View Full Version : Fame - of a sort!

Kate H
10th March 2010, 08:47 PM
The results of the heart testing at last Saturday's Cavalier Club championship show are on the Club website. 176 dogs were tested: 150 were clear and 26 had murmurs. My Aled was the only 2-3 year old tested who had a murmur, and Oliver was the only 8-9 year old tested who had a murmur. Not the sort of fame I like!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

10th March 2010, 08:58 PM
That is very disappointing! I am sorry :(

10th March 2010, 10:04 PM
Oh so sorry Kate :(

Bless you for going and having them tested though - it's so hard to get this news, but as you know they can go on for many many years with a murmur.

It would be wise to re test them each year to see how they are doing though.

10th March 2010, 10:13 PM
I noticed the results and the graph below which shows the number and at what ages they were tested. Then I remember back to Simon Swift's report to the 2009 AGM, something about him being disappointed in how many 5 years or older being tested and which is the time that testing is critical according to the breeding programme.
Does anyone know if the testing age is critical within Sarah Blott's EBV Program and reflects in the EBV values?


10th March 2010, 10:19 PM
Sorry to hear that Kate.It's never easy to take bad news on board...
Well done for having them tested though.None of us know what the future holds for our dogs and all we can do is our very best to give them the best quality of life we can and make full use of diagnostic tests to help us along the way.

10th March 2010, 10:41 PM
Thanks for posting that EddyAnne - quite scary that there a number of dogs under 5 with murmurs :eek:

Does anyone know if the testing age is critical within Sarah Blott's EBV Program and reflects in the EBV values?

We have been wondering about this too - likewise with MRI scans for Syringomyelia. I don't know how the different ages could be wieghted though - but surely a dog over the age of 7 with a clear heart and grade A MRI is of higher value to the breed than the same results in an 2 1/2 year old?

Sorry Kate we've hijacked your thread here...

Claire L
10th March 2010, 10:41 PM
Sorry to read your news Kate. Did they grade the murmurs?:hug:

Kate H
10th March 2010, 10:46 PM
I already knew they both had murmurs - Oliver has been tested at the club show every year, and Aled was tested last year when I had only had him a few months. Oliver has stayed a grade 2, which isn't bad for nearly 9; Aled has gone from a 2 last year to a 3 this year, and he's only 3 years old in June - a bit more worrying, but no symptoms as yet, he has plenty of exercise and his weight is coming down, which is really all you can do. And no-one can predict whether he'll ever get any worse - it's very hit and miss. 2.5 years to 5 years seems to be the critical time - a serious murmur at that age is likely to cause problems later on, which is why the club's protocol recommends not mating dogs before 2.5. I presume early onset/late onset will be reflected in the EBV data, which is why Sarah Blott asks for heart certificates as well as scan results. After all, heart problems in older dogs are quite normal; it's the early onset which makes them so devastating n Cavaliers.

Looking at Saturday's statistics on the club website, it was a bit worrying that of the four 1-2 year olds with murmurs, three of them were Grade 5. My Blenheim Meg died of heart disease aged nearly 8 in 1993; all her litter brothers and sisters, and her mother, died of the same disease. Which is why I'm fanatical about getting my dogs checked - it's well worth entering the club show Not for Competition to get them seen by Simon Swift. They need to be KC registered to be shown, of course, but you can still enter rescue Cavaliers like Aled NFC if you spend 10 to get them on the KC's Activity Register - just pretend you're planning to do obedience or agility with them! It's a nice day out anyway.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Margaret C
10th March 2010, 10:47 PM
The results of the heart testing at last Saturday's Cavalier Club championship show are on the Club website. 176 dogs were tested: 150 were clear and 26 had murmurs. My Aled was the only 2-3 year old tested who had a murmur, and Oliver was the only 8-9 year old tested who had a murmur. Not the sort of fame I like!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

I'm so sorry that you had disappointing results, especially with young Aled. Hopefully he will be one of those that stays stable for many years.

It sounds so promising when you are told 150 cavaliers were clear and only 26 affected, but it is not such good news when you look closer at the results.

The figures actually do appear to bear out what the cardiologists have been saying, that over 50% of older dogs will develop a heart murmur.......... 12 dogs over five years old had no signs of MVD but 14 did have a MVD murmurs.

My understanding is that the EBVs will reflect the age as well as the results of certification. That is why testing older dogs is so important. A good result in an older dog is obviously going to improve the breeding value of that dog and the value of any offspring

11th March 2010, 09:32 AM
Hi Kate
I am so sorry to hear about Aled and Oliver. I remember when I was told about Ebony it’s always a shock.
As you might know my Ebony was diagnosed with a heart murmur by her vet. I then took her to the Cavalier Club Day heart testing to see what the Cardiologist had to say. He confirmed that she had a heart murmur but got the grading completely wrong. At the Club day I was told she had a grade 3 and when I took her to have an Echocardiogram the Cardiologist said that it is very minimal. He showed it to me on the screen and explained to me that if it wasn’t for the new machine he was using that other older machines probably wouldn’t have picked it up, so he was surprised that my vet picked it up at all and that the Cardiologist graded it 3 at the club day.
I have to have an Echocardiogram every two years now to see if she is getting worse.

Kate H
11th March 2010, 05:17 PM
It's all so confusing - as my vet said when I told her Aled had increased a grade, a murmur actually doesn't mean very much. So a cardiologist can listen to the murmur and say - rightly - grade 3, because that is what he's hearing. But to really know what's going on with the heart itself, as Sabby said, you need an ultrasound. I will probably get Aled properly checked if he goes up another grade, because if there is damage to the heart, the sooner you start medication the better.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Cathy Moon
12th March 2010, 12:38 AM
Our cardiologist here in the US takes x-rays of Geordie's heart between ultrasounds. We take Geordie every 6-9 months now. The cardio uses the xrays to detect heart enlargement, which could also be a factor for determining med changes. Does your cardiologist take x-rays too?

Also, once a day we have to check Geordie's breathing rate when he is resting. If his breathing rate reaches 40 respirations per minute, the cardiologist would like us to bring Geordie back.

13th March 2010, 12:23 PM
So sorry for the results, Kate. I understand as well that an increased grade is not desireable, but that some dogs do very well with higher grade murmurs -- so many other things affect how the dog does. I have a grade 5/6 rescue dog in a home with a neighbour and she just powers right along.

Yes Margaret/EddyAnne, that graph certainly is revealing -- lots of clear dogs which initially seems great, but almost all are just pups to age 4, where you'd really expect the vast majority of them to be clear, especially all those dogs that are just pups to age three, the main spike in the graph. All my dogs were heart clear at those ages; two have murmurs now. Sad that more do not test their older dogs to get a more realistic picture of what is going on in their lines. Clearly hardly anyone brought dogs 4 or older. :(

Cathy that's a useful piece of info about respiration rate -- thanks. Am going to check the rescue girl next time I have her out.

13th March 2010, 02:18 PM
Going back 10 years ago I read posts on Cavalier forums about "golden oldies" plus from reading breeders posts it appeared that they tended to mention "I do not have a problem". Then I read about a presentation by a heart specialist Dr Wood to the UK Cavalier Club and he presented the graph below which involved 499 Cavaliers from his study of UK Club Cavaliers and which was on the UK Cavalier Club website for some years and where I kept this copy, this tended to made me think and wonder what was really going on. Today I see no such research study graphs on the Club's website and today I am wondering as to what is really going on with the Cavalier Breed, and particularly after reading heart specialist Simon Swift's report to the last Cavalier Club AGM where he mentioned he was disappointed which has still got me thinking and wondering.


13th March 2010, 05:25 PM
EddyAnne. just wondered ,does it not look like from your Graph, that many Cavaliers died from Heart Trouble , and at a young age.