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Zoe bowie
27th April 2010, 12:27 PM
Hi everyone,

I am just wondering what is the percentage of cavaliers that develop SM? I think I am paranoid about the symptoms and every time Penny does something that might be just a puppy action but could also be a symptom, my heart stops!! :( She scoots on her bum very occasionally, scratches her ears every now and then when the lead is put on (not often, but I have noticed this, but I don't know if I am being over-protective!) She has no problems to date with being lame, or head shy....am I just being a worry wart???

She seems to have the soft palate elongation, I am taking her to the vet this weekend for him to have a look, but she snorts a lot, and her whole body shakes as she tries to breath, I learnt from my Georgia the best thing to do, is hold her and try to get her to breath through her mouth, this always works..but I hate seeing the little might go through this, she doesn't seem to mind and continues to wag her tail even when this is happening! If she does have this, what is the success rate on surgery? Is the surgery dangerous (any more dangerous than a normal routine?) She is only 9 months (nearly 10) and she is TINY, she has had a rough start and I don't want to add to this, but if the surgery increased her quality of life then I would do it.

Any/all info is much appreciated!
Lucille

Karlin
27th April 2010, 01:00 PM
I am sure she doesn't have any problem with her palate -- almost every Cavalier does the "cavalier snort" and only in a teeny tiny number does this require corrective surgery. The best way to address it is as you say get them to breathe through their mouths for a few minutes -- usually with cavaliers, it is recommended to just gently place a thumb or finger over their nostrils and tilt their head forward and generally this stops the snorting within 10 or 20 seconds. :)

On SM -- research clearly indicates that at this the ratio is quite high, with the most conservative study showing 35% minimum having SM already and these were mostly dogs under five. Study samples that include older dogs have had up to 70% affected. In Australia, the breed club recently supported a study in which a neurologist scanned 60 cavaliers, all younger breeding and show dogs belonging to club breeders, all of which were presumed by the breeders to be clear and which had no symptoms at all. Of these, 50% actually had SM. I think perhaps this study has been one of the most sobering for breeders, because the scans were done on dogs the breeders were sure would come back clear. I think for most of us, we have to assume that by the time our dogs reach old age, the likelihood is that they will have SM -- or in other words they are more likely to have it than not to have it just as with MVD. That 50% actually reflects the rate already seen too in much smaller similar sets of dogs from breeders in places like France.

On the other hand, as with MVD many dogs will never show any outward sign of having this condition or will adjust to it and only have quite minor signs. The condition itself is very enigmatic and dogs that have very bad syrinxes sometimes show few symptoms, probably because due to the slow onset of the condition for many dogs (and humans) they just adjust and learn to tolerate certain levels of discomfort or pain. I think that for anyone who wants a cavalier just as we have had to accept these dogs will almost all go on to have heart problems, we must now also accept that for the foreseeable future, many to most may also end up with syrinxes. I think to imagine otherwise is self deception and for many dogs, will mean they do not get the help that could bring them relief in their day-to-day life because owners refuse to accept that they are seen early signs. :( that is one of the main reasons I think education about the condition is so important and why I think the clubs themselves have a deep responsibility to inform their members as well as puppy buyers about the realities of this condition.

At the same time, many dogs will do quite well or never have any problems at all, so my own viewpoint is that all cavalier owners need to be aware of these health issues, they need to make sure their vets are informed about them, and they need to only ever purchase puppies from breeders who are working with the existing health information to try to address these health problems. Puppy buyers are really the ones who have the power to demand a solution because if they refused to buy puppies from any except scanning breeders, for example, this would quickly force mass change hand help this breed.

I don't think any of the things you are seeing are anything to worry about. Tara had Penny all the time for several weeks and she is pretty familiar with what to look for in cavaliers and actually has been key in spotting some problem dogs and getting their vets to check them and referred them on to a neurologist. Have a look at the videos on my website if you want to see the kind of scratching you need to worry about -- occasional scratching is normal. Persistent scratching where you cannot even get the dog's attention, where the scratching session might go on and on for 30 seconds or more -- those are the kind of situations where you would begin to wonder if there is an issue.

It is sad right now that with this breed every owner spends the dog's lifetime with worries in the back of their mind about scratching in pain and other signs of Assam on the one hand, and waiting for the heavy panting, coughing, and signs of heart failure. For too many of the breed, both of these things happen when the dogs are way too young.

I actually have a summary page and links to more information on SM on my new Rupert's fund website in the 'about syringomyelia' section: www.rupertsfund.com

There are videos on my SM site: www.smcavalier.com

I really don't think you have anything to be worrying about though on either of these issues, especially not at her age. :)

Zoe bowie
27th April 2010, 01:36 PM
Thanks for the reassurance Karlin, I know I am just being a worry wart! I understand and accept that all Cavs will go through some form of illness in their life time, and all will suffer MVD, and hate seeing this amazing breed with so many health issues!

I look to a time in the future when they discover the gene that causes SM & they can start to breed it out...that I suppose starts with responsible breeding! We are all far too aware of how many irresponsible breeders there are out there, and nothing infuriates me more is to see the by product of this industry-Rosie for one, not that I mean to call her a by-product, she is a beauty, even in the horrific state that she is in! But you know what I mean; little souls that have to suffer health issues from the start of their lives, the pain & suffering the breeding females go through, and then when the 'breeder' has milked every last litter from them, off to the pound with you...or to be sold out of the back of a car!! I remember seeing an ad a while back on Donedeal.ie which advertised 2 Tri-colour female Cavaliers, 18 months old in Cork, I rang to see why they were selling, to be told that they had tried to breed them without luck-TWICE, so they wanted to sell to get new breeding bitches..firstly what sort of person breeds a puppy? and secondly they obviously knew nothing about Cavaliers and the recommended breeding age, or about health checks!!! When I rang back to buy this souls, they were already gone, it still haunts me to think that these angels were tried to be bread before reaching adulthood!!! It just upsets me to no end!!

I know that there are some responsible breeders out there, but these are few and far between, sorry I am ranting at the moment!!! It's just something I am very passionate about, as I adore this breed, and want to stamp out this problem :(

Anyway back to Penny, I just need to stop worrying and take good care of her, if I notice anything get it checked other than that enjoy her...thanks again Karlin :l*v:

RodRussell
27th April 2010, 03:21 PM
...I actually have a summary page and links to more information on SM on my new Rupert's fund website in the 'about syringomyelia' section: www.rupertsfund.com...

Karlin, thanks for creating this new website. I missed the announcement and just noticed your mention of it here. I will link to this site, as it will be a great shortcut to getting the information about how to contribute to the fund.

Bet
27th April 2010, 07:53 PM
On SM -- research clearly indicates that at this the ratio is quite high, with the most conservative study showing 35% minimum having SM already and these were mostly dogs under five. Study samples that include older dogs have had up to 70% affected. In Australia, the breed club recently supported a study in which a neurologist scanned 60 cavaliers, all younger breeding and show dogs belonging to club breeders, all of which were presumed by the breeders to be clear and which had no symptoms at all. Of these, 50% actually had SM. I think perhaps this study has been one of the most sobering for breeders, because the scans were done on dogs the breeders were sure would come back clear. I think for most of us, we have to assume that by the time our dogs reach old age, the likelihood is that they will have SM -- or in other words they are more likely to have it than not to have it just as with MVD. 50% actually reflects the rate already seen too in much smaller similar sets of dogs from breeders in places like Frait and only have quite minor signs. The condition itself is very enigmatic and dogs that have very bad syrinxes sometimes show few symptoms, probably because due to the slow onset of the condition for many dogs (and humans) they just adjust and learn to tolerate certain levels of discomfort or pain. I think that for anyone who wants a cavalier just as we have had to accept these dogs will almost all go on to have heart problems, we must now also accept that for the foreseeable future, many to most may also end up with syrinxes. I think to imagine otherwise is self deception and for many dogs, will mean they do not get the help that could bring them relief in their day-to-day life because owners refuse to accept that they are seen early signs. :( that is one of the main reasons I think education about the condition is so important and why I think the clubs themselves have a deep responsibility to inform their members as well as puppy buyers about the realities of this condition.

At the same time, many dogs will do quite well or never have any problems at all, so my own viewpoint is that all cavalier owners need to be aware of these health issues, they need to make sure their vets are informed about them, and they need to only ever purchase puppies from breeders who are working with the existing health information to try to address these health problems. Puppy buyers are really the ones who have the power to demand a solution because if they refused to buy puppies from any except scanning breeders, for example, this would quickly force mass change hand help this breed.
age. :)[/QUOTE]


What Percentage of Cavaliers Develope SM?


As Karlin has mentioned, the very worrying report to come from Australia ,and I think this will be about the only one to give the Figures from Cavalier Breeders about SM, is that of 60 Cavaliers MRI Scanned 50% were found to have SM.

What is not known ,is how many Long Lived Cavaliers were free from the SM Problem in the Past.

Not one of we Cavalier Owners can say that none of our Long Lived Cavaliers did not have SM,there is no Proof to be able to make this Statement, unless they have been MRI Scanned.

I know our Mags lived to 15 , but now I just cannot say she did not have a Syrinx,which denotes SM , nor can any other Cavalier Owner who has had a Long Lived Cavalier, who like Mags was never MRI Scanned.

I know that there are claims like those of Cavaliers with no MVD , the same applies to the SM Problem, that the Cavaliers who have been MRI Scanned A , been mated to another A Cavalier ,still have produced a Cavalier with SM, or MVD, have a good chance to be Carriers of the SM or MVD Genes.

This is why it it so important to find those Faulty Genes.

It is known that the Heart Problem has been in the Cavalier Breed since the 1940's, but unfortunately the same cannot be being said about the Breed's SM problem this fact is just not known, but if it has been in the Breed for a good number of years ,then there is every chance that there will be many Cavaliers around Carriers of the SM Gene/Genes.

This is why it is imperative for Cavalier Breeders to follow the Breeding Guidelines for both MVD and SM and not Breed from a Cavalier before 2.5 years of age.

Bet







This is the point I am trying to make.