View Full Version : Would you donate your dog for medical research

14th February 2009, 01:36 PM
Sorry the title was hard to word, basically there is a scheme in the uk for people with dog confirmed by MRI as having SM to submit there bodys for medical research so that further advancies into this disease can be permitted. I think i would be happy that my dog for helping others in advancing the studys into how this can be prevented in future generations.

http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk/start.html click on THE SYRINGOMYELIA CAVALIER COLLECTION SCHEME

14th February 2009, 06:28 PM
Yes I would. Anything to help this wonderful breed to be honest.:thmbsup: I would also, if financially able, pay for the collection of my dog and transport to the research facility to allow any free transport in such a scheme to be used by people who needed to, if that makes sense.

15th February 2009, 01:32 AM
Margaret Carter is behind this project and has posted here several times already about it. :) You can read her post in the SM forum here. :thmbsup: The eBay Challenge thread in this section is to raise money for this project.

15th February 2009, 10:04 AM
Thats brilliant, i hadnt heard of it before, and just thought i think its a great cause people should def consider this and good to know that you are all aware of it. Its all a bit scarey when you find out about these problems for the first time, as a cavalier owner and lover. di

Margaret C
15th February 2009, 03:34 PM
Margaret Carter is behind this project and has posted here several times already about it. :) You can read her post in the SM forum here. :thmbsup: The eBay Challenge thread in this section is to raise money for this project.

As a retired Social Worker with training in bereavement counselling, I think I need to say that this is not something that everyone will feel able to do. It is important that we do what is comfortable for us when our cavalier dies
Those that feel they could help should think things through very carefully but, if you cremate rather than bury your pets, it is a really positive thing that can come from a distressing loss.

For years there had been requests from cardiologists for heart valves and the SM researchers had also asked for cell tissue to be donated.
Last year, while still on the Cavalier Club committee, I decided there must be a way of encouraging more people to volunteer their cavaliers when they died.

I had already taken Monty (SM ) to Clare Rusbridge at Wimbledon.
Later I took James (MVD ) to Cambridge, where he donated cell tissue to three projects. Each time I had received their ashes back & they went to join my other dogs on a Norfolk beach.

The biggest problem was how to get the deceased cavaliers to a pathology department for postmortem within 24 hours ( the bodies cannot be frozen ) It was going to be difficult for the owner to transport their dead pet when they had been through such a distressing time.

The scheme that evolved used a wonderful warm hearted & very helpful lady who ran a pet taxi firm, and we only collected within 25 miles of Cambridge. After postmortem the cavaliers were individually cremated and the ashes returned to the owner.
The money to pay for this ( approx £3000 ) had already been raised through the Club research fund, and we collected the ten cavaliers within 6 months.

It was then suggested by Professor Nick Jeffrey's ( spinal cord specialist ) that it would be very helpful if the same could be done but with SM affected cavaliers only.
Soon after this I was removed from the committee for giving the interview in Pedigree Dogs Exposed.

I decided to carry on & see if I could fulfill Nick's request. Ten SM affected cavaliers would take years to collect if the scheme remained local to Cambridge. Most of the SM dogs diagnosed by MRI are not old enough to be dying yet. I decided that we would have to look nationwide if the scheme was to be feasible. It became obvious I would have to ask the owners to arrange for the delivery of their dogs for postmortem to a local pathology facility, if they lived too far away for me to help with the collection.

The scheme offers a transport grant to help pay for this cost, we pay for the postmortem, the cremation, & the return of the ashes. Tissue will go for heart research, syringomyelia research, pancreatic research and to the Canadian genome research.

Schemes like his really make you appreciate how wonderful cavalier owners can be. We already have two cavaliers with terminal health problems volunteered, but they are still enjoying life at the moment and long may that last. Local rescue volunteers have said they will help with transporting one of them when the time comes.

The fundraising, now being done outside of any formal cavalier organisation, has delighted me with the success so far. We have enough for three dogs ( budget is approx. £350 each ) thanks to generous donors, especially those involved in the 'Great eBay Challenge'

To succeed this scheme needs publicity. Owners of dogs with SM need to know about it.
The Cavalier Club has been far sighted enough to publicise the scheme on their website, and for this I thank them. Other newly formed health websites, breed note writers, & regional club sites have ignored the information so far. I can only hope they rethink that policy.

Margaret C