Syringomyelia is a very complex and puzzling condition and the fact you will have SM affected dogs in the pedigree ( There will be many more than Monty, but the majority were just never acknowledged by their owners ) does not mean that your Maddie will have it.
Originally Posted by MadPip
There are many SM affected offspring and grandchildren from Monty, but he also had some clear scanned children, one recently MRI'd clear at 9 years old, and her two scanned offspring are Grade A cavaliers as well.
If Maddie's sire was the Malvern show BIS winner, then there is no doubt that a scan of your little girl would give the researchers some very valuable information about the inheritance of SM, but I understand how reluctant you would be to look for trouble when Maddie is so lively and full of life.
Thank you avejo, you sum up exactly the dilemma we all face, breeders and pet owners alike, with this horrible condition.
Originally Posted by avejo
I feel incredibly grateful to any pet owner that will scan & give information for the breed, but they have the right to choose not to do it.
I would say here that I do not feel that breeders have a right to the same discretion.
No breeder has to breed. If they choose to produce puppies they owe it to the breed, their pups, and the eventual owners to know the SM status of any cavalier they breed from.
If they don't feel able to put their cavalier through the procedure, then they should not breed.
Sorry Margaret, I didn't make myself too clear, I think the Malvern BIS winner is a half brother to Maddie.
Originally Posted by Margaret C
I know there are likely to be other SM affected dogs in Maddie's pedigree other than Monty, but thanks to your honesty I do know about him. Each spring/ summer when she starts to scratch (pollen allergies) I hold my breath until the first frosts of autumn/ winter to make sure that she will stop scratching then. I guess we all worry about SM with our dogs.
I suppose I am torn between thinking that as she will be 5 soon scanning her could give some useful information to the researchers, but then I worry if a syrinx was found despite her being asymptomatic, I would treat her differently and not enjoy her life as much, if that makes sense.
Strangely I don't worry so much about Pippin, probably because I don't have that much information about the dogs in his pedigree, although I do still watch him for any subtle signs.
I guess I'll just ponder the scanning question some more.
[QUOTE=MadPip;346843]Sorry Margaret, I didn't make myself too clear, I think the Malvern BIS winner is a half brother to Maddie.
I would treat her differently and not enjoy her life as much, if that makes sense.
If something was found if you had her scanned of course you would treat her differently. At least she would be treated at least the progression can be either slowed down or stopped.
Seems to me you're worrying anyway - so why not worry to some positive purpose - IF she scans with SM? Just because Maddie has relatives with SM (like every other Cavalier in existence!) doesn't inevitably mean a positive diagnosis - the BIS winner's SM may have come from the side that Maddie doesn't have, if they only share one parent. Except that a parent known to have SM, even if asymptomatic, is more likely to produce symptomatic offspring, no-one really seems to know the mode of inheritance, so it is impossible to point the finger at any particular unscanned (or scanned, for that matter, if you don't know the result of the scan) dog and say that's where my dog gets his or her SM from. Margaret's Monty gets mentioned simply because she was honest and courageous enough to 'go public' at a time when many breeders were unaware of how common SM was becoming and low cost scans didn't exist. I picked up on my Oliver's grandfather's SM from talking to breeders, his own breeder told me about his symptomatic half-sister - but actually it could all be coincidence and not inheritance at all! Until the inheritance is sorted out, we're all floundering around in the dark to some extent - this is why it is such a nightmare, and why some breeders can use it as a cop-out and say that there's no definitive proof that using a positive but asymptomatic dog at stud will produce symptomatic puppies, so why bother to scan.
Originally Posted by MadPip
And speaking as one who has to do it, yes, you do treat your dog with a syrinx and no symptoms differently - you treasure every day you have with them with immense gratitude for what they are and what they give you, and rejoice for every day they can continue to live normal, happy lives. And then take them for a nice walk!
Long may Maddie continue to show no signs!
Kate, Oliver and Aled
Sandy/Woodhaven Cavaliers - thank you for that link. I have bookmarked it, in case I ever feel I need to pursue an MRI. Looks like the vet schools are the place, and there are three all within a 4-hour drive.
I wouldn't scan a pet that wasn't showing signs. Why-- not having a syrinx today doesn't mean in 6 months they couldn't have SM. You could drive yourself absolutely bananas worrying.
Originally Posted by Kate H
I enjoy and treasure each day -- because you don't know what tomorrow will bring. The dogs(or I or you) could: get in an accident, blow a heart valve, have an embolism at any time.