I was at the vet today as Bella has hemorrhagic gastroenteritis - again, and a lady brought her elderly cavalier in (she is 12 years old!). I said "Your dog looks very calm and happy" and she said that her dog was in about an infection in her eye. Anyway, I started talking about SM and she said she didn't know much about it so I told her about it. Since her dog had never had any symptoms of the disease I asked her about her breeder etc.
Also I was searching on an Australian forum and read this from a breeder:
"SM is not common is Australia"
This was amongst many other such ignorant statements.
It would be lovely to live in a country that does not have a high incidence of SM, however that is not reality for the CKCS owner. I believe Breeders here want us to believe this so that we don't request parent MRI tests and I think everyone else turns a blind eye and doesn't look into symptoms because they don't want to believe their family member has this disease or they can't be bothered paying for medication and tests.
Sorry if this is against the rules!
Originally Posted by Alana
Sorry my son got a hold of phone lol
I don't think this is particularly an Australian problem. I think in most countries of the world, you can safely say that as far as SM is concerned, some vets are ignorant, some breeders are in denial and some pet owners are clueless. Fortunately not all... But it's sad to think of the Cavaliers out there who are living in pain because of this situation.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
I can honestly say that until I was looking for Max I knew nothing about SM. When I got Mindy in 1998 I think only MVD was regularly tested for. Even knowing what I know now I can say that she never exhibited any symptoms at all. Until her cancer at age 11 she was a bouncy happy girl. I think when you have a healthy dog you don't necessarily go looking for what could go wrong.
Oh I hear you Alana! The same thing happened to me a few months back....but with a breeder of Cavaliers I met in the dog park! I was so upset by the whole thing, she actually said we did not have SM in Australia because of quarantine :confused: WHA?! I was like "you don't catch SM like a cold"!! At the end of talking to a wall, I just had to walk away because I did not want to get angry. But it is a problem that does exist, two cavvies just down the street from me are severely affected and Brooklyns neuro here in Sydney says that in Australia it is apx. 50-70% (diagnosed and undiagnosed). So yeah, it does hurt to hear those things...which is why it is always important for us to mention it in conversations with friends, people looking to buy a dog, people who already own one. Only we can be the voice of the cavalier, and like you did with the woman at the vet, I always try to bring it up in conversation just to spread the word and point them to a lot of the website resources for info.
I also get stopped a lot with Brooklyn, people wanting one, and I usually go into the whole thing or give them my email...just in case that is one more person who can help change this landscape.
You are right to feel frusterated. It is such a mind boggling thing and feeling that way just shows how much you care.
Countries will have different rates of SM according to what cavaliers were exported from the UK in the past.
Some countries seemed to be badly hit before it became so widespread in this country, probably because they had a much smaller cavalier population that was very closely linebred to 80s and 90s UK imports that carried the SM genes.
Now, with the condition so prevalent in our stock, & unscanned UK cavaliers being sold all over the world and being used for breeding, SM will rapidly become common in every country
The people saying it isn't common in Australia are Breeders. I will do the same Kelsey.
The most ignorant misconception I have heard a couple of times about Cavalier health issues is the one that goes 'I needn't worry about inherited disease because my dog is Kennel Club registered'.
There is another much more recent one though, much more tragic. A man whose house and garden backs onto mine purchased two litter sister Dacshounds last year. The front of his house opens out into the local dog exercising field, which is widely used. I had a long hard look at him because his dogs kept escaping and coming down the road and into my front garden. I lost count of the number of times I used spare leads to take them home. I asked the man if he would like his dogs to come into my garden to play with the Cavaliers. He told me 'no way - they're pedigree'. I let the comment go. Then he told me they have never been to see the vet because they have pedigree certificates and are also KC registered. It wasn't really my business but I was worried about the dogs contracting infectious diseases. I picked up some leaflets from the vet about vaccination and the importance of regular worming and vet checks, put them through his letter box and left it at that.
A few days ago I was told both dogs caught Parvo and died. The price of ignorance is high
OMG! That is horrible! Poor dogs! So many great dogs, too many stupid owners.