5th June 2013, 03:28 PM
Is there any specific breeding recommendations for siblings of SM affected cavaliers? Is it safe to use them?
6th June 2013, 05:44 PM
The first thing to say is that no cavalier is ever 'safe' to use. The condition is so widespread, in all lines now, that there are no 'safe' dogs or lines. Inheritence is not fully understood either, but almost every cavalier has the skull malformation that creates the constriction that seems to generate SM in both humans and dogs. And a research sample of over 550 cavaliers indicated 70% or more eventually will have SM as they age.
A sibling of an affected dog certainly would be considered a much higher risk from the very start, because it would be known that parents already have produced affected offspring in that litter. You'd also want to know the scan results on the older parents of the sibling of course -- that's some of the best information a breeder can have.
But -- to even begin to consider breeding the sibling (or any cavalier), the breeder MUST scan the sibling, at the appropriate age, and certainly, the older the dog was at the time of scan the better for a sibling of an affected dog. (at minimum, 2.5 or 3 according to protocols, but with affected siblings, I at least would consider this way too young for the scan and a breeding even on a clear scan).
There's lots of detail on the breeding guidelines and research at http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/ and also at www.cavalierhealth.org.
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