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View Full Version : Is there a US version of the SM collection scheme?



Cathy Moon
25th April 2010, 03:21 AM
I have asked Dr. da Costa, the neurologist at Ohio State University, if he knows of any post mortem research for SM that is similar to the SM collection scheme in the UK. He is going to look into it for us.

Love my Cavaliers
25th April 2010, 04:03 AM
That is a fantastic idea Cathy. I have an almost 8 year old with SM (Riley) and I would love to be able to help by donating her body to SM research after she dies (which I hope is a long way off). I have already sent MRI results and a DNA sample from my 9 year old (Oliver, who is unfortunately from a backyard breeder and does not have papers) who does not have SM (verified by MRI for a cervical disc problem) to Clare and Penny, so I feel like I've helped in a very small way. I would love to do more. Let us know what happens with Dr. da Costa. Thank you.

Margaret C
25th April 2010, 01:51 PM
I have asked Dr. da Costa, the neurologist at Ohio State University, if he knows of any post mortem research for SM that is similar to the SM collection scheme in the UK. He is going to look into it for us.


The SM collection scheme is something I started in response to a request from Professor Nick Jeffery at Cambridge. He wanted to study the spinal cords of cavaliers with a definite MRI diagnosis of SM.

I asked three other research projects if they wanted to be part of the scheme, and I believe the Foetal Tissue Research also receives some material via Nick.

The most important considerations for a scheme like this is where was the funding to come from? ( I raise the money ) and the need to have someone willing and able to drop everything to coordinate when a volunteered cavalier dies.

For the spinal cord and the genetic research the postmortem must be done as quickly as possible, and most certainly within 24 hours. Freezing the body is not an option, as this destroys some of the tissues.

Arranging the collection and transporting of the dead pet has to be arranged quickly, sometimes the brave owners will do it themselves, sometimes a volunteer from the local rescue organisation will help. Before collection can be arranged however, I do have to check with the nearest pathology centre that they have staff available to perform a PM at such short notice.

If we are using a new centre I have to make sure the pathologist has the protocols, and fixing agents, for the removal and storage of the different cell tissue for the various research projects. ( Heart and pancreatic tissue is also collected )

There is paperwork to check and send to the researchers and, my biggest nightmare, a constant checking that it has been noted that the little dog is to be individually cremated and the ashes returned to the owner. I usually try and speak to the crematorium manager myself.

This is the second such scheme I have organised, I have help collect over 20 dogs ( not all cavaliers ) for autopsy. I would always be happy to share my experiences with anyone else thinking of setting up a similar scheme.

Cathy Moon
25th April 2010, 02:54 PM
Thanks for sharing all this helpful information, Margaret. :thnku:

While I haven't heard anything yet about SM post mortems, Dr. da Costa did tell me that he does post mortems on Doberman Pinschers with wobbler's disease. He might possibly be able to find an existing program at another university. As soon as I hear anything, I'll share it here.