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View Full Version : Why the public should be wary of buying a cavalier!



Bet
16th April 2011, 10:14 AM
Never did I ever think that I would be Writing about our Cavalier Breed like this after having been involved with them since 1973 ,but the Cavaliers are now in such a Precarious State with the SM and MVD Health Problems Afflicting them ,that it is now being Questioned if the Breed will Survive .

Infact so serious is the Predicament of the Cavalier Breed that I believe the Kennel Club is discussing whether the Cavaliers should be being Out-Crossed with another Breed to try and help with it's Survival.

Even the CKCS CLUB'S Chair-Person has said about Two weeks ago ,when she wrote in DOG WORLD ,that the Club's Cardiologist ,Simon Swift after Heart Testing Cavaliers' at the recent CKCS CLUB'S Championship Show, that he had been disappointed to find that there were only 3 Cavaliers over 7 years of age who were murmur free.

What the Chair-Person also said was how important it is for Cavalier Breeders to be Working with the Scientific Experts ,that they have given their Time to help the Cavalier Breed,but at the moment if no-one is Prepared to give the Data to them,the Breed Cannot move forward,that is the difficulty.

The Cavaliers' have 50% of them with Heart Murmurs at 5-6 years of age , and the CLUB'S Cardiologist said this is no better than it was 18 years ago.

Over 90% of Cavaliers have CM ,which is Chacterised with Brains too Big for their Skulls.

A recent Research Report mentioned that 85 Whelps ,all had CM.

All this now I would have thought,will be being considered by any-one wanting a Cavalier ,will be the cost of the Medication for any Cavalier who has those Two Conditions of SM and MVD. I know the MVD Pills our Cavaliers had to take daily were £ 1 for each Pill.

Now the Big Hurdle at the Moment which has put the UK CKCS CLUB IN TURMOIL . some Cavalier Breeders seem to be so Determined with every excuse they can think of, not to allow any Prospective Cavalier Buyer the Chance of Publicly seeing the Results of the Cavaliers who have been MRI Scanned for SM

All other Breed Clubs are co-operating with Health Tests being made Public, but not those few Cavaliers Breeders who don't want this to happen for the Cavalier Breed.

Maybe now Folk who in the Past wanted a Cavalier ,are now having Second Thoughts and this is why the KC Registrations have fallen so Dramatically in the last Two Years from over 11,000 to now just on 8,000.


Bet

Karlin
17th April 2011, 12:01 PM
I too understand that there are some formal discussions going on about a potential outcrossing program–a sign that the Kennel Club does think this is a breed with some severe health problems that may need to be addressed by widening the gene pool outside the immediate breed, especially if not enough breeders are willing to work with researchers ( the very fact that they are even talking about outcrossing indicates they realistically do not think there is likely to be a sudden conversion to working with researchers). My understanding from researchers is that there would be –or would have been–a very good chance of greatly reducing the incidence of both heart disease and neurological problems if breeders were testing, sharing results, and working with protocols. I understand that several geneticists think the breed has very little chance otherwise, because the problems are now so widespread.

There has been, in both the UK and the US, a pattern of clubs supporting a researcher as their kind of “poster researcher” until that researcher inevitably indicates from their findings that a health problem will require some approach to breeding that breeders do not wish to follow. Then, that researcher is either actively or quietly exiled from having any kind of public breeder support. I can think of several who now qualify as no longer being quite kosher with breeders–breed clubs because of their uncomfortable findings or backing of programs that would require greater cooperation, publication of health results, and an acceptance of how serious the health issues actually are. the researchers who continue to have some support are those whose projects are not yet producing results that would have a direct impact in this way, but expect to see them quietly exiled as well when they come up with some conclusion that requires real action or acceptance of the scale of the problem as well as the scale of action needed to address it.

I think a sign of how worrying the serious breed health issues in Cavaliers have become is that a health problem that would be of serious concern in other breeds, such as a very high rate of congenital deafness, is mostly ignored in Cavaliers because there are so many other more pressing problems. I now have two dogs that were almost completely deaf by age 7, and the problem is not due to PSOM in either. Some degree of hearing loss ranging to total deafness is pretty common in older cavalier rescue dogs that I have had in over the years, as well as in older cavaliers belonging to friends -- whereas deafness is rare except in really elderly dogs of other breeds. I think that perhaps the role of PSOM is being overestimated for deafness in CKCS as well–just a gut feeling from a lot of anecdotal reports. And dogs should not be going deaf at only age 7. Although dogs do manage deafness very well, there is always an additional safety risk in managing such dogs, as well as the sadness of knowing your dog can no longer hear your voice. In other breeds, such a high incidence of deafness would be a serious cause for alarm, but ( probably rightly) I cannot see breeders at this time trying to address yet another health issue that is less detrimental than MVD or SM.

But you really have to wonder whether there is not a connection between all of these problems and the shape of the dog skull, which seems to be where many issues keep coming back to. The tissue research, the comparisons of scans, the head research, and genome research all keep pointing to skull development and that shorter muzzle plus undoubtedly some other factors being the problem. As the researchers have noted that it is flatter faced toy breeds that seem to share the risk of SM, hydrocephalus, etc., I do think the appearance of these breeds is going to increasingly come under scrutiny and if an outcrossing program happens, I will wager right now it will not likely be to another flatter faced toy breed.

Bet
17th April 2011, 12:48 PM
I too understand that there are some formal discussions going on about a potential outcrossing program–a sign that the Kennel Club does think this is a breed with some severe health problems that may need to be addressed by widening the gene pool outside the immediate breed, especially if not enough breeders are willing to work with researchers ( the very fact that they are even talking about outcrossing indicates they realistically do not think there is likely to be a sudden conversion to working with researchers). My understanding from researchers is that there would be –or would have been–a very good chance of greatly reducing the incidence of both heart disease and neurological problems if breeders were testing, sharing results, and working with protocols. I understand that several geneticists think the breed has very little chance otherwise, because the problems are now so widespread.

There has been, in both the UK and the US, a pattern of clubs supporting a researcher as their kind of “poster researcher” until that researcher inevitably indicates from their findings that a health problem will require some approach to breeding that breeders do not wish to follow. Then, that researcher is either actively or quietly exiled from having any kind of public breeder support. I can think of several who now qualify as no longer being quite kosher with breeders–breed clubs because of their uncomfortable findings or backing of programs that would require greater cooperation, publication of health results, and an acceptance of how serious the health issues actually are. the researchers who continue to have some support are those whose projects are not yet producing results that would have a direct impact in this way, but expect to see them quietly exiled as well when they come up with some conclusion that requires real action or acceptance of the scale of the problem as well as the scale of action needed to address it.

I think a sign of how worrying the serious breed health issues in Cavaliers have become is that a health problem that would be of serious concern in other breeds, such as a very high rate of congenital deafness, is mostly ignored in Cavaliers because there are so many other more pressing problems. I now have two dogs that were almost completely deaf by age 7, and the problem is not due to PSOM in either. Some degree of hearing loss ranging to total deafness is pretty common in older cavalier rescue dogs that I have had in over the years, as well as in older cavaliers belonging to friends -- whereas deafness is rare except in really elderly dogs of other breeds. I think that perhaps the role of PSOM is being overestimated for deafness in CKCS as well–just a gut feeling from a lot of anecdotal reports. And dogs should not be going deaf at only age 7. Although dogs do manage deafness very well, there is always an additional safety risk in managing such dogs, as well as the sadness of knowing your dog can no longer hear your voice. In other breeds, such a high incidence of deafness would be a serious cause for alarm, but ( probably rightly) I cannot see breeders at this time trying to address yet another health issue that is less detrimental than MVD or SM.

But you really have to wonder whether there is not a connection between all of these problems and the shape of the dog skull, which seems to be where many issues keep coming back to. The tissue research, the comparisons of scans, the head research, and genome research all keep pointing to skull development and that shorter muzzle plus undoubtedly some other factors being the problem. As the researchers have noted that it is flatter faced toy breeds that seem to share the risk of SM, hydrocephalus, etc., I do think the appearance of these breeds is going to increasingly come under scrutiny and if an outcrossing program happens, I will wager right now it will not likely be to another flatter faced toy breed.


WHY THE PUBLIC SHOULD BE WARY OF BUYING A CAVALIE!

Thanks Karlin for your Post,you have put it in words far better than I ever could.

Please may I be allowed to just say ,that I have never said that the Cavaliers should be Out- Crossed with a Cocker Spaniel ,I only mentioned about the One Cocker Spaniel Mating with a Cavalier in the 1950's and that a Present day Cavalier whose pedigree went Back to this Mating had no SM.

This has now grown out of all Proportion by some .

As Karlin has Posted the Kennel Club is now I believe considering ,because of the Serious Health Problems in the Cavalier Breed ,Out -Crossing with another Breed,no-body knows what this Breed could be, but for the KC to be considering an Out-Cross for our Beloved Cavaliers ,surely shows how Worried the Kennel Club is about the Future of the Cavalier Breed.

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