Yes it is important to understand that missing CM is not necessarily a criticism of a neurologist or radiologist. Moderate to milder CM can be difficult to see if someone isn't specifically very experienced in doing so and many are not. A neurologist may be very experienced and fine with locating a syrinx but completely miss CM. It is far more subtle than human Chiari malformation from what I understand from neurologists who have spoken about it; also, much depends on which view (eg which slice of the MRI) one is looking at. CM can be more easily seen in some positions and angles than others.
I think anyone who has had a scan done that purports to be of a fully clear dog should have it read for a second opinion by Clare Rusbridge, personally, or one of the other neurologists on the BVA/KC panel (or simply submitted for the BVA/KC scheme). To NOT do so and clarify the reading if needed, means a willingness to potentially mislead -- breeders or puppy buyers. If the scan is truly a fully clear dog then the scan and DNA will almost certainly be important for research. But using such dogs as purported clears for the proposed research project and submitting their DNA on swabs WITHOUT having verified that they truly are clear -- and the chances are high that they are not, given UK statistics -- could completely destroy the project of finding out DNA answers about SM.
Any breeder who truly cares about research and results must be aware of how important this is.
A few posts back, Margaret wrote: Chestergate does a lot of low cost scanning but the results are not automatically submitted to the official scheme.
In fairness to Chestergates, my understanding is that no results are automatically submitted to the BVA/KC scheme - you have to choose to pay an extra £100 for the privilege! While we were waiting at Chestergates when Aled was scanned, the breeders also waiting were complaining bitterly about the price of scanning, and that the extra £100 was very off-putting. Chestergates are using the same grading scheme as everyone else, so you can always ask for the results to be submitted (and pay the extra £100), or presumably send your CD and certificate with payment directly to the BVA yourself. Chestergates isn't perhaps fully supporting the KC/BVA scheme, but for breeders who won't support the scheme on grounds of cost anyway, they can at least go there to get their breeding dogs checked and, if diagnosed with SM, possibly started on treatment. If all scanning centres charge more than £300 a go for a mini-scan that is submitted to the KC/BVA scheme, might not some dogs go unscanned and be used for breeding anyway, or have their SM left undiagnosed and untreated? Yes, the Chestergates low cost scanning may not be the ideal in the long term, but it is at least helping as many Cavaliers as possible to be scanned for their own health and wellbeing and that of their possible litters. Perhaps the KC/BVA charge is something the Cavalier Club (or the KC Charitable Trust) could consider subsidising for the good of the breed?
Kate, Oliver and Aled (who is a foundling of unknown parentage, so his scan can't help research!)
The price of scanning certainly has gone up sharply.
Stonelion and Chestergates are still quite reasonable with the base scan costing approx £200.
Most other centres now seem to start at £300 plus £100 for BVA panel.
Personally as long as breeders screen for SM and make appropriate breeding decisions,I find it hard to be critical.
Chestergates aren't using the same reporting and grading format as the BVA.
The BVA cert is very basic, you have CM Grade 0,1,2.
SM grade 0,1,2 and a letter system taking the age of cavalier into account.
There is a box to include the transverse width of a syrinx.
No info on CCD width to be reported,no dilated ventricles,no PSOM info.
However I can see how this logically feeds into the EBV scheme very neatly.
Breeders who have been used to Clare Rusbridge's detailed reports, find the new BVA cert lacking in information.
The Chestergates certs are different.
You still have CM 0,1,2
SM has 4 grades 0,1,2,3. with a box for syrinx location.Age is not taken into consideration.
It also reports dilated ventricles and PSOM findings.
Overseas breeders can and do use use the BVA/KC scheme.One champion cavalier from overseas has been graded under the new scheme (good result too).
Irish people have used it,the only difference being that unless you have a KC registered dog,your results will not be published on the KC healthfinder.
It's fair enough not to force people to use the BVA scheme,but I would like to see scanning centres submitting results automatically to the AHT EBV scheme and the European EBV scheme.
The BVA scheme has had initial teething problems with the form, and it's being ironed out now,but the biggest issue with the BVA scheme is the accompanying guidelines.To be blunt about it,as they stand,they're pretty much aspirational, as the over 5 stud dogs simply don't exist. There really needs to be a selection of over 5 stud dogs,fertile,good hearts,free of EF/DE/CC,not too closely related to the current genepool, and scanned without central canal dilation to make it work.
A previously "A" grade bitch with a small central canal dilation at 2.5 years could previously be mated to a D dog under the old guidelines.
Under the new guidelines,she now has now become the "D" partner and must be mated to an over 5 "A" stud dog.
It would have been enough in the interim to use an over 3 stud dog without central canal dilation in this case,as people who have been doing this seem to get back good results from scanned offspring,until those over 3 dogs without CCD become the over 5s and certainly, many of them will in the coming 18 months.
I think most people would like to have seen more measurable progress by now,but it looks like patience is required.
*Forgot to add,scans from Stone lion and Bristol are automatically sent to the BVA panel for reading,there are no other options than to pay the £100.As I understand it,none of the scrutineers on the BVA panel will offer a report outside of the BVA scheme as it would create a conflict of interest.
Just to clarify what Sins said about Chestergates grading: SM has 4 grades 0,1,2,3. with a box for syrinx location.Age is not taken into consideration.
In practice there are really only 3 grades for SM on Chestergates certificates (as received by Aled last week!). Grade 3 (Chestergates' fourth grade out of 0, 1, 2, 3) specifies 'syringomyelia or pre-syrinx with or without central canal dilation'. Grades 1 and 2, describing central canal dilation of 2mm or more, are the equivalent of the BVA Grade 1: CG Grade 1 is for dogs of 6 years or more, and CG Grade 2 for dogs of less than 6 years, but both grades are for the same level of central canal dilation. BVA Grade 1 conflates Chestergates Grades 1 and 2, adding a different letter after the numeral to indicate the different age ranges. So both Chestergates and BVA are using the same three criteria (normal, central canal dilation, syrinx), but with different ways of indicating age difference. The BVA neurologist panel will be aware of this difference in recording results, and would presumably have no problem adjusting the Chestergates data to fit the BVA scheme.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
The BVA Grade 1 describes central canal dilation of less than 2mm,and they do detect very miniscule ccds well below 1mm in that range.Quote:
Grades 1 and 2, describing central canal dilation of 2mm or more, are the equivalent of the BVA Grade 1
The BVA Grade 2 refers to any central canal dilation above 2mm,any pre syrinx or syrinx.
Thanks for correcting me, Maggie. I picked up the KC/BVA leaflet at Crufts but haven't looked at it since and had forgotten how the system worked.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
It's a shame there are not more over 5 SM-clear studs -- or over 5 studs of any grade -- in the BVA/KC scheme. It's a major reason why Rupert's Fund money goes as a priority for males over 5, to help breeders get those critical dogs scanned. :)
But breeders -- who definitely have studs age 5 and over! -- need to be the ones making the decision to scan them -- ad clearly, they are not, or are not submitting results. The near impossibility of finding scanned A studs much less A grade older studs -- or even any scanned studs full stop -- is a constantly voiced worry from breeders. Only the breeders owning such dogs can solve that issue though.
It would seem to me that a very obvious step the clubs themselves could take would be to raise funds to cover the cost of or even half the cost of members submitting scans to the BVA. If primarily pet owners could raise over £20,000 in barely over two years for Rupert's Fund, almost all of which has gone and continues to go to directly benefit individual breeders by paying for their scans, surely the clubs could raise a similar fund themselves nationally to cover those BVA scan submission costs? :confused:
The situation with "A" studs has changed dramatically in the last year.
I don't think there's any problem finding an "A" dog even without central canal dilation.The issue now is how many of today's "A"s will be tomorrow's over 5 "SM0a" or "SM1a." You'll find the young dogs at all levels in the showring now with encouraging scans.It's a matter of waiting for those dogs to reach the age to come under Rupertsfund.
Another cavalier was scanned this week under RF, a bitch though,but a good scan for research and a good result for the owner.
Rupertsfund is very well funded,and if the latest auction is anything to go by,there's no loss of momentum in the support for research from the pet owning stakeholders.