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apeppersmith
16th March 2012, 12:10 AM
So, since we have messed up once, I am determined that we will not repeat the mistake. If we choose another cavalier (in a couple of years, I want to get through and recover from the cost of Winston's obedience training and certs and be certain that his manners are sound before we bring in another puppy) I want to know where I am going to look first. I will not go through a breeder who does not MRI scan and actually use that information intelligently for the betterment of the breed- so, as of now, where should I be looking? I live in the metro Detroit area, but Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and possibly southern Ontario (I need to look at what it takes to bring one over the border) are perfectly doable distances.

Karlin
19th March 2012, 01:13 PM
I would talk to breeder Laura Lang (Roycroft) in Ohio for advice/suggestions. :) I don't think there's any limitation on bringing a dog over the border if you were to work with Canadian breeders.

Margaret C
19th March 2012, 06:50 PM
As a starting point there is a voluntary list of breeders that choose to reveal they have MRI scanned their cavaliers on the UK Cavalier Club website.

You can view them by Country here http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk/health/mri/view_mri.php

Health conscious breeders will often be willing to recommend other like-minded people, even if they cannot help you themselves.

Don't forget to make sure you actually see the certificates yourself & check what age the scans were done.

apeppersmith
1st April 2012, 03:27 AM
I've been in contact with [name deleted by Admin -- please do not mention breeders by name ( see theGetting Started section on what is OK), and she claims to have her dogs cleared for MVD and SM, and offered to give me her vets number to confirm... what else should I be asking?

RodRussell
1st April 2012, 04:44 AM
I've been in contact with [deleted], and she claims to have her dogs cleared for MVD and SM, and offered to give me her vets number to confirm... what else should I be asking?

Paperwork! Certifications of vet exams and results for MVD, SM, CERF, OFA hips, OFA patellas, BAER hearing, for both parents of the litter. Then get back to us. See http://cavalierhealth.org/questions_for_breeder.htm

Added: I found this website: [deleted]

Pat
1st April 2012, 06:06 AM
Paperwork! Certifications of vet exams and results for MVD, SM, CERF, OFA hips, OFA patellas, BAER hearing, for both parents of the litter. Then get back to us. See http://cavalierhealth.org/questions_for_breeder.htm

Added: I found this website: [deleted]

Oh, Dear God, there goes my blood pressure again. Karlin or Nicki will shut this down and remove names as soon as they wake up, so I might as well get in my two cents.

Please, please talk with Laura Lang (Roycroft) or Anne Robins (Chadwick) and get some basic education on finding a good breeder. Please read some of the links and information here about vetting a breeder.

I promise you that you will get no paperwork from this source - good ole "Dr. Brad" might tell you that these are great people, but I suspect that Dr. Brad is likely clueless about Cavaliers. Did you look at the pedigrees of these dogs????? One sire of one of their bitches has the registered name of "Skeeter" - JUST "Skeeter." This screams "puppymill stock." Get educated on Cavalier kennel names in the US and in the UK so that you start to recognize some quality names versus puppymill names. There are actually some quality breeders in your area.

Pat

JessieAndMe
1st April 2012, 08:48 AM
Not to sound too slow on the uptake, but is that normal for a 'quality' breeder to have so many dogs having litters all within weeks of one another?
And for the shonky breeders, how are they able to register as a breeder, isn't there some sort of screening or accreditation to keep their license?

Soushiruiuma
1st April 2012, 10:24 AM
There are virtually no requirements for being a breeder, as long as you don't spay your bitch you can be a breeder too. AKC registration runs around $15, and isn't informative either.

The health certificates you MUST come from specialists. A cardiologist (for heart), a neurologist (for SM), an ophthalmologist (for eyes), a general vet can certify hips and patellas. If all of the health tests are done by the same vet you know this breeder isn't even trying to produce healthy, quality pups. Although I'm sure Dr. Brad is a lovely person, he's not qualified to do these tests.

And she has 4 litters due this month?!

This woman bought her first cavalier November 2006. She now has 9 breeding females, and 2 studs. The financial burden of doing this with quality dogs from good backgrounds would be incredibly expensive, and difficult to obtain even if money wasn't an issue. Lucky for her she's not buying quality stock, and isn't investing in health testing, and probably breeds her dogs at 12-15 months old, so she's making money instead of losing it.

You could do worse (sad, but true), but this is not a breeder you want to stick with. Follow the advice above to contact the reputable breeders, they'll be able to point you in the right direction.

Pat
2nd April 2012, 01:13 AM
Soushiruiuma's post was excellent - while mine was more ranting at 1:00 am.

When you look at this site, you see a lot of signs that this is not a serious breeder who is educated about her breed of choice: including using incorrect color terminology ("multi party" and "solid party" colors); later listing the names of colors used for English Toy Spaniels (King Charles, Prince Charles); referring to sire and dam as "mommy and daddy"; and making a naive statement about why they don't participate in shows. Take a look at some of the pedigree websites and the sites of good breeders, and you'll learn how to evaluate names in pedigrees. Puppymill and backyard breeder names are easily distinguished from the names of Cavaliers from good kennels. Along with "Skeeter," and all of the "Ladies, Lords, Sirs and Princesses," my favorite name is "Studly-Do-Right"!!!! That says it all!

And note that they are breeding the Cocker Spaniel who is also listed among their dogs with Cavaliers. On the "application for babies" (human trafficking??) there is the following question:

"Where will your Cavalier/Cockalier spend his/her days? Where will your Cavalier/Cockalier spend his/her nights?"

Perhaps you could do worse.......but not by much.

Pat

Soushiruiuma
2nd April 2012, 03:35 AM
The "party colors" is a classic backyard breeder mistake. The correct term is particolor (or particolour) it refers to the partial white patterning. They are not more festive than the wholecolors.

Pat
2nd April 2012, 03:44 AM
The "party colors" is a classic backyard breeder mistake. The correct term is particolor (or particolour) it refers to the partial white patterning. They are not more festive than the wholecolors.

That's correct, but what the hey is a "solid party"??? A song keeps running through my head........."My dog wants to party all the time, party all the time, party all the time......." (nod to Eddie Murphy) And multi-party color? Kinda like "this is the office of redundancy office."

Soushiruiuma
2nd April 2012, 04:54 AM
Thank god there's no IQ test to be admitted to the rank of "breeder" :P

Margaret C
2nd April 2012, 01:45 PM
Thank god there's no IQ test to be admitted to the rank of "breeder" :P

It might help the poor dogs if there was.

sins
2nd April 2012, 01:52 PM
Made me chuckle,until I thought of the "breeder" on a well known Irish small ads site,proudly displaying Cavalier/Kerry blue X puppies.
That takes a special kind of rare genius...
:mad:
*shakes head *
Sins

Karlin
2nd April 2012, 03:03 PM
Names and links to website removed: details on why can be found in the Getting Started section which notes what is OK to post if asking questions about breeders.

I suggested at the start of the thread, talking with Laura Lang and Pat has given another club member in the US as well as Laura.

Please start there -- it will save you lots of wasted time. :thmbsup:

Sfmom
2nd April 2012, 04:03 PM
Great advice here. I'm also looking and Googled for days on end until I found Laura's website.

The first breeder I talked to said none of his dogs ever get heart murmurs. That's because dogs from Ireland are healthier. Imagine that.

I've now communicated with a great set of breeders, including Laura and the very nice lady at Chadwick. They all seem to know and respect each other. Not all of them do MRIs -- maybe half do and half don't (like some breeders recommended on Laura's site). We will most likely be going with a breeder who does, but it seems a number of very good breeders do not. Wonder how people feel about that.

The real bummer is I've researched like crazy, am planning to invest a lot in getting a dog from a top breeder (ie: not getting one near where I live) and I still have some risk of serious illness. It's a little depressing.

anniemac
2nd April 2012, 05:17 PM
There are no guarantees but getting a puppy from a breeder who does all health testing (including MRI and following SM protocols) means you are helping the breed. Not doing so is no better than not health testing.

I know how hard it is to research and find a puppy and I ended up adopting Elton (I would not buy from someone who I could not have relationship with because that's family, health tests, members of clubs, etc.). Many great breeders are not in it for $ but it's not cheap but in the end it's worth it.

Karlin
2nd April 2012, 05:21 PM
Yes, it is one of the sad things about this breed: heart disease is endemic and only the rare cavalier owner will escape it. Exceptions are few, not general, and there's now an absolutely alarming level of acceptance of this condition in the breed by both pet owners and breeders. We need to always remember dogs suffer with this. I am also sick of breeders who rush to state how it is the most common illness in elderly dogs generally. Yes: ELDERLY dogs. MOST cavaliers never reach an age which would be considered truly elderly for a small breed, because they die of heart disease that on average hits more than 50% when they are only age 6. SIX. And that means the other half have murmurs before age six!!! If a population of humans, say in San Francisco, routinely began to suffer from heart murmurs leading to congestive heart failure by the age of 40 and half the population had them anywhere from age 7-39, there's be a national outcry.

Almost every cavalier owner will eventually have a dog with syringomyelia (as affected rate is about 70% at age 6+), though not all, thankfully will have symptoms or severe symptoms (which does NOT mean this isn;t an urgent and severe situation already!). Almost every cavalier will have a skull malformation causing its skull to be a bit to small for its brain, which will sometimes be forced out into its spinal canal. For some dogs, this alone will cause symptoms. Nauseatingly, some breeders also now argue that maybe the skull malformation is 'normal' for the breed. A bred-in widespread malformation that is known to be connected to severe pain is NOT and can never be considered normal except by people who are truly sick in the head themselves. CM in cavaliers is, sadly, endemic -- a very different thing from 'normal'.

All of this is totally unacceptable. The fact that no national breed club in the UK, Ireland, US, Canada or Australia -- the largest centres of CKCS breeding populations -- even requires a cardiologist test a cavalier for a heart murmur before breeding, much less places any restriction at all on breeding dogs below the MVD protocol or breeding them with murmurs, even after about two decades of serious attention being given by researchers to the problem, goes to show how intent a broad consensus of breeders in the show world are on (NOT!) doing anything remotely significant about a problem they all know they have (much less the puppy farmers or commercial breeders, and the clubs have no moral high ground above the average puppy farmer/miller on this issue because they continue to do just enough == donate to a little research here, mention the issue ion a website there, hold auscultation days to which almost no one brings older cavaliers that might not pass) to be able to claim they are doing something.

Because we here care about giving this breed a real future, and because this breed is now increasingly at risk as almost all international breed clubs stand more or less, idly by (the Scandinavian clubs are miles ahead in actually doing something!!) we campaign strongly here on health and have fundraising projects for Rupert's Fund, Margaret Carter's Cavalier Collection scheme and other projects because we think it is better to contribute directly to researchers, and to directly enable breeders to get scans paid for, through Rupert's Fund.

There are few breeds that do not have their own pedigree issues so if one opts for a pedigree dog rather than a Heinz 57, then increased health problems, statistically, are part of the choice. Unfortunately for cavaliers, the problems they have are in two cases, potentially very serious and costly to diagnose and manage, endemic across the breed internationally, and it is pretty much impossible not to end up dealing at some point, to some degree or another, with one or the other or both MVD/CMSM.

The best thing anyone can do for the breed is work with a breeder who is serious about health, who works with the protocols, properly tests, and isn't giving la la land excuses.

I think at this point, breeders have to question the ethics of breeding cavaliers if they are not doing MRIs and using cavalier studs from breeders who also do MRIs. The statistics are there for the likelihood of offspring MRIing with SM -- very high. Over time, the Estimated Breeding Values project in the UK will reduce the need to actually MRI because likelihood of a dog having SM will be estimatable. But right now and in the absence of a DNA test, breeders need to MRI. Cost is not a morally adequate excuse. Breeders and clubs in places that still do not have nationwide low cost schemes need to unite and work to get them. Neurologists and scanning centres need to see there is actually a wide demand, from breeders and their clubs, for this to be available.

ONE puppy sale will fund two or more (often as many as three to four) MRI scans at existing low cost scanning centres in the US, By the way. Just to give some cost perspective.

Karlin
2nd April 2012, 05:41 PM
They are not more festive than the wholecolors.

:rotfl:

Margaret C
2nd April 2012, 05:48 PM
The first breeder I talked to said none of his dogs ever get heart murmurs. That's because dogs from Ireland are healthier. Imagine that.

The imagining is all his.



I've now communicated with a great set of breeders, including Laura and the very nice lady at Chadwick. They all seem to know and respect each other. Not all of them do MRIs -- maybe half do and half don't (like some breeders recommended on Laura's site). We will most likely be going with a breeder who does, but it seems a number of very good breeders do not. Wonder how people feel about that.


You really should not ask..........


As someone in the UK who has been involved in the depressing discoveries about SM for ten years & who knows just how many cavaliers are showing up with the problem worldwide, I find it hard to consider anyone who does not scan as a " very good breeder"

I know how many of the top stud dogs have sired SM ( mine among them ) I know how many of their offspring went to America & became top stud dogs and brood bitches there. In many cases I know which bought in dogs went on to develop SM themselves, despite the attempts to cover up what was happening.

A ride in an airplane does not remove all those nasty genes. They are there, behind all the winning American dogs, and they are not just going to go away just because breeders choose to ignore them.

Scanning is expensive but nobody is compelled to breed, nor does anybody have a God given right to breed and damn the consequences to the dogs and their eventual owners.

If someone says they cannot afford to scan but they must continue to breed because they need the money from puppy sales, then what does that make them?

In my book nobody has the right to breed unless they are doing everything possible to minimise the chance of a very painful life for the puppies they will produce.

I cannot reconcile the fact that these good breeders will posture around making a fuss over sales contracts, diet sheets and vaccinations, while they have deliberately chosen to breed their puppies to have less than a 50% chance of being SM free at the age of 30 months.

No, the term good breeder cannot be applied to anyone that knows about SM and continues to breed with unscanned dogs.




The real bummer is I've researched like crazy, am planning to invest a lot in getting a dog from a top breeder (ie: not getting one near where I live) and I still have some risk of serious illness. It's a little depressing.

That is the reality of the situation.

Karlin
2nd April 2012, 05:59 PM
I cannot reconcile the fact that these good breeders will posture around making a fuss over sales contracts, diet sheets and vaccinations, while they have deliberately chosen to breed their puppies to have less than a 50% chance of being SM free at the age of 30 months.

That sums up the issue very well.

Anyone on multiple email lists and chat boards might keep that in mind as a possible little red flag about some people. Endlessly amazing to me how 'health' for some means recommending raw diets, supplements, vaccination protocols... all the while, refusing to MRI. Health is a very little picture for such people, not a big picture requiring they take any real responsibility for the breed or the dogs they send off to families and other breeders. :(

Sfmom
2nd April 2012, 06:15 PM
The odd thing to me is that many of the better breeders I've talked to - mostly those who do MRIs and do not have any puppies available anyway - say they haven't seen the condition in their dogs. I even called a big veterinary practice where I live - the person who answered immediately regaled me with song and verse of everything he's seen wrong with Cavaliers but he says he hadn't seen it either. I realize the symptoms can be easy to miss but you'd think given the prevalence one would think he'd have seen at least one serious case (where it is obvious the dog is really suffering).

Then again I know a friend of a friend who had to put her Cavalier down because of SM.

It's really confusing to me. I've talked myself into and out of this breed more times than I can count. There is a very well-regarded veterinary school not far away; maybe I'll call them!

EmmaP
2nd April 2012, 08:05 PM
I am so pleased to you have said that your are confused Sfmom because I am as well. I was very lucky to find a puppy from scanned parents and would like to think that Charlie will always be a strong healthy boy. I live in Wales and had to be very careful who I bought my puppy from. We have always had cavvies in our family and I have a lot of friends with them too. I don't know of one single dog who has this disease and none of our family dogs have ever showed any signs. I don't think any of the dogs I know are from scanned parents. I find all of this really confusing as my vet also hasn't seen any cavvies suffering from SM. He thinks that the problem is more likely to be with their hearts. I just tried to do my best to buy a puppy with a better chance of having good health but all my friends dogs seem just as healthy as mine. Are they just lucky?

Karlin
2nd April 2012, 09:44 PM
It is definitely confusing! :flwr: The thing is: once you actually know the symptoms, and once vets actually can recognise it (most will endlessly misdiagnose as well as miss most symptoms in mild cases as the dog isn't showing them all the time) -- vets see a lot of cases (mine regularly see them and regularly refer to the local vet school for MRIs). To be fair, expecting vets to properly diagnose SM in dogs is like expecting GPs to properly diagnose SM in humans -- it on average takes humans *years* to get the right diagnosis; even other specialists regularly miss it until they get to a neurologist and get an MRI. Reading human Chiari/SM forums and websites can be really helpful to understand the condition and its implications and difficulties better. :)

Vets everywhere would be unlikely to see a case of SM outside of a cavalier population (and in the US and Canada, they see relatively few cavaliers at most practices -- many here have found they have the only cavalier seen by the practice) and probably 90% wouldn't recognise it if they did see it. Clare Rusbridge says the cases she sees on average take over two years to finally get a diagnosis.

Probably the majority of dogs with the condition don;t show symptoms or symptoms that stand out from other common behaviours and symptoms in dogs. But for about 70% of us, if we MRI our dogs when they are older, they will have syrinxes. A FOURTH of cavaliers UNDER age 1 had syrinxes, in the 555 cavalier sample of mostly UK breeders' dogs from the largest study. That is a lot of cavaliers with syrinxes at a young age :(. A syrinx on its own, regardless of symptoms, would be considered a worrying incidental find by any parent of a child, by contrast. It brings a lot of worry over a lifetime about what might happen.

I refer a lot of people to my own vets when their vets won't believe the dog has SM so won't give a neurology referral. In every case so far the dog has had SM and was diagnosed as symptomatic.

Personal example: I have had 5 cavaliers; three have SM. Two would not be noticeable to most people and was never picked up by any vets they saw but I was sure they had it as I had a more symptomatic dog and recognised the scratching wasn't quite 'normal'. Scanning for research confirmed they had SM. The scratching has grown more obvious over the years but still has never been obvious to even most of my cavalier owning friends.

Neurologists say the worst symptoms for human SM and Chiari patients are regular headaches, often very severe. This is almost impossible to diagnose as a 'symptom' in a dog, meaning there's probably a lot of undiagnosed pain out there with this condition. Some researchers are currently trying to find better ways of diagnosing this type of pain, for this condition in dogs.

MomObvious
2nd April 2012, 09:44 PM
Ok please allow me to have a crack at how I see this issue. Again I'm not a cavalier owner, or a "dog" person I had no knowledge of SM or MVD or breeding protocols before I began my search of a cavalier as a family pet.


Alright, because cavaliers have these 2 major medical problems (SM and MDV) nevermind eye issues, knee problems, hip etc..... WE as BUYERS of these pets or show dogs have all the POWER to really help this breed by ONLY buying or dealing with breeders who follow breeding protocols for both. If more breeders do not get with the program we are all lovers of a domed breed. In time there will be not such thing as a Cavalier King Charles Spainel! This issue is serious and is now. I believe also as buyers or owners or anyone saying they are a Cavalier lover has a responsiblity to educate people so future buyers will be informed and ONLY support (give their money to) breeders who are following breeding protocols for MDV and SM. This is the only way to breed those genes out over time and some believe its already too late.

Personally, I would find it helpful if someone with more knowledge than me could explain the MDV and SM protocols as they stand now to us. I had a easy time finding info on the latest research however not one piece I read (even one SM protocol itself) explained it to me so I could easily understand. I know some now but again for future buyers. Also I believe maybe it would be wonderful to have some "trusted" list of breeders doing the REAL right thing for the breed.


I tried to be short but to the point.

The Weirdo Lady Without a Cavalier,
Melissa

RodRussell
2nd April 2012, 10:19 PM
... WE as BUYERS of these pets or show dogs have all the POWER to really help this breed by ONLY buying or dealing with breeders who follow breeding protocols for both. ...

I don't agree that we have much power in that area, because: Most CKCS breeders work very hard to downplay -- if not downright hide -- the MVD and SM issues. For example, neither of the two national clubs in the USA publicize the existence of the MVD or SM breeding protocols. That way, the clubs keep most pet buyers and most breeders in the dark about these two severe disorders.

I agree that we could have that power, if more of us would familiarize ourselves about these disorders. But right now, we are in a small minority among pet buyers and even the breeders themselves. Cavalier breeders have a wealth of ignorant people to sell puppies to.


...If more breeders do not get with the program we are all lovers of a domed breed.

You must mean "doomed". Cavaliers aren't domed, but King Charles spainels (English Toys) are. :D


...Personally, I would find it helpful if someone with more knowledge than me could explain the MDV and SM protocols as they stand now to us. ...

Well, try this for the MVD breeding protocol: http://www.cavalierhealth.org/mvdprotocol.htm

And this for the SM breeding protocol: http://www.cavalierhealth.org/smprotocol.htm#Rusbridge_Syringomyelia

anniemac
2nd April 2012, 10:31 PM
Let me tell my personal experience with a vet and SM. I had to get his partner to refer me to a neurologist after calling in tears because Ella would not move after I threw a ball.

I had brought up SM and he said he knows all about it and he hasn't seen anything in Charlotte, and it's geographic in nature. He thought we should just "keep an eye on things". I knew my baby had it. The MRI showed severe SM.

Funny that after Ella a close friend was referred to a neurologist too by vet. (she's on forum). I'm not sure how many more but Ella's neurologist was shocked because he thought was a good vet. Maybe many more were referred after, I don't know but what was not in Charlotte was. What Karlin wrote was spot on. My eyes are tearing up writing this but I wonder how much she suffered as we "waited and see". Let me add my friends didn't think anything was wrong with her but she had quirky behaviors. I just knew symptoms and read a book that put it all together for me.

Karlin
2nd April 2012, 10:32 PM
I like 'domed' -- but know you meant doomed. :lol:

I would argue in agreement that puppy buyers DO have all the power -- if they use it wisely. If breeders of all sorts couldn't sell puppies, they wouldn't breed or would change breeds. The fact that breed clubs and many breeders underplay or hide the reality about breed conditions and that breed clubs have been woeful about education in the area for their own members doesn't change the basic truth that where people choose to buy puppies can change what breeders do -- whether puppy farmers or champion show breeders.

Sabby
3rd April 2012, 12:00 AM
I totally agree with Karlin. I have got three Cavaliers. One has symptomatic CM the other has symptomatic SM. If I wouldn’t be on this Forum and be informed about SM/CM I think my two would be suffering now. My Ebony was only diagnosed because she couldn’t jump up anymore so she had an MRI that showed degenerated Discs and CM. When I put two and two together I thought that she was showing signs of symptomatic CM and Clare Rusbridge confirmed it, now on medication she is a lot better. Normal Pet owners that don’t know about the many signs of CM/SM would not even have thought that anything was wrong with Ebony only that she has quirky behaviours and as she doesn’t look in pain people wouldn’t think she is in pain. Dogs don’t need to scratch them self raw or scream to be in pain. Just normal scratching indicates that they are at least in discomfort or pain. My Harley was diagnosed with symptomatic SM because we thought he had an agility injury, so yes a lot of owners will never even know their dog is in pain. My vet knew about SM but was thankful that I knew a lot more.

MomObvious
3rd April 2012, 12:20 AM
I don't agree that we have much power in that area, because: Most CKCS breeders work very hard to downplay -- if not downright hide -- the MVD and SM issues. For example, neither of the two national clubs in the USA publicize the existence of the MVD or SM breeding protocols. That way, the clubs keep most pet buyers and most breeders in the dark about these two severe disorders.

I agree that we could have that power, if more of us would familiarize ourselves about these disorders. But right now, we are in a small minority among pet buyers and even the breeders themselves. Cavalier breeders have a wealth of ignorant people to sell puppies to.



You must mean "doomed". Cavaliers aren't domed, but King Charles spainels (English Toys) are. :D



Well, try this for the MVD breeding protocol: http://www.cavalierhealth.org/mvdprotocol.htm

And this for the SM breeding protocol: http://www.cavalierhealth.org/smprotocol.htm#Rusbridge_Syringomyelia



Rod- sorry I did mean doomed. And thanks for the links I will check them out for sure. However, I do believe the BUYER has power. Your right we are a small group with proper knowledge and yes those big groups who downplay the protocols are this breeds biggest problem in addition to MVD and SM. But the only way to fix it is to educate people and spread these issues. I realize you know way more about this than me and have more than likely worked with these problems for years maybe that is why you think my views are unrealistic or idealistic. But knowledge is power so is money.

Thats just how I see it
Melissa

EmmaP
3rd April 2012, 11:55 AM
I totally agree with Karlin. I have got three Cavaliers. One has symptomatic CM the other has symptomatic SM. If I wouldn’t be on this Forum and be informed about SM/CM I think my two would be suffering now. My Ebony was only diagnosed because she couldn’t jump up anymore so she had an MRI that showed degenerated Discs and CM. When I put two and two together I thought that she was showing signs of symptomatic CM and Clare Rusbridge confirmed it, now on medication she is a lot better. .

Sabby how do you know that her pain is from CM. Why wouldn't it be from the degenerated discs. I have disc problems and I can tell you that it is very painful.

Karlin
3rd April 2012, 12:11 PM
Sabby how do you know that her pain is from CM. Why wouldn't it be from the degenerated discs. I have disc problems and I can tell you that it is very painful.

Symptoms of CM would be different from disk disease alone -- an important reason to see a neurologist with expertise in both areas if an owner feels signs do not fit one condition entirely, so that an essential part of diagnosis and treatment isn't overlooked. :thmbsup:

I had one with disk pain and her pain session before diagnosis had similarities to SM but was different and she lacked other SM signs... later MRI confirmed her clear for SM, very mild CM, but she did have degenerated disks. Again this is why vets often miss CM/SM -- they will go with a diagnosis of what they know and see all the time and are not familiar with the other likelihoods.

Kate H
3rd April 2012, 12:43 PM
One of the posts in this thread (can't now track down which) said that symptoms of what proved to be SM were initially put down to Cavalier 'quirks'. While recognising that Cavaliers as a breed do have some physiological oddities such as extra white blood platelets and a few other things, I think we all need to be saying in unison:
Cavaliers do not have any more quirks than any other breeds.

According to the dictionary a quirk is a peculiar behaviour. Many Cavalier so-called quirks tend to be viewed as a cute Cavalier 'thing' - just the way they are.
Rubbing their heads against the floor or the sofa is not a quirk.
Scratching for no apparent reason is not a quirk.
Scratching when touched around the neck is not a quirk.
Squinting in sunlight is not a quirk.
Changing position or resting place frequently is not a quirk.
Stumbling occasionally when walking is not a quirk.

None of these is a strange but rather cute Cavalier 'thing', something that a lot of Cavaliers do for no apparent reason, a quirk of the breed - they can be and often are symptoms of SM. So another slogan for us to adopt:
Cavaliers don't have quirks, they (may) have symptoms.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

BrooklynMom
3rd April 2012, 12:53 PM
Well said Kate.

EmmaP
3rd April 2012, 02:46 PM
Thank you for your explanation Kate and Karlin.

Sfmom
4th April 2012, 02:30 AM
Yes thank you!

apeppersmith
4th April 2012, 04:43 AM
Wow, I'm sorry it took me so long to get back, my kids were vomiting for a few days straight and I was up to my elbows in things I've never wanted to be up to my elbows in.

I got none of these responses until just now, but I'll let you know how conversations started and deteriorated. Before husband brought home Winston, I had emailed a number of breeders for information. It was when her 4 bitches were going into heat, and at that time she said "Of course we aren't going to breed all four, but..." and went on to tell me she would certainly have some pups within a few months and offered to put me on a mailing list of people interested in the puppies for updates. I thought nothing of it until I got an email talking about xrays and puppy counts. I raised eyebrows at the 4 litters due at the same time thing, but went ahead and emailed her back asking for her health certs. She sent vets phone number and went on a 2 paragraph rant about puppy millers and how current trends in legislature are encouraging them while threatening to shut down breeders who treat their dogs like family, which came out of no where. I didn't even call the vet, just asked again about certs. She blew the question off again and I asked to be removed from her mailing list. I may or may not have done all of that while sending the entire conversation to the whole mailing list.

Oops.

I will be calling Roycroft when the time comes, and ignoring any random emails that may pop up from previously contacted breeders in the mean time.

apeppersmith
4th April 2012, 04:53 AM
Also, SFMom, if you live where your name looks like you live, the vet school at Davis has been a godsend for my best friend and her pugs. Is that where you were talking about?

Sabby
4th April 2012, 11:26 AM
Symptoms of CM would be different from disk disease alone -- an important reason to see a neurologist with expertise in both areas if an owner feels signs do not fit one condition entirely, so that an essential part of diagnosis and treatment isn't overlooked. :thmbsup:

I had one with disk pain and her pain session before diagnosis had similarities to SM but was different and she lacked other SM signs... later MRI confirmed her clear for SM, very mild CM, but she did have degenerated disks. Again this is why vets often miss CM/SM -- they will go with a diagnosis of what they know and see all the time and are not familiar with the other likelihoods.


Emma - Her head rubbing and scratching wouldn’t come from her disc problems. Funny enough my vet suggested that her disc problem would course Ebony more problems, but when Clare Rusbridge looked at Ebony’s scan and examined her she disagreed and said that with care (like no stairs and jumping) ebony could lead hopefully a good life and that her CM would course more discomfort/pain then her discs.

Karlin
4th April 2012, 03:50 PM
She sent vets phone number and went on a 2 paragraph rant about puppy millers and how current trends in legislature are encouraging them while threatening to shut down breeders who treat their dogs like family, which came out of no where. I didn't even call the vet, just asked again about certs. She blew the question off again and I asked to be removed from her mailing list.

Good move! Someone sending a vet's number is a red flag on its own–with most breeds, there will be certificates that are not supplied by a vet, and that is definitely true of cavaliers. It is an indication that she isn't using a cardiologist, she isn't doing MRIs, and probably not doing a whole lot else except running her dogs in an out of the vet like any pet owner would. And you were right in guessing that her refusal to engage at all on a direct question meant she didn't have any reasonable reply. But all these things make finding a good breeder especially hard–many of these kinds of replies can sure seem to be adequate if you don't know what to ask about, or you don't know what is a deceptive answer and what is a good answer. It's hard to give a brief summary of health areas that are very complex too–in other words, there isn't really any shortcut for the puppy buyer, except to read as much as possible, educate ourselves as best we can, look for advice from others who've been there before and might be able to give a more informed perspective, and so on. But sometimes it's easier to tell when you're being fobbed off–as you clearly were with this woman! She didn't have the right answer, so she was sending you off to talk to someone who would give you a different answer–and still, not the right answer. :rolleyes:

I kind of hope that you did make your reply to the entire mailing list. :D

apeppersmith
4th April 2012, 04:53 PM
Oh I did. And was a little showy in what I knew about the health problems when phrasing questions for their benefit. I know that around here most people are all about "Oh my gosh their so cute I want one" and haven't the first clue that they aren't at least of average health. At least that group of 30 or so has a seed planted. I can't make them do anything with it, but it's there.

RodRussell
4th April 2012, 05:35 PM
... I ... emailed her back asking for her health certs. She sent vets phone number and went on a 2 paragraph rant about puppy millers and how current trends in legislature are encouraging them while threatening to shut down breeders who treat their dogs like family, which came out of no where. I didn't even call the vet, just asked again about certs. She blew the question off again and I asked to be removed from her mailing list. .

I think you have your answer about the health testing. I call it gas-bagging, usually the brownish variety, to camouflage her lack of honesty.


... I will be calling Roycroft when the time comes ...

Whomever you call, be sure to ask if the breeder not only "tests" hearts, but also follows the mitral valve breeding protocol, and by that, I mean the REAL MVD breeding protocol, not one that the breeder makes up on her own. See http://cavalierhealth.org/mvdprotocol.htm for the real protocol.

Karlin
4th April 2012, 07:59 PM
At least that group of 30 or so has a seed planted. I can't make them do anything with it, but it's there.

:thmbsup:

Karlin
5th April 2012, 12:29 PM
Here's a surprise. Some 'usual suspects' breeders elsewhere are getting worked up about the issue of whether pain is being caused by CM or disc disease and dispute CM (the same 'health experts' who voted for a secretive panel of breed club 'health reps ' from their clubs -- yes, the ones that as we can document, have members that breed cavaliers well under the MVD protocol age... :rolleyes:) How supportive of the breed to have them denying the reality of a condition many in the real world know causes pain in their dogs :sl*p:.

Maybe they have forgotten that disc disease as commonly seen in cavaliers, is largely an INHERITED condition as well (look it up, breeders: the main disc condition in cavaliers is chondrodystrophic disc disease, which is inherited)? Which any vet will say (and indeed, some of those breeders themselves), they regularly see in cavaliers? So, are they now sunk to the level of disputing how pain is bred into the breed? Whether it is better for breeders to breed in painful disk degenrative disease, than a skull malformation?

The real issue we are discussing here, amongst people who have actual experience of dogs in severe pain over many years (so many of those breeders say they never, ever see in their own dogs -- so what, exactly, gives them more authority on an issue they apparently know so little about at first hand? :rolleyes:) is supplying adequate relief to a dog in pain.

To do so means getting a correct diagnosis. As many in the real world know, for such dogs, treating for CM frequently offers relief that treating for disc disease did not. That is one reason those who have CM dogs with significant pain, and the actual experts who advise on care for them, can generally tell the problem isn't disc disease.

The parallel issue in this thread is the importance for puppy buyers to find dedicated, health-focused breeders who are not off in dream la-la showland still denying there are health issues, and/or that they can do anything about them, despite several studies that show they CAN.

I would guess that at least a third of people here and elsewhere who have eventually had a CM/SM diagnosis, enabling them to finally relieve their dog's pain with adequate medications or surgery, were initially told they had a dog with... disc disease. For many, their dog failed to get adequate treatment for months to years while their vet (and apparently, breeders?) mistakenly believed in and advised this wrong diagnosis (because of course, they have little to no expertise in diagnosing a specialist condition like CM/SM that requires MRIs and a knowledge of the conditions). Disc disease, amongst other possibilities, IS an important, and sadly, a REGULARLY SEEN, INHERITED problem in cavaliers to check for *first* but if pain persists and other suspicious CM/SM symptoms are seen, than anyone who cares about their dogs and their pain will see a neurologist, get a more complete diagnosis, and treat for the disease actually causing the pain.

Why this obvious approach to properly caring for a dog and diagnosing its pain -- surely the route that would be taken if they had a child with elusive and recurring pain -- eludes some breeders and so-called 'health reps' is anyone's guess (and I am sure a few guesses will be made...).

Sfmom
5th April 2012, 02:05 PM
Hi,

Sorry responding to an earlier query. The first vet hospital I called is in the city; I then phoned the neurology department at UC Davis, and yes they get Cavaliers all the time.

Sabby
5th April 2012, 06:35 PM
Here's a surprise. Some 'usual suspects' breeders elsewhere are getting worked up about the issue of whether pain is being caused by CM or disc disease and dispute CM (the same 'health experts' who voted for a secretive panel of breed club 'health reps ' from their clubs -- yes, the ones that as we can document, have members that breed cavaliers well under the MVD protocol age... :rolleyes:) How supportive of the breed to have them denying the reality of a condition many in the real world know causes pain in their dogs :sl*p:.

Maybe they have forgotten that disc disease as commonly seen in cavaliers, is largely an INHERITED condition as well (look it up, breeders: the main disc condition in cavaliers is chondrodystrophic disc disease, which is inherited)? Which any vet will say (and indeed, some of those breeders themselves), they regularly see in cavaliers? So, are they now sunk to the level of disputing how pain is bred into the breed? Whether it is better for breeders to breed in painful disk degenrative disease, than a skull malformation?

The real issue we are discussing here, amongst people who have actual experience of dogs in severe pain over many years (so many of those breeders say they never, ever see in their own dogs -- so what, exactly, gives them more authority on an issue they apparently know so little about at first hand? :rolleyes:) is supplying adequate relief to a dog in pain.

To do so means getting a correct diagnosis. As many in the real world know, for such dogs, treating for CM frequently offers relief that treating for disc disease did not. That is one reason those who have CM dogs with significant pain, and the actual experts who advise on care for them, can generally tell the problem isn't disc disease.

The parallel issue in this thread is the importance for puppy buyers to find dedicated, health-focused breeders who are not off in dream la-la showland still denying there are health issues, and/or that they can do anything about them, despite several studies that show they CAN.

I would guess that at least a third of people here and elsewhere who have eventually had a CM/SM diagnosis, enabling them to finally relieve their dog's pain with adequate medications or surgery, were initially told they had a dog with... disc disease. For many, their dog failed to get adequate treatment for months to years while their vet (and apparently, breeders?) mistakenly believed in and advised this wrong diagnosis (because of course, they have little to no expertise in diagnosing a specialist condition like CM/SM that requires MRIs and a knowledge of the conditions). Disc disease, amongst other possibilities, IS an important, and sadly, a REGULARLY SEEN, INHERITED problem in cavaliers to check for *first* but if pain persists and other suspicious CM/SM symptoms are seen, than anyone who cares about their dogs and their pain will see a neurologist, get a more complete diagnosis, and treat for the disease actually causing the pain.

Why this obvious approach to properly caring for a dog and diagnosing its pain -- surely the route that would be taken if they had a child with elusive and recurring pain -- eludes some breeders and so-called 'health reps' is anyone's guess (and I am sure a few guesses will be made...).

Yes my Ebony has 3 degenerated disks and had an MRI because of this. To start off I know she was in pain because she could not jump onto the sofa. After a lot of crate rest and previcox she went back to her old self, but the rolling around on the floor didn’t stop. When Clare looked at the MRI she confirmed symptomatic CM and said that the CM would course Ebony more pain than the discs. And since we got her on Gabapentin Ebony has stopped the rolling about and the scratching. So I believe that this proofs that Ebony has got symptomatic CM.