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Kate H
1st January 2013, 08:28 PM
In the GSD breed notes in a recent copy of Our Dogs, the writer quoted an article written by the geneticist Malcolm Willis 30 years ago, which seems very relevant to breeders today:

‘You, the breeders, sell puppies; however, the law considers that you sell goods. If you sell genetically defective goods then the buyer has a case against you and can bring it to the civil courts. Anyone who breeds dogs of whatever breed can turn out defective stock; there is no crime in that. The crime lies in selling such stock to the unsuspecting public and not caring enough to try to prevent the problem occurring in the first place and recurring. If you do not check eyes in a breed with eye troubles or examine hips in a breed with hip trouble etc, etc, then you do not merit being called a breeder and I do not care how many champions you have bred! You are a potential danger to the breed of dog you profess to love and you are thinking more of your pocket or your prestige or your power and influence than your breed.’

The breed notes writer added: ‘[DNA testing] is pretty meaningless if you test but take no notice of the results. So I would add to Malcolm’s description of where the crime lies – it lies in turning out genetically defective goods deliberately; and in relation to not doing enough to prevent the problem recurring I would add that this is a distinct possibility in future generations when breeding in the present day from carriers or affected dogs. . . it is a serious issue that should make breeders re-think their position.’

Pretty relevant, I felt, to Cavaliers today.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Karlin
1st January 2013, 10:20 PM
Wow -- yes -- very relevant. Thanks for posting; very thought-provoking.

I think (and hope) ultimately that, given the many problems in purebred dogs, certain breed tests will be required of anyone breeding dogs and a 'defective goods' type law will enable the puppy buyer of a dog that ends up with genetic problems, to have costs covered or contributed to by the breeder IF the breeder cannot show formal certs that indicate they tested both parents for the condition and that dogs' results fit within breeding protocols, showing breeders therefore did their best to prevent genetic health problems.

Such a law would quickly stem backyard breeding and puppy farmers, and would focus minds on testing (so at least breeders would be making informed breeding decisions).

MomObvious
2nd January 2013, 12:24 AM
It would be wonderful if breeders would think of it as a liability NOT to breed to current protocols. I wish puppy buyers could/would bring civil suits in cases where genetic problems turn up. Hmmmmm this really gets the wheels turning.

Margaret C
2nd January 2013, 02:41 PM
It would be wonderful if breeders would think of it as a liability NOT to breed to current protocols. I wish puppy buyers could/would bring civil suits in cases where genetic problems turn up. Hmmmmm this really gets the wheels turning.

In the UK there is strong evidence that some of the best known breeders have not bred to the current health protocols for years

More and more pet owners are coming forward with cavaliers that have SM, MVD and other hereditary conditions that have been bred by well known breeders who consistently ignored Cavalier Club codes of ethics and breed guidelines. These owners are angry that they have been duped into believing they were buying from responsible breeders. They are now coming forward and finding out there is plenty of evidence that shows they are not alone. Someday soon someone will be angry enough and wealthy enough to sue.

In fact it is possibly happening already.

There is so many SM affected Cavaliers coming to light that it sometimes seems to me that the next Fund to be set up should be one that helps less affluent owners take careless breeders to Court.

sunshinekisses
2nd January 2013, 06:04 PM
In the UK there is strong evidence that some of the best known breeders have not bred to the current health protocols for years
Change UK for US, you get the same. And is it really a surprise? Every show/hobby breeder I know breeds earlier than 2 1/2 years and some breed as early as 9 months from a nice potential stud. This is where the buyer must be informed and ask the hard questions before they buy. Pedigree information is just as important as parents. Buyer should find out health on grandparents and great grand parents as well. Sometimes not so easy to find the information if the parent is an import but the breeder should have some idea.

After my first cavalier died suddenly at three I didn't want to go through that heart ache again. I made sure before I bought my boy that I knew heart history in his pedigree. I am pleased to say he has great-greats that are alive and heart clear into their teens. Unfortunately I have no information about SM in his lines but I am hopeful no news is good news. :)

Karlin
2nd January 2013, 10:16 PM
This is where the buyer must be informed and ask the hard questions before they buy.

Yes an excellent point, and so very true.

I think we are increasingly close to seeing a case against a breeder who has not properly tested nor followed recommended breeding protocols and produced -- surprise -- dogs that got early onset, serious heart disease or SM. IF someone is testing and using dogs carefully and waiting -- with these progressive diseases where waiting should be a top priority! -- to breed until at least 2.5 years old, then they would have no liability. But before long, a judge is going to create case law that establishes breeders have a case -- and costs -- to answer for if tests are available, especially when they are recommended *by their own national clubs* as well as their club medical advisors and international expert panels, and yet they breed flouting both tests and protocols and produce affected dogs.

Once case law is established in one country, it can be used internationally to help argue a case.

There are nonetheless many good breeders out there who must be so sick of dealing with the attitudes of so many of their colleagues.

MomObvious
3rd January 2013, 12:17 AM
especially when they are recommended *by their own national clubs* as well as their club medical advisors and international expert panels, and yet they breed flouting both tests and protocols and produce affected dogs.


And this to me is down right disgusting!!!!!!!!!!! These breed clubs SHOULD be the front lines for doing the right and just things for these dogs. Instead there in more acclaim and money involved in the outside looks of these dogs. People who claim to be animal lovers are the demise of the breeds they say they "love". Its like the PETA organization holding a company pig roast!

Yes, there are good breeders out there thanks heavens for that. Wish more "breeding loving" people were out there tho

Margaret C
11th January 2013, 04:30 PM
In the UK there is strong evidence that some of the best known breeders have not bred to the current health protocols for years

More and more pet owners are coming forward with cavaliers that have SM, MVD and other hereditary conditions that have been bred by well known breeders who consistently ignored Cavalier Club codes of ethics and breed guidelines. These owners are angry that they have been duped into believing they were buying from responsible breeders. They are now coming forward and finding out there is plenty of evidence that shows they are not alone.

Nowadays there are other ways for owners of SM affected dogs to show their anger. Freddie is only 18 months old.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Freddies-life-with-Syringomyelia/191502210990426

sunshinekisses
11th January 2013, 05:23 PM
The age of some of these SM affected dogs is very sad. I have heard SM is progressive so I am guessing surgery is the best option for these younger dogs?

Margaret C
11th January 2013, 10:50 PM
The age of some of these SM affected dogs is very sad. I have heard SM is progressive so I am guessing surgery is the best option for these younger dogs?

Surgery is often recommended for these extreme young cases, although it does not reverse the damage already done within the spine, so most of the dogs still need pain medication. In many cases the operation will only buy a little extra time.

The most heartbreaking scenario is when the owners do not have insurance, so even paying for the initial consultation and MRI is nigh on impossible. SM is an expensive condition to diagnose and manage.

rubles
13th January 2013, 08:45 PM
This is a very interesting thread.
The other day, having time on my hands, I searched for information about my cav's relatives. What I found is distressing. My cav has SM.
One of his litter mates is a successful show dog and is the father of other successful show dogs being used as studs by their proud owners. There are probably show quality bitches being bred as well.
Websites seldom show MRI results along with other health test results.
Hopefully his litter mate does not have SM.
Charlie's breeder was made aware of his condition when I sought information about his SM and how to take care of him. She doesn't MRI her dogs but I was expected to provide a copy of Charlie's MRI proving he is affected. He was not MRI'd. This probably means Charlie doesn't have SM to his breeder. And so it goes.

Margaret C
14th January 2013, 05:03 PM
This is a very interesting thread.
The other day, having time on my hands, I searched for information about my cav's relatives. What I found is distressing. My cav has SM.
One of his litter mates is a successful show dog and is the father of other successful show dogs being used as studs by their proud owners. There are probably show quality bitches being bred as well.
Websites seldom show MRI results along with other health test results..


Websites don't show MRI results because the breeders don't do them despite knowing that there is now a greater than 50% chance of producing cavaliers that have SM before they are 2.5 years old.


Hopefully his litter mate does not have SM..

If he does they may, like other top breeders, ignore the symptoms while they can, even medicate to suppress them so he can still be shown. When the symptoms become too obvious he will disappear into a pet home.
Whether the new owner will be fully informed of the extent of the problem they are taking on is anyone's guess.

Last year a young Champion was seen to be limping at two shows. It is said he has now been rehomed. He was used at stud at a young age, no wonder more and more SM cases are being identified.


Charlie's breeder was made aware of his condition when I sought information about his SM and how to take care of him. She doesn't MRI her dogs but I was expected to provide a copy of Charlie's MRI proving he is affected. He was not MRI'd. This probably means Charlie doesn't have SM to his breeder. And so it goes.

As I wrote earlier in this thread owners are now getting angry when they find out breeders are playing Russian Roulette when mating their cavaliers. Crossing fingers is no substitute for getting a breeding dog properly tested.

There is a lot of information about irresponsible breeding now emerging. Perhaps what is also needed is an open register of SM dogs with breeder and pedigree details?

Karlin
14th January 2013, 05:44 PM
Hmmm. If I had a dog with SM whose littermate was being shown and used at stud -- I might copy my neurologist's report confirming SM and send it to the owner of the other show/stud. Perhaps that is a breeder who cares more about this issue than yours, and would wish to be sure now that she has MRId her male.

Every now and then you do get a show breeder who does really care -- but then again, if she does she would have MRId the show/stud. Still, If I were breeding I'd really value the information on siblings for my own breeding programme. You never know. Maybe such a letter would prompt an interesting discussion between your breeder and that breeder.

Maybe it is time to create a website that lists scanned, affected cavaliers, with MRI results. I bet it would be closely read by breeders -- including the ones who won;t scan or share information themselves... :rolleyes: Everyone wants information -- few want to provide it.

Margaret C
14th January 2013, 10:45 PM
Maybe it is time to create a website that lists scanned, affected cavaliers, with MRI results. I bet it would be closely read by breeders -- including the ones who won;t scan or share information themselves... :rolleyes: Everyone wants information -- few want to provide it.

You could go and look up the information by different categories, by breeder's name, by cavalier's name, by kennel name, sire's name, dam's name. Each entry could show date of birth and date of diagnosis.

All this could be supplied by owners of pet cavaliers diagnosed with SM. Just think how much information it would give to potential purchasers.

Owners all over the world could be invited to put their SM affected cavaliers on the register. The stud dogs sent overseas could then have the affected offspring born in their new country shown with the SM affected offspring they sired in the UK.

I can see a great deal of merit to the idea.

Soushiruiuma
14th January 2013, 11:03 PM
You could go and look up the information by different categories, by breeder's name, by cavalier's name, by kennel name, sire's name, dam's name. Each entry could show date of birth and date of diagnosis.

All this could be supplied by owners of pet cavaliers diagnosed with SM. Just think how much information it would give to potential purchasers.

Owners all over the world could be invited to put their SM affected cavaliers on the register. The stud dogs sent overseas could then have the affected offspring born in their new country shown with the SM affected offspring they sired in the UK.

I can see a great deal of merit to the idea.

Pet owners will certainly be more willing to come forward with all results (good and bad). While it may not be universally popular, facts (diagnosis, age, pedigree) are FACTS and anyone has the right to compile them from willing sources and make them publicly available (I believe, though I'm not a lawyer).

anniemac
14th January 2013, 11:19 PM
I agree with what Karlin said about the information may be useful to those breeders who are tracking siblings etc to use for their breeding program.

I think we get in trouble when we use results as pet owners as a tool for potential pet buyers to see or in a negative way. If a breeder said they never produced a cavalier with SM, I would stay clear. I am educated enough when I look for a puppy, not to expect that and only ask about a particular breeding that i am looking at a puppy from. Sure, a breeder with several generations of MRI's is valuable but if they have a couple of SM affected pets from years of breeding then why would that matter more than what's behind their breeding?

Good and bad results need to be open. If we start judging those who have produced SM affected cavaliers, we would have no breeders left.

Karlin
15th January 2013, 12:00 AM
Time to talk to the Significant Other about a bit of coding I think! :)

There will be a fresh new site for Cavaliertalk soon. I am pleased to announce that I acquired the domain CKCS.com a while back, after years of hoping it might be released. Amongst other information on health, having an MRI results page that is searchable by the elements you mention, Margaret, would be a good addition I think. A project to discuss further, definitely. Many of us have scanned, pedigree dogs that do not go into the research databases necessarily but the scan information, given from dog owners, is valuable for buyers, breeders and researchers.

Soushiruiuma
15th January 2013, 12:06 AM
Time to talk to the Significant Other about a bit of coding I think! :)

There will be a fresh new site for Cavaliertalk soon. I am pleased to announce that I acquired the domain CKCS.com a while back, after years of hoping it might be released. Amongst other information on health, having an MRI results page that is searchable by the elements you mention, Margaret, would be a good addition I think. A project to discuss further, definitely. Many of us have scanned, pedigree dogs that do not go into the research databases necessarily but the scan information, given from dog owners, is valuable for buyers, breeders and researchers.

Given that all (or nearly all) "CM-free" cavaliers have been found at the same center, perhaps listing the facility where the MRI was performed would be helpful.

sunshinekisses
15th January 2013, 12:41 AM
It was interesting to see the pedigree on the facebook link. That dog has some very famous and well used dogs in the pedigree. I think a couple dogs in that pedigree have been scanned clear but I don't have information to prove that.

Margaret C
15th January 2013, 02:33 PM
It was interesting to see the pedigree on the facebook link. That dog has some very famous and well used dogs in the pedigree. I think a couple dogs in that pedigree have been scanned clear but I don't have information to prove that.

No, I don't think anyone has the information to prove that, or what the results were, or what age those dogs were if a MRI was ever done.

It always surprises me how some breeders will try and fool buyers that there is some sort of guarantee of good health in a litter of puppies because one or two cavaliers, way back in the pedigree, were said by the owner to have a clear heart at 10 years old, or a great grandfather was rumoured to be MRI scanned.

I could say all my Japanese Chins had been tested for slipping patella and were all fine. I could say it, but that would not make it true.

With SM the important thing for a pet owner to check when buying a puppy is that both parents have MRI scans done when they were old enough for the results to count. The MRI certificate should be made available for the buyer to see and it should show there was no syringomyelia.

If any of the grandparents or extended family have been MRI'd and there are certificates to show they had good results when mature, then that would be a bonus.

rubles
17th January 2013, 11:28 PM
Hmmm. If I had a dog with SM whose littermate was being shown and used at stud -- I might copy my neurologist's report confirming SM and send it to the owner of the other show/stud. Perhaps that is a breeder who cares more about this issue than yours, and would wish to be sure now that she has MRId her male.

Every now and then you do get a show breeder who does really care -- but then again, if she does she would have MRId the show/stud. Still, If I were breeding I'd really value the information on siblings for my own breeding programme. You never know. Maybe such a letter would prompt an interesting discussion between your breeder and that breeder.

Maybe it is time to create a website that lists scanned, affected cavaliers, with MRI results. I bet it would be closely read by breeders -- including the ones who won;t scan or share information themselves... :rolleyes: Everyone wants information -- few want to provide it.

Karlin,
I totally agree with you.
I used the e-mail link on the kennel website, very nice, very informative complete with a warning against buying from pet stores because these puppies are probably from mills and advising future puppy owners to inquire about parent testing and so on.
Not wanting to cause problems, maybe her dog is clear, I said her male is gorgeous because he is, said I had his litter mate and asked if hers had been MRI 'd. That was Tuesday, now it's Thursday--no response. Excuses could be made maybe the computer is broken, maybe they're on holiday, etc. Time will tell but based on these two breeders I suspect I won't.

I have a Rhodesian Ridgeback spayed bitch that became incontinent and when the vet tested for diabetes I contacted her breeder for advice. The breeder said she hadn't encountered it and made me promise to contact her with test results because if my dog had diabetes she would move away from it in her breeding programme. Now that's a breeder unlike my experiences with CAvalier breeders. It's just so sad. The ridge is not diabetic.