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JayneMR
13th September 2012, 02:11 PM
Sorry ive been absent, but other than being busy, Charlies MRI was cancelled 3 times, but we went today to Best in Netherlands and Charlie is 100% totally free of SM...i burst out crying of course with pure relief. All the symptoms i saw the doctor told me can just be Charlie and that sometimes knowing the symptons can make you see more than is there..but for sure there are no signs of SM. The only thing he has in a very minor heart murmour and he says that is very minor..i couldnt be happier, and i thank you for your support when i was desperate. Thank you:)

MomObvious
13th September 2012, 02:33 PM
Good news!!!!! Its never a bad to follow your gut tho when it comes to medical problems.

My Henry Boy
13th September 2012, 03:19 PM
That's fabulous news!!

Karlin
13th September 2012, 06:18 PM
That's great news on SM! Yay! :D

But given that you saw quite a few things going on --did they consider CM however? It can produce many of the same symptoms and be quite painful in its own right -- and almost all cavaliers are at risk of it as almost all have some degree of skull malformation.

If you are seeing discomfort scratching etc I'd be inclined to think you might want to trial some of the SM meds also used for CM. We have people here whose dogs are fully clear of SM but have the same symptoms and are on meds for CM. I just am a bit uncomfortable with the notion that behaviours that owners know are not normal are seen as being just an oddity of a given dog.

JayneMR
13th September 2012, 07:02 PM
That's great news on SM! Yay! :D

But given that you saw quite a few things going on --did they consider CM however? It can produce many of the same symptoms and be quite painful in its own right -- and almost all cavaliers are at risk of it as almost all have some degree of skull malformation.

If you are seeing discomfort scratching etc I'd be inclined to think you might want to trial some of the SM meds also used for CM. We have people here whose dogs are fully clear of SM but have the same symptoms and are on meds for CM. I just am a bit uncomfortable with the notion that behaviours that owners know are not normal are seen as being just an oddity of a given dog.

Oh hell...now my happiness has just gone out of the window and panic has set in...what on earth is CM

Kate H
13th September 2012, 10:49 PM
Hi Jayne

CM stands for Chiari Malformation. This is an oddity at the base of the skull that almost all Cavaliers have (and a few other Toy breeds as well). The skull 'tucks in', constricting the base of the brain. This has two common results: the bottom part of the brain 'herniates' - gets pushed down into the top of the spinal cord and acts like a stopper; and the flow of cerebral-spinal fluid (CSF) from the spinal cord, round the brain and back down the spinal cord is slowed down, and tends to accumulate in the space at the front of the brain called the ventricles. The dilated ventricles can cause pressure at the back of the eyes.

In adition, research is showing that there is a mismatch at a very early stage in the life of Cavaliers between the growth of the skull and the growth of the brain. The skull stops growing but the brain doesn't get the message and continues to grow for a bit. As you can imagine, all these factors can create pain, and researchers are increasingly recognising that CM in its own right can cause considerable pain and require neurological medication. SM is usually a result of CM, when the slowing of the CSF creates abcesses or pockets of the fluid within the spinal cord. If they remain narrow, these syrinxes will do little harm, but if they widen they can damage the nerves that run along the spinal cord and in some cases cause great pain.

My own Cavalier, Oliver, has both CM and SM. His fairly small syrinx seems to cause him few problems. He gets a lot of headaches from the severely dilated ventricles caused by his CM, though these are pretty well controlled by medication and to all appearances he is a fit and happy 11 year old. CM/SM is a disease that keeps you on your toes, as the symptoms are many and every dog seems to have his or her own variation on them! The medication also needs juggling to find the right combination for a particular dog.

Hope this helps to make things clearer,

Kate, Oliver and Aled

JayneMR
14th September 2012, 07:52 AM
The vet who did the mri said he was 100% fit and healthy except for the minor heart murmour, he needed no medications at all and for a 7yr old his only problem was being a touch overweight....now i am gutted i have to start all over again. He hasnt scratched, chewed or showed any pain since the weather got cooler. The pain he did have i am convinced was an ear infection and after ear drops and antibiotics the pain cry stopped. So do i tell the vet he is wrong?


Addition...just emailed the vet he says...


Charly is NOT clear of CM, like 99.9% of all the healthy cavaliers that I've scanned. I don't think CM is the reason for Charly's scratching, but if you want you can try giving carporal, metacam or rimadyl for about 10 days. If scratching completely disappears CM MIGHT be a cause, but as I've said, it is very unlikely.
(i asked if he was in pain)NO, Charly is NOT in pain, but if CM is the reason for scratching rimadyl or metacam must clear all scratching. If not, scratching is not caused by CM.

You stated that Charly stops scratching when you tell him so. Scratching caused by SM/CM usually cannot be stopped by telling to stop, because they simply MUST scratch. Please do not worry about Charly, he is a normal cavalier, not showing alarming symptoms, free of SM!

sins
14th September 2012, 09:37 AM
That is fantastic news.
I think your vet sounds very sensible..Congratulations on his excellent scan and how wonderful to see a cavalier in his age group without a syrinx.
If you have his pedigree and your vet hasn't done so,would you consider sending his pedigree and scan results to the european EBV scheme?
http://www.cavaliers.be/newsite/populatieonderzoek/teksten/newsletter2_cavaliers_for_life_eng.pdf

Sins

Kate H
14th September 2012, 10:47 AM
I hope you treated my explanation as just that - an explanation of the meaning of CM, not necessarily relevant to your Charlie. As your sensible vet points out, almost all Cavaliers have CM but many of them have no direct ill-effects from it, and if your Charlie is one of the lucky ones, just rejoice! And enjoy him. And, as Sins suggests, send his pedigree to the European Estimated Breeding Values project, which will help breeders to breed away from SM affected dogs and bloodlines.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Karlin
14th September 2012, 12:30 PM
That's a very good response from your vet. :) It isn't strictly true, but I found as SM progressed it did indeed become harder and then impossible to simply distract my SM cavaliers from scratching so it's a good general rule of thumb. :) There's no intention to terrify anyone -- but to make sure a dog gets accurately diagnosed and gets the care for pain it may need. :) The explanation you got back indicates all this was considered. I think neurologists really need to explain both the CM and SM implications though if there are symptoms that could be tied to this condition -- it gives a clearer and less ambiguous response for an owner but often I think they opt for a simpler response on the more obvious issue, SM.

And of course it is impossible for us here to go on anything other than your own description of potential symptoms so we have to guess as to what is actually being seen. It is easy and understandable for people to worry that they are seeing severe scratching when actually it is mild. Scratching can also be linked to PSOM (as it is with one of my SM-clear cavaliers). Some people think what they are seeing is mild and indicates no pain when those of us with affected dogs quickly realise they have a dog in real discomfort and with some severe symptoms -- yet a vet to can miss them. It's a confusing and complicated disease. It is very reassuring that you clearly had someone who considered all these things in the evaluation -- thanks for clarifying that. :)

You hadn't mentioned CM in your post initially, and unfortunately, as so many of us with affected dogs have found, there is an issue with vets and some neurologists not really understanding CM as a potentially serious cause of mild to significant pain/symptoms, as well as a problem (because so misleading to puppy buyers and other breeders) of some neurologists being very poor at diagnosing it -- I am aware one in the US who has given a surprising number of cavaliers a 'clear of CM' for example, whose skills at diagnosing CM are not considered very good. I'd never trust a 'clear of CM' nor should anyone else, unless confirmed by the UK panel).

One of the serious issues I'd see with the European proposed EBV project (and a very disappointing aspect) is that at least in the past, they simply take scans -- they don't charge for taking them but neither is there any standardised panel of neurologists to accurately and consistently grade scans that can come from anywhere... thus, there's no standard of quality, nor for head positioning etc. It was originally breeders who demanded -- and I do mean, demanded! -- a panel of neurologists to grade scans for the UK EBV programme so that it would be consistent and fair and accurate (complaining that the original scheme accepted all scans). They were absolutely right to do so. However such work cannot be done and administered for free -- if you want a professional system, someone has to pay for it. And last I heard, results in the European scheme are not shared publicly making it hard to verify results or for anyone other than a closed circle who (might) share such info. Public availability and not just a 'believe what I tell you' approach has to be the basis for a reliable and truthful system. Maybe this has now all changed, Sins? And this European scheme will also shift to not taking just any scans, but require a standard of machine, head position, and a panel grade for accuracy and consistency? And make this a public database? If not, what is the breeder rationale for supporting a second scheme? So much more is now understood about the mechanics of scanning and there's so much greater a need for standards and consistency that supporting a scheme offering neither seems a significant backward step?

On the basis that info is so unstandardised, I could not ever advise any puppy buyer to acceot what they say in their brochure:


Instead of copy health certificates, breeders will only need to show the potential puppy buyer a certificate:

Now THAT is alarming and an easy out for puppy sellers, and is a level of trust I cannot see a lot of breeders accepting themselves when deciding on potential matings :sl*p:. Also just who are their 'many geneticists' whop advise they not publish results?!? I've yet to hear a genetist say this. Why don;t they name and quote these people are this goes against ALL other genetic schemes I know of internationally and ALL the UK Kennel Club's programmes for example! I would not be inclined to trust a breeder with making such an unsubstantiated, convenient-for -hiding-results claim.

It would be fantastic to have internationally available schemes however if they are properly funded, standardised, require consistent head positioning etc. and supported by breeders. And an open health registry. :D An international scheme os set of linked standardised schemes, supported internationally by breed clubs and national KCs, would offer the breed real hope!

JayneMR
14th September 2012, 02:49 PM
Thank you both for responding,
i didnt mention CM os i had never heard of it, its only when you mentioned it i panicked...then Mike read the report from the vet and saw it mentioned. So when i read your response i mailed him, snd you saw his reply.
Charlies scratching really is mild and stops within seconds if i tell him to, if he chews his foot he again stops immediately and only does this not even once a day.
but we are going to our local vet with the report and cd,s and see what he advises..again thank you

sins
14th September 2012, 04:22 PM
Hi Karlin,
This link is to an FCI newsletter which gives more details of the European EBV scheme.
http://www.dogdotcom.be/en/cavalier.aspx
They appear to be taking data on all health issues from DE/CC,eyes,hearts and of course SM.The proposals for standardisation of scans is addressed in there.
This isn't a "second scheme"...it an FCI endorsed scheme, we can't really expect FCI affiliated European kennel clubs/breed clubs to come under the umbrella of the English KC or their BVA schemes.European cavalier breeders have been very pro active with the SM issue and a lot of breeders who would have ardently supported the KC/BVA scheme initially,really think this European scheme can be made to fly.I think we've become used to the idea that the UK had a monopoly on cavalier health and health initiatives,but of course it isn't so.
Both EBV schemes have their flaws to be fair,scans and their interpretation can be very subjective and up until the BVA panel,a grading was an expression of the opinion of the specialist you chose to examine the scan.
I have no objection to sumbitting my scan reports and pedigrees to either the BVA or this "European one".If either one comes up with a robust EBV scheme which actually works,then that's great.
No point putting all the eggs in one basket..
Sins

Karlin
14th September 2012, 05:26 PM
Agree that it would be great if someone came up with a scheme breeders would actually use. :lol: So far every scheme anyone has come up with seems eventually to be opposed when it is revealed that results will have to be transparent or that it will; actually cost something. I will be amazed if the European scheme can raise enough from breeders who already complain bitterly about paying for the BVA scheme, at a level that would sustain this one. But sure: I'd advocate submitting scans and test results, absolutely.

But I remain pretty sceptical of this scheme.

According to this newsletter this remains a private pilot scheme, not supported in any offocial way by the FCI that I can see (?), it is just mentioned in the newsletter as a private initiative:


The project can be considered as a pilot project. It is a private initiative set up by breeders from several countries working close together with Universities, genetic people, vets, judges etc.

Who thinks the UK has a monopoly on cavalier health projects? Many of the longest standing research projects are international. Much of Clare Rusbridge's work has been based on international collaboration with clubs and individuals in the UK, Canada, Holland, Ireland, South Africa, Finland and Australia in two different breeds with a high incidence of SM (just to name the ones I can think of off the top of my head).

Rupert's Fund has funded scans in at least three countries though it may well be several more by now. And the groups we work with -- For the Love of Ollie, Cavalier Collection and Cavalier Matters -- all have funded research in several countries, raising 5 figure sums in two separate countries, for projects in several countries. (I do not think the breed clubs in either of the same countries have given as much as these two funds from private, pet owning individuals towards SM research. I would love to see a challenge fund from the clubs to match these private funds!).

Several significant projects have come from and continue to be done in the US and Canada. Not from 'breeders taking the matter in their own hands' either but from breeders working with researchers and pet owners.

I absolutely mistrust several of the statements that have come from Belgium, on this project. The idea that pet buyers no longer have to worry their confused little heads because this private breeder-based initiative (warning! warning!) will mean they only have to look at a privately issued certificate for tests they never get any evidence for, is exactly NOT what puppy buyers should accept, ever.

The tone of the whole newsletter just about says everything though.


After the BBC programme “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” the canine world will never be the same again. The media and governments will continuously put demands on pedigree dog breeders and Clubs.

I and millins of others certainly hope so -- clubs and breeders should be held to account on breeding decisions and claims about their lines when there is the amount of knowledge about SM and MVD and their spread now. Hmmm though -- in what country on earth so far has the 'population been different' and therefore rate of affectedness been different? Answer: NONE. Cavaliers are all so closely connected. But nice to imply a loophole for less ethical breeders to claim they have less-affected populations.


Thanks to the scientists investigating the diseases we know more about the CKCS and its (hereditary) diseases than several other breeds. Sadly enough this made the CKCS an easy target for the media which had a devastating influence on the way people look at the CKCS.

Seriously? "Sadly enough"? Sad for the breeders and puppy sellers, perhaps, but not for openness in breeding practice, pressure being exerted to create a healthier cavalier, or awareness in the puppy buying public who still are routinely told 'there is no SM in my lines (or MVD)... by breeders who don't test. The number of breeders sites and breed club sites which have little to no information on SM or MVD is astonishing at this point. At least the UK club site does.

The reason that the Dutch clubs agreed to the SM scanning scheme is that they faced a court case that could have made this mandatory or severely limited breeding. It was not a sudden rush to help the breed centered in the club. The clubs had a good indication that their future was in trouble unless they took such a step.


When introducing EBV’s in a breed, there is always the risk that breeders will only use the dogs with the best EBV’s (= Champion culture). This will lead to exclusion of valuable dogs and finally result in narrowing the breeding pool with the famous bottleneck as a result.

The best line of all. "Champion culture"? And how is this remotely different from what most breeders do right now? How could knowing EBVs possibly, possibly make the situation worse than it is? Just how many current show dogs are from just ONE popular sire right now in the UK, for example? :rolleyes:

It is odd that not once has the Belgian initiative ever mentioned that this approach for cavaliers was pioneered by UK researchers however and with scans from UK pet owners and breeders. Nor is there any attempt to link up with that scheme. Why? The problem however to my mind is not that a dog's EBV would not be published. It is that actual *test results* are not being revealed and that puppy buyers or one assumes, other breeders are supposed to just accept a piece of paper from this breeder-run project stating the equivalent of 'trust me'. No thanks.

The comments are not meant as criticisms for you to answer, Sins -- they are comments on why I personally don't like the way this scheme is being constructed, how it is being driven, or that results which should be transparent and open remain hidden.

I would love to see international, honest and transparent efforts that link up and don;t expect intelligent puppy buyers to accept some intermediary's piece of paper rather than being able to see documents for themselves.

I am glad to see there is a plan to have a standard for scans and interpretation! :)

Sabby
15th September 2012, 05:40 PM
Thank you both for responding,
i didnt mention CM os i had never heard of it, its only when you mentioned it i panicked...then Mike read the report from the vet and saw it mentioned. So when i read your response i mailed him, snd you saw his reply.
Charlies scratching really is mild and stops within seconds if i tell him to, if he chews his foot he again stops immediately and only does this not even once a day.
but we are going to our local vet with the report and cd,s and see what he advises..again thank you

Just saw this today.

I have one Cavalier affected by SM and one affected by CM. Both are on medication. Sorry I don't want to put a downer on things I am just telling you what my dogs are like. And from knowing lots of people with SM/CM affected dogs it seems symtoms and severity differs very much from dog to dog. My CM dog is on 3x 100mg Gabapentin and also Zitac.

Both of my dogs scratch but my CM affected dog is far worse then the one with SM. The CM dog will start scratching badly if I don't give her medication on time sometimes the medication has to be even given an hour earlier. She really gets her paw behind the ear and scratches a funny sort of scratch. But if I tell her off she will stop. She would want to start again but when she looks at me and I say no she stop straight away. So all I am saying every dog is different. And please take into consideration change of weather and air pressure. My CM dog is far worse when the weather or air pressure changes rapidly.

Margaret C
15th September 2012, 06:48 PM
The problem however to my mind is not that a dog's EBV would not be published. It is that actual *test results* are not being revealed and that puppy buyers or one assumes, other breeders are supposed to just accept a piece of paper from this breeder-run project stating the equivalent of 'trust me'. No thanks.

The comments are not meant as criticisms for you to answer, Sins -- they are comments on why I personally don't like the way this scheme is being constructed, how it is being driven, or that results which should be transparent and open remain hidden.



I can appreciate the fact that European breeders who cannot use the UK BVA/KC CMSM Scheme and submit the information to the UK EBV scheme may see the European EBVs as the best that they can do, and I applaud them for their initiative, but no UK breeder who is seriously concerned for their own cavaliers and are sincere in the wish to give the breed a healthier future, can justify using it instead of our own UK scheme.

We now have in place what a vocal group of anti-scanning breeders said they wanted; an official standardised BVA/KC MRI scheme with a panel of neurologists and an appeal system. Their bluff called, they are now promoting the European EBV scheme. Anything it seems to avoid publishing results.

For UK health representatives and regional club chairmen to promote European EBVs instead of using our own UK scheme must raise grave doubts as to their commitment to anything but their own self-interest.

If, like Sins, UK breeders want to support the European initiative as well as the superior and more advanced AHT EBV project then that would be great, it will after all not cost them a penny. That being so they will not need to worry that many breeders in Europe have expressed doubts that this scheme will ever take off because of lack of funding.

Even now there are very few breeders or organisations shown as sponsors, so just how this scheme is going to be funded is unclear. People have tried to get clarification on a number of the issues mentioned here but answers are not forthcoming.

The European EBV scheme newsletter states that they want breeders to select and send in "only official reports from competent veterinarian specialists"
Over the years the scanning process in the UK has been refined so that the MRIs sent to the UK EBVs mean they are comparing like to like. The scans are done in the same way, for the same time, to the same strength, with the dog placed in the same position.

If the AHT decided they could only use the standardised information that will be coming from the BVA/KC scheme, then how can a scheme based on breeder self-selection of results and a variety of certificates from many different countries give creditable results?

There are three reasons that would make the European EBVs attractive to some UK breeders.

1) It would save them 100 per breeding cavalier on the cost of scanning (One puppy sells for approximately 700 or more...........average litter size would be in the region of 3-4 puppies)

2) Their results would stay unpublished. No one will know if they are risking the health of their puppies by using cavalier parents that are too young for the scan to be meaningful, or even those affected with SM, (something that is being said about one current stud dog )

3) While results remain unpublished breeders can claim they have scanned their cavaliers and had good results when it is not true.

sins
19th September 2012, 02:28 PM
It appears the KC will be publishing full screening results through the KC/BVA scheme, expected to commence from 24 September 2012 ..

Sins

Margaret C
19th September 2012, 08:07 PM
It appears the KC will be publishing full screening results through the KC/BVA scheme, expected to commence from 24 September 2012 ..

Sins

Hello Sins,

That is marvellous news. Where did you see that?

sins
19th September 2012, 08:38 PM
Saw it on a facebook group this morning.
The poster had received a communication from the KC indicating the start date.
Sins

Margaret C
27th January 2013, 01:22 PM
I thought I would bump up this thread as there is more news about the European EBVs.

Although there is nothing shown on the seemingly defunct Cavalier Health Liaison Committee website, a new 'Cavaliers for Life' newsletter, dated December 2012 on:
http://www.cavaliers.be/newsite/populatieonderzoek/Newsletter_2013.pdf suggests that the scheme has solved the funding problem.

I hear the criteria for accepting health certificates is going to be much more stringent than originally suggested. I will be interested to find out how they will resolve the problem of UK breeders choosing for themself which certificates to send in?

Karlin
27th January 2013, 08:30 PM
Clicked through to the website for the project, and still find this very alarming:


Instead of copy health certificates, breeders will only need to show the potential puppy buyer a certificate:

Based on Scientific Research at Leuven University of available health data and current breeding advice, This puppy has been responsibly bred from the following : sire … x dam ……

What exactly will 'responsibly bred' actually MEAN? Will a buyer be reliably told, at what age? Or when the tests took place. Does 'responsibly bred' mean the dog was heart and eye tested, but not MRI'd? Or MRI'd but bred outside the MVD protocol (which means knowing the grandparents' heart health info, not just the parents')? Does it mean eyes and patellas and EFS/CC were done, but not MRIs? Does it mean the dogs were MRI'd, but years earlier or before age 2.5?

How will they verify the breeder didn't just test, but bred responsibly using MVD/SM protocols?

I'd also like to make sure there's some standard on the MRI grades too and a verification process. As there are some neurologists who oddly find their own pockets of clear of CM cavaliers, which other neurologists have not found -- I would want some kind of panel confirmation of a grade, not just acceptance of a report from someone who may be very poor at spotting CM.

This kind of panel adjudication is what so many UK (and US) breeders were rightly demanding -- and what was therefore included in the BVA scheme.