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Margaret C
7th December 2008, 06:43 PM
The SM Collection Scheme is now finalised and I have posted the flyer information below.

I am sorry to bring up unhappy thoughts. I am not really a gloomy person, but I am passionate about stopping the spread of SM through our breed, & to do that I have to ask owners to look at painful reality.

It is a terrible thing when anyone's pet die, but it happens, and for owners that have dogs with syringomyelia this scheme could be a way to feel something positive has come from something so sad.

Many dogs live for many years with their SM symptoms controlled by drugs, & they may well die of other things, MVD, cancer or problems of old age. These are the dogs that could contribute as much to the knowledge of syringomyelia as the unfortunate little ones that are put to sleep at a young age because they are so badly affected by SM.

I have donated three cavaliers for post mortem and I am glad that I did so. Their bodies were then cremated & their ashes are now scattered on a Norfolk beach, joining those from all the other cavaliers I have owned.
I like to think they are all playing and running together across the sand.

Please tell other cavalier owners about this scheme. This is a terrible thing that is happening to our lovely dogs, and by working together we may help to find the cause.

Thank you,

Margaret C


THE SYRINGOMYELIA CAVALIER COLLECTION SCHEME

This is a plea to all owners with a cavalier that has Syringomyelia confirmed by an MRI scan.

However sad the thought makes us, all our dogs will die at some time.There will be some owners who having seen their pets suffer from syringomyelia, would like to know that their loss could help unravel some of the mysteries of this painful condition.

Professor Nick Jeffery ( Cambridge University ) Dr Clare Rusbridge (Stone Lion Veterinary Centre), & other researchers need owners to donate cell tissue, the basic material needed in the study of cavalier health problems, when their Syringomyelia affected cavaliers die.
The death can be from any cause but, as the primary aim of this scheme is to provide spinal cord tissue for SM research, the cavalier must have a positive diagnosis of SM.

Pancreatic and heart valve tissue will also be collected for use in separate studies.

The Collection Scheme will pay for ten cavaliers bodies to be donated. It will provide a grant to help the owner transport their recently deceased pet to the nearest veterinary centre with a pathology department.
The cost of the post mortem, the fee for individual cremation and return of the ashes, and the cost of sending the donated tissue to the Universities will also be paid by the scheme.

The deceased cavalier should be at least three months old and the cause of death can be for any reason, it does not have to be related to the syringomyelia diagnosis.

All Cavalier owners are different, some will find themselves uncomfortable at the thought of donating their pet’s body for post mortem, preferring to bury them in a favourite spot in the garden. There are other owners, however, who would feel positive about giving their dog for post mortem examination, as long as they know they will have their pet’s ashes back and they can decide on their last resting place.

The death of a much loved cavalier is a very emotional occasion and decisions made on the spur of the moment may later be regretted.
Participation in this scheme is something that should be thought through carefully before the loss of the pet occurs.

Any cavalier owner wanting more details are invited to contact:-

Margaret Carter
Tel: 01707 262035
Email: mareve-ckcs@ntlworld.com

Karlin
9th April 2010, 07:04 PM
I am sticking this thread so that people in the UK who might wish to get more information or feel they would like to help critical research in this special way will know they can PM Margaret for further details and help. :flwr:

Tania
9th April 2010, 10:57 PM
I am sticking this thread so that people in the UK who might wish to get more information or feel they would like to help critical research in this special way will know they can PM Margaret for further details and help. :flwr:

I will make a page on the Cavalier Matters website too. :)

Margaret C
10th April 2010, 03:00 PM
I will make a page on the Cavalier Matters website too. :)

Thank you so much Tania, publicity for this scheme is so important.

There has been five cavaliers volunteered so far, Nicki's beautiful Teddy was the latest.

SM affected dogs can live for a long time when the pain is successfully controlled with medication, and sometimes they die of other causes, cancer or MVD, but all affected dogs could all help with this scheme.

What is important is that owners of SM cavaliers know about the scheme, so that they can consider whether they feel able to volunteer their little dog for postmortem when the time comes.

I am still fund raising for this project, as well as doing the eBay items for Rupert's Fund, but my priority now is to get the information out to the owners of SM cavaliers, so a page on Cavalier Matters would really help.

Bet
11th April 2010, 11:11 AM
Margaret ,

Can I just say what a wonderful Scheme you have orginized ,you sure have restored my Faith in Human Nature, it's been at a low ebb for quite a while.

This is the only way to give the Cavaliers a chance of Healthier ,Longer Lives, is by helping the the Researchers to get all the information they need.

Bet

Nicki
11th April 2010, 12:02 PM
Can I ask other guardians of SM affected Cavaliers to think about maybe registering for the scheme? I know it is hard, but it is such a positive thing to do.

It is a huge comfort in the long run that their passing has value, that your beloved companion may help in the future so that no more dogs and their people will suffer the way we have.

Please at least find out more about it...

Karen and Ruby
11th April 2010, 02:53 PM
I have thought long and hard about this over the last year or so since I first found out it existed.

Ruby is my soul mate and best friend and to contemplate loosing her brings a tear to my eye whenever I think of it.
Ive had many many nightmares over the last year (the 24th will mark a year since finding out about the SM) where she has died, in each of them I have just held and held on to her body and not let go- to me that has symbolised that I have not come to terms with the SM.
last week I had the same nightmare where I had to release her suffering and this was very different from the others. I called Margaret and Tania and wanted her to be passed on to the scheme to help. My nightmare ended with me passing her body to Dr Rusbridge.
I woke up in steams of tears but at the same time it was like a weight had been lifted as I knew that when the time comes - if she is still needed I will let her go.
I cant imagine loosing her- she is my first dog and neer reaslised on that first day just how much I would come to rely on her and love her unconditionally.
She has changed my life in too many ways and I know that I was put on this earth to make a difference, she was bought to me for a reaason and my very special girl deserves a very fitting and special end.

I hope that I will have many years with my girl and that she may not be needed by that time BUT if she is then I would like for her to help the scheme in every way she can :(

Nicki
11th April 2010, 04:20 PM
oh Karen I'm so sorry that you have been having these nightmares, but sometimes it is the mind's way of helping us to come to terms with what is happening in our lives.

It's wonderful of you to have decided that when the time comes you will put her through the scheme. I'm sure if you contact Margaret she will be able to tell you more about it.

I hope that it will be a long way off yet...

Wagtails
12th April 2010, 01:14 PM
I volunteered my beautiful Megan some time ago, after quite a lot of soul-searching. All my other Cavvies are buried in our garden or in our field at the back of the house where they loved to run, so this would be something very different from what we have done before.

Apart from feeling committed to all the important research that is going on and wanting to help somehow, one of my main considerations was the thought of having to dig a grave for Megan and bury her when her time comes. She is the first dog we have ever owned from puppyhood and she is 11 now. As I posted elsewhere, she went through all my own serious illness with me 10 years ago, has seen several other Cavvies come and go and has made a magnificent fightback from her own SM diagnosis, which seems pretty stable at the moment. As you can imagine, she is very VERY special to us.

So for us (and I know everyone feels differently about these things), the idea of having a guaranteed individual cremation is an important factor.

We are hoping that we don't have to think about any of this for some time to come yet, but if and when we do, everything is already in place and we have had time to work out our feelings and how we shall cope. It will be hard - very hard - but we feel it is right for us.

I do hope others on this forum will think so too and join us in our efforts to help abolish this awful disease for those who come after us. :d*g:

Kate H
12th April 2010, 04:58 PM
Margaret, I've copied your flier and will make some for the information table at our Fun Day.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Margaret C
13th April 2010, 12:34 AM
I have thought long and hard about this over the last year or so since I first found out it existed.

Ruby is my soul mate and best friend and to contemplate loosing her brings a tear to my eye whenever I think of it.
Ive had many many nightmares over the last year (the 24th will mark a year since finding out about the SM) where she has died, in each of them I have just held and held on to her body and not let go- to me that has symbolised that I have not come to terms with the SM.
last week I had the same nightmare where I had to release her suffering and this was very different from the others. I called Margaret and Tania and wanted her to be passed on to the scheme to help. My nightmare ended with me passing her body to Dr Rusbridge.
I woke up in steams of tears but at the same time it was like a weight had been lifted as I knew that when the time comes - if she is still needed I will let her go.
I cant imagine loosing her- she is my first dog and neer reaslised on that first day just how much I would come to rely on her and love her unconditionally.
She has changed my life in too many ways and I know that I was put on this earth to make a difference, she was bought to me for a reaason and my very special girl deserves a very fitting and special end.

I hope that I will have many years with my girl and that she may not be needed by that time BUT if she is then I would like for her to help the scheme in every way she can :(

Dear Karen,

You have had such a hard time lately. I do hope you have many years more with your little girl & I am so sorry that these things have played on your mind.
It is hard to describe to other people the anxiety that accompanies the diagnosis of SM. I hope that this decision helps to make your nights more peaceful.

I do suggest that owners may find that it helps to register their cavaliers and give some basic information. Knowing contact addresses and other details and having a copy of the MRI report means that I do not have to ask too many questions at a distressing time.

Registering your pet does not commit anyone to anything. None of us can know for certain how we will feel when our cavalier dies and it is important that an owner feels free to change their mind at any time.

I and my family members have donated our dogs to help MVD & SM research projects over the last few years. We find it a positive and comforting thing to do when a much loved dog dies.
You are right, special dogs deserve a fitting and special end.

We have always had our dogs' ashes back to scatter on the beach near our holiday home.
In my mind's eye my dogs are not waiting at the bridge, they are all playing together on the sand, even those that never actually met in real life.

Nicki
13th April 2010, 01:17 PM
Marie-Anne, I'm so pleased that Megan is stable right now, 11 is fantastic and a real credit to your love and care.

I do understand that this will have been hard for you - all our Cavaliers have been individually cremated so maybe it was slightly easier for us, and we arranged for Teddy to go to the same crematorium {actually I collected him and took him personally}.

I know people have different ideas with regard to ashes - I think Margaret's idea of scattering them at the beach is lovely, it's actually a beach I walked upon when I lived in Norfolk and wonderful to think that they are running there.

We chose not to scatter ours - instead they have wooden caskets which have a space for a photograph {so really are like a photoframe with a box at the back}. We have them on a bookcase in the bedroom, together with a lock of hair and a special toy if they had one.

It is written in our wills that all their ashes and ours are to be scattered together when my husband and I are both gone.

I know that other people arrange to have the ashes put into their own coffins.

Some people put the ashes into a pot and plant a special plant in with them - maybe creating a memorial garden to put the pot into.

You could of course bury or scatter the ashes where your other Cavaliers are buried.

Not something we like to think about, but it's much better to plan in advance rather than not know what to do when something happens...


I'm trying to think of the Scheme as a gift we can give to the breed, so that maybe in the future we, and others, can have the wonderful blessing of healthier Cavaliers.

Wagtails
13th April 2010, 07:31 PM
I am so grateful for all the support shown by all involved with this thread - it really helps, doesn't it?

http://i673.photobucket.com/albums/vv97/Cavviewagtails/Animations/Thank%20you%20animations/Thankyouwags.gif

Cemilie
2nd August 2010, 03:18 PM
I can see that this thread has not been activ for a few months.
My cavalier Frida got diagnosed Sm with MRI 14 days ago. I hope to have her with me for many years. Still - I would hope that her having this terrible deasease could do some good. And I wonder if sheme is only for dogs in UK. I guess it is a bit more difficult from other countrys. We live in Norway. I would like to do everything possible to help the cavalierpeople to controll and breed away from SM.