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View Full Version : French CKCS breeders show their MVD breeding protocol works



RodRussell
29th July 2011, 11:40 PM
Jane Naylor has brought to my attention that the CKCS club of France has added to its website, Bertrand Dumontís July 11 powerpoint presentation about the progress being made over the past several years by breeders following the French version of the MVD breeding protocol.

Apparently in France, the test is ultrasound and not auscultation, and the age cut off is 4 years rather than 5. Jane reports that 4,600 Cavaliers and 420 King Charles have undergone ultrasound health tests; many of them being the same dogs having repeated tests.

http://cena.asso.fr/cena/_CENA/la_sante/symposium_bertrand.pdf is the link to Bertrand Dumontís powerpoint report, which is written in French. My franÁais is somewhat rusty, but here is what I think it says:

The French protocol calls for ultrasounding the breeding stock at age 4 years. The grading system is Grades 0 to 4, with Grade 4 being the worst -- ruptured valve cords.

The first hypothesis was that if both parents tested at Grade 0, their offsprings' results should be better than parents tested above 0.

The second hypothesis is that over several generations of tested parents, the average grade of descendants should improve, compared to untested parents or only one generation.

Testing statistics show that tests performed before age 2 years had no predictive value.

Cavaliers with Grade 3 should be prohibited by the CKCS club from breeding.

Over the last three years (2009-2011) the hypotheses have been confirmed and show an improvement in the condition of the breeding stock. There was better progress when the parents were tested at Grade 0, and there was overall improvement in the average evolution of the population.

The conclusion is that there was a significant improvement in one generation, with the positive effects accumulating after two or three generations.

While the UK and USA do not have an ultrasound-at-age-4 MVD test as a condition of our MVD breeding protocol, we do have an auscultation-at-age-5 test. At the CKCSC,USA's MVD symposium in 1998, the cardiologists said that a reason (among others) for requiring auscultation rather than ultrasound was that ultrasound detects mitral valve regurgitation earlier than does the cardiologist's stethoscope detect a murmur. That was why the age difference was allowed, from age 4 to age 5 in our breeding protocol.

But the hypotheses for both protocols was identical: that if cavaliers with no murmurs at age 5 years (or Grade 0 by ultrasound at age 4 years) are bred, there will be marked improvement in the first generation offspring and major compounding of that improvement over two and three generations.

Bertrand Dumont's July 11 report confirms that these MVD breeding protocols will work when followed.

Soushiruiuma
30th July 2011, 12:14 AM
That's great to hear that the MVD protocol shows improvement within one generation, and more in 2nd and 3rd generations. It's also great that enough breeders are complying that statistics can be drawn from it. Hopefully, other breed clubs will follow in their steps.

RodRussell
30th July 2011, 01:01 AM
Jane reports that the French breeding protocol calls for an ultrasound every eighteen months starting at age eighteen months or older. Cavaliers with grades 3 and 4 should not be bred from, but cavaliers aged over two and at grade 1 may be, as may any cavalier over age three with a grade 2. She says that grades 1 and 2 are often inaudible; 80% of grade 1 have no audible murmur and 40% of grade 2.

mommytoClaire
30th July 2011, 06:23 AM
This is good news, and I'm hoping it will set a pattern for improving health conditions in this wonderful breed.

Soushiruiuma
30th July 2011, 06:31 AM
Jane reports that the French breeding protocol calls for an ultrasound every eighteen months starting at age eighteen months or older. Cavaliers with grades 3 and 4 should not be bred from, but cavaliers aged over two and at grade 1 may be, as may any cavalier over age three with a grade 2. She says that grades 1 and 2 are often inaudible; 80% of grade 1 have no audible murmur and 40% of grade 2.

I think this sounds like a very reasonable, and approachable protocol. The ultrasounds are very sensitive at detecting abnormalities, every 18 months is a reasonable interval, both for monitoring MVD, and from a standpoint of breeders paying for a test (2 times every 3 years). The protocol does allow for dogs with slight murmurs to be used, which keeps genetic diversity up, while moving the breed in a positive direction regarding heart health so that continued improvements can be made with successive generations.

Any chance this version of the MVD protocol would be accepted in the uk, or us?

It would mean that the low cost MVD screening available at shows would not be acceptable for breeding purposes, those clinics would be more aimed at pet owners than show breeders.