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View Full Version : From the KC website.....New DNA Testing Schemes for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels



Margaret C
16th April 2013, 08:00 PM
New DNA Testing Schemes for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels16-Apr-13


Following consultation with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel breed health coordinator, on behalf of the breed clubs, the Kennel Club has approved new official DNA testing schemes for Curly Coat-Dry Eye and Episodic Falling in the breed.

These tests are offered by the Animal Health Trust (www.aht.org.uk (http://www.aht.org.uk/)) and Laboklin (www.laboklin.co.uk (http://www.laboklin.co.uk/)) and further details can be obtained directly from them.

Copies of all future test certificate results issued by the laboratories will be sent directly to the Kennel Club, where the test result will be added to the dog’s registration details, which will trigger the publication of the test result in the next available Breed Records Supplement. The result will appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog, and also on the Health Test Results Finder on the Kennel Club website.

If the owner includes the original registration certificate for the dog (not a copy) then a new registration certificate will be issued, with the DNA result on it, free of charge. Please send any DNA test certificates to Health & Breeder Services, The Kennel Club, 1 – 5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB or scan and email copies of the certificates to hbs@thekennelclub.org.uk.

The Kennel Club continues to work alongside breed clubs and breed health coordinators, in a collaborative effort to improve the health of pedigree dogs. The Kennel Club is happy to accommodate a club's request to add a new DNA test to its lists and would normally need a formal request from the breed's health coordinator or a majority request from the breed clubs.

ENDS
16th April 2013

Kate H
16th April 2013, 08:04 PM
I wonder whether the use of these tests will go up or down? Or am I just very cynical?! Still, a good step in the right direction.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Margaret C
16th April 2013, 09:00 PM
I wonder whether the use of these tests will go up or down? Or am I just very cynical?! Still, a good step in the right direction.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

I think we all have good reason to be cynical about breeders commitment to testing, there are those that do not test whatever the health check is for.

If test results are not published it allows breeders to pretend they are checking health issues. This is a cheap, once in a lifetime test. We will eventually see if the declared enthusiasm for this DNA test translates into real results on the KC website.

Cavalier club breeders get very angry when I say some of them are no better than puppy farmers in the way they ignore health issues, but consider this:

The official eye testing schemes have been in place for many years, but very many of the top breeders do not eye test their cavaliers, especially not their breeding bitches.

Someone I know admired an 8 month old puppy in a vet's waiting room last week. She was told that the little dog had puppy cataract. He would need an operation in one eye and the other eye would probably need operating on later. She was told who had bred 'Captain' and how the breeders were "gutted"

This litter is registered in the Breed Record Supplement. The two parents have no eye tests shown on the Kennel Club website. None of the bitches in the parent's health pedigrees had eye results recorded. This was the Dam's third litter and she is owned by a regional club chairman.

We thought we had eradicated hereditary cataract decades ago, but it is showing up again in top lines.

Buyers need to beware.

Margaret C
18th April 2013, 06:06 PM
I have emailed copies of Faith's certificates over to the KC, so I hope those results will soon be on her page. One breeder has already got her results on the website, which is really fast work, so well done her. I'm sure there will be a lot more going up as many breeders were enthusiastic about broadcasting their results.

Hopefully the Kennel Club will consider making this a mandatory test for parents of all cavalier litters before they will register the puppies, but in the meantime, as member of the Assured Breeders Scheme, I have requested that this official DNA scheme is added as soon as possible as a required test to the ABS.

I hope that other Assured Breeders will do the same.

sunshinekisses
18th April 2013, 11:17 PM
Okay, please explain what it means... I think it is saying when a KC registered cavalier gets tested for EF and DE/CC results will be sent automatically and entered into the pedigree info?

Margaret C
19th April 2013, 03:07 PM
Okay, please explain what it means... I think it is saying when a KC registered cavalier gets tested for EF and DE/CC results will be sent automatically and entered into the pedigree info?

You are right, any cavalier being tested from now on will have the results shown under their name on the KC Health Test Results Finder. You just need to put in the cavalier's registered name. You can try with Faith if you like, her name is Wyredell Keeping Faith. I have sent copies of her certificates to the KC so I am hoping her EFS & DE/CC results will go up soon.
http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/public/mateselect/test/Default.aspx

The results will also be published in the KC's Breed Record Supplement, which is a publication showing litters registered in the previous three months and other helpful information.

If a cavalier needs new registration papers at any time ( for instance when transferred to a new owner ) the results will be printed on them. Owners that would like the information shown on their cavalier's registrations can get new papers free.

All cavalier puppies will now have the parents results ( if any ) shown on their registration papers.

I understand that results from some previously tested cavaliers will also be published, depending whether the owners had signed a form giving permission. Those that are not sure whether they have given permission can email copies of their EF & CC/DE certificates to make sure the results get put on the HTRF.

There was so much enthusiasm expressed for this test, even breeders that are known not to use routine eye checks claimed to have tested all their cavaliers and have good results. It will be interesting to see if they ensure their results are made available on the KC website.

sunshinekisses
19th April 2013, 06:49 PM
okay, thanks for explaining. So then bad results will also appear?

It is a bit like our American Kennel Club listing OFA hip results on the pedigree. However the owner must sign to release bad results to public and OFA does not give a number to failing results. Now I understand why some breeders would be hesitant for the results to be listed if failing results are listed as well as good.

Margaret C
19th April 2013, 07:11 PM
okay, thanks for explaining. So then bad results will also appear?

It is a bit like our American Kennel Club listing OFA hip results on the pedigree. However the owner must sign to release bad results to public and OFA does not give a number to failing results. Now I understand why some breeders would be hesitant for the results to be listed if failing results are listed as well as good.

Nobody wants bad results but it happens. The mark of a responsible breeder and true 'Guardian of the Breed' is a willingness to disclose poor results as well as good so that the extent of health problems in the breed can be recognised and dealt with.

sunshinekisses
19th April 2013, 07:30 PM
I went and checked out your girl's information. I find it interesting that the only required testing is eyes and the only recommended testing is eyes and heart.

I guess I don't understand what the breeder scheme is, I thought it was like the CHIC program. Is the breeder scheme to have one place to list all health testing results? I guess the american version would be OFA. Breeders (and owners) can send in results for all health testing and have it listed for a fee. CHIC recommends eye, heart, patella, and hip testing for cavaliers.

sunshinekisses
19th April 2013, 07:35 PM
Nobody wants bad results but it happens. The mark of a responsible breeder and true 'Guardian of the Breed' is a willingness to disclose poor results as well as good so that the extent of health problems in the breed can be recognised and dealt with.
True, I think bad results should be published but from what I have observed in the cavalier community is that being open about health issues leads to scorn and exclusion.

sunshinekisses
19th April 2013, 08:04 PM
okay, please forgive....I have looked up my dogs AKC paperwork because I am curious. His parents both have CHIC numbers. Listed below their names on the registration is OFA hip results CERF(eye test) and age of test and DNA number. I can't remember if parents had CHIC number at time of my dog's registration because I thought it showed in the pedigree. Anyway, to find actual health results besides the hip you must go to OFA website or ask for certificate from breeder.
I also looked up my old dog import paperwork. He has listed below his info, parents name and Health screening: KC/BVA schemes and DNA tests but no info. I am assuming parents weren't tested. So would Eye, Heart results be listed below BVA schemes and DE/CC be listed below DNA tests? Then how do they list the test with an actual normal, carrier, affected or other? Would a buyer know the results of test on dog's registration or would they have to go to the breeder scheme website?

(I hope that wasn't too confusing)

Margaret C
19th April 2013, 09:15 PM
I went and checked out your girl's information. I find it interesting that the only required testing is eyes and the only recommended testing is eyes and heart.

I guess I don't understand what the breeder scheme is, I thought it was like the CHIC program. Is the breeder scheme to have one place to list all health testing results? I guess the american version would be OFA. Breeders (and owners) can send in results for all health testing and have it listed for a fee. CHIC recommends eye, heart, patella, and hip testing for cavaliers.

It is very hard to explain the UK dog breeding world and the Assured Breeders Scheme but I will do my best.

The Kennel Club registers pedigree dogs for a fee. Historically they had not considered the health of the dogs they registered as part of their remit, that was the concern of the owners and the breed clubs.

Over the years as more emphasis was put on animal welfare the KC was forced to respond. They set up a KC Charity and later the Assured Breeders Scheme. This Scheme was meant for responsible breeders that agreed to inspections and to use the official health specific tests ( these were the only tests where the KC could check the results ) There were incentives including priority listing of litters for sale.

The problem was they had virtually no inspectors and only a handful of official tests. Most breeds had no tests at all. When they did the breeders did not have to remove a dog from their breeding programme if it failed. It was a puppy farmer's charter.

The KC have been forced to tighten up the rules over the years and there are more official tests being added. The KC heavily promote it to the Public as the way to find a healthy puppy. The truth is that in many breeds an ABS breeder is required to do no more than any other breeder. The ABS does not even ask for a basic health check on the parents of litters they register under the scheme.

Cavaliers have only two official tests. To be a required (mandatory) test under the ABS the breed clubs have to ask for it to be added. Eye tests are required & CMSM Scheme is only recommended ( which means you don't have to do it ) Heart testing is a club scheme and only recommended. The DNA tests have now been made an official scheme and the cavalier clubs could ask for it to be added, but the breeders that head up the cavalier health liaison committee are not proactive when it comes to health testing.

You do not have to be a member of the ABS to be a responsible breeder, a lot of breeders do much more than the few official tests that are listed on that scheme. I am on there for two reasons. I regard the ABS as a 'Declaration of Intent' by the KC that they will be forced to continue to improve, especially now it is to be audited by an independent organisation.

The second reason I am an ABS member is that puppy buyers contact me through the Scheme. Although I have no puppies it gives me a chance to explain just how old cavalier parents should be when mated and just what health certificates the buyer should expect to be shown.

sunshinekisses
19th April 2013, 11:27 PM
Hmmm, that is very interesting thanks for explaining. US does things very different. AKC registry is seperate from any health registry although they do work with OFA. The only restriction on AKC registration is DNA on multi use sires. And I can't remember how many litters before they require the dna.

Now that you have explained it many things make more sense to me. I can see where the frustration is for reputable breeders and the puppy buyers push for KC to do more for healthy dogs. I guess because I am american I like the idea of the seperate organizations. Where one has control of stud books and the other has the control of health testing.

Margaret C
20th April 2013, 09:05 PM
I also looked up my old dog import paperwork. He has listed below his info, parents name and Health screening: KC/BVA schemes and DNA tests but no info. I am assuming parents weren't tested. So would Eye, Heart results be listed below BVA schemes and DE/CC be listed below DNA tests? Then how do they list the test with an actual normal, carrier, affected or other? Would a buyer know the results of test on dog's registration or would they have to go to the breeder scheme website?

(I hope that wasn't too confusing)

Heart will not be shown at all because it is a club scheme, not an official scheme, so the KC does not have access to the results.

DNA tests are being shown on the HTRF like this:

DNA test - CC/DE Clear Date of Test Age of Cavalier


The results will not be on all registration papers, only those cavalier puppies born to tested parents from this month or cavaliers that have been given reissued certificates.

There are a good few DNA results up already, so a lot of people must have already emailed their certificates through to the KC.

Margaret C
22nd April 2013, 10:28 PM
I received an email saying Faith's DNA test results would be up on the HTRF tomorrow. The link to the website is in my post above if you want to see how they will show the results added to those of her parents, siblings and progeny ( if she ever has any )

This is a really cheap test ( in fact it was offered free at one time ) and very simple, just a cheek swab.

It is good to think that every cavalier club breeder will be able to check and ensure that at least one of the parents of their future litters are DNA clear of EFS & DE/CC.

Heidi R
24th April 2013, 10:08 AM
I received an email yesterday saying they would be upto this morning and they are :) wish they were as quick with the other tests. Been waiting 6 weeks for an eye test result and 4 weeks for SM/CM grade to show up on there. I hope they decide to put heart results on there aswell and make it compulsory for the DNA tests to be done for assured breeders.

Margaret C
24th April 2013, 03:47 PM
I received an email yesterday saying they would be upto this morning and they are :) wish they were as quick with the other tests. Been waiting 6 weeks for an eye test result and 4 weeks for SM/CM grade to show up on there. I hope they decide to put heart results on there aswell and make it compulsory for the DNA tests to be done for assured breeders.

Well done on being so proactive when it comes to health testing. The breed needs more owners like you.

Unfortunately the heart scheme we have at the moment is only a 'Club' scheme, so the KC have no way of receiving or checking the results. There was a commitment given to create an official BVA/KC heart scheme at a meeting in early 2008 but it has not happened, probably because there is no one in the KC, BVA or breed club that is motivated enough to drive it through.
The CMSM scanning scheme was agreed at the same meeting, fortunately that was Clare Rusbridge's 'baby' and so it progressed despite determined opposition from some quarters.

I would agree that the DNA tests should be added to the Assured Breeders Scheme & have written to ask for that to be done. If you are an ABS member perhaps you will write as well?
I also believe that the club heart scheme results could be included in the requirements of the ABS, breeders could send in copies of the club certificate when they registered the litter.

Heidi R
25th April 2013, 12:15 PM
I don't see why the kennel club don't just accept the certificates everyone is using to prove their cavaliers don't have heart murmurs? I didn't use the club scheme last time I got them done as none were being done at the time I needed them done however I found a local cardiologist vet that was doing the same thing and went to him although it cost £35 per dog instead of the £10 that the clubs charge :/ but oh we'll at least they got checked.

Yes I am a member and will write to them. Did you write or email?

Heidi R

Margaret C
26th April 2013, 01:00 AM
I don't see why the kennel club don't just accept the certificates everyone is using to prove their cavaliers don't have heart murmurs? I didn't use the club scheme last time I got them done as none were being done at the time I needed them done however I found a local cardiologist vet that was doing the same thing and went to him although it cost £35 per dog instead of the £10 that the clubs charge :/ but oh we'll at least they got checked.

Yes I am a member and will write to them. Did you write or email?

Heidi R

I included the request when I sent Faith's CC/DE & EF certificates. They may take notice if enough ABS breeders ask.

The problem with the existing heart scheme is that there is no regulation, so no way of checking that the blenheim dog presented to a vet or cardiologist is the dog named on the certificate. The other problem is that not everyone actually heart tests even when they imply they do.

We need an official standardized heart scheme with microchips checked & results published. If owners don't test at least we will know which cavaliers to avoid.

I am one of the committee members of the Companion Cavalier Club. We are waiting to see if the KC will agree our application for KC registration. The aims & objects of the Club focus on cavalier health and if we become a registered KC breed club we will be pressing for the introduction of an official heart scheme.

Margaret C
27th April 2013, 09:07 PM
This is a cheap, once in a lifetime test. We will eventually see if the declared enthusiasm for this DNA test translates into real results on the KC website.

Cavalier club breeders get very angry when I say some of them are no better than puppy farmers..............

A lot of DNA results are up on the website although suprisingly not from some of the breeders that have publicly boasted about their clear DNA results.
Perhaps they are yet to come?

I read with amazement a comment recently posted on an internet forum. A pet owner was trying to discover details of her cavalier's litter mates.

Below are a couple of quotes posted on that thread from a well known breeder. Her last two registered litters were from homebred parents that have no screening tests whatsoever shown on the KC website. I cannot help but wonder if it smacks of hypocrisy to talk about "not breeding to the guidelines for Cavaliers" or "unknown' heath status" when exactly the same could be said of her cavaliers?

"this is your youngsters father who it seems was used for stud at just 13 months of age and produced a litter of seven puppies, including your 16 month old baby. He has sired several litters since, which I know is not what you're asking info about but it tells us that this breeder was not breeding to the guidelines for Cavaliers, which is really sad for the breed whether 'legal' or not."

"So often this happens... a well known bloodline somehow gets mixed with 'unknowns'.... and that means 'unknown' heath status.... 'unknown' temperament issues..... so many 'unknowns' which is very concerning to those of us who care about such things"