View Full Version : Pete the Vet blog on APGAW and cavaliers

25th August 2009, 10:21 AM
Pete's got a good post today on his blog on the Daily Telegraph -- "If you can send a defective sofa back, why not a faulty dog":


"It’s rare for a one-off television programme to have as far reaching consequences as the “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” documentary that was broadcast by the BBC just over a year ago."

Read down through the comments as he does make note that any such legislation would also have to address that many people very likely won't want their money back but the problem addressed.

One suggestion has been that if a dog develops problems and it is shown that the breeder failed to to any testing at all then this would be a case for liability. If the breeder can show that proper testing did not show the problem at the time of breeding then that should be an adequate defense for the breeder.

25th August 2009, 11:06 AM
This is a post I made on Cavalier Chat last May...

I'm a lab tech as some of you will probably know.I've spent 20 years of my life testing "things" for a living.I've worked in a veterinary diagnostic lab, in the food processing,soft drinks and pharmaceutical industries.So Quality control and quality assurance is my thing.
So humour me here for a moment!
If I test a top end product and charge a premium rate for it, the customer purchasing product X will expect checks and controls to be in place to ensure that the product he gets will be fit for the purpose and do the job he requires of it.
In spite of my best efforts screening and testing, I know and he knows that some product will fail and get through the system of checks and protocols.
In the same fashion, a breeder can only do all that is reasonably practible and with the tools and technology available to him currently, a customer must accept that there will be failures and that a screening test is not designed to "catch all" non compliances.
So the fact is, that a breeder can screen,scan and test and still produce a dog who may develop a serious illness,but he/she can turn to his customer/critic/peers/solicitor and say:
"I did everything reasonably practicable to ensure that I produced a healthy pup for that person".
This is really the maximum that anyone can ask of a breeder and I would buy a pup from such a breeder in a heartbeat.
Likewise in industry if a customer was buying a premium product and the vendor carried out few if any checks or screening tests,but he said to me,
"But I know the source of all the raw materials,where they came from and who produced them and we've never had any problems before...I don't bother testing for this parameter because I don't trust the equipment and the result can vary from lab tech to lab tech and the result isn't standardised".
If something goes wrong with his product and he produces a defective batch of something then he frankly hasn't a leg to stand on.

Needless to say I agree with what Pete has written.There are some documented and accepted medical problems within the cavalier breed.
There are recommendations included in the Club's code of ethics and they have been included for good reason.
Heart and eye testing are cheap and feeely available at many shows now in the UK.There are low cost schemes for SM which will identify a dog with a syrinx.It is possible to avoid mating two affected cavaliers.
If a breeder decides to forego the "current best practice" method of testing then produces an affected dog in this current climate, they seriously won't have a leg to stand on.Perhaps people won't ask for their money back,but it's not outside the bounds of possibility that a breeder might find themselves paying for ten years of gabapentin or Decompression surgery for a dog they produce.That's a hell of a lot more expensive than a 100 scan plus vat.

25th August 2009, 11:25 AM
Thank you both for these 2 Posts , this should really make Cavalier Breeders sit up and take notice now of Health Testing their Cavalier Stock,

I had mentioned some of the findings of the APGAW Report ,and it is nice to see that it is in the Front Page of DOG WORLD MAGAZINE,

When I mentioned the APGAW Report on another Site, I did get a lot of abuse, finished up calling some of the Listers Cyber Bullies!!!.

Bet ( Hargreaves )

25th August 2009, 11:48 AM
The answer Bet is Documentation,Documentation,Documentation.
As some of you may know I've recently been on a puppy hunt:p
One breeder told me that the accompanying paperwork would probably weigh more than the pup.:grin: I kinda liked that thought.
I suspect that most buyers would.Noone can expect a guarantee that your pup will be free of a hereditary defect,but a breeder can prove that by screening for defects in the parents/gparents that they've done their level best to breed away from trouble,then realistically this is the max that anyone can do with the medical technology and genetic knowledge as it stands today.
I now think legislation in some form or other is on it's way and it's only a matter of time.Legislation is usually only enforced across the law abiding and mostly compliant middleclasses so I'm yet to be convinced that it's entirely a good thing to apply it to dog breeding.We'll see....


Brian M
25th August 2009, 01:24 PM

I fully agree with sins and like her I too was on a puppy hunt which for me was successful with the finding of Lily ,but the amount of phone calls and emails I made was an awful lot.
My first task was in seeking permission from Dawn who I rely on so much to look after all the girls while I am at work ,so after much pleading ,cajoling ,sulking on my part and surprisingly not a lot of bribery permission was granted ,so armed with a large note pad and lots of pencils the hunt began .My target was a Black and Tan Female Puppy whose parents had been fully health checked in accordance with the guidelines issued by the UK Cavalier Club regarding clear eye ,patella, MVD Breeding guidelines and all with the relevant Heart ,Eye and most important MRI Certificates showing her parents where mated after the advised age and are Grade A cavaliers. After two weeks of trying all I had found was a bitch in Leicester who was due to litter that week and who should produce B and T and my Lily who was up in Scotland but she was 11 months old ,but Lily it was to be as her breeding achieved all the criteria I was after including those precious copies of her parents MRI Scans which show them to be Grade A .The feedback from a lot of the breeders contacted confirmed that they do know the importance of Health Testing and the increasing necessity of it for the future of our Cavaliers ,while non surprisingly most of the so called Top Breeders contacted seemed not to bother in anyway with Health Tests they more so relied on their pedigree name only to sell their puppies. But I think that more and more show breeders are now realising that without all the required health certificates they will find it harder to sell puppies in the near future. And that all the hard work put in by ladies like Margaret C ,Karlin L ,Carol F ,Barbara R ,Bet H and loads more who have been banging the drum for such a long time and upsetting the establishment, who then retaliated and turned on them ,I found after talking to many breeders within a short space of time, that the tide is turning you are winning the day and all us pet owning Cavalier people will be eternally gratefully to you for your hard work and all that horrible abuse you suffered from all those people who are now proven to be oh so wrong and you Ladies are Oh So Right.:)

25th August 2009, 02:27 PM
Brian M

Thank you ,you have made my day,, it has been getting a bit nasty for me, unfortunately I have a Bolshie Scot's Nature ,and keep arguing , but to know that some of us are well thought of because we have the love of the Cavalier Breed at heart and trying to get the message across to a good number of Cavalier Breeders ,that the only way to give the Breed the chance of Healthier ,Longer Lives,is to Health Test their Breeding Stock means a lot.

Bet( Hargreaves)

Brian M
25th August 2009, 02:50 PM
Hi Bet

If I remember right I think on occasion I was a bit nasty to you on another forum ,for this I apologise ,I am now a tiny bit wiser and more understand that you have great knowledge gained over many years on all things Cavalier but especially MVD of which you must be one of the most informed in the UK ,and I thank you for using this to campaign on behalf of all Cavalier owners for a healthier and brighter future for our beloved breed .:)