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View Full Version : Progress on the genetic front: Early-Onset MVD Can Be Bred Out



RodRussell
29th March 2010, 11:22 PM
In a research journal article soon to be published by UK researchers Tom Lewis, Simon Swift, John A. Woolliams, and Sarah Blott, they report that early-onset mitral valve disease (meaning, developing a murmur before age 5 years) is "highly heritable" in Cavalier King Charles spaniles, and that "selection against the disease should be successful."

Read about it at BREAKING NEWS on http://cavalierhealth.org and follow the links from there. A fuller report will be made once the article is published in The Veterinary Journal, probably next month.

This makes the MVD breeding protocol all the more important and credible. Since the breeding protocol's introduction in 1998, most all Cavalier breeders have come up with every excuse in the book to not follow it. Now, they have no excuse at all.
--
Rod Russell
Orlando, Florida

Margaret C
30th March 2010, 12:52 AM
In a research journal article soon to be published by UK researchers Tom Lewis, Simon Swift, John A. Woolliams, and Sarah Blott, they report that early-onset mitral valve disease (meaning, developing a murmur before age 5 years) is "highly heritable" in Cavalier King Charles spaniles, and that "selection against the disease should be successful."

Thank you for this news. I would like to think the breed clubs and KC may take some action on this, but I am not holding my breath.



This makes the MVD breeding protocol all the more important and credible. Since the breeding protocol's introduction in 1998, most all Cavalier breeders have come up with every excuse in the book to not follow it. Now, they have no excuse at all.


Until it is seen as unacceptable for top exhibitors to mate 9 month old puppy dogs to 14 month old bitches, as is recorded in the latest Breed Record Supplement, cavaliers do not have a chance of showing an improvement in the rates of early onset MVD.

Cathy Moon
30th March 2010, 01:07 AM
Thank you for the update - now may be the time to work to get the CKCS clubs' code of ethics updated - all clubs in all countries.

Margaret. I'm with you - I've been quietly observing what you describe for too long now (several years), and it sickens me to know this and to then read the supposed 'balanced view of things'. :(

Bet
30th March 2010, 11:03 AM
Could I mention this again.

In 1983,27 YEARS AGO!!!!!,Dr. P .DARKE, the then UK CKCS CLUB Cardiologist, this was also mentioned in an Article written by T .Boardman,I am not sure about this ,but I think he was at some-time Club Chairman .

Dr P. Darke ,the CKCS CLUB Cardiologist, carried out Heart Surveys at Several CKCS Shows, the first was at the Scottish Open Cavalier Show.

JUNE-1983.

The Results were Alarming and Immediately confirmed that the Heart Problem in Cavaliers , was much more Wide-Spread than Anticipated or Found in any Other Toy Breed.

Dr Darke, approached Cavalier Clubs and arranged to examine the Cavalier Exhibits at Cavalier Shows.

Vets in other Countries Countries also undertook Surveys and found their Results Parallelled those that were being found in Britain

In 1987 , THIS IS SO IMPORTANT TO NOTE, based on the RESULTS of DR P. Darke's Surveys ,The CKCS CLUBS RECOMMENDED that ALL CAVALIER BREEDERS should be urged to TEST the Hearts of their Cavaliers for the Presence or Absence of a MVD Murmur.

The Aim should be to raise the ONSET of MVD ,.

THIS SHOULD BE THE THE CAVALIER BREEDERS IMMEDIATE AIM

NOTE THE DATE AGAIN.

23 YEARS AGO!!!!!.

Did many Cavalier Breeders not co-operate with this AIM???

At the Recent UK CKCS CLUB AGM, Simon Swift ,the Cardiologist, who gave a Lecture at it ,said that 50% of Cavaliers will have a HEART MURMUR AT 5 YEARS OF AGE.

THIS IS NO BETTER THAN IT WAS 18 YEARS AGO.

It's no use some Cavalier Breeders to-day making the Excuse , Don't Blame US ,it's the Fault of the Puppy Farmers and BYB's.

All I can say to that claim, RUBBISH!!!!

Todays' Cavaliers who are tested at Shows will not come from Puppy Farms ,but I would think from Cavalier Breeders.

Some Cavalier Breeders say about how they are co-operating with all the Heart Research going on at the moment,,

All I can say to this , who got the Cavaliers into such a Mess in the First Place with regards to their Heart Problem ,but the Cavalier Breeders who did not co-operate with the Instructions from the CKCS CLUB 23 years ago in how to try and fight the MVD Cavalier MVD Problem.

If only they had , there is a good chance that many Cavaliers would have had Healthier ,Longer Lives over those past 20 years , and there would not have been so many Heart Broken Cavalier Owners.

Bet

Bet
6th April 2010, 04:03 PM
I have just read a further up-date on this Study on the CC List.

I hope it's OK making a Comment here about it.

What was so noticeable was the Sarcastic Post by one of the Vociferous Breeders on that List about this Study.

To other Cavalier Owners who have had many Tears because their Cavalier has died at such a Young Age because of the MVD Problem which Afflicts our Beloved Cavalier Breed,and may sometimes visit the CC List, don't be taken in by it.

Please read my Post 4 , on this Thread ,and I don't think that many of the Long Term Cavalier Breeders have much to be Proud about.

The Cavalier Breeders were warned 27 years ago by Dr P Darke, The CKCS CLUB'S Cardiologist...about how wide-spread the MVD Problem was in Cavaliers.

To be told at the CLUB AGM LAST YEAR ,that 50% 0f Cavaliers will have a Heart Murmur at 5 years of AGE ,that this is no better than that figure was 18 years ago, must be of great concern to some Cavalier Breeders.

Now onto something about the information from Genetic Study,and will be of so much interest to so many us who are so grateful to the MVD
Researchers who are trying to give our Cavaliers the chance of Healthier ,Longer Lives, which some Cavalier Breeders have failed to do in the Past.

Cavaliers who were Researched in this Study were aged from 4 to 5 Year Olds and had the Presence and Intensity of Left Sided ,Caudal, Systolic Cardiac Murmurs ,indicating ,as I understand it, that Cavaliers in this AGE GROUP ,those Murmurs are Highly Heritable ,indicating that variation in Severity of MVD (AS Typically Described by this Type of Murmur )at this Age is Substantially GENETIC in ORIGIN.

The DATA used in this Study were restricted to 4 to 5 year old Dogs in an Attempt to ensure ,as far as possible Exclusive Analysis of" Premature,as opposed to " Late Age Onset " MVD.

Bet

Bet
6th April 2010, 07:28 PM
It is curious why the Vociferous Cavalier Breeder on the CC List , can't seem to answer the Simple Question ,that 27 years ago the UK CKCS CLUB Cavalier Breeders were warned about the MVD Problem Afflicting our Cavaliers by Dr P Darke , the CKCS CLUB's Cardiologist .

I will ask it again, what did the Cavalier Breeders do about that warning. ?

All that seems to happen ,is that Insults get Hurled to-day at the Lovers of the Cavalier Breed .who dare call into Question the Cavalier Breeding Practices of some of those so-called Long Term Cavalier Breeders.

The Long Term Cavalier Breeders as they are being called must have an answer to this Pertinent Question.

Did they follow the MVD Breeding Guidelines given out by the CKCS CLUB ?.

Did they ask to see the Health Certificates of the Cavalier Stud Dogs who were to be being used on the Cavalier Bitches ,and did the Cavalier Stud Dog Owners ask to see MVD Health Certificates from the Cavalier Bitches.?

If this was not done, perhaps we can be told ,those of us who have lost our Cherished Cavaliers at such an early age due to the MVD Problem, .

WHY NOT??

Cathy Moon
11th April 2010, 08:53 PM
It seems to me that every time a discussion of MVD arises, the same list of long-lived cavaliers is produced, listing dogs by name and age at death. These cavaliers are now deceased and don't seem to have much ability help the cavalier breed today. What good does it do to continually bring their names up, when their genes are gone? We are dealing with the present, not the past.

The reason I'm posting this is because all four of the names recently mentioned are in my dogís pedigree, and what good are those names now to him (early onset MVD and SM) and us? We were so proud of his pedigree when we bought him as a puppy from a show breeder. We were thrilled that he came from the best lines with so many champions in his pedigree! It is really very distressing to hear the words, ďIím sorry to have to tell you this, but your dog has early onset MVD,Ē especially when youíve gone to such trouble and expense to find a beautiful, healthy cavalier puppy from the best lines. How many other cavaliers today have those names in their pedigrees and what is their health status?

If we think we know any given cavalierís health status, is it based on actual testing, or is it what we observe? There is a huge difference in these two ways of determining whether or not a cavalier has MVD and SM. Unless a dog is repeatedly examined by a cardiologist and scanned by MRI, one cannot honestly make any claims about the health status of any given cavalier.

How much better would the CKCS MVD situation be today if club breeders had followed the MVD protocol when those long lived cavaliers were alive? The many examples of the protocol not being followed are open and viewable to all on the pedigree sites and in the puppy registrations produced by the national breed clubs -- studs routinely used starting at a year of age or even younger, bitches having litters before age 2.5 -- anyone can do their own research and see this fact. Did breeders feel there was no need to use the health protocols their national clubs and cardiologists support, based on previous luck in breeding?

I recently read a post by a show breeder who only has cavalier heart screening performed at ages 3, 5 and 7 with a vet. I have to ask, how will this help the cavalier breed? When one doesn't even know at what age a murmur starts, and has very little idea of the progression of the disease in each individual cavalier - how does this help the cavalier breed? How does one trust a regular vet to grade a murmur, when we all know this should be performed by a cardiologist and that vets miss half of low grade murmurs (that means guesswork is nearly as good as having a vet listen for breeding purposes)? Doesn't it make more sense to get cardio testing every year on all breeding stock? If so, why isnít it being done?

In other posts, breeders discuss bringing their old cavaliers for club heart screening. Why not bring all of their cavalier breeding stock, every year? Why choose certain ones - doesn't that skew the statistics and deprive other breeders of important information about age of onset for murmurs in those all-important older dogs? What does that accomplish for the cavalier breed?

Bet
12th April 2010, 12:13 PM
It seems to me that every time a discussion of MVD arises, the same list of long-lived cavaliers is produced, listing dogs by name and age at death. These cavaliers are now deceased and don't seem to have much ability help the cavalier breed today. What good does it do to continually bring their names up, when their genes are gone? We are dealing with the present, not the past.

The reason I'm posting this is because all four of the names recently mentioned are in my dogís pedigree, and what good are those names now to him (early onset MVD and SM) and us? We were so proud of his pedigree when we bought him as a puppy from a show breeder. We were thrilled that he came from the best lines with so many champions in his pedigree! It is really very distressing to hear the words, ďIím sorry to have to tell you this, but your dog has early onset MVD,Ē especially when youíve gone to such trouble and expense to find a beautiful, healthy cavalier puppy from the best lines. How many other cavaliers today have those names in their pedigrees and what is their health status?

If we think we know any given cavalierís health status, is it based on actual testing, or is it what we observe? There is a huge difference in these two ways of determining whether or not a cavalier has MVD and SM. Unless a dog is repeatedly examined by a cardiologist and scanned by MRI, one cannot honestly make any claims about the health status of any given cavalier.

How much better would the CKCS MVD situation be today if club breeders had followed the MVD protocol when those long lived cavaliers were alive? The many examples of the protocol not being followed are open and viewable to all on the pedigree sites and in the puppy registrations produced by the national breed clubs -- studs routinely used starting at a year of age or even younger, bitches having litters before age 2.5 -- anyone can do their own research and see this fact. Did breeders feel there was no need to use the health protocols their national clubs and cardiologists support, based on previous luck in breeding?

I recently read a post by a show breeder who only has cavalier heart screening performed at ages 3, 5 and 7 with a vet. I have to ask, how will this help the cavalier breed? When one doesn't even know at what age a murmur starts, and has very little idea of the progression of the disease in each individual cavalier - how does this help the cavalier breed? How does one trust a regular vet to grade a murmur, when we all know this should be performed by a cardiologist and that vets miss half of low grade murmurs (that means guesswork is nearly as good as having a vet listen for breeding purposes)? Doesn't it make more sense to get cardio testing every year on all breeding stock? If so, why isnít it being done?

In other posts, breeders discuss bringing their old cavaliers for club heart screening. Why not bring all of their cavalier breeding stock, every year? Why choose certain ones - doesn't that skew the statistics and deprive other breeders of important information about age of onset for murmurs in those all-important older dogs? What does that accomplish for the cavalier breed?


Thanks Cathy, for your Post, don't know if I've done this right but here goes.

Could I say that I believe there will be no-body better than me to give the information about Long Lived Cavaliers, having collected about 2,000 names of Cavaliers ,this List is at the Kennel Club Library ,London, but as the saying goes, 2 Swallows don't make a Summer!!

As Cathy says, we are where we are with the Cavaliers' MVD and SM Problems.

Because of the In- Breeding in our Cavalier Breed ,the MVD Researchers say that there could be many ,many Cavaliers around now Carriers of the MVD Gene/Genes.

So even although Cavaliers did live to a good age ,there is every possibility that they are Carriers of MVD Genes,this is the result of Many Cavalier Breeders not following the Cavalier MVD Breeding Guidelines given years ago ,not to Breed from a Cavalier before 2.5 years of age.

What a pity this Guideline was Thwarted at the last UK CKCS AGM by a Vociferious Few for SM.

I have read that some Cavalier Owners only want to enjoy the company of their Cavaliers , and for other Cavalier Owners not to Rock the Boat, about mentioning the Health of our Cavalier Breed.

All I can say in answer to this Statement, don't we all want to enjoy our Cavaliers.!!

Many of us never had the chance of enjoying the pleasure of our Cavaliers company for very long.

They died at such a young age because of MVD ,and now there is the Dreadful SM Disease which is causing so much Suffering to Cavaliers and Heart-Ache for their Owners.

We now know that here in Britain Cavalier Breeders were warned 27 years ago about the Serious MVD Problem Cavaliers had.

It's the Cavalier Club Breeders of that time who have got the Cavalier Breed into the MVD Mess it's in to-day, not Puppy Farmers , BYB's, it's the CKCS CLUB Members who were given the warning 27 years ago. !!!

So it's up to many of to-days ' Cavalier Breeders to make amends for what they were the cause of all these years ago,follow the Cavalier Breeding Guidelines for MVD and hopefully to be introduced at the next Club AGM ,SM, give the Researchers all the help that is needed with information for their Research to try and save our Breed from extinction.

I know that there are some Cavalier Breeders trying their Best to help the Cavalier Breed, but there are the Vociferious Few who look to every excuse to say that the Cavaliers don't have much of a Health problem ,even to Twisting the MVD Figures of this Latest Genetic Veterinary Paper.