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Margaret C
10th October 2011, 06:46 PM
This has been highlighted by Sabby on another thread, but I thought the Karlton Index http://www.thekarltonindex.com/ may be something that the many breeders that visit this site should be aware of. They are not likely to see this information on any other cavalier website.............


"This entire project is dedicated to improving the health and welfare of our dogs. The health and welfare of dogs have become contentious issues of late so to help us all understand just what is happening I have established a way of measuring our progress.
The Karlton INDEX™ will highlight the breeds that are making the most progress, it will illustrate just how they are managing to do this, it will encourage the sharing of knowledge and understanding and champion those that persevere. It will flag up the breeds that lag behind too but with a view to identifying what is holding them back and assist them in overcoming the barriers they face."

Breed scores are awarded on the basis of published information and data on breed club websites.

Cavaliers score 13 and the comments on their page read..............

"The Club website (http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk/start.html) has a worthy aim of “providing up-to-date information on health”, but is immediately scuppered by the next sentence, “Cavaliers are generally a happy, healthy breed”. Evidence suggests that in fact Cavaliers have become one of the most afflicted with genetic health problems.

That being said there is more information on the site than ever before and they do update it with details of the many health-related events that now take place. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel community is a dramatic reminder to all other breeds of how easy it is to breed in serious health conditions and how difficult people can make the reversal of that. They have a history of persistent denial, they have a history of attacking the messenger, and they have not yet created a culture of early adoption of best breeding practice. The current approach to managing health, as presented now, certainly fails to match the urgent need for concerted action that the clinical evidence says is required. Better web-based resources on cavalier health can be found at Cavalier Campaign (http://www.cavaliercampaign.com/) and Cavalier Matters (http://cavaliermatters.org/) and Cavalier health (http://www.cavalierhealth.org/). The Club is improving its approach, but the pace of change needs to quicken. Afterall over 103,000 were registered in the past ten years"


Unfortunately the Cavalier Club has now handed all decision making about health matters to the Cavalier Health Liaison Committee. I doubt whether there would have been any score at all if the CHLC website had been the one assessed. Just take a look at their one and only page....... http://www.cavalierhealth.co.uk/

A few out-of-date notices and an old press release about the Dry Eye Curly Coat and the Episodic Falling Syndrome tests, but no information about the FREE DNA tests for these conditions now being offered? ( Nor did the Cavalier Club send out this information with their recent mail out )

The AHT have offered these free tests to establish how widespread these conditions are in the Cavalier population. I wonder why the CHLC are not promoting it?

No news about the new BVA/KC scheme designed to help establish the official EBV project, no information about the KC/AHT EBV project itself, although until recently there was a link to a Mickey Mouse alternative EBV scheme.
I'm glad to see that link has been removed, although when I last checked our KC health representative and the CHLC Chairman's wife were still promoting this tin pot rival scheme on the Belgium website.

The CHLC gives no information, no links, no help to any one trying to find out anything about the health of cavaliers. It is a breed disgrace that this is what represents club members.

Among those that have any interest in improving the health of cavaliers the CHLC has gained a reputation for being a black hole down which all health initiatives disappear forever.
Despite the often repeated assertion by breeders that it is MVD that is the biggest problem in cavaliers, I do not think that there is any chance of an official heart scheme being progressed by this group.

There is some interesting discussion about the CHLC and its Chairman on Jemima Harrison's blog......... http://pedigreedogsexposed.blogspot.com/2011/09/no-more-protests-official-sm-scheme.html#comments

Davecav
10th October 2011, 06:57 PM
This is interesting stuff. Who has instigated this though? How official is the Karlton Index? as it doesn't seem to have anything about who/what it is, so for devil's argument, it could be as tin pot as the Belguim scheme?

Margaret C
10th October 2011, 07:29 PM
This is interesting stuff. Who has instigated this though? How official is the Karlton Index? as it doesn't seem to have anything about who/what it is, so for devil's argument, it could be as tin pot as the Belguim scheme?


PRESS RELEASE 12 noon 09.10.11

The Karlton Index
Measuring progress in the health of our dogs

The first full listing against the framework of The Karlton Index has now been completed and published at www.thekarltonindex.com (http://www.thekarltonindex.com)

The top scoring breed is Dachshunds. Congratulations to the team behind the Dachshund Breed Council for their impressive work and commitment to breed health.

The top twenty includes Leonbergers, Bernese Mountain Dogs and Hungarian Vizslas. Full list of top twenty available here
http://www.thekarltonindex.com/wordpress/?page_id=116

At the other end of the scale several breeds are visibly doing so little in terms of breed health that more than twenty score Zero out of 100 and sixty breeds scored less than double figures. Included in this group of breeds is Shih Tzu, Pomeranian and Yorkshire Terrier.
Full list of poor performing breeds can be found at
http://www.thekarltonindex.com/wordpress/?page_id=118

On completing the first full index, Philippa Robinson founder of the Karlton Index says
"The full review of all breeds has been very enlightening. On the whole findings are disappointing but there are glimpses of brilliant work being done in some quarters like the Dachshund Breed Council and the teams addressing the health agenda in Leonbergers and Vizslas for instance. The teams behind the top performing breeds are characterised by a determined urgency and they tackle health without a hint of complacency.

But over twenty breeds scored zero, in other words nothing of substance could be found on health. Clearly the claims that media attention and external criticism of dog breeding is unwarranted and unnecessary because breeders are "doing all they can" to improve the health of dogs, are flimsy at best in this group. Many in the bottom twenty breeds came from the Toy group.

Some of the more controversial breeds like Bulldog, Pug and Neapolitan Mastiff also score poorly despite coming under additional scrutiny from being on the Kennel Club’s list of high profile breeds. I was surprised that many popular breeds like Boxers, Dalmatians and Poodles also came out with low scores.

The framework is based on recognised business improvement tools and to that end the entire aim of the project is to support the work being done by breed clubs. My conclusions are that the Kennel Club and other interested stakeholders should target resources more effectively for breed clubs. They need much more support to develop balanced health strategies and embark upon meaningful health surveillance."

The next assessment against the Karlton Index is scheduled for Spring 2013.

End of press release

The full listing can be accessed at www.thekarltonindex.com (http://www.thekarltonindex.com)

Philippa Robinson is a campaigner for better health and welfare in dogs and is a business consultant by profession. Her contact details are email philippa@thekarltonindex.com Telephone 07850 232836

Margaret C
10th October 2011, 07:38 PM
(http://clarerusbridge-news.blogspot.com/2011/10/estimated-breeding-values-ebvs-for-cmsm.html)This is from Clare Rusbridge's blog http://clarerusbridge-news.blogspot.com/

( and look at the little write-up on CavalierMatters stall underneath this article )


Estimated Breeding Values (EBVS) for CM/SM in Cavaliers – do we really need them? Who is responsible for the health of the Cavalier Breed? (http://clarerusbridge-news.blogspot.com/2011/10/estimated-breeding-values-ebvs-for-cmsm.html)


It has been five years since the introduction of the International Breeding guidelines for Syringomyelia in 2006. These provided an interim measure for breeders based on existing evidence with a common sense approach until there was better understanding for this complex condition. A Mate Select Scheme that generates estimated breeding values is considered superior. Some breeders consider themselves capable of making their own decisions based on their wealth of breeding experience and knowledge of their own dogs’ MRIs. However CMSM is a complex trait which means that knowing the health status of close relatives is unlikely to be sufficient for predicting the disease free status of the offspring. Information about generations of dogs needs to be taken into account.

Dr Tom Lewis from the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust has listed the advantages of EBVs below (full details see ‘Genetic Evaluation of Hip Score in UK Labrador Retrievers’ Thomas W. Lewis, Sarah C. Blott, John A. Woolliams ) (Lewis et al, PLoS ONE 5(10): e12797, p7)


The reasons EBVs are better than phenotypic selection:
1) EBVs represent the genetic risk only (excludes non-genetic environmental effects). This is the only part consistently transmitted over generations. Since they are 'genetics only' they are a more accurate estimate of genetic risk than phenotype and elicit a greater response at the same selection intensity.
2) EBVs will further increase in accuracy over time by utilising all available information and being updated as additional info becomes available (e.g. on full sibs, progeny etc).
3) EBVs will provide predictors for those animals without a phenotypic record (ie MRI scan or heart testing).
4) EBVs are available from the moment of birth (although all littermates will have the same EBV at this stage)
5) The EBV will have been corrected for other fixed effects such as sex and age which may bias a phenotype as a predictor of genetic merit.

sins
10th October 2011, 08:20 PM
The Karlton Index...
A kind of ratemywebsite.com with a slice of lemon stuck on top?

Sins

Margaret C
10th October 2011, 08:29 PM
The Karlton Index...
A kind of ratemywebsite.com with a slice of lemon stuck on top?

Sins

Sins,

I love your way with words.:o

anniemac
10th October 2011, 08:49 PM
Sins,

I love your way with words.:o

I second that. Have not read all but will just like to say that the uk cavalier club website has a lot more than the usa clubs. I'm sure rod russell will second that.

Can I point out something that stood out recently. As unfortunate it is to have our new border collie member join CT due to having SM, I was pleased to see she mentioned that her breeds health representative was interested in Blue and wanted her to keep a journal.

I have said this before but when I read the book, "for the love of ollie" the canadian clubs health representative was acknowledged and thanked for giving support to sandy smith when she learned about ollie (pat barrington). I think the book was published in 2006? But I thought that seemed similar to this health representative. I don't think pat barrington was the only one acknowledged and I remember ollie's breeder had a letter at the end of the book and was there also.

If I remember correctly, the breeder mailed letters to her pet owners about the condition. I could be wrong. Anyone who is on this forum and doesn't have a copy of the book, I highly recommend it AND proceeds goes towards research. Www.fortheloveofolle.com



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anniemac
10th October 2011, 09:06 PM
I don't want to single out pat barrington because there have been a couple of other people that have helped me learn more. I think websites are only so much but the health and education committees are so important. The very best thing is the committees that are in contact, spend hours talking and helping pet owners, organizing seminars, contributing to research, etc.




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sins
10th October 2011, 09:19 PM
Probably as a result of working for a US multinational for the last 20 years.
I've lost count of the number of programmes like this to measure everything from performance of quality systems or to measure unsafe behaviours.
An essential part of these programmes is the reward when progress is made.
I've spent the last 7 years on a steering committe driving one of those programmes dedicated to measuring continuos improvements in safe behaviours.
So what was the reward?
Was it:
(a) A nice big fat bonus?
(b) A voucher for marks and spencer?
(c) An engraved rock?

Yep,you guessed it...a flippin' rock...granted it was engraved with the company logo.
I was so excited with the rock,I nearly dropped it on my foot and wrecked the company record for accident free days.
To make it worse,two of the lads came in from the chemistry lab to see the expression on my face when I opened my gift box with the rock inside.
I'm sure the cavalier club committee will experience the same thrill when they get their reward for moving up the points level on the Karlton Index.
Sins

sins
10th October 2011, 10:10 PM
I really don't know anything about the person behind the project but I'm not at all sold on the methodology used,especially the way the breed club related web resources are reviewed and catalogued.
The cavalier Club website is actually very strong on health information.
Can't see how the Impact rating is zero.
Sins

Davecav
10th October 2011, 10:19 PM
I really don't know anything about the person behind the project but I'm not at all sold on the methodology used,especially the way the breed club related web resources are reviewed and catalogued.
The cavalier Club website is actually very strong on health information.
Can't see how the Impact rating is zero.
Sins

I'm not blown away either. The methododology seems v.subjective, and probably is, as there's no reference to who has commissioned this. (No legit Canine Org backing that I can see)

Anyone can come up with this kind of stuff. The only reason for it that I can see is to get media attention. (for herself??)

The stuff written about Cavaliers sounds as if it has been cribbed in totum.

RodRussell
10th October 2011, 10:36 PM
The Karlton Index...
A kind of ratemywebsite.com with a slice of lemon stuck on top?

This comment really whooshed over my head. I don't have a clue what it means.

The Karlton Index is a very ambitious project which has just gotten off the ground. Imagine, trying to rate so many breeds, all at one time. It deserves your support, not ridicule, and if you don't agree with its content, then write to its editor and give her the factual information you think she needs to make it better. Help her; don't condemn her.

The Karlton Index is not "official", thank goodness. "Official" to me means watered down and superficial. Cavalierhealth.co.uk is "official", and it is worthless (as opposed to http://cavalierhealth.org.uk, which I am partial to). Cavalierhealth.co.uk fits into the category of a handful of "cavalier health" websites that were created to mislead their viewers and provide "cover" for anti-health-conscious cavalier breeders, who add links to these websites to pretend that they, themselves, are health-conscious breeders. But when you examine those websites, you will notice that they have not been updated in many, many years and do not mention either the MVD breeding protocol or the SM breeding protocol.

Here is a clue when examining cavalier breeder websites: If the website has a "health" page and yet it does not mention the MVD breeding protocol or the SM breeding protocol, then that breeder does not follow either of those protocols, and you would be wasting your time contacting her, or him.

Margaret C
10th October 2011, 11:16 PM
This comment really whooshed over my head. I don't have a clue what it means.

The Karlton Index is a very ambitious project which has just gotten off the ground. Imagine, trying to rate so many breeds, all at one time. It deserves your support, not ridicule, and if you don't agree with its content, then write to its editor and give her the factual information you think she needs to make it better. Help her; don't condemn her..

Sin's comment made me smile, they often do even when I don't actually agree with her.

I do think this is an impressive effort by a really dedicated Canine Health Campaigner. I'm proud to claim her as a friend.


The Karlton Index is not "official", thank goodness. "Official" to me means watered down and superficial. Cavalierhealth.co.uk is "official", and it is worthless (as opposed to http://cavalierhealth.org.uk, which I am partial to). Cavalierhealth.co.uk fits into the category of a handful of "cavalier health" websites that were created to mislead their viewers and provide "cover" for anti-health-conscious cavalier breeders, who add links to these websites to pretend that they, themselves, are health-conscious breeders.But when you examine those websites, you will notice that they have not been updated in many, many years and do not mention either the MVD breeding protocol or the SM breeding protocol..

Like this website, updated just once the month after it was created?
http://www.cavalierplanet.com/

This was the product of the £8,000 PR appeal that many people were fooled into believing was put out by the Cavalier Club. The Canadian Club made a donation I believe?
These breeders ( So many of them now on breed club health committees )
were so determined to show there were no health problems in Cavaliers. All slightly disturbing when you think that the Organiser of this appeal recently claimed that she knew SM was a real problem in 2006.

Just think how much that money would have helped health research?


Here is a clue when examining cavalier breeder websites: If the website has a "health" page and yet it does not mention the MVD breeding protocol or the SM breeding protocol, then that breeder does not follow either of those protocols, and you would be wasting your time contacting her, or him.

Unfortunately only too true.

sins
10th October 2011, 11:18 PM
Imagine, trying to rate so many breeds, all at one time.
And that's the real problem Rod.
These programmes are usually tailor made for organisations and the criteria selected as useful for driving change would have the input of the people "doing the job".
So unless this technology was designed for the cavalier club,with input from a cross section of breeders who would help identify critical control points which require action,I can't see that any external tool for measuring improvements can make any difference.
You have to have a "buy in" from the people on the ground doing the job.In other words,they need to see the value of the Index as a tool for improving health.
Truthfully,I can't see the dyed in the wool Stockmen and women who breed dogs having anything to do with this initiative.
It won't modify behaviour.
It won't incentivise anyone to change their mindset on issues like genetic diversity.
In order to work, these systems need to be commisioned by an organisation,not foisted upon them by a long time critic of that organisation.
Can't work...won't work!
I'm just expressing an honest opinion.
Sins

Karlin
11th October 2011, 12:14 AM
I think websites are only so much but the health and education committees are so important. The very best thing is the committees that are in contact, spend hours talking and helping pet owners, organizing seminars, contributing to research, etc.


But which committee are these? Certainly not the UK club committee, nor the US committees that have hardly a scrap of information on their sites about health issues for either breeders or puppy buyers looking for information and have done little to education or help puppy buyers (indeed I have copies of correspondence between a current member of one such committee trying to persuade a puppy buyer to buy a puppy from a UK club-involved breeder despite lack of parents being heart tested by a vet much less a cardiologist...).

The review quoted by Margaret actually notes that the Uk club site has a good degree of health info. Unfortunately the club continues to refer on the site to the breed being happy and healthy (when 50% have MVD by age 5? When about the same have SM by about the same age, rising to about 70% over a lifetime? That is NOT a 'healthy' breed which suggests that it is a stretch to also assume the breed is 'happy' despite endemic levels of genetic disease). Lots of clubs do not even have health or education committees. :(


The Karlton Index is not "official", thank goodness. "Official" to me means watered down and superficial. Cavalierhealth.co.uk is "official", and it is worthless (as opposed to http://cavalierhealth.org.uk (http://cavalierhealth.org.uk/), which I am partial to). Cavalierhealth.co.uk fits into the category of a handful of "cavalier health" websites that were created to mislead their viewers and provide "cover" for anti-health-conscious cavalier breeders, who add links to these websites to pretend that they, themselves, are health-conscious breeders. But when you examine those websites, you will notice that they have not been updated in many, many years and do not mention either the MVD breeding protocol or the SM breeding protocol.


Agree, agree and agree...

Cavalierplanet.com. Oh, sheesh -- Margaret you bring back some memories... I completely forgot that club members were 'encouraged' into spending more than they have put into many health schemes or events, for this pathetic and empty PR effort... so proudly announced by certain members of the current UK committee as their Big Health Effort way back when... and it lasted all of three months of newsletters and hasn't been updated in over TWO YEARS (since mid 2009!). :sl*p:

Now, how many totally free cardiology clinics for club members would £8,000 have covered? Probably every show for the past two years plus some left over... and by my conservative estimate they could have MRI scanned about 45-50 cavaliers for research with the same amount, or helped cover the cost of dozens of tissue donation whelps or adults. Or helped set up a health registry online for breeders that actually DO care about health.

Money so, so well spent. :bang:

RodRussell
11th October 2011, 05:51 AM
And that's the real problem Rod.
These programmes are usually tailor made for organisations and the criteria selected as useful for driving change would have the input of the people "doing the job".
So unless this technology was designed for the cavalier club,with input from a cross section of breeders who would help identify critical control points which require action,I can't see that any external tool for measuring improvements can make any difference.
You have to have a "buy in" from the people on the ground doing the job.In other words,they need to see the value of the Index as a tool for improving health.
Truthfully,I can't see the dyed in the wool Stockmen and women who breed dogs having anything to do with this initiative.
It won't modify behaviour.
It won't incentivise anyone to change their mindset on issues like genetic diversity.
In order to work, these systems need to be commisioned by an organisation,not foisted upon them by a long time critic of that organisation.
Can't work...won't work!
I'm just expressing an honest opinion.
Sins

You obviously have experience with this type of metric, but I view it as a comparative device for pet buyers trying to pick a breed, and not breeders. Like Consumer Reports rates merchandise over here, such as automobiles and blenders. With 100+ breeds, it is a daunting project which could be fraught with inaccuracies, but let's see where it goes.

I can tell you that not much of anything of a responsible nature will "modify behaviour" of most breeders, at least those of the cavalier persuasion. Not health symposia; not breeding protocols; not cavalier health websites, not lists of questions for pet buyers to ask; not much of anything.

I cannot imagine any such project being "commissioned by an organisation". For example, there is no way the American Kennel Club would sponsor one like it, since the AKC relies upon its breed clubs to guide its judgment in breed matters, and since AKC's approach is to tout all of its breeds and try to never say a demeaning word about any of them. I assume the UK Kennel Club is of the same ilk. Maybe if Ms. Robinson could enlist an aging member of the House of Lords to lend his name and thus rename the list after him, it would have a little more credibility. But I think that it may just need time to mature a bit. I am willing to wait and see.

Karlin
11th October 2011, 06:22 AM
I agree -- I think the point of such an evaluation is for the prospective dog buyer, and to raise general awareness, and honestly don't think it matters a jot whether there is breeder buy in -- though such an evaluation might focus breeder attention on some critical issues. After all so far the breeders in the UK have presented us with www.cavalierplanet.com (http://www.cavalierplanet.com) and www.cavalierhealth.co.uk (http://www.cavalierhealth.co.uk) -- which doesn't indicate they can produce much that is of any use to a puppy buyer as regards honest overview of the breed and its health.

I'd see it fitting in the same general role (but more health specific) as websites like http://www.yourpurebredpuppy.com/, which is very useful for buyers in giving a personality and health overview plus the pros and cons of breeds. It has a pretty blunt evaluation for cavaliers, for example, which few breeders would offer. I don't know of any site that gives a pointed and comprehensive overview of breed issues -- which is what a lot of people want. The breed clubs would certainly never agree on such a project -- just as the kennel clubs would never have produced a programme like Pedigree Dogs Exposed.

Rod I actually could see an organisation like APGAW producing something like this but I think it really should be independent and unaffiliated with organisations.

Karen and Ruby
11th October 2011, 02:16 PM
I agree with Karlin here,

I don't think this is meant for breeders to jump on board with. Its for propective dog owners to get a full over view of a breeds health disposition before making a choice.

With out meaning to put too blunt of a spin on it- before I bought my car I bought the Parkers guide. Which is a non-biased book giving statistics of all makes of car.

It gave me a few different makes to choose from before I went out and bought the one that I liked and suited my lifestyle the best. And one that I knew would be reliable.

You can buy books now that list all the breeds of dog and give you a brief history of how the breed came about, what exercise/grooming requirements they have and what lifestyle they need but NOT whether they have any health problems.

I can't say for sure whether I wouldn't have got a Cavalier had I known how serious the breed health issues were, as I got my second with my eyes wide open. But by that time I was in love with a breed and everything about them (good and bad)
But to know what the future holds for a breed in terms of health probably would have made me think that little bit harder and have been ready for what our future holds.