 2008, 08:52 PM
I too offer you my full support Margaret, as you know I knew of this dogs condition 2 years ago and I also knew that the scan was being taken around the show rings. Not an active shower now I am still a member of the CKCS and have written asking for the breeder of the best in show at Malvern to be banned from the club membership and from having any dealings with the breed or for that matter any other breed again, I have also stated that I and my husband would no longer be prepared to continue our membership if this was not enforced.

Maxxs_Mummy
4th September 2008, 10:48 PM
It is two weeks since the programme was shown & the repercussions for me have not ended

I said on the film that I had seen the BIS winning dog's MRI scan and it showed he had SM.

The scan was not shown to me in confidence, it was openly being shown around a dog show as other exhibitors can confirm.
There was no breach of confidentiality, I did not start receiving certificates for the voluntary MRI list until 6 months later &, as it started as a list for 'clear' cavaliers, this dog most certainly was not eligible

Now it appears there is a petition going round the UK shows with the aim of getting me expelled from Cavalier Club

Have a look at....http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/news.htm 'Looking in the mirror'

Welcome to my world

Margaret C


Margaret,

It's at times like this that I wish I was a member of the Cavalier Club. I am completely disgusted at the behaviour of many of the breeders I have encountered (the backer of the breeder on the show being one - as I'm sure you already know!).

If there's anything I can do then don't hesitate to let me know. You have my email addy and I can send my phone number if you need a chat.

Some of these breeders seem to think they are better than the rest of us, know more and do as they please - after all they show and we are only pet owners....

Thing is, some of us have probably done more research into our beloved breed and have closer relationships than they will ever believe.

Makes me so very angry - I am here if you need me! x

Maxxs_Mummy
4th September 2008, 10:51 PM
Trying to talk to the K.C is a total waste of time from my own experience. I can't see that they care about animal welfare at all, it's all about the money.

They revoked a breeders Accredited status last year under much pressure due to complaints regarding the awful conditions from where I picked up an older throw out from. Believe me this place was a hell hole for those dogs, Cavaliers and Shelties together, a filthy stinking place. Unbelievable outdoor living conditions.

Yesterday I notice they have her yet again selling more Cavalier pups on the K.C puppy list just without the Accredited Breeders status. I talk to them and they inform me that they are "A Registration Agency" she is able to use them regardless of whats happened :( it's just useless.

Those poor dogs. I'm furious they allow this to continue.

Alison.

It just saddnes me that we were only able to get Lucy out. I know we both had many sleepless nights about the rest of the little darlings in there. I am working on a plan at the moment but will discuss more off list - ears have walls etc. Will ring you tomorrow.

I have been counting the litters advertised though and keeping tabs on the ***** of a woman! x

Maxx and Charlie send xxx's to the girlies xxx

Phoebe
4th September 2008, 10:55 PM
Hi Margaret, I would also like to add my thanks for your hard work and efforts regarding the future health of this beautiful breed. You and Carol have shown great determination, commitment and courage and like many on this board, I thank you and admire you:)

ross
5th September 2008, 01:50 PM
Margaret C

Hi Margaret I heard about the petition being passed around last weekend at Birmingham Show .A friend of a friend of mine was asked to sign it and refused.I know of others who have done likewise.
I am sure you have support out there from members and none members alike for all you are trying to do for cavaliers
If this programe had not been shown we would never have known what has been going on
I cannot believe that anyone could be supporting the owner of the Malvern BIS winner after the damage she has probably done to the breed I don't think she will be the only one.

Good luck Margaret

Daisy's Mom
5th September 2008, 02:04 PM
Maxx's Mummy -- Whatever your plan is -- good luck with it!

I wish there was some way to put these awful people out of business for good. It's very hard for me to retain my composure thinking about these horrible people who are absolutely indifferent to the suffering of animals and see them purely as profit. As I've said before, I hope some of these people come back as their own dog! (But I'd rather there were NO puppy mills like this in the future, so that's not exactly accurate.)

And Margaret, you have my utter respect for putting your neck out for these wonderful dogs. That Malvern lady is just unbelievable. If I were a member of the KC or whatever the appropriate group is, I would start a petition circulating against HER being allowed to breed or show Cavaliers in the future. I'm a member of the Cavalier Club in the U.S., but I assume that's a different group than the one circulating the petition now?

If she has a conscience at all, she should be very ashamed. I've said this before, but seriously, if I were outed as that kind of person on TV, I don't think I could ever leave the house again. Anyone who would buy a dog from her, use her stud dogs, or support her "business" in any way is contributing to the problem. I sure hope no one will. I would assume her lines would be viewed as tainted at this point by ethical breeders?

Halina
5th September 2008, 04:19 PM
I was told by a local rescue group that they too believed that the AKC was totally in it for the money. She had witnessed at puppy mill auctions AKC officials giving AKC registration papers for those dogs. I know that when I was looking for a cavalier after talking with some breeders in the cavalier assoc. some of them did not follow their own rules. I know of two that were breeding their 1 year old pups and not giving out AKC papers. They boasted having bitches tested but did not wait the full 3 years. One also told me "they ALL will have MV by the time they are 5 years old.

I believe that if a dog developes these genetic diseases it is the responsability of the AKC to NOT ISSUE AKC PAPERS. I think owners should contact them and let them know what the problems are. Seems like some people hide their problems boasting AKC status.

KR
5th September 2008, 04:26 PM
I would assume her lines would be viewed as tainted at this point by ethical breeders?

Hello, I am convinced that to be an ethical breeder one needs first to be an ethical person. Condemning the products of a kennel as tainted, is in my eyes no more productive than assuming that the products of another kennel are wholly untainted and certainly not fair on the dogs in question.

Daisy's Mom
5th September 2008, 06:01 PM
I am not a breeder, nor do I know that much about breeding, and that's why I phrased my comment as a question. But just intuitively, I would assume that if you KNEW for a fact that a dog's parent or grandparent was definitively diagnosed with SM, you would avoid breeding that dog or its offspring?

I'd rather have people selectively breed SM-clear dogs that weren't quite as perfect in conformation (looks-wise that is, not structure or movement) than breed dogs who will suffer, and pass on suffering to their offspring, just because they look good on the surface. Give me a little bit bigger dog, or one with a bigger head, or one with imperfect markings any day who does not have SM, rather than a beautiful, tinier one who does. One of the most beautifully clear logical things I have read on this issue was posted on this board several days ago as a quote from a vet being interviewed on this issue. (I would look it up, but I'm kind of in a rush.) He/she said we routinely select out many, many dogs all the time for cosmetic reasons, so why would it be so illogical or impossible to do the same for SM? Maybe the health issues should take priority over the beauty issues for once. Maybe there should be some sort of minimum health standards/test that dogs should have to pass to even show for conformation? I don't know the answer, but I think it's clear there is a definite problem.

One of the things from the program that sticks with me were the German Shepherds with those awful back legs so crooked and bent under that they could hardly walk, but yet they placed well in the show ring. That's just wrong to deliberately breed dogs that can barely walk because you are trying to get such an exaggerated look for showing. Something's wrong there.


And I'm not sure why it wouldn't be fair to the dogs? Could you clarify?

WoodHaven
5th September 2008, 07:31 PM
I am not a breeder, nor do I know that much about breeding, and that's why I phrased my comment as a question. But just intuitively, I would assume that if you KNEW for a fact that a dog's parent or grandparent was definitively diagnosed with SM, you would avoid breeding that dog or its offspring?


So you don't thinks the SM protocol is any good???

Cathy T
5th September 2008, 09:16 PM
I think what Daisy's mom says makes sense.....coming from a non-breeder. I don't think she's saying the SM protocol is wrong (it's not something I am intimately familiar with) but rather if a dog's parent or grandparent is SM positive you wouldn't breed that dog. Wouldn't that be the case? I'm not asking sarcastically or snidely....I honestly want to know if this is logical thinking.



Maybe there should be some sort of minimum health standards/test that dogs should have to pass to even show for conformation? I don't know the answer, but I think it's clear there is a definite problem.



Yes, I see that point. I would figure a dog who is beautiful on the outside but sick on the inside isn't really the perfect representation of the breed. Can any of our breeders give me some input on this? Would this be a logical thing to have?

WoodHaven
5th September 2008, 09:51 PM
It gets very complicated. You can breed two clears and get SM and clears-- do you not use the clears from that litter because the sibling has SM?
Some dogs with minimal SM can actually be graded an A-- do you not use them (if they are an asset to the breed in other ways)?

I agree that no one should breed a dog if they have SM symptoms.

IF this disease was MVD-- could you see not breeding ANY that have grandparents or parents etc.. with MVD?

Alison_Leighfield
5th September 2008, 10:05 PM
If a clear dog wasn't bred from because a parent or a gd parent were affected then wouldn't breeding nearly stop? I would think there are many Cavaliers with this known status.

Clear MRI scanned dogs with an affected parent or gd parent are used in breeding, it's the status of the dog itself in question that matters. It's the breeding of the clears together that counts.

Alison.

Cathy Moon
6th September 2008, 12:48 AM
Isn't the SM protocol a little more lenient than the MVD protocol?

I would want to see both protocols followed in detail in order for cavalier breeders to register their puppies.

Regarding SM, I would want to see all cavaliers used for breeding MRI'd at age 2.5 and annually to find out which are 'A', which are 'D', etc.

The point of scanning the dogs (male and female) would be to ascertain their health status at certain ages/before breeding - isn't that the same as what heart auscultation by a cardiologist is supposed to determine?

I keep reading the argument "they could develop a syrinx the day after they are scanned", yet couldn't a dog develop a slight murmur the day after auscultation? That argument against scanning makes no logical sense to me.

I also read the argument "it's dangerous to use general anesthetic on dogs", yet Karlin said Mr. Skerritt (I hope I spelled his name correctly) sedates dogs for scanning.

I also read the argument "it's too expensive", yet the families who buy many of these puppies from sires and dams of unknown SM status (who are most likely at a higher risk of developing SM than ones who have scanned clear) face rising insurance premiums each year as their dogs age -or- they finance the MRI scans themselves -or- their dogs suffer undiagnosed. It's less expensive in the long run to MRI the parents and try to breed healthier dogs than to totally burden a growing percentage of puppy buyers with the cost.

It is better to do something sensible than to do nothing in regards to SM. There is at least one ethical, health focused breeder in the US who thinks this way. To me, it's a no-brainer. Nothing changes unless something changes.

Karlin
6th September 2008, 01:09 AM
Families are important. Think of it in human terms -- if you come from a family that has a history of heart disease on your father's side, just because your father doesn't have it doesn't mean you don't have an increased risk. What you really want are families of dogs that MRI well. Most A dogs have other As amongst close relatives however. Keep in mind an A dog is not 'clear' as in 'clear of SM'. An A dog can have a syrinx. Clear of SM dogs are rarer (no syrinx at time of MRI). And very rare are no malformation, no syrinx.

Doing only AxA crossings would risk introducing other problems very quickly -- there isn't enough genetic diversity. An AxA puppy from dogs with poor heart histories that ends up having a short life due to MVD is no improvement for the breed or for that individual dog. Having discussed this recently with researchers, what they say is that AxD crossings are very good -- a lot of good offspring come from that mix. As long as one dog is an A it seems to give a quite good result in puppies.

Additional complications are the fact that dogs that start as As do not necessarily remain as As -- which is why the later the dog is bred and the later the MRI, the better (just as with MVD). Also, some dogs have in past been given A grades that are not A dogs. This has been a consistent concern and the panel that the UK CKCS CLub recently decided to support and set up to determine a standard and to adjudicate on disputed MRIs is a direct response to this issue.

Hopefully the genetic EBVs will help address a lot of the breeding questions assuming the Canadian genome scan project is successful. The gEBVs should give a pretty good indication of heart health too although Sarah Blott badly needs heart information from breeders I believe; many who have submitted scans to the database did not also submit heart info but if she has both, then MVD can be plotted into the EBVs and then the gEBVs. If anyone has this type of info it is very worthwhile contacting Sarah Blott directly -- her contact info is available from the UK CKCS Club site.

WoodHaven
6th September 2008, 01:13 AM
Isn't the SM protocol a little more lenient than the MVD protocol?

I would want to see both protocols followed in detail in order for cavalier breeders to register their puppies.

Regarding SM, I would want to see all cavaliers used for breeding MRI'd at age 2.5 and annually to find out which are 'A', which are 'D', etc.

The point of scanning the dogs (male and female) would be to ascertain their health status at certain ages/before breeding - isn't that the same as what heart auscultation by a cardiologist is supposed to determine?

I keep reading the argument "they could develop a syrinx the day after they are scanned", yet couldn't a dog develop a slight murmur the day after auscultation? That argument against scanning makes no logical sense to me.

I also read the argument "it's dangerous to use general anesthetic on dogs", yet Karlin said Mr. Skerritt (I hope I spelled his name correctly) sedates dogs for scanning.

I also read the argument "it's too expensive", yet the families who buy many of these puppies from sires and dams of unknown SM status (who are most likely at a higher risk of developing SM than ones who have scanned clear) face rising insurance premiums each year as their dogs age -or- they finance the MRI scans themselves -or- their dogs suffer undiagnosed. It's less expensive in the long run to MRI the parents and try to breed healthier dogs than to totally burden a growing percentage of puppy buyers with the cost.

It is better to do something sensible than to do nothing in regards to SM. There is at least one ethical, health focused breeder in the US who thinks this way. To me, it's a no-brainer. Nothing changes unless something changes.

My comments pertained to Daisy's mom's comments about not breeding,"/dog's parent or grandparent was definitively diagnosed with SM, you would avoid breeding that dog or its offspring?". Thus being much more stringent that the MVD protocol.

If you make MRI's mandatory for registration, many good breeders will quit breeding and bad breeders will just not register. Now, if that is what you think must happen-- we can just make cavalier extinct.

Many have stated to get a true picture of SM health, you must do the whole spinal MRI, not a modified one. Syrinxes could be hidden in the lower back. The cost was over 2500.00 for the last one I did-- three years ago.

No dog has died from auscultation -- can't say that about GA.

When we heart test, we are clearing the dog for a period of time. Most breeders realize many toy dogs usually get MVD at some time. The idea to clear the dogs before breeding is to reduce the number of dogs getting early onset mitral valve disease. Not to do a heart test once at two and a half and say "we are clear''.

I don't know any neurologist that would do an MRI (which is lengthy, especially full length) without general anesthesia. I know of humans that had to be sedated. It isn't easy to sit perfectly still.

I believe that all cavaliers are carriers of some degree. Too many clear dogs have produced SM dogs for a MRI to be the thing we rely on entirely. I still would rather use a 8-10 year old sire, that is healthy and active (who has had pups and grand pups to be observed) than to use another dog that was MRI cleared at 2 1/2. fwiw

Karlin
6th September 2008, 01:23 AM
Assuming Sarah Blott's work is successful, the argument about not doing MRIs due to cost actually will be moot. Already, there are estimated breeding values for every cavalier with a pedigree in the UK. It would not be difficult to do them for every US/Canadian cavalier with the funding, maybe in a coordinated project. Once those are linked to the genome project, the results should be very accurate for predicting risk for SM and MVD in any given dog. Some MRIs will still need to be done and some always will be for diagnostic purposes etc anyway. But breeders should have the info they need from the gEBVs.

There is actually very little evidence that full spinal MRIs are needed for a basic diagnostic MRI for breeding purposes -- several of the neurologists who have done hundreds of MRIs say syrinxes that appear only at the end of the spine and not at the neck are rare. For a basic breeding evaluation and even for a basic SM diagnosis a neck MRI is very good. It also allows lower cost MRIs to be done. In the UK they are extremely low priced though club events -- as low as £100 per dog for breeders which at the moment is I believe around $150?

Cathy Moon
6th September 2008, 01:24 AM
When we heart test, we are clearing the dog for a period of time. Most breeders realize many toy dogs usually get MVD at some time. The idea to clear the dogs before breeding is to reduce the number of dogs getting early onset mitral valve disease. Not to do a heart test once at two and a half and say "we are clear''.
...

I believe that all cavaliers are carriers of some degree. Too many clear dogs have produced SM dogs for a MRI to be the thing we rely on entirely. I still would rather use a 8-10 year old sire, that is healthy and active (who has had pups and grand pups to be observed) than to use another dog that was MRI cleared at 2 1/2. fwiw
What I am saying is:
Ideally the dogs who are MVD cleared before breeding would also include one in each breeding pair who is scanned cleared as an 'A' for SM.

I would like to see your healthy and active 8-10 year old sire bred with an 'A' scanned bitch, since his SM status is 'D' if not scanned. Better yet, what about a sire graded 'A' at age 5 and healthy and active at 8-10 years of age.

These two scenarios could help in a huge way if more breeders would care enough.

WoodHaven
6th September 2008, 01:29 AM
Specialist argue among themselves about the best way to position the head and neck, the length of MRI needed-- even the Tesla units (.5 to 3)of the machines can expose or hide issues.

Cathy Moon
6th September 2008, 01:32 AM
I would want a full length MRI; why bother with just the head and neck? Also, Rod Russell just posted last night about MRI standards. Did you look at his post?

Whoops, just went back to read Karlin's post #180 in this thread:

There is actually very little evidence that full spinal MRIs are needed for a basic diagnostic MRI for breeding purposes -- several of the neurologists who have done hundreds of MRIs say syrinxes that appear only at the end of the spine and not at the neck are rare. For a basic breeding evaluation and even for a basic SM diagnosis a neck MRI is very good. It also allows lower cost MRIs to be done. In the UK they are extremely low priced though club events -- as low as £100 per dog for breeders which at the moment is I believe around $150?

WoodHaven
6th September 2008, 01:38 AM
What I am saying is:
Ideally the dogs who are MVD cleared before breeding would also include one in each breeding pair who is scanned cleared as an 'A' for SM.

I would like to see your healthy and active 8-10 year old sire bred with an 'A' scanned bitch, since his SM status is 'D' if not scanned. Better yet, what about a sire graded 'A' at age 5 and healthy and active at 8-10 years of age.

These two scenarios could help in a huge way if more breeders would care enough.

The breeding I did last year was to an almost 9 (heart clear past 8) MRI grade A Sire to my MRI grade A 3 year old (heart, CERF, patella, prelimed hip good) bitch . I drove over 700 miles, had high hopes and NO PUPPIES.
Please, if anyone knows how to do a better job of trying to make healthy pups-- do it.
This "hobby" is one of the most expensive, gut wrenching, disappointing activities one could ever embark upon. For every beautiful moment you get, there can be a devastating one. -- don't worry, I'll shut up now-- too many bad memories surfacing.

Cathy Moon
6th September 2008, 01:44 AM
The breeding I did last year was to an almost 9 (heart clear past 8) MRI grade A Sire to my MRI grade A 3 year old (heart, CERF, patella, prelimed hip good) bitch . I drove over 700 miles, had high hopes and NO PUPPIES.
Please, if anyone knows how to do a better job of trying to make healthy pups-- do it.
This "hobby" is one of the most expensive, gut wrenching, disappointing activities one could ever embark upon. For every beautiful moment you get, there can be a devastating one. -- don't worry, I'll shut up now-- too many bad memories surfacing.
Sandy, I think you are WONDERFUL!!!! I actually have tears in my eyes to know you tried so hard. :hug::flwr::flwr::flwr: I am so sorry you had no puppies from that breeding. :(

Cathy T
6th September 2008, 02:43 AM
I drove over 700 miles, had high hopes and NO PUPPIES.



That must have been devastating Sandy! All of that hard work...I'm so sorry.

I'm finding this part of this conversation absolutely fascinating. Sandy, I really do appreciate your input and perspective. If I didn't want it....I wouldn't have asked for it. There are some great questions and great responses.

frecklesmom
6th September 2008, 03:04 AM
Anyone have time to do a rebuttal on Dog World-online-news-Cavaliers? Dr. Ingpen again being touted as an authority- that is just wrong.. I can't get on.

tara
6th September 2008, 04:22 AM
What really concerns me is the difficulty involved in obtaining a puppy from a breeder who follows the suggested SM protocol. It's very easy for us to say what puppy buyers must look for in a breeder, but I know from personal experience that this is an extremely difficult process. In the U.S. there are a small number of breeders following BOTH the MVD and SM protocols and getting in touch with these people is difficult, not to mention actually getting a puppy.

I believe that puppy buyers will play a large role in the future of properly bred cavaliers, but I am concerned with what this outcome may be. I threw myself into learning about the breed and health issues, literally forced myself upon a few good breeders, was willing to travel and pay top dollar for a puppy, and waited almost seven months for Holly. It wasn't easy and I'm not sure how many people are willing to do it. I would love to say that if buyers aren't willing to do it right, then they just won't have a cavalier -- but we all know better and we know where these puppies eventually come from.

I think some focus needs to be put on how we can make the process easier and more affordable for wonderful breeders like Sandy, increase the number of such breeders, and increase the chances that the AVERAGE puppy buyer will obtain a properly-bred cavalier.

Maxxs_Mummy
6th September 2008, 12:07 PM
Sandy,

I'm sorry no pups were conceived from that mating :( I'll bet you wonder why you bother sometimes. Just goes to show that there is no justice in this world when puppy farmers seem to get pups from every mating and no healthcare involved :(

I don't know whether I should be proud of the fact that my baby is rare or not but referring back to the quote in post 183 about syrinxes low down being rare .... Well, my Maxx has a huge one, right near his tail. With the horrid weather we're having at the moment, it's really playing him up but he's still as wonderful as ever & it never affects his beautiful personality, bless him :l*v: .

It just scares me to think that if my Vet hadn't insisted on a full length scan then we'd have been none the wiser & we wouldn't have known what we were treating. He acts the same way as a cavalier with full anal glands or an anal gland infection, dragging his botty or spinning round in circles on the floor and lots of air licking at the same time.

I get his glands emptied regularly (just in case) but there's rarely any problem with them. The syrinx however does cause quite a few problems :(

Karlin
7th September 2008, 01:48 PM
I am closing this thread and splitting it to make sections easier to read. Go to

Part one (http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=26361)to start the thread
Part three (http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=26725) to continue the discussion! :thmbsup: