View Full Version : Cavalier Health Survey-SM, MVD, Epilepsy

14th July 2012, 04:04 AM
Not sure if everyone has seen this but I got it in an e-mail from another cavalier SM group I subsribe to online. The posters give permission to share/cross post.
Anything to help this breed. I believe they are open to every cavalier owner participating regardless of location. It is only active for 3 weeks.

Many of you are aware of the recent request for DNA samples from us. This was in conjunction with the Van Andel Research Institute’s project on early onset deafness in Cavaliers. The purpose of our request was to determine if there was enough interest for the research lab to pursue genetic based studies for other diseases affecting our Cavaliers, such as Syringomyelia, Mitral Valve Disease and Epilepsy. We’re thrilled to announce that there was a terrific response.

Dr. Mark Neff, Ph.D, is the Director of the Program for Canine Health and Performance at the Van Andel Research Institute in Michigan.
New emerging technologies can now be applied in Dr. Neff’s laboratory to help rapidly identify genetic markers associated with disease. This is a unique opportunity for our breed to benefit directly by collecting information and DNA samples from as many dogs as possible. The more information received -- and the more diseases that can be studied at one time (using new multipurpose platforms) will allow researchers to cost effectively investigate and advance research for Cavaliers!!

This is a unique opportunity – if the lab can receives enough responses from Cavalier owners – our breed may be the next breed studied in depth at no initial cost to us!

Please fill out this short 2 MINUTE, CONFIDENTIAL, online survey at:

http://projectdog.org/4c1e9daea834b53efb3da68cac960d2d (http://projectdog.org/4c1e9daea834b53efb3da68cac960d2d)


This quick, simple, short survey has been developed for us to enter information about our Cavaliers. Both healthy controls (Cavaliers who do not have SM or MVD) and affected Cavaliers are being sought. The survey will be active for ONLY 3 weeks. The researchers are hoping to collect information from a broad spectrum of Cavaliers, so please fill the survey out as soon as possible. Your participation will allow us to stay involved in cutting edge research!

At the end of the survey you will have an option to request a free DNA kit which can be mailed to your home if you would like to participate further.

**Even if you have already contributed a sample in the past to Dr. Neff's research projects, they request that you please take the simple survey to answer questions and update information about your Cavaliers.**

Please distribute this announcement and the above survey link to all your Cavalier websites, friends and forums! It will take widespread dissemination to owners everywhere to meet Dr. Neff's goal- which is to have 3,000 responses! All survey responders will be the first to receive feedback and research updates!

Please contact us if you have any questions. With the participation of the Cavalier Community you can look forward to updates from Dr. Neff on this survey and other research results!

Thank you,

14th July 2012, 10:45 PM
I'm still having a really hard time understanding the goals and methodology of this study.

I took the survey, as the owner of a Cavalier who is nearly 10 who is still heart clear and who was MRI'd clear of SM at the age of 8 1/2. But I still won't send in a DNA sample unless I have a better understanding of the methodology. (I did send in his MRI and a blood sample for DNA to the SM genome study at the time of his MRI done through Rupert's Fund.)

There were many questions about various and sundry health conditions, but all of the responses are simply superficial owner feedback (which is why this took two minutes!). I'm HOPING that this is a preliminary study where this first data will simply allow the company to determine if they indeed want to do a more indepth study of the breed. And once decided, I presume (hope) that corroborating reports from cardiologists, neurologists, etc. will be required before the Cavalier's DNA and health history will actually be put into the database.

The "easy-peasy" sales pitch language is a real turnoff to me - it just goes against my more analytical nature. I'd really like to have an indepth understanding - does anyone have any serious information about the goals and methodology so that there is more to go on than faith? The quick survey is a "garbage in-garbage out" approach, but again, I'm hoping that this is just a way for the company to determine if they have an interest in a serious scientific study.

Yes? No? Rod, I see that you have also posted this on your yahoo group so perhaps you know more now than when we had the earlier discussion (where I raised these same points....).


14th July 2012, 11:09 PM
... Rod, I see that you have also posted this on your yahoo group so perhaps you know more now than when we had the earlier discussion (where I raised these same points....).

I don't know jack about the study, beyond what has been posted and on the Van Andel Research Institute website, http://www.vai.org/Research/Labs/NeurogeneticsCanineBehavior.aspx Sue Shidler has been spearheading this, since the last ACKCS Club national show. She asked me to post her message on the Yahoo MVDinCavaliers email list.

Beginning in April 2011, this institute, in collaboration with the Translational Genomics Research Institute, has been working on a DNA project studying deafness in cavaliers. See http://www.vai.org/Research/Labs/NeurogeneticsCanineBehavior/Cavalier-King-Charles.aspx