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Carol Fowler
1st August 2011, 05:15 PM
I asked the BVA for an update on the official CMSM screening scheme (a meeting was held between Cavalier breeders the BVA and KC on 12 July)

The BVA have sent the following reply:

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and Kennel Club (KC) have been in discussions regarding a Canine Health Scheme to screen for Chiari-like malfomation and Syringomyelia (CM/SM) for a couple of years. Both organisations agree there is a need for such a scheme and it has a significant amount of public support. Considerable work has already been undertaken to develop the scheme in consultation with expert neurologists and radiologists.

There has been much discussion within both organisations regarding the publication of the results of the proposed scheme. The BVA firmly believes that the results of the CM/SM scheme must be available in the public domain to assist breeders in making breeding decisions and to assist puppy buyers in choosing a healthy dog. The existing Canine Health Schemes operate in this way.

The KC has concerns regarding the attitude of breeders and owners towards publication of the results and does not yet have a mandate to support results being put in the public domain.

As a result of this the Scheme is currently on hold, bu the KC is actively endeavouring to resulve the issues with breeders and breed clubs.

Apparently there is another meeting between the KC breeders on 31 August 'by invitation only'.

Meanwhile the Heart Scheme has been put 'on hold'. And Cavaliers will continue to develop heart murmurs at a young age, suffering from (and many dying prematurely) from heart failure.

What are we to think? It has taken two years and 3 months and still the CM?SM scheme is not up and running due to objections being raised by Cavalier breeders. Why would they not want the full publication of the results of the scheme? There is only one answer to that.

The Kennel Club's slogans, 'Fit for Function, Fit for Life' and 'Happy Healthy Dogs' both have a very hollow ring. Who, at those meetings was prepared to put the health and welfare of the dogs first? At least it is good news that at last the BVA has stood up to the KC and this is to be very much welcomed.

Meanwhile Cavaliers continue to suffer. I heard within the last week of two 3 year old Cavaliers who were pts because they were screaming in pain from SM. My Rosie, coming up to 9 years old, has SM, MVD (grade 3/4 heart murmur), seasonal Atopy, is becoming deaf, developed a mammary tumor at the age of 4, and has a benign growth on her eyelid. Nine years isn't such an old age for a dog, but for a Cavalier it is. This isn't right. I don't need any more evidence that self regulation will not improve the genetic health of dogs. Only tough welfare laws will do that.

I'm angry today.

Carol

Karen and Ruby
1st August 2011, 08:32 PM
I think we should all be angry!:mad:

I really really don't understand what the breeders want, I mean what do they want??????????

It is selfish, really really selfish behaviour to keep putting themselves above the welfare of these dogs, I remember standing in the waiting room of Stone Lion with Tania talking to Dr Rusbridge just before Xmas last year and a comment passed about 'Cavalier breeders being a law unto themselves' or something to that extent and this is further proof of that!

How Dr Rusbridge, Penny Knowler and all the other wonderful researchers doing their upmost to help this breed continue to do what they are doing in the face of this adversity is a powerful statement to just how much they care!! And Inspirational!

I'm just at a loss for words..WHAT DO THEY WANT ????????


:bang:

mommytoClaire
1st August 2011, 08:38 PM
Oh Carol, I know you don't know me, but just reading your posts breaks my heart. Hearing all the issues that are happening right here at CT, and knowing that our dear Cavaliers are suffering at the hands of those who only seem to care about the money or status, is overwhelming to think about.I feel at a loss to know what to do to help this precious breed, and it makes me very sad.

Nicki
1st August 2011, 09:29 PM
This is just so very disappointing and I think we are all with you in expressing anger that this scheme is now on hold YET AGAIN.

Other breeds and breeders are so supportive of their health schemes, and really want to look after their breeds - what can they think of how our breeders are behaving?

It is wonderful though the the BVA are standing up to the KC and breeders...

Brian M
1st August 2011, 09:38 PM
Hi

Totally on your side ,as J. H. says the few in The Coven have a scary hold over the many normal ,caring ,responsible breeders.


http://pedigreedogsexposed.blogspot.com/

Karen and Ruby
1st August 2011, 09:59 PM
Well, just read Jemima's blog "Cavaliers, the agony and the agony"

And thanks to those select breeders they have earned themselves a prime spot in PDE2!! :biggrin:


But they were so unhappy about being in PDE1 !! And so unhappy about PDE2 being made !!!


MAYBE THEY SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT AND DONE THE HONORABLE THING AND MADE AN EFFORT TO CHANGE!!!! THEY'VE HAD A FEW YEARS TO DO SO!

Ah well- i'm starting to think they like the attention!!



Just venting again!

Sandrac
2nd August 2011, 10:48 AM
Words fail me:x

tuppenlil
2nd August 2011, 11:24 AM
Well, just read Jemima's blog "Cavaliers, the agony and the agony"

And thanks to those select breeders they have earned themselves a prime spot in PDE2!! :biggrin:


But they were so unhappy about being in PDE1 !! And so unhappy about PDE2 being made !!!


MAYBE THEY SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT AND DONE THE HONORABLE THING AND MADE AN EFFORT TO CHANGE!!!! THEY'VE HAD A FEW YEARS TO DO SO!


Cavalier breeders win pride of place in PDE2, a well deserved accolade!

Hopefully the breed will also be high on the list of priorities for the Dog Welfare Council, APGAW and CAWC. All bodies concerned with the health and welfare issues associated with dog breeding.

You might have thought that with all the negative publicity of PDE, the Clubs might have made an effort to put their house in order before the next version was made ? What has actually changed in those 3 years ?

Still no BVA/KC CM/SM scheme
Still no BVA/KC heart scheme
Committee members frequently breaking their own Club's breeding guidelines
Despite a new AHT genetic test for episodic falling, only a handful of UK dogs have done the test.
Still no way of requiring these health tests through the KC Accredited Breeder Scheme

All of this could have happened with the Clubs' support

Meanwhile several peer reviewed papers have been published, showing the high level of incidence of SM, showing that using breeding guidelines will show an improvement for SM and MVD.

What hope is there for the future of this breed ? Its 'broke' and the most influential breeders don't want to fix it, and those caring breeders that do want to do the right thing are to scared to speak out.:-X

Maggie

Brian M
2nd August 2011, 12:02 PM
"All of this could have happened with the Clubs' support

Meanwhile several peer reviewed papers have been published, showing the high level of incidence of SM, showing that using breeding guidelines will show an improvement for SM and MVD.

What hope is there for the future of this breed ? Its 'broke' and the most influential breeders don't want to fix it, and those caring breeders that do want to do the right thing are to scared to speak out.:-X

Maggie"

Hi

Sorry this part I just cannot understand ,I can only conclude that they want the breed to disappear .When one reads the other place it is easy to spot the dominant bullies but surely there are enough of the caring breeders there to speak out,as there may still be time to save our Cavaliers if we all work together ,look at Rupert's Fund. The lure of Champ Certs must be a powerful drug ,but what will they do when there are no more Cavaliers as the day is getting closer .

Why will the others not speak out does anybody know .?

sins
2nd August 2011, 12:06 PM
I don't think that this comes as any great surprise.
The fact is, that the majority of breeders do not want their Mri scan results to be publically accessible.
Maggie,
It's obvious that change comes very slowly through formal channels.That's just the way life is...inertia sets in and things reach an impasse with no obvious solution.
The kennel Club comes across as weak and indecisive about what they envisage as the future for the breed and what bugs me is the immediate calls across message boards for outcrosses to another breed,rather than supporting the breeders who want to improve health issues.
Now as for these wonderful caring breeders...
I've no doubt that they exist.But there's no unity between them,very little cohesion and cooperation.
If those breeders are serious about salvaging the breed,then they'd best stop faction fighting,put aside personality differences and start working together for the sake of the breed.
It's becoming Monty pythonesque...like the people's front of Judea vs the Judean people's front.
What's to stop, 10,12 or 14 breeders getting together quietly to exchange ideas on the way forward.
By creating a pool of stock....sharing health results,stud dogs,the best bitches and helping small breeders breed for health and not lose sight of the breed standard.
You'll be waiting a very long time for breed clubs to cater for the wishes of the minority.That's democracy for you unfortunately.
But by thinking outside of the box perhaps something more can be achieved.
Sins

anniemac
2nd August 2011, 01:10 PM
I don't think that this comes as any great surprise.
The fact is, that the majority of breeders do not want their Mri scan results to be publically accessible.
Maggie,
It's obvious that change comes very slowly through formal channels.That's just the way life is...inertia sets in and things reach an impasse with no obvious solution.
The kennel Club comes across as weak and indecisive about what they envisage as the future for the breed and what bugs me is the immediate calls across message boards for outcrosses to another breed,rather than supporting the breeders who want to improve health issues.
Now as for these wonderful caring breeders...
I've no doubt that they exist.But there's no unity between them,very little cohesion and cooperation.
If those breeders are serious about salvaging the breed,then they'd best stop faction fighting,put aside personality differences and start working together for the sake of the breed.
It's becoming Monty pythonesque...like the people's front of Judea vs the Judean people's front.
What's to stop, 10,12 or 14 breeders getting together quietly to exchange ideas on the way forward.
By creating a pool of stock....sharing health results,stud dogs,the best bitches and helping small breeders breed for health and not lose sight of the breed standard.
You'll be waiting a very long time for breed clubs to cater for the wishes of the minority.That's democracy for you unfortunately.
But by thinking outside of the box perhaps something more can be achieved.
Sins

Sins you always say things so elequently. I agree with what you said and I was quite upset last night about the outcrossing comments.

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GraciesMom
2nd August 2011, 03:15 PM
Gracie's breeders are a good example. They are too busy blaming each other for her SM, instead of doing anything differently with their breeding practices. There are some affordable options in the USA for MRIs for breeders and if the breeders wanted it, they could negotiate for lower rates for a group deal. But they spend too much time competing with each other and whining about costs... if too pricey, then DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!! Raise a fuss!!! Get organized and start demanding it from vet schools and other places that could help. Enlist vets in your cause.

Sorry... just had to vent. I am tired of excuses about cost of MRIs. They could make cheaper options happen if they wanted to.

Oreo
2nd August 2011, 03:17 PM
I don't think that this comes as any great surprise.
The fact is, that the majority of breeders do not want their Mri scan results to be publically accessible.
Maggie,
It's obvious that change comes very slowly through formal channels.That's just the way life is...inertia sets in and things reach an impasse with no obvious solution.
The kennel Club comes across as weak and indecisive about what they envisage as the future for the breed and what bugs me is the immediate calls across message boards for outcrosses to another breed,rather than supporting the breeders who want to improve health issues.
Now as for these wonderful caring breeders...
I've no doubt that they exist.But there's no unity between them,very little cohesion and cooperation.
If those breeders are serious about salvaging the breed,then they'd best stop faction fighting,put aside personality differences and start working together for the sake of the breed.
It's becoming Monty pythonesque...like the people's front of Judea vs the Judean people's front.
What's to stop, 10,12 or 14 breeders getting together quietly to exchange ideas on the way forward.
By creating a pool of stock....sharing health results,stud dogs,the best bitches and helping small breeders breed for health and not lose sight of the breed standard.
You'll be waiting a very long time for breed clubs to cater for the wishes of the minority.That's democracy for you unfortunately.
But by thinking outside of the box perhaps something more can be achieved.
Sins

Wonderful thoughts and comment here. I believe that there are small groups of breeders already working together, but I also believe, for the breed, a larger group needs to get together.

As I do follow genetics discussions and have a good understanding of population genetics I would suggest that those that are suggesting outcrossing (and I have been told by one zoologist that there have been these suggestions since 1998 re MVD in the breed) are doing so with the thought that the population numbers, with regard to Cavaliers produced by conscientious breeders, might end out too small to support the breed - the thought is that a population bottleneck has been created through illness in Cavaliers.

That is a situation that can be helped through judicious outcrossing. Better that than a lost breed. I know others are of the hope that there are enough in number to continue forward without the outcross. Those of us (and I am one) that are experienced in livestock breeding have less resistance to the idea of outcrossing while still retaining a breed, as in most livestock this is a regularly used tool.

I understand that the thought of outcrossing is unpalatable to many as they seem to understand that option as 'losing the breed'. I have difficulty understanding that and I don't believe I am alone. If someone could explain that way of thinking (why there would be 'upset' about outcross comments), I'd love to understand it a bit better, as I have wrestled with trying to get it for a number of years now.

CC

tuppenlil
2nd August 2011, 04:53 PM
...........The KC has concerns regarding the attitude of breeders and owners towards publication of the results and does not yet have a mandate to support results being put in the public domain...........



I wonder if this is a change of policy by the KC ? Did breeders want the KC/BVA Hip Dysplasia scheme results published, or the KC/BVA eye scheme results ?

When they introduce any other new BVA/KC scheme are the UK KC now going to now ask for a mandate to publish the results ? So can we expect no more new health BVA/KC schemes with fully published results in any breed then ? Or are some Cavalier breeders unique in their unwillingness to be transparent and open about health test results ?

What use then for the KC's new toy the "Health Test Results Finder" ?

What use then for the KC Accredited Breeder scheme ( relaunched yesterday as the KC Assured Breeder scheme ) ?
http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/3839/23/5/3

Maggie

anniemac
2nd August 2011, 04:56 PM
Wonderful thoughts and comment here. I believe that there are small groups of breeders already working together, but I also believe, for the breed, a larger group needs to get together.

As I do follow genetics discussions and have a good understanding of population genetics I would suggest that those that are suggesting outcrossing (and I have been told by one zoologist that there have been these suggestions since 1998 re MVD in the breed) are doing so with the thought that the population numbers, with regard to Cavaliers produced by conscientious breeders, might end out too small to support the breed - the thought is that a population bottleneck has been created through illness in Cavaliers.

That is a situation that can be helped through judicious outcrossing. Better that than a lost breed. I know others are of the hope that there are enough in number to continue forward without the outcross. Those of us (and I am one) that are experienced in livestock breeding have less resistance to the idea of outcrossing while still retaining a breed, as in most livestock this is a regularly used tool.

I understand that the thought of outcrossing is unpalatable to many as they seem to understand that option as 'losing the breed'. I have difficulty understanding that and I don't believe I am alone. If someone could explain that way of thinking (why there would be 'upset' about outcross comments), I'd love to understand it a bit better, as I have wrestled with trying to get it for a number of years now.

CC

Its not that I have a problem with outcrossing if planned by a certain group of experts with a set plan, my problem is people blindly saying its the solution. All the comments of talks of the kc planning this or talking about it, or that even with those that are following recommended protocols and pet buyers supporting them isn't enough because the breed is already too messed up, gives no possitive motivation.

People talking of outcrossing is throwing out this scheme. If people talk about that then why are they even wanting this? I am just asking a hypothetical question. Things will take time and there are other breeds with SM. For people wanting to buy and support the breeders doing their utmost to scan and help the breed, when people talk of the solution of outcrossing, it just gives me an upsetting feeling. Why bother if everyone already gave up.

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Oreo
2nd August 2011, 05:02 PM
. . . People talking of outcrossing is throwing out this scheme. If people talk about that then why are they even wanting this? I am just asking a hypothetical question. . . .

Outcrossing does not throw out any scheme, nor hope for the breed or positive motivation. There can be more than one route used to resolve problems, and many differing routes can be used at the same time, working forward from those that give the best results. I don't think that is hard to understand.

CC

anniemac
2nd August 2011, 05:12 PM
Outcrossing does not throw out any scheme, nor hope for the breed or positive motivation. There can be more than one route used to resolve problems, and many differing routes can be used at the same time, working forward from those that give the best results. I don't think that is hard to understand.

CC

That makes sense. However, that would take time, careful planning etc.

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anniemac
2nd August 2011, 05:13 PM
Outcrossing does not throw out any scheme, nor hope for the breed or positive motivation. There can be more than one route used to resolve problems, and many differing routes can be used at the same time, working forward from those that give the best results. I don't think that is hard to understand.

CC

I think I am still thinking of a comment someone made about mri vs outcrossing

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Oreo
2nd August 2011, 05:47 PM
I think I am still thinking of a comment someone made about mri vs outcrossing

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I read the comment on the PDE blog and did not read into it what you did - http://pedigreedogsexposed.blogspot.com/2011/08/cavaliers-agony-and-agony.html#comments

From your other post I believe that you read into it something it did not say. On the blog comments I am waiting for the original poster to get back on and explain.

In my mind saying/asking "Why is all this MRI-ing and research seen to be more sensible than an outcross and the elimination of the flat back of the head?", as rmholt did in that comment does not equate to suggesting that breeders give up on MRIs, research and heart testing. There is not mention of 'instead of' in the comment, but it seems to have been perceived that way.

Oreo

Kate H
2nd August 2011, 06:53 PM
'an outcross and the elimination of the flat back of the head'

If only it was that easy! (And incidentally my SM dog doesn't have a flat back to his head...)

Kate, Oliver and Aled

RodRussell
2nd August 2011, 08:06 PM
'an outcross and the elimination of the flat back of the head'

If only it was that easy! (And incidentally my SM dog doesn't have a flat back to his head...)

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Right. It really is a comment made from total ignorance.

anniemac
2nd August 2011, 08:48 PM
I read the comment on the PDE blog and did not read into it what you did - http://pedigreedogsexposed.blogspot.com/2011/08/cavaliers-agony-and-agony.html#comments

From your other post I believe that you read into it something it did not say. On the blog comments I am waiting for the original poster to get back on and explain.

In my mind saying/asking "Why is all this MRI-ing and research seen to be more sensible than an outcross and the elimination of the flat back of the head?", as rmholt did in that comment does not equate to suggesting that breeders give up on MRIs, research and heart testing. There is not mention of 'instead of' in the comment, but it seems to have been perceived that way.

Oreo

You left off this part:

"Why is all this MRI-ing and research seen to be more sensible than an outcross and the elimination of the flat back of the head? The mitral valve issue might also be eliminated - a bonus.

If they are going to spend money on MRIs and research they might also want to toss in some $$ for corrective surgery, which is what humans have done. In for a penny... "

Then later said maybe good coincidence cavalier crosses are popular. The point is that this gets everything OFF the point which is we have ESPECIALLY in the USA need for breeders to be scanning.

anniemac
2nd August 2011, 08:51 PM
Right. It really is a comment made from total ignorance.

Rod,

I thought you would like that it also might help eliminate MVD.

However, when people are saying to only buy a cavalier from two scanned A parents, it makes it more difficult to have this work. I guess I should not comment on the UK when we need more people scanning in the USA.

Oreo
2nd August 2011, 09:03 PM
You left off this part:

"Why is all this MRI-ing and research seen to be more sensible than an outcross and the elimination of the flat back of the head? The mitral valve issue might also be eliminated - a bonus.

If they are going to spend money on MRIs and research they might also want to toss in some $$ for corrective surgery, which is what humans have done. In for a penny... "

Then later said maybe good coincidence cavalier crosses are popular. The point is that this gets everything OFF the point which is we have ESPECIALLY in the USA need for breeders to be scanning.

Annie, I did not say that I liked the comment. I suggested that you read into it what was not there. As the RMHolt that I know of in dogs is a radiologist I would have hoped better wording and less sarcasm.

Oreo

RodRussell
2nd August 2011, 09:07 PM
Rod,

I thought you would like that it also might help eliminate MVD. ....

WHAT might eliminate MVD, geting rid of a flat back of the head? If he thinks SM is due to flat backs of heads, then the guy is a knee-jerk, bomb throwing, idiot.

RodRussell
2nd August 2011, 09:10 PM
Annie, I did not say that I liked the comment. I suggested that you read into it what was not there. As the RMHolt that I know of in dogs is a radiologist I would have hoped better wording and less sarcasm.

Oh, so he is a radiologist, is he? Then he has failed to hide behind the screen a bit too often.

anniemac
2nd August 2011, 10:00 PM
Annie, I did not say that I liked the comment. I suggested that you read into it what was not there. As the RMHolt that I know of in dogs is a radiologist I would have hoped better wording and less sarcasm.

Oreo

My stepfather was a radiologist (he retired and it he didn't not even want to look at Ella's MRI) so I feel bad but I know I post comments all the time that don't come out how I meant to and I should not pick on him in particular. I think what Sins said that drove her crazy was talk about crossbreeding and commenting on it, which is precisly what I am doing now. So that's for another group but I do wish that more people here were scanning and I also know that there is not going to be some simple quick solution.

anniemac
2nd August 2011, 10:02 PM
WHAT might eliminate MVD, geting rid of a flat back of the head? If he thinks SM is due to flat backs of heads, then the guy is a knee-jerk, bomb throwing, idiot.

Rod,

you commented on the blog post and you can read it there instead of talking about someone on another forum. I think it was being sarcastic.

RodRussell
2nd August 2011, 10:03 PM
My stepfather was a radiologist (he retired and it he didn't not even want to look at Ella's MRI) so I feel bad but I know I post comments all the time that don't come out how I meant to and I should not pick on him in particular. I think what Sins said that drove her crazy was talk about crossbreeding and commenting on it, which is precisly what I am doing now. So that's for another group but I do wish that more people here were scanning and I also know that there is not going to be some simple quick solution.

I read his comment on the blog. I was not relying upon you quoting him. His comment just proves that Jemima will let just about any comments through.

RodRussell
2nd August 2011, 10:04 PM
Rod,

you commented on the blog post and you can read it there instead of talking about someone on another forum. I think it was being sarcastic.

If he was being sarcastic, then he is much too erudite for me.

anniemac
2nd August 2011, 10:25 PM
I read his comment on the blog. I was not relying upon you quoting him. His comment just proves that Jemima will let just about any comments through.

She didn't let mine through but she said it was a mistake.

keekycat
2nd August 2011, 11:41 PM
:confused::confused:
Oh Carol, I know you don't know me, but just reading your posts breaks my heart. Hearing all the issues that are happening right here at CT, and knowing that our dear Cavaliers are suffering at the hands of those who only seem to care about the money or status, is overwhelming to think about.I feel at a loss to know what to do to help this precious breed, and it makes me very sad.

I am neither a breeder nor a health expert when it comes to cavaliers but I am very concerned about the plight of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. My thoughts are these.

Firstly-from what I understand many breeders are barely breaking even out there (regardless of why others here feel they are breeding cavaliers). I know many who are carefully thinking about giving up on breeding Cavaliers because of their very serious health issues(I know of at least one personally who has been breeding cavs for a long-long time-- she is also an AKC judge and it did break her heart when she found that two of her dogs had been affected by SM. She had taken them back and they have remained at her kennel until one of them recently passed on. (She has taken back two that I am aware of) Is this the answer to have our more experiencd breeders leave the breeding circuit?

Secondly--it could be quite intimidating to a breeder, I suppose, who has an established line of dogs which may have a high propensity for SM/CM/MVD as indeed others have said here and it will take them time, perhaps years to try and breed out the health issues they may not even know trully exists as the breed clubs in the states have not even been advocating for scanning as yet and perhaps many have been trying to deny that CM/SM is trully in their lines to begin with. You cannot fault people who have spent years of time, dedication, and money trying to do what they felt was the right thing at the get-go-only to find out years down the line their dogs may have a higher propensity for severe health problems.
No one could have predicted this-maybe I'm wrong.

Thirdly-there are indeed several breeders that I have met that are outcrossing within the breed--ie from lines that have never been incorporated into that breeder's dogs in the past in hopes this will lead to a decrease in incidence/severity or both within their lines even though they DO realise they will not get the same conformation-bred dogs as they had in the past- at least not as quickly anyway.-and many are doing this because of their LOVE and CONCERN for the preservation of the cavalier.(And this again will prove to be quite costly as it might be as difficult for some as it was starting out in the beginning of their breeding careers.)

Fourthly-I am wondering if an intermediate can be considered-ie that health info is only made public to other breeders within the breed club looking to breed with unaffected/less severely affected dogs? At least this could be a starting point.
This at least would give those breeding our beautiful dogs an advantage that they do not currently possess-ie knowing what dogs are trully healthy as shown in verified health records to aid in an informed decision of who to breed with.
Perhaps this would be less intimidating at first for some breeders and will give them time to incorporate different unaffected/less severely affected lines into their already established lines. Although this seems as though it will take a long-long time even if it trully can be done.) It is the breeders who do propel the majority of our available pups after all. Perhaps it would be less intimidating if only other breeders could view this info.(I am not advocating for hiding any info here it's just that I feel those breeders who truly do have cvalier health at their uppermost level of importance will not knowingly select dogs any longer based on conformation only--naive? Quite possibly. But I do feel that there are many breeders out there who are begining to gain insight into what is trully important when selecting other dogs to breed with. And although again it may seem naive of me I feel that breeders are not being giving much credit here and all are being frowned upon as being money grabbers.(I have not found this to be the case with most breeders I have met at shows)

Fifthly--I agree that all breeders should begin scanning their dogs immediately but as others have said-yes at present it is very, very expensive. I am attending a show in August and do intend to begin a petition of interested club members who might be interested in scanning all/or some of their dogs. After I survey those who are interested I will the attempt to contact several neurologists experienced with CM/SM to see if they would consider providing scans on a reduced-rate for those breeders. The answer right now seems to be WE NEED MORE INFORMATION, TESTING, AND RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, if we are to save the cavalier as we know it now. And yes there does need to be more involvement and we do need to pick up the pace.

Sixtly--I for one do find it very distasteful to consider a total outcross with another breed-as this negates the trueness of a cavalier king charles spaniel. At least at this time and I feel that the present breeders of cavaliers will find this pill harder to swallow then trying to preserve the breed through breeding protocols (Of course it is a buyer's decision to purchase a cross breed if they so desire but I still feel the research does not, as yet, support the fact that this will illiminate the health issues.) The only way it would seem logical to me to reduce the incidence of SM is to breed a dog that has a larger head-not so much breed out a flat back as the dog- will still have a brain/skull mismatch if the skull itself is not larger. And this would not BE A CAVALIER would it? Don't get me wrong as I do want, just as we all do, for the cavalier to have less health issues than they presently have. And yes, knowing what I now do, I believe my Bandit was affected but I was too ignorant at the time to realise this and my vet was uneducated with SM as well. Change is often slow in coming sometimes, I do agree.

My aim is not to make any enemies here but only to learn.
Thoughtfully
Karen H

RodRussell
3rd August 2011, 04:09 AM
I appreciate the thought you have given to these issues, Karen. Please don't take my comments personally. I, too, have given a lot of thought to these issues, and what I write are just my opinions, worth no more than anyone else's.


... Is this the answer to have our more experiencd breeders leave the breeding circuit?

I long have believed that there are too many breeders of cavaliers in the US. When the AKC recognized the cavalier as a breed in 1995-1996, my greatest concern for the breed was that the resulting publicity would prompt a whole bunch of AKC breeders -- perhaps knowledgeable about purebred breeding but ignorant as a stump about the special genetic health conditions of cavaliers -- would start breeding them, for any of a variety of reasons, but certainly none that included wanting to breed early-onset MVD out of the breed. My concerns were accurate. There are way too many cavalier breeders in the US, and most all of them are AKC-only breeders, meaning that they have not joined and do not compete in the CKCSC,USA.


... You cannot fault people who have spent years of time, dedication, and money trying to do what they felt was the right thing at the get-go-only to find out years down the line their dogs may have a higher propensity for severe health problems.

Whether I can fault them or not depends on a few other things about them. I can certainly fault them for not following the MVD breeding protocol, and that fact alone would include most all of them. MVD tests don't cost thousands of dollars. Not testing for MVD and not following its breeding protocol is inexcusable. Surprise! Surprise! that they still seem to have that pesky early-onset MVD in their lines.


... there are indeed several breeders that I have met that are outcrossing within the breed--ie from lines that have never been incorporated into that breeder's dogs in the past in hopes this will lead to a decrease in incidence/severity or both within their lines even though they DO realise they will not get the same conformation-bred dogs as they had in the past- at least not as quickly anyway.-and many are doing this because of their LOVE and CONCERN for the preservation of the cavalier.(And this again will prove to be quite costly as it might be as difficult for some as it was starting out in the beginning of their breeding careers.)

If these breeders have been doing nothing but line breeding, they ought to leave now!


... I am wondering if an intermediate can be considered-ie that health info is only made public to other breeders within the breed club looking to breed with unaffected/less severely affected dogs? At least this could be a starting point.

Starting point? What exactly is it that they have to hide? What legitimate reasons do they have?


... I agree that all breeders should begin scanning their dogs immediately but as others have said-yes at present it is very, very expensive. I am attending a show in August and do intend to begin a petition of interested club members who might be interested in scanning all/or some of their dogs. After I survey those who are interested I will the attempt to contact several neurologists experienced with CM/SM to see if they would consider providing scans on a reduced-rate for those breeders. The answer right now seems to be WE NEED MORE INFORMATION, TESTING, AND RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, if we are to save the cavalier as we know it now. And yes there does need to be more involvement and we do need to pick up the pace.

More power to you.


... I for one do find it very distasteful to consider a total outcross with another breed-as this negates the trueness of a cavalier king charles spaniel. At least at this time and I feel that the present breeders of cavaliers will find this pill harder to swallow then trying to preserve the breed through breeding protocols...

Which breeding protocols, of course, the vast majority of them find totally distasteful -- so distasteful, in fact, that the two national breed clubs in the US refuse to endorse either the MVD breeding protocol or the SM breeding protocol.


... The only way it would seem logical to me to reduce the incidence of SM is to breed a dog that has a larger head-not so much breed out a flat back as the dog- will still have a brain/skull mismatch if the skull itself is not larger. And this would not BE A CAVALIER would it?

Excuse me here, but breeding larger heads is what most breeders have been trying to do for the past fifteen years or so (and not at all because of SM). The resulting larger heads have not reduced the incidence of SM in the breed. In this breed, few have disproportionately small heads, and I don't know what this "flat back" talk is about, at all. In this breed, it has been shown that if you breed for a larger skull, the cerebellum will manage to keep up the same pace.

keekycat
3rd August 2011, 05:33 AM
I long have believed that there are too many breeders of cavaliers in the US. When the AKC recognized the cavalier as a breed in 1995-1996, my greatest concern for the breed was that the resulting publicity would prompt a whole bunch of AKC breeders -- perhaps knowledgeable about purebred breeding but ignorant as a stump about the special genetic health conditions of cavaliers -- would start breeding them, for any of a variety of reasons, but certainly none that included wanting to breed early-onset MVD out of the breed. My concerns were accurate. There are way too many cavalier breeders in the US, and most all of them are AKC-only breeders, meaning that they have not joined and do not compete in the CKCSC,USA.

:shock:Is this not why the original club voted not to be a part of the AKC? Seems to me they did attempt to shelter the breed, so to speak, from being overbred/indisciminately bred but the demand for our beautiful dogs has been very high. Where would you have these interested cavalier enthusiasts go? BYB, puppy mills? You are making it sound as though breeders are purposefully trying to breed unhealthy dogs and are no better then the aforementioned two.


If these breeders have been doing nothinging but line breeding, they ought to leave now!

:bang:Give me a break. You know I did not mean that in the literal sense as you have taken this out of context. I meant that breeders are seeking out other breeders whom they may not have chosen in the past as suitors to incorporate in their own lines at that time. For whatever reasons. I feel, at least from what I am seeing and hearing many experienced breeders are trying to mix up their gene pools now as they are finally seeing what desperate straights we are really in. Perhaps this has been too long in the coming but again change does take time. And I'm certain that if I had have been breeding for years and years as some of them have been doing I may have not have been able to see that my contributions to the breed where not as wonderful as what I had first thought. I believe many breeders have not followed breeding protocols because they felt that there was not enough research to back up a hypothesis.

Which breeding protocols, of course, the vast majority of them find totally distasteful -- so distasteful, in fact, that the two national breed clubs in the US refuse to endorse either the MVD breeding protocol or the SM breeding protocol.

:mad:If these breeders had not taken to this wonderful breed in the first place we wouldn't even be having this discussion now would we because there wouldn't have been any cavaliers to have this debate over--would there? And many cavalier owners would never have known the true joy of owning one of these sweet little dogs.

In this breed, it has been shown that if you breed for a larger skull, the cerebellum will manage to keep up the same pace.[/QUOTE]

:yikesCould you please point me in the direction to a research study to disprove this as it seems to me this would tend to make sense. Why is it so, if it is, that the cerebellum still keeps pace? I had not heard of this but I am very new I do admit.

I am not all one-sided here though it may sound that way I am just feeling that people who have been dedicated cavalier enthusiasts/breeders for such a long time DO deserve credit for attempting to breed, what I'll bet they felt at the time, was the best representatives of the breed.

And I am in total agreement that present and future cavalier breeders DO need to take a more proactive role now lest we lose our breed completely. Regardless of what the clubs have and have not adopted I do know of some breeders who are indeed trying to do the right thing by attempting to breed healthier dogs. Do not lump ALMOST ALL breeders into a selfish pack of money mongers as there is not much money to be had in breeding without a master plan, especially in Cavaliers right now.:shock:

If there is something else you would like to direct at me personally for feeling as strongly as I do, please do not hesitate to pm. I do not mind the spar-just prefer it in my own space please.

anniemac
3rd August 2011, 06:58 AM
Its a good thing my phone freezes because I've been trying to bite my tongue. Promised myself I would not comment but what was laura langs research published by dr. Rusbridge on skull x-rays to determine CM.

http://www.roycroftinformationcenter.com/Cavalier%20Infosite/Cavalier%20InfoCenter%20Health%20SM%20MRI%20to%20S kull%20Comps.html

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Davecav
3rd August 2011, 08:52 AM
In this breed, it has been shown that if you breed for a larger skull, the cerebellum will manage to keep up the same pace.[/QUOTE] (Rod Russell)

:yikesCould you please point me in the direction to a research study to disprove this as it seems to me this would tend to make sense. Why is it so, if it is, that the cerebellum still keeps pace? I had not heard of this but I am very new I do admit. (Karen)


There is research (Foetal tissue research I think, but I might be wrong?) that shows that the problem with cavaliers is that in early development the communication pathways between the bone growth in the skull, and the brain growth, do not fully communicate, and when the skull stops growing, the brain continues to grow a bit more. (others may be able to explain this better)

So if this is the problem, it stands to reason that however big you try to breed a cavalier's head, the messages between skull growth and brain growth will be out of kilter.

Carol Fowler
3rd August 2011, 10:13 AM
Regarding outcrossing, I favour this approach (along with all the others currently being worked on by scientists) A multi pronged approach is what is needed when a breed's health is so compromised.

An outcross would need to be conducted on a sufficient scale to help to widen the breed's gene pool. It would have to be done by qualified geneticists to ensure that no other deleterious genes are brought in to the Cavalier breed. The choice of breed to outcross to would be very important because we need to retain the character and temperament of the Cavalier.

Most importantly an outcross is needed to alleviate the suffering of these dogs. In theory, you could probably breed away from SM and MVD over generations if everybody followed the protocols. But the price to pay for that is too high - as there will still be generations of dogs suffering from SM and early onset MVD. Too many dogs would be condemned to a life of pain and this is unacceptable on animal welfare gounds. No breed purity can be justified just because we like the look of that dog.

I for one would be very happy to have a first generation cross between a Cavalier and another breed (properly and scientifically done, of course)

Carol

Kate H
3rd August 2011, 10:33 AM
To clarify the brain/skull growth issue without getting involved in an argument about breeders in the US, about which I know very little except what I've gleaned from this forum: Rod is right when he mentions the work of the foetal tissue project in the UK. This research is being done at the Royal Veterinary College and is based on the foetuses of Cavaliers who have died before birth and the bodies of puppies who died very soon after birth. Based on this research, their hypothesis is that communication breaks down between the skull and the brain. The skull grows to its proper size - though almost all the Cavaliers in the study had Chiari Malformation even at that early stage, so the skull itself isn't developing as it should; it then stops growing and the brain is told to stop as well - but for some reason the brain ignores this message and continues to grow.

There is a report on the foetal tissue research on the UK Cavalier Club website (www.thecavalierclub.co.uk (http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk))

Kate, Oliver and Aled

anniemac
3rd August 2011, 11:47 AM
To clarify the brain/skull growth issue without getting involved in an argument about breeders in the US, about which I know very little except what I've gleaned from this forum: Rod is right when he mentions the work of the foetal tissue project in the UK. This research is being done at the Royal Veterinary College and is based on the foetuses of Cavaliers who have died before birth and the bodies of puppies who died very soon after birth. Based on this research, their hypothesis is that communication breaks down between the skull and the brain. The skull grows to its proper size - though almost all the Cavaliers in the study had Chiari Malformation even at that early stage, so the skull itself isn't developing as it should; it then stops growing and the brain is told to stop as well - but for some reason the brain ignores this message and continues to grow.

There is a report on the foetal tissue research on the UK Cavalier Club website (www.thecavalierclub.co.uk (http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk))

Kate, Oliver and Aled


Thanks kate and also davecav. Kate you don't want to join an arguement about us breeders :)

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Holly
3rd August 2011, 12:22 PM
If there is something else you would like to direct at me personally for feeling as strongly as I do, please do not hesitate to pm. I do not mind the spar-just prefer it in my own space please.

I don't think Rod was directing anything at you personally- he was simply clarifying and commenting on a few points in your post... this is how we all learn and grow and if it's done through PM, we don't have a chance to learn something new from one another! Sometimes, if you go out on a limb to write an impassioned post on a public forum, you have to have thick skin! :)

anniemac
3rd August 2011, 01:06 PM
I don't think Rod was directing anything at you personally- he was simply clarifying and commenting on a few points in your post... this is how we all learn and grow and if it's done through PM, we don't have a chance to learn something new from one another! Sometimes, if you go out on a limb to write an impassioned post on a public forum, you have to have thick skin! :)

I agree. You also get a feel for different personalities. Rod will have his sarcastic funny days, I'm a bit crazy, holly is... This forum is a pet owner forum where breeders are only allowed with approval. Many have had cavaliers with health problems and sometimes things get very passionate. Its good you are trying to figure things out on your own also

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RodRussell
3rd August 2011, 02:06 PM
...:shock:Is this not why the original club voted not to be a part of the AKC? Seems to me they did attempt to shelter the breed, so to speak, from being overbred/indisciminately bred but the demand for our beautiful dogs has been very high. Where would you have these interested cavalier enthusiasts go? BYB, puppy mills?

You are not making sense to me here, Karen. If you could re-state this differently, I might understand. I will guess what you mean. The CKCSC,USA voted against it being the parent club in the AKC for a few reasons, which included:

-- As the parent club, it would have no enforceable code of ethics

-- As the parent club, it would have no control over registration of cavaliers

-- It opposed AKC recognizing the breed because the deluge of publicity would result in over-breeding by new breeders who would, in the main, be un-mentored and probably opportunists and for other wrong reasons.

-- The breed had (and still does) a severe genetic health problem, MVD, which more and more and more breeding would cause to worsen.

The demand is high because of AKC recognition. AKC has done serious damage to the breed, by recognizing it, hyping it, and not doing anything about the genetic health problems. Prior to AKC recognition, the breed was barely on the radar screens of the commercial breeders. AKC has caused this problem, but it could care less, because it needed (and still needs), in its mind, more litter and puppy registrations, and that was all that it had to think about to make it want to add the CKCS to its list.


...You are making it sound as though breeders are purposefully trying to breed unhealthy dogs and are no better then the aforementioned two.

Those who refuse to follow the MVD breeding protocol and the SM breeding protocol ARE doing that! They are either ignorant of the existence of those protocols -- for which you may blame the two national clubs for refusing to recommend them or even acknowledge their existence -- or those breeders are intentionally refusing to follow the protocols.


... "If these breeders have been doing nothinging but line breeding, they ought to leave now!"

:bang:Give me a break. You know I did not mean that in the literal sense as you have taken this out of context.

I don't know what you meant, other than what you wrote. I don't know you, otherwise.


... I meant that breeders are seeking out other breeders whom they may not have chosen in the past as suitors to incorporate in their own lines at that time. For whatever reasons. I feel, at least from what I am seeing and hearing many experienced breeders are trying to mix up their gene pools now as they are finally seeing what desperate straights we are really in. Perhaps this has been too long in the coming but again change does take time. And I'm certain that if I had have been breeding for years and years as some of them have been doing I may have not have been able to see that my contributions to the breed where not as wonderful as what I had first thought. I believe many breeders have not followed breeding protocols because they felt that there was not enough research to back up a hypothesis.

They should have been doing this all along, if they knew anything about the genetic disorders in the breed. This is another example of their intent to ignore the problems.


... :mad:If these breeders had not taken to this wonderful breed in the first place we wouldn't even be having this discussion now would we because there wouldn't have been any cavaliers to have this debate over--would there? And many cavalier owners would never have known the true joy of owning one of these sweet little dogs.

This is getting silly.


... :yikesCould you please point me in the direction to a research study to disprove this as it seems to me this would tend to make sense. Why is it so, if it is, that the cerebellum still keeps pace? I had not heard of this but I am very new I do admit.

That is the problem: You think it makes sense. But the research shows that common sense does not always pan out. You need to educate youself more about the breed's health issues. But look at it this way: If the cerebellum is larger than the skull, why would breeding for a larger skull mean that the cerebellum would no longer be larger? The fact is that the cerebellum is larger than the skull, regardless of the size of the skull. Have you not read http://www.cavalierhealth.org/syringomyelia.htm#Chiari-like ?


... I am not all one-sided here though it may sound that way I am just feeling that people who have been dedicated cavalier enthusiasts/breeders for such a long time DO deserve credit for attempting to breed, what I'll bet they felt at the time, was the best representatives of the breed.

If these "dedicated" breeders have not been following the MVD breeding protocol for the past 14 years, then they have been dedicated only to themselves.


... Do not lump ALMOST ALL breeders into a selfish pack of money mongers as there is not much money to be had in breeding without a master plan, especially in Cavaliers right now.:shock:

Leaving the money out, they are either blindly ignornant or damagingly callous to these severe genetic health problems. They are the problem!


...If there is something else you would like to direct at me personally for feeling as strongly as I do, please do not hesitate to pm. I do not mind the spar-just prefer it in my own space please.

Karen, I started out my previous post by writing to you: "I appreciate the thought you have given to these issues, Karen. Please don't take my comments personally. I, too, have given a lot of thought to these issues, and what I write are just my opinions, worth no more than anyone else's."

anniemac
3rd August 2011, 04:24 PM
Rod,

I don't see why you are giving karen a hard time. I believe you said on another forum she might be good to volunteer since she is a member of the cavaliers of the north. Karen is that the show you are going to in august?

Second, GOOD for her to go to that show and talk to breeders about this especially since there are some I had hoped had better reactions and done more in terms of scanning. You comment on what she says is a starting point and they should be doing this already. I applaud her for trying instead of saying they should do this and that but when in boils down to it other things are said.





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RodRussell
3rd August 2011, 11:50 PM
Rod,

I don't see why you are giving karen a hard time. I believe you said on another forum she might be good to volunteer since she is a member of the cavaliers of the north. Karen is that the show you are going to in august?

This is not about Karen. It is about arguments which someone, anyone, makes which are not consistent with the facts. I am not giving her a hard time. I am disputing the assumptions she has put forward which are not accurate.

This has not been a personal attack on Karen. It is my commentary on what she has put forward as her thougths. Surely when she wrote her first post on this subject she did not expect everyone to agree with her. And surely she did not expect everyone to just read what she wrote and not respond to it.


Second, GOOD for her to go to that show and talk to breeders about this especially since there are some I had hoped had better reactions and done more in terms of scanning. You comment on what she says is a starting point and they should be doing this already. I applaud her for trying instead of saying they should do this and that but when in boils down to it other things are said.

She writes that she knows many breeders and that she has spoken to several breeders and then she comes back to us and writes:

"I am not all one-sided here though it may sound that way I am just feeling that people who have been dedicated cavalier enthusiasts/breeders for such a long time DO deserve credit for attempting to breed, what I'll bet they felt at the time, was the best representatives of the breed."

If that is what these breeders have led her to believe, and yet these breeders have not been following the MVD breeding protocol, then she has been fed a line of bull. And I'm trying to inform her that it is a line of bull. There is no such thing as a responsible breeder of cavaliers who does not, at the very least, follow the MVD breeding protocol. That is a compulsory part of being a responsible breeder of cavaliers.

Just about everything she has reported back to us from having spoken to breeders sounds incredible. They have disrespected her by filling her head with a bunch of baloney.

Karen, if you read this and are going to the CNE show in Clinton, NJ later this month, seek out a couple of very experienced, very health-conscious cavalier breeders whose names I will give you privately, and tell them all of what you have written on this thread, about "dedicated cavalier enthusiasts/breeders". I guarantee that you will get the same reaction I have had to what you've written here. They will set you straight in unvarnished terms about these so-called "dedicated cavalier enthusiasts/breeders". Anne knows who I am referring to.

anniemac
4th August 2011, 12:08 AM
Rod,

I agree and was going to say no one can fault a breeder that follows the mvd protocol yet produces a puppy with early onset mvd. Those breeders would want to know and I'm sure the very ones you mention. That's been clear cut for years however this is not about mvd, its for the official scheme for cmsm. I would want to know what those very same breeders feel about that also. Better yet, I would love for you to create a seperate discussion about your editorial, feelings of popular sire syndrom, in relation to scanning in the usa. I think the CNE show will be a good opportunity to get information. I am not sure how far away LIVS is but it would have been nice to have a scan day organized in conjunction with the show

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RodRussell
4th August 2011, 12:24 AM
... I am not sure how far away LIVS is but it would have been nice to have a scan day organized in conjunction with the show.

There is no way to scan breeding stock at a show, even if the MRI was in a trailer in the parking lot. The dogs at the show are there to be shown. They need to be alert and not just coming out of anesthesia.

anniemac
4th August 2011, 12:29 AM
There is no way to scan breeding stock at a show, even if the MRI was in a trailer in the parking lot. The dogs at the show are there to be shown. They need to be alert and not just coming out of anesthesia.

Not at the actual show but maybe after. If people came all the way to the area for the show, it is just a thought. We have the problem of low costs scans being far away from some.

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Margaret C
4th August 2011, 11:40 AM
http://www.dogworld.co.uk/News/31-Cavalier

Karen and Ruby
4th August 2011, 12:27 PM
Interesting reading.... seems to me they need to get their house in order!


Is it just me though or is anyone else starting to think that there is someone with in the circle that has a tight hold on the Kennel Club.

I mean what other recommendations put forward by he BVA for breed clubs regarding serious health issues have been dragged out, opposed to and then put on hold because a bunch of breeders might get their feelings hurt.

Wake up call!! This isn't about you anymore, is about these dogs that are suffering, needlessly!!!!!

And you as representatives for this breed should be at the forfront of this fight against health problems and setting an example for others!

We need new representation

Margaret C
4th August 2011, 01:04 PM
Interesting reading.... seems to me they need to get their house in order!


Is it just me though or is anyone else starting to think that there is someone with in the circle that has a tight hold on the Kennel Club.

I mean what other recommendations put forward by he BVA for breed clubs regarding serious health issues have been dragged out, opposed to and then put on hold because a bunch of breeders might get their feelings hurt.

Wake up call!! This isn't about you anymore, is about these dogs that are suffering, needlessly!!!!!

And you as representatives for this breed should be at the forfront of this fight against health problems and setting an example for others!

We need new representation

Some of us are working on the constitution for a KC registered Companion Cavalier Club.

We believe Pet owners should also have a voice.

Brian M
4th August 2011, 01:36 PM
Hello Margaret

That sounds good.:)

Margaret C
5th August 2011, 10:19 AM
http://www.dogworld.co.uk/News/31-Cavalier

A comment left on the DW article.....................

I an not imagine why any breeder or breed parent club would not want the test results for such a horrible condition as SM made public, Cavaliers have been destroyed by careless breeders who do not have the best interest of their dogs at heart. To be blunt the Cavalier fancy and their breed clubs have an awful lot to answer for in how they have become the poster child for all that is wrong with the dog scene, and regretfully the eyes of Joe Public" we have all been tarred with the same brush " irrespective of our breed. I am truly ashamed that people who profess to be dog lovers behave in this way. For the best interest of the breed Man Up and address this problem."