i just read this on a web site
"The latest hereditary issue, which has come up with the Cavalier is SM. Todate there are no tests available to determine, which non-symptomatic dog or bitch is a carrier, and which puppy might have it or not. Only dogs, which show symptoms, can be tested further and an accurate diagnosis made."
from the above web site, it is a bit worrig if you cannot test for it. maybe this is an out of date posting or i am reading it wrong in my haste.
Fi, anyone who owns a cavalier and especially anyone breeding needs to know as much as possible about SM, as it looks as if at least 50%, and probably up to 80%, of cavaliers have it to some degree. It is in the minds of many researchers the single biggest threat to the future of the cavalier breed as at best it is likely causing discomfort to some degree in many, perhaps most, cavaliers; at worst, it causes hideous levels of pain to the dog eventually requiring the dog be put down.
There are no genetic tests but it can be determined whether an asymptomatic dog is likely carrying the genes for this condition by doing an MRI. This is the reason for the low cost MRI screening programme for cavaliers in the UK -- pprimarily, to help breeders see whether their dogs have the skull malformation and syrinxes (the spinal fluid pockets that give syringomyelia its name) and -- as this is likely -- the degree to which they are affected. One neurologist in the UK has come up with a breeding protocol for breeders to use in conjunction with MRIs until the point when there may be a genetic test (it is not certain there ever will be, in which case the situation is very serious for the breed, and it will probably not be able to continue as it is now).
I have a lot of background detail here on this site in the Health section and also in the SM forum. In addition I have lots of information on my SM Infosite -- http://sm.cavaliertalk.com -- which is entirely dedicated to making information on the condition more widely available to cavalier owners and breeders.
The breeding protocol is here:
Note that some of the prominent neurologists treating this condition feel no cavalier should be bred unless it has been MRI'd and is declared clear of both the malformation and syrinxes. However this would virtually eliminate genetic diversty in the breed -- which is necessary for the breed's future -- so the protocol is considered by most to be the most acceptable way forward until there is hopefully a genetic test or other ways of screening for the dogs most likely to pass along the worst genes.
BTW I know that breeder whose site you quote from, Gabriele Pollmeier; a woman who cares very deeply about cavaliers; she also used to live in Ireland where she bred ahnd showed a different breed than cavalier but I can;t remember which! Note I quoted her in my story for the Irish Times on puppy farms: http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=366
That is very helpfull, but why for something so benificial to this breed be so as you say relativly unheard of, as i had not heard of it before i joined this board.
why does this country not make it easy to do many things, like breast screening for women is not widely availlaible in teh country, excuse me but it is 2005 why are women in the country suffering... closer to home i was charged for a follow up test for cervical cancer, why is that not covered by the health board, why are they making it impossible for people on a lower wage put thier health at risk for money,.... and now to my babies, it is the same thing..... my vet doesnt even have a MRI scanner AFAIK, i asked him to do a fertility test on max and i was told he would have to go to teh vet hospital and hours drive from wehre i live as he doesnt do it.
surely to improve a breed there should not only be breed standards for showing but also for breeding and if the cavilier club do not take on "quallified" breeders then the puppy farmers will run out of business, as somone on here said you do not buy a pup or dog from the buy and sell.... it should be standard you only buy from Cavalier club recognised breeders.
I am a recognised breeder but in saying that no such test have been offered to me and i was encouraged to breed from teh age of 2, i was told to stop her at 6, this is totally opposite to the advice on here.
I had researched breeding and was disapointed not to find what i was looking for, i wish i had known about this site earlier, as there are a few thigns i would do differently. but im conforted to know i have been doing most things correctly.
i would hate to think i was adding to the possibility of this SM..... how heart wrenching to buy a dog and only a matter of i think 7 years you said you loose him / her..... i cant even think of loosing my babies......
sorry for yet another rant, but it infuriates me that there is no support..... and anyone can breed....