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jld
30th August 2010, 04:15 AM
Today I attended a cavalier meet-up/ social. There was really a great turn-out. Maybe 25 or more cavaliers. All colors, sizes, ages etc. They were all having a great time. I really didn't know any of the members as this was the first time I had been able to attend a function. As I was mingling, I started asking various members about the ages of their cavaliers and if they were having any of the health concerns that are common to cavaliers. I was absolutely shocked that most of the cavalier owners, I spoke with, had NEVER heard of SM. They had no idea what I was talking about. That was very upsetting to me, as I was with a group of people who seemed to really love and care for their dogs, but had never heard of SM, or knew any of the symptoms. I immediately approached one of the organizers and suggested that at one of the meetings they should have a neurologist speak about SM, the symptoms, treatments and how common it is in our breed. She asked me if I knew a Dr. and I said I had been to one for a consulation. So, I am callling the Dr. tomorrow and ask if she can speak to this group. This group has addressed heart issues, patella, eye, and dental issues, but not SM it seems. I am so concerned that some of these dogs could be having pain and symptoms, but their owners are clueless...

Bet
30th August 2010, 10:08 AM
Today I attended a cavalier meet-up/ social. There was really a great turn-out. Maybe 25 or more cavaliers. All colors, sizes, ages etc. They were all having a great time. I really didn't know any of the members as this was the first time I had been able to attend a function. As I was mingling, I started asking various members about the ages of their cavaliers and if they were having any of the health concerns that are common to cavaliers. I was absolutely shocked that most of the cavalier owners, I spoke with, had NEVER heard of SM. They had no idea what I was talking about. That was very upsetting to me, as I was with a group of people who seemed to really love and care for their dogs, but had never heard of SM, or knew any of the symptoms. I immediately approached one of the organizers and suggested that at one of the meetings they should have a neurologist speak about SM, the symptoms, treatments and how common it is in our breed. She asked me if I knew a Dr. and I said I had been to one for a consulation. So, I am callling the Dr. tomorrow and ask if she can speak to this group. This group has addressed heart issues, patella, eye, and dental issues, but not SM it seems. I am so concerned that some of these dogs could be having pain and symptoms, but their owners are clueless...

SHOCKED

JID

This is about the best way to get across to Cavalier and TO BE Cavalier Owners doing what you have done ,this is the only way to make it known about this Horrible Disease.

Bet

Karlin
30th August 2010, 10:57 AM
That is really worrying. :( But it is surprisingly common and yes, disturbing that people are not aware of the issue as SM can be so easily misdiagnosed, and almost always is, as something else -- often for years -- while the affected dog suffers. :(

Experiences like this, with large groups of cavalier pet owners, really refute the claims by some involved with the breed clubs that there's too much information out there, that all owners think their dogs have SM, and that vets are inundated with cavaliers that they refer to neurologists who MRI only to find they do not have SM. This ridiculous claim has been made in the US and the UK numerous times now -- yet as we see over and over, vets and even many neurologists don't know the extent of the problem in the breed or (in the case of vets) know it exists at all (and thus will endlessly misdiagnose). There is no constant stream of owners taking cavaliers to vets worried about SM -- if anything, as we have also seen here, the reverse happens: owners with concerns take their dogs to vets unfamiliar with SM who misdiagnose and keep telling the owner nothing is wrong, and the owner has to arrange an MRI for the correct diagnosis themselves; in most cases finding their dog has SM. :(

If the breeders and clubs do not take a lead in informing new owners what to watch for, as any decent breeder would with patellas or MVD, then dogs will continue to suffer, as pet owners have few places to get such information and the information on the breed club sites and many breeder-run health sites in most places is alarmingly thin (and in some cases, downright misleading). On some pet focused cavalier discussion sites, discussion of health issues and especially SM is discouraged (or actually banned in at least one site I know about). Hopefully that is changing too, as such an attitude is really head in the sand stuff that causes dogs that people supposedly love, to suffer.

Responsible owners need to be aware of health issues in the breed they choose to own; simple as that. :thmbsup: The only people it will put off taking a cavalier are the people who probably are better off, for any range of reasons, not choosing this breed. When I home rescue dogs I always go through the health issues and generally leave a homing pack. I have never yet had anyone change their mind or decide against a rescue dog because of an honest, open discussion on health -- even with the riskier health profile of a dog of unknown origin. :)

It's great that you are organising a discussion for owners as somewhere down the line it will almost certainly benefit some of those owners and their dogs. :flwr:

Bet
30th August 2010, 12:38 PM
That is really worrying. :( But it is surprisingly common and yes, disturbing that people are not aware of the issue as SM can be so easily misdiagnosed, and almost always is, as something else -- often for years -- while the affected dog suffers. :(

Experiences like this, with large groups of cavalier pet owners, really refute the claims by some involved with the breed clubs that there's too much information out there, that all owners think their dogs have SM, and that vets are inundated with cavaliers that they refer to neurologists who MRI only to find they do not have SM. This ridiculous claim has been made in the US and the UK numerous times now -- yet as we see over and over, vets and even many neurologists don't know the extent of the problem in the breed or (in the case of vets) know it exists at all (and thus will endlessly misdiagnose). There is no constant stream of owners taking cavaliers to vets worried about SM -- if anything, as we have also seen here, the reverse happens: owners with concerns take their dogs to vets unfamiliar with SM who misdiagnose and keep telling the owner nothing is wrong, and the owner has to arrange an MRI for the correct diagnosis themselves; in most cases finding their dog has SM. :(

If the breeders and clubs do not take a lead in informing new owners what to watch for, as any decent breeder would with patellas or MVD, then dogs will continue to suffer, as pet owners have few places to get such information and the information on the breed club sites and many breeder-run health sites in most places is alarmingly thin (and in some cases, downright misleading). On some pet focused cavalier discussion sites, discussion of health issues and especially SM is discouraged (or actually banned in at least one site I know about). Hopefully that is changing too, as such an attitude is really head in the sand stuff that causes dogs that people supposedly love, to suffer.

Responsible owners need to be aware of health issues in the breed they choose to own; simple as that. :thmbsup: The only people it will put off taking a cavalier are the people who probably are better off, for any range of reasons, not choosing this breed. When I home rescue dogs I always go through the health issues and generally leave a homing pack. I have never yet had anyone change their mind or decide against a rescue dog because of an honest, open discussion on health -- even with the riskier health profile of a dog of unknown origin. :)

It's great that you are organising a discussion for owners as somewhere down the line it will almost certainly benefit some of those owners and their dogs. :flwr:

SHOCKED !!!!

Thanks Karlin for your Post,

What has really Annoyed me , was being Accused of only wanting to cause Trouble when I dare Mention the Health problems in our Cavalier Breed.

This seems to be the Mentality of some Cavalier Breeders ,

Keep The Cavalier Health Problems Under Wraps.

This won't work any-more!!!!

Thank Goodness for YOU ,THE PDE TV PROGRAM, and INTERNET CAVALIER FORUMS where the Owners of Cavaliers have now been made so aware of the Health Problems in the Cavalier Breed, and are hopefully now Realizing that when they want a Cavalier ,to only get a Cavalier from a Cavalier Breeder who Health Tests their Cavalier Breeding Stock and follows the CKCS CLUB'S Breeding Guidelines Recimmendations.

If the Cavalier Breeder does not do this , then go to a Cavalier Breeder who cares enough about the Cavalier Breed and is doing this.

Bet

Mindysmom
30th August 2010, 01:29 PM
I wonder if the owner's hadn't heard because their dogs aren't suffering any symptoms? To be perfectly honest I hadn't heard of SM until I was looking for Max. I don't think it was well known in the late nineties when we got Mindy and even once I knew what the symptoms were I knew she hadn't had any. From reading this and other forums I realize she may have been an exceptional dog because even at 12 she didn't have MVD (which I was aware was a breed problem). I know chances aren't great that Max and Rylie will be as lucky health wise.

Cathy T
30th August 2010, 05:14 PM
Sad but true. I belong to a casual meet up group....I would guess that if you brought up SM maybe 10% would know what you're talking about (that brain thing). When I put out information about upcoming health clinics I get a response from maybe 2 people out of a group of 60 or more. These are people who purchased their dogs off the internet or through a newspaper ad. There was no one to inform them about health issues or encourage them to join a club. They thought the breed was cute and bought one. I find it even more discouraging when I say MVD and they so "what?" :sl*p:

I had no clue what SM was when I bought Jake in 2002 or Shelby in 2003. I only learned about Cavalier health by joining a club, taking an active role in the breed and through the message boards. The majority of Cavalier owners I meet never get more involved in the breed other than to purchase one. Yes, they make them a part of the family and love their dogs but they don't go beyond dog ownership.

Kate H
30th August 2010, 08:57 PM
A lot of people who stop to make a fuss of my two say 'We're thinking of getting one of these'. What they get is my speech about they're great dogs but they have major health problems, don't buy off the internet or the local paper, do buy from a proper breeder, do ask to see health certificates, do see at least the mother, etc. etc. I'm thinking of putting it on a flyer and carrying them around with me! Us owners who take our Cavaliers out and about with us (even small breeders usually have too many to take into town, on buses, and so on) have a great opportunity to spread the word about MVD and SM and how to avoid some of the pitfalls.

Kate, Oliver and Aled (who all had a lovely walk in the sunshine today - 5 miles for me, probably nearer 7 for the boys, who were off lead the whole way - not bad for one with SM and the other with a Grade 3 murmur! That's the dogs, not me - I just have old bones!)

Blondiemonster
30th August 2010, 09:35 PM
Wow. that shocking indeed. What I wonder is; how is it possible none of these dogs from the group would be showing symptoms when SM is suspected in 70 percent of the breed?
U'd think at least some of them have it...

jld
31st August 2010, 01:21 AM
Wow. that shocking indeed. What I wonder is; how is it possible none of these dogs from the group would be showing symptoms when SM is suspected in 70 percent of the breed?
U'd think at least some of them have it...

Well, Blondiemonster I need to clarify that I did not speak to everyone in the group, but the ones I did speak to were not aware of SM. When I spoke to one of the group organizers, she was very nice. She said she would love to have an expert ( neurologist) speak to the group. She said the purpose of the group was not only to socialize, but to educate as well. I know all these owners love their dogs, but they were just not educated as to all the health risks. I think, as many of the above posters said, dogs were bought, or rescued, without knowledge of their health issues. These people just need to have the knowledge. I agree with you, out of this large group, I am sure there are symptomatic dogs that have not been diagnosed as having SM because their owners are not aware of what to look for. I am going to do my best to get an expert to speak to this group. As cavalier owners, we need to get this vital information out there to current owners, as well as prospective owners.

Mindysmom
31st August 2010, 01:43 AM
Even with SM suspected in 70% of the breed I would imagine many would be asymptomatic and would never have been tested. For all I know Mindy may well have had a syrinx had she been scanned and a murmur if she went to a Cardiologist but as she wasn't ever to be bred and didn't have a murmur audible to any of the vets we saw I didn't feel the need. Her paternal grandfather had MVD but died of something else at age nine. Her sire was clear at 5 and her breeder stopped breeding after that. Given I live closer to specialists now I will probably have my boys seen by a cardiologist when they are 3ish - particularly since they both do agility. Since one of Rylie's litter has been kept back she will be scanned if and when the time comes to breed her.

Blondiemonster
31st August 2010, 06:45 AM
Hello. I think it is really great you are getting a vet to speak for this group!! To have 25 cav owners listen and pass on the knowledge is a big deal.... Kudos!!!

Kate H
31st August 2010, 01:06 PM
Even with SM suspected in 70% of the breed I would imagine many would be asymptomatic and would never have been tested.

I think this is one of the real problems with SM. Most of the Cavaliers with SM are owned by non-breeders - just pet owners who have one or two dogs, probably neutered or spayed. Unless obvious symptoms occur, why should it even enter their heads to spend money (a LOT of money if you don't belong to a club) to have an apparently healthy dog scanned? If their dogs develop SM late, they may never have obvious symptoms - not all scratch, and you need a very keen eye to notice a dog has got a headache! In a way, as long as their dogs are not in obvious pain, it doesn't matter if no-one knows they've got SM - but it DOES matter to the breeder of the dog, who needs to know which of his/her stock is producing puppies who develop SM.

I didn't have Oliver scanned at age 6 because he was showing any symptoms at all (in retrospect his mild light phobia was probably a symptom, but no one picked it up), but because 3 generations of his family had either had SM or produced a puppy with it, so I wanted to know whether Oliver had inherited it. But because I belong to the Cavalier and Midland Clubs, read the dog press and go to occasional shows, I was much more aware of SM than your average pet owner. I told Oliver's breeder as soon as he was diagnosed, and she immediately withdrew his father from stud (fortunately, in spite of being a champion, he'd never been a fashionable stud dog) and now scans all her stock (and at least one has SM). But most pet owners won't do this for apparently asymptomatic dogs as long as MRIs are expensive - yes, insurance may pay for a scan, but if the scan shows SM, this may count as a pre-existing condition (certainly will if you have to change insurers at any stage) and the owner is then on their own having to pay for medication when symptoms do appear. This is why it's so important to try and catch people and inform them BEFORE they buy their first Cavalier, so that (as far as is presently possible) the risk of SM is minimised.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Bet
31st August 2010, 06:51 PM
I think this is one of the real problems with SM. Most of the Cavaliers with SM are owned by non-breeders - just pet owners who have one or two dogs, probably neutered or spayed. Unless obvious symptoms occur, why should it even enter their heads to spend money (a LOT of money if you don't belong to a club) to have an apparently healthy dog scanned? If their dogs develop SM late, they may never have obvious symptoms - not all scratch, and you need a very keen eye to notice a dog has got a headache! In a way, as long as their dogs are not in obvious pain, it doesn't matter if no-one knows they've got SM - but it DOES matter to the breeder of the dog, who needs to know which of his/her stock is producing puppies who develop SM.

I didn't have Oliver scanned at age 6 because he was showing any symptoms at all (in retrospect his mild light phobia was probably a symptom, but no one picked it up), but because 3 generations of his family had either had SM or produced a puppy with it, so I wanted to know whether Oliver had inherited it. But because I belong to the Cavalier and Midland Clubs, read the dog press and go to occasional shows, I was much more aware of SM than your average pet owner. I told Oliver's breeder as soon as he was diagnosed, and she immediately withdrew his father from stud (fortunately, in spite of being a champion, he'd never been a fashionable stud dog) and now scans all her stock (and at least one has SM). But most pet owners won't do this for apparently asymptomatic dogs as long as MRIs are expensive - yes, insurance may pay for a scan, but if the scan shows SM, this may count as a pre-existing condition (certainly will if you have to change insurers at any stage) and the owner is then on their own having to pay for medication when symptoms do appear. This is why it's so important to try and catch people and inform them BEFORE they buy their first Cavalier, so that (as far as is presently possible) the risk of SM is minimised.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

SHOCKED!!!!

Is it because a Number Of Cavalier Breeders have been trying to keep quiet about the SM Problem in the Cavalier Breed that many Cavalier Owners are not aware of it.

Is this really the Reason why there was such an Uproar after the PDE TV Program,that a lot of Cavalier Breeders just did not want this Health Problem known about to Cavalier Pet Buying Public.?

Bet

Cathy T
1st September 2010, 01:31 AM
Is it because a Number Of Cavalier Breeders have been trying to keep quiet about the SM Problem in the Cavalier Breed that many Cavalier Owners are not aware of it.



I really don't think this is why. The information is out there. On our club website the 2nd item on our Frequently Asked page is SM (we are having some site issues right now so the link isn't working....but we are working on it). I think if you looked at where the majority of these dogs are coming from they are not coming from breeders who also show. Most of them are coming from pet stores and backyard breeders (I don't consider these people the types of "breeders" you are referring to).

Mindysmom
1st September 2010, 02:31 AM
I haven't found that any breeders I've talked to when I was looking for a pup tried to cover up SM - If I recall correctly each of them brought it up to me. I know that in Rylie's sales contract it specifically states that I'm agreeing that the breeder has discussed SM with me and that I understood that despite the clear scans of parents and grandparents this was no guarantee that Rylie would never develop SM. There are articles and on the health page of the Canadian CKCS association website regarding SM.

Bet
1st September 2010, 10:28 AM
I haven't found that any breeders I've talked to when I was looking for a pup tried to cover up SM - If I recall correctly each of them brought it up to me. I know that in Rylie's sales contract it specifically states that I'm agreeing that the breeder has discussed SM with me and that I understood that despite the clear scans of parents and grandparents this was no guarantee that Rylie would never develop SM. There are articles and on the health page of the Canadian CKCS association website regarding SM.


SHOCKED!!!!!

All I comment on is the Personal Experience I had with a number of Cavalier Breeders and the Cavaliers' MVD Problem here in Britain.

We had Becky a B/T Cavalier who Developed Epilepsy, I contacted Dr. M Willis ,Geneticist, and sent him her Pedigree along with some others that I had collected, he got back to me saying to contact the Breeder of the Sire of Becky , I did this by Phone ,all I got Screamed at me was Bullsh.....,not just once but several times,also other Abusive Comments were made.

I was also a Cavalier Breed Advisor for a Dog Magazine for a number of years , if Cavalier Buyers wanted a Cavalier Puppy ,I got the Names from the UK CKCS CLUB of Cavalier Breeders who had Cavalier Puppies available ,but I always said to Cavalier Puppy Buyers ,ask the Cavalier Breeder if the Puppy's Sire and Dam have been Health Tested for MVD.

I was Shocked at the times the Cavalier Puppy Buyer would phone me back in tears and in a Distressed State when this Questioned had been asked to the Cavalier Breeder.

This was Cavalier Club Member Breeders ,not other types of Cavalier Breeders.

I just don't think it will be any different with the Cavalier SM Problem, when an attempt was made at a Recent CKCS CLUB AGM by some Cavalier Breeders not to allow the Breeding Guidelines for SM to be Passed.

If you remember Margaret was removed from the CKCS CLUB Committee here in Britain at a Special GM called for by many Cavalier Breeders for having the Bravery to mention about the SM Cavalier Problem on the PDE TV Program.

I think this says it all!!!

Bet

Bet
1st September 2010, 12:45 PM
SHOCKED!!!!!

All I comment on is the Personal Experience I had with a number of Cavalier Breeders and the Cavaliers' MVD Problem here in Britain.

We had Becky a B/T Cavalier who Developed Epilepsy, I contacted Dr. M Willis ,Geneticist, and sent him her Pedigree along with some others that I had collected, he got back to me saying to contact the Breeder of the Sire of Becky , I did this by Phone ,all I got Screamed at me was Bullsh.....,not just once but several times,also other Abusive Comments were made.

I was also a Cavalier Breed Advisor for a Dog Magazine for a number of years , if Cavalier Buyers wanted a Cavalier Puppy ,I got the Names from the UK CKCS CLUB of Cavalier Breeders who had Cavalier Puppies available ,but I always said to Cavalier Puppy Buyers ,ask the Cavalier Breeder if the Puppy's Sire and Dam have been Health Tested for MVD.

I was Shocked at the times the Cavalier Puppy Buyer would phone me back in tears and in a Distressed State when this Questioned had been asked to the Cavalier Breeder.

This was Cavalier Club Member Breeders ,not other types of Cavalier Breeders.

I just don't think it will be any different with the Cavalier SM Problem, when an attempt was made at a Recent CKCS CLUB AGM by some Cavalier Breeders not to allow the Breeding Guidelines for SM to be Passed.

If you remember Margaret was removed from the CKCS CLUB Committee here in Britain at a Special GM called for by many Cavalier Breeders for having the Bravery to mention about the SM Cavalier Problem on the PDE TV Program.

I think this says it all!!!

Bet

SHOCKED !!!!!

Forgot to say in my previous Post, the Orginizers of the Cavalier Blenheim Palace Show have to be Congratulated so much for putting such Emphasis on the SM and MVD Problems in the Cavalier Breed and making the Cavalier Buying Public so aware about them.

Now the Cavalier Pet Buyers surely in the future will not be given Abusive Comments when they ask if the Cavalier Breeder does carry out Health Tests, and follows the Recommended Breeding Guidelines given by the CKCS CLUB since this Advice would be being given at the Blenheim Palace Show.

Bet

Mindysmom
1st September 2010, 01:13 PM
So that would be a giant move forward in the UK I'm thinking?