View Full Version : Terrierman

14th March 2009, 11:25 PM
Have you already read this text :( ?


14th March 2009, 11:55 PM
Yes, it's pretty painful to read, but he makes some good points. I wouldn't agree with all his points though! He is always a good read.

Cathy Moon
15th March 2009, 12:47 PM
Excerpts from Friday, February 13, 2009 Terrierman's Daily Dose:
Why am I picking on Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owners in this post rather than, say, Bulldog owners or Dachshund owners, or Boston Terrier owners, or Bernese Mountain Dog owners?


Added to the jaw-dropping numbers for heart mitral valve disease, we also have the latest bit of staggering data about syringomyelia, a disorder of the brain and spinal cord which may cause severe head and neck pain and possible paralysis.
The American College of Veterinary Radiology is set to publish a new paper on The Morphology of the Caudal Fossa in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Not exactly a page-turner of a title, is it?

That said, here's what the study shows: Out of 64 dogs examined, 59 had morphologic abnormalities of the craniocervical junction, 27 dogs had syringohydromyelia, and 15 presented with clinical signs of syringomyelia.

The study mentioned here was done by folks at Cornell's College of Veterinary Medicine and North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine with assistance from the IAMS Pet Imaging Center in Raleigh, N.C. The dogs examined were mostly from Kennel Club show breeders, and they were not selected because they were thought to be defective animals.

And, to be clear, these are American dogs. This is an American problem, not just a British one or a Swedish one.

And if you are a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel owner, and you are not banging on your keyboard demanding mandatory health testing and an open registry in order to get rid of disease in your breed then you are part of this American problem.Leaving out the sarcastic comments makes it much easier to read IMO. He's got the facts and a very strong argument for demanding mandatory health testing.

As the owner of an innocent cavalier from show stock whose health is severely compromised at 5 years of age, I find it impossible to sit back, not say a word, and be complacent as many of the shameless US and UK 'top' show breeders would wish.

15th March 2009, 02:42 PM
IMO this guy is a total pessimist who has obviously never owned a cavalier. I don't appreciate the statement that this dog has no purpose - they have plenty of purpose in my home/life. . . and I'm 100% certian that Faith could easily be trained to be a bird dog :lol:

I would like to see the study regarding the percentage of dogs that show the problem. I am not saying it doesn't happen but it's making it sound like the vast majority of these dogs are severely problematic, which I refuse to believe. I know there are quite a few, but 92% seems a bit far to me.

Now that being said, I do believe that mandatory health testing/open registries - whatever it takes needs to be put into place. There is a problem; we need to recognize it and deal with it.

I just don't like this guy's attitude icon_devil

15th March 2009, 03:41 PM
I agree, Ilsa has a great purpose in my life and the lives of those who love her. She is a beautiful loving and brave girl who brings joy to all who can appreciate her. She also caught a mouse once in a friend's house though I think my screams cured her of that. I do think if needed she could do it again.


15th March 2009, 03:56 PM
Bottom line is to each his own. Everyone has an opinion, and I disagree with his. He does have some valid points, but his slander of Cavaliers is objectionable to me.

And, in general, NO toy breed has a true "purpose". But that is precisely why most people have them.

Some people just don't want a dog that has a job like some terriers who are forever getting into trouble, barking, jumping, and being annoying! No thank you!!!!!! Been there, done that!

15th March 2009, 04:37 PM
WHAT, no purpose, why do people have border collies and no sheep, AH,, MAYBE THEY LIKE DOGS, maybe he should get a cat, or ferret, di

15th March 2009, 04:58 PM
I would like to see the study regarding the percentage of dogs that show the problem. I am not saying it doesn't happen but it's making it sound like the vast majority of these dogs are severely problematic, which I refuse to believe. I know there are quite a few, but 92% seems a bit far to me.

That show which problem? Where is the 92% figure from (I couldn't find that number on the post but maybe I just missed it on reread..)? I am guessing one of two things as the percetage is roughly this for aspects of both MVD and SM/CM.

If this means the number that eventually get MVD -- this general proportion is a quite well establishes figure. So is the figure of 50% with murmurs by the age of 5-6 -- eg early onset of an elderly dog's problem (these are figures on which the famous international cardiologist panel made the MVD protocol in the first place). MVD is a massive, massive problem in the breed -- very few breeds have a serious health problem like this affecting nearly 100% of the breed by age 10 and half the breed by only age 5. These are truly staggering figures and regardless of whether a given dog is seriously affected, the breed as a whole IS. Same for SM:

If you are speaking of around 90% plus showing bone malformation in the skull that can lead to syringomyelia and compresses the brain to a degree in many cavaliers -- that figure too is repeated over and over in every CM/SM study so far and was repeated by Cornell/V.Carolina. Neurologist Geoff Skerritt who has MRId over 1200 cavaliers has found fewer than 50 clear of the malformation. This is a breed in serious trouble, with very serious twin health afflictions and these percentages of affected dogs comprise a shocking, disgraceful figure. Sadly:

We become inured to it because we like the breed so much and don't want to think our dog may be one amongst the affected (speaking as a person with four dogs, one with MVD and two with SM, and given the high ratio -- over 50% -- of my over-5 rescue dogs that test with a murmur, I know how dreadful and real these statistics are).

We find excuses not to closely question breeders about their breeding programmes and ask for the appropriate health clearances

Our timidity, or concern simply to get a cavalier at the cheapest price we can find regardless of the breeder's breeding practice, is a major contributing factor to the terrible health status of the breed.

Every person here can make a difference. Don't buy puppies from any breeder who cannot produce cardiologist (not vet!) certs for his/her dogs and strongly consider whether you also expect to see MRI certs. Clear dogs have consistently had many clear relatives. Affected dogs in all the studies have few to no clear siblings, offspring or parents. Having no symtoms does NOT mean a dog is 'clear' -- and especially may mean nothing at all in younger breeding dogs given that both these health conditions are *progressive* and more likely to show in older, not younger dogs.


15th March 2009, 05:15 PM
My boys do not have any obligations as hunting dog or guard dog, they are "just";) my wonderful friends and companions:lotsaluv:.
Hunting dogs and guard dogs have to show special physical characteristics in order to do a good job.

Cavaliers neither need to be fast runners nor they have to deter burglars ....
Physically they have only one thing - and at the moment it seems a difficult task - they have to be healthy dogs!!!

Terrierman does not know much about Cavaliers. Probably he has never met a Cavalier and never been pleased by their lovable nature.
But he writes about problems of their health ... and just that is what makes sad:(!

15th March 2009, 05:20 PM

This would be easier if there were a list somewhere with breeders who do ACTUALLY follow all the breeding protocols. Wouldn't you think that the breeders who do everything they should would shout it from the rooftops?

15th March 2009, 05:33 PM
Lists would not make the task of specifically talking to each breeder, and asking for evidence of a health-focused programme, any less necessary though. And who is going to police the list? I would like to see specific requirements backed by a public register as is done in some clubs and some other breeds and in some other countries.

The list I would start with is breed club registered breeders -- and then go from there. Unfortunately there's a lot of pressure from within breeder circles not to submit to any kind of health list including some who disparage OFA and breeders who submit results there -- and with that kind of overall, ingrained mentality ("shhh -- don't mention good health in your lines or we'll all have to start doing something about it!") God help the breed. Some key breeders are trying to change this and set up a health registry but I see the opposition to this all the time on both public and 'private' :badgrin: breeder discussion lists.

It is actually very useful for buyers to always ask all breeders for the relevant proof of breed health in their breeding dogs. If breeders get questioned routinely, that places pressure on them to focus on health, get the clearances, etc. But Club support is crucial too. The UK Club has gotten away for years and years with only suggesting vet tests for hearts (and allowing vet tested older dogs on to their clear hearts list!! :eek: ) even though their own adviser has repeatedly said this is pretty meaningless. The Irish club does zilch. If puppy *buyers* were asking for cardiologist certs that were up to date -- you can bet a huge number of breeders would be cardiologist testing if only because it would be necessary in order to sell your puppies to buyers.

16th March 2009, 06:39 AM
My Hope is a mill mama rescue and she has a purpose too. She is a hunting dog. Now rather than sitting in a cage staring off in space with no hope for change, she spends her summers in the big open field behind my house chasing grasshoppers. She has not yet successfully caught one, but I have every confidence someday she will.
She warms not only my lap, but also my heart. She definatly has a purpose.
I know the odds are stacked against her health. As a 7yr old, she has a grade 3 murmer that we watch closely, but other than that she is quite healthy.

I agree with some of his points, but to say they have no purpose shows he has no idea how wonderful this breed can be if people do their research before buying.