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View Full Version : Dr. Penderis' grim view of CM in future generations



RodRussell
16th October 2012, 09:18 PM
In an editorial in an upcoming issue of the Veterinary Journal, Dr. Jacques Penderis gives a grim estimate of the chances of breeding Chiari-like malformation out of future generations of cavalier King Charles spaniels. He views cavaliers' high prevalence of CM and limited genetic diversity as "major difficulties" in breeding away from CM in the future.

Details at http://www.cavalierhealth.org/syringomyelia.htm#UKs_Penderis_views_CKCSs_high_pr evalence_of_CM_and_limited_genetic_diversity

Margaret C
17th October 2012, 12:12 AM
It is becoming more and more obvious that a Geneticist planned programme of outcrossing to a breed without CM is going to be necessary in the near future.

To judge from their failure to scan breeding stock & breed to SM guidelines, too many breeders are willing to accept that cavaliers are bred with a high risk of developing a painful and expensive illness, but animal welfare groups will not continue to tolerate such breeding and many pet owners are saying that much as they love cavaliers they will not buy another one.

Every breeder that continues to breed from unscanned cavaliers, from parent dogs that are scanned too early for it to count, or that mate young cavaliers together, are knocking another nail into the coffin of this breed.

Kate H
17th October 2012, 11:38 AM
I think some (perhaps most?) breeders are too complacent or ignorant about CM - it doesn't always lead to SM, so let's focus on SM (if they focus anywhere at all) and not do anything about the underlying malformation. But it is becoming increasingly obvious that CM alone can cause considerable pain, and doing nothing about it leaves almost all Cavaliers at risk of pain, and often undiagnosed because even if they are scanned, the fact that they may not have a syrinx may lead their owners to miss signs of pain or misdiagnose the cause.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

mommytoClaire
9th November 2012, 03:47 AM
Such a sad reality for our gentle, happy and beautiful Cavaliers. It makes me sad beyond words.

Waggles
11th November 2012, 04:54 PM
It is becoming more and more obvious that a Geneticist planned programme of outcrossing to a breed without CM is going to be necessary in the near future.

To judge from their failure to scan breeding stock & breed to SM guidelines, too many breeders are willing to accept that cavaliers are bred with a high risk of developing a painful and expensive illness, but animal welfare groups will not continue to tolerate such breeding and many pet owners are saying that much as they love cavaliers they will not buy another one.

Every breeder that continues to breed from unscanned cavaliers, from parent dogs that are scanned too early for it to count, or that mate young cavaliers together, are knocking another nail into the coffin of this breed.


So true - if we are going to fix this then we need to look outside of the breed. Nothing else seems to have worked so far.

emmaK11
19th November 2012, 02:27 AM
Ive personally noticed that there is no awareness of the disease whatsoever in my area. Ive met many people who own cavaliers and have never even heard of SM/CM. its interesting that i havent found one person in all this time whose dog has it. i wonder whether their dog has it and they just havent picked up on the signs. its very sad.

ByFloSin
19th November 2012, 09:05 AM
Ive personally noticed that there is no awareness of the disease whatsoever in my area. Ive met many people who own cavaliers and have never even heard of SM/CM. its interesting that i havent found one person in all this time whose dog has it. i wonder whether their dog has it and they just havent picked up on the signs. its very sad.

I think that much of the lack of awareness of the disease is due to the ignorance of the vets which care for pets. My experience in dealing with a vet with experience or knowledge of opthalmologist diagnosed CC/DE was harrowing to say the least. Instinct told me to reject the advice to remove the puppy's eye without a further consultation with the opthalmologist. When I got back to the vet's surgery from the consultation, needing prescribed medicines to be ordered before the pup's pain returned, a shouting match with the vet himself resulted because he had never heard of these items being used on an animals eyes. The words 'a fool and her money are soon parted' still echo in my ears. I was about to hit the man because I was so angry and disgusted and was only stopped by my friend the taxi driver manhandling me out of the surgery. I did obtain the medicines and used them. Holly still has the eye and is living a comfortable and happy life without ulcers. The vet and I hugged and made up and are now the best of friends. He was as concerned as I was about a young pup's suffering, but had no understanding of the disease or how to treat it, because he had been taught nothing about it.

When I took in Rebel's MRI pictures after his first scan, neither vet at the practice had any knowledge about SM and had never seen a symptomatic dog. Neither had they learnt anything about it at vet school. When Rebel developed symptoms I had to download and print Clare's chart and to share the information I had gleaned from owners and breeders with experience of the disease. Both vets and I still rely on that chart and yesterday a very happy and comfortably treated Rebel celebrated his 10th birthday yesterday.

Looking at these two experiences with metropolitan local vets makes me think that the average vet just hasn't been taught how to recognise and treat either of these diseases. Since Rebel was diagnosed my vet has recognised the symptoms of SM in a couple of other dogs, neither of which have been Cavaliers she says. She also says that her experience with Rebel is a steep learning curve, but one which has helped her to be a better vet and more able to treat other dogs.

Surely pet owners and breeders alike see their vet as a source of education and information about the animals they own and love. Surely education should start with the vet?

RodRussell
19th November 2012, 03:34 PM
I think that much of the lack of awareness of the disease is due to the ignorance of the vets which care for pets. ...

... Looking at these two experiences with metropolitan local vets makes me think that the average vet just hasn't been taught how to recognise and treat either of these diseases. Since Rebel was diagnosed my vet has recognised the symptoms of SM in a couple of other dogs, neither of which have been Cavaliers she says. She also says that her experience with Rebel is a steep learning curve, but one which has helped her to be a better vet and more able to treat other dogs.

Surely pet owners and breeders alike see their vet as a source of education and information about the animals they own and love. Surely education should start with the vet?

Wow, Flo! Those are some experiences!

My favorite vet is our main holistic vet. Dr. Joe Demers -- http://floridaholisticvet.com/veterinarians.htm -- graduated from Texas A&M vet school, which I think is the best in the USA. He spent about 14 years in general practice and concluded that he was spinning his wheels treating most of the pets with much too much of the same stuff: antibiotics and steroids. He decided to re-educate himself and learned traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, homotoxicology, and the rest of the wonderful world of holistic care. So, now he is just about the top holistic vet in the USA, having written extensively in research journals and served as president of the American Holistic Medical Veterinary Association.

He constantly amazes me during our visits. He will feel a dog's pulse ("the pulse is thin and wiry") and interpret it to pinpoint a problem with a particular organ, such as the liver ("the liver is unhappy today"). He will feel acupuncture points to confirm his suspicion and then concoct a remedy, usually a homotox mixture, for treatment. He says that blood work will not show that a liver is diseased until nearly 70% of the liver already is involved in the disorder. So, pulsing and acupuncture points and other hands-on analyses can diagnose issues with particular organs before they get bad enough to show up in the blood stream.

His 2005 article, "A Holistic Approach to the Treatment of Cancer" -- http://cavalierhealth.org/images/holistic_approach_demers_ahvma_jan05.pdf -- is a masterpiece, and he has improved upon it since then, having recently treated one of our dogs for cancer and used additional remedies beyond those described in the article.

So, I commend holistic vets to pet owners, as long as they have their DVMs (at least in the US, and the equivalent in the UK) and also are well-educated in holistic modalities. An holistic vet with a DVM license has a much bigger bag to delve into than any general practice vet.

Emkaybee
19th November 2012, 07:06 PM
I agree that the vets need to be educated in the issues this breed faces. I've been lucky in the vet I have at the moment. She's very clear and careful in her explanations, and I've been impressed with the depth of her knowledge in educating me about Tess's MVD. And she doesnt try to treat beyind her knowledge and expertise. This vet hospital brings in specialists when needed. Tess will be having an ultrasound and visit with a cardio in a couple weeks. CKCS are becoming much more popular in the US (and many more are being bred badly), so I suspect that the vets here are learning a lot about the breed.