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Thread: Syringomyelia...and scanning

  1. #1
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    Default Syringomyelia...and scanning

    I was talking to a breeder earlier this week, who does MRI scan her breeding dogs and bitches for Syringomyelia. She is trying to encourage as many breeders as possible to scan, as at present, this is the best way available to reduce the incidence of affected dogs.

    A friend of hers who breeds wholecolours was reluctant to scan. She recently had a litter of puppies, and had quite a few enquiries for them. Several of the enquirers asked if the parents had been MRI scanned - sadly they hadn't, but due to these enquiries, this lady is keeping a couple of pups from the litter and running them on to 6 months, when they will be scanned...hopefully they will be clear and will then go into her breeding program.

    I think the message here is very clear...we all need to be asking for the parents of our puppies to be MRI scanned...the breeders will then be encouraged to do this.

    I know it's expensive and access to facilities is limited, but breeders can and are putting pressure on breed clubs to help fund lower cost MRI schemes. I think many puppy buyers will also be prepared to pay a higher price for puppies coming from scanned parents.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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    Here, here Nicki,

    I agree with you. Who wouldn't be prepared to pay a higher price knowing that they would be getting a completely healthy puppy? Probably just the sort of people who shouldn't be buying them in the first place!!!!

    To be perfectly honest, if I was buying a pup I would want to see all health certificates as well as viewing the pups with their Mum!

    Maybe I am just fussy, I don't know but it took me 18mths to find Maxx and apart from him having mild SM, he's been pretty perfect healthwise I honestly think this is down to good breeding and the fact that my breeder has heart, eye, hip and knee checks done on all of her dogs and bitches before breeding from them.

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    Out of interest, how much is a MRI scan?

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    Thanks Donna, yes I agree we should be looking for health tested pups as far as possible...we've been through many things now with our babies:

    Syringomyelia
    MVD
    Luxating Patellas
    Hip Dysplasia
    Dry Eye
    Epilepsy - fortunately "only" Focal Seizures

    I've had to research each condition and learn how to give my babies the best possilbe quality of life...and when to give them their wings.


    Fran, there are already low cost schemes in place in parts of the UK, prices are between £200 and £300, whereas the normal price is between £800 - £1000 {from experience and what I've heard from others}. I'm not sure of prices in the US now, I think it was around $2000 at one point, but there are some schemes coming up there, Karlin has posted details.

    UK schemes are listed on http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk/start.html Cavalier Health, Syringomyelia, Reduced Cost MRI Scanning Scheme
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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    Yes, Maxx's scan was £940 - thankfully the insurance paid for it

    I think Mr Skerritt was doing breeders scans much cheaper, see if you can get one with him if you want one

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    Well said Nikki, I agree totally. For Midwest residents, the University of Minnesota charges about $750 via Dr. McVey.
    Jen, Abbey (Tri Cavalier) & Gus (White Min. Schnauzer)

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    The one I had done through Mr Skerritt was around £175 each for two, but that was 18 months ago. These are adequate for diagnosis and for breeder scans (eg grading your breeding stock according to Clare Rusbridge's breeding recommendations) but not for preparing for a surgery for example as they are only the head and top vertebrae.

    I really would like to echo Nicki here -- and add that people should also be asking to see cardiac (not vet) heart clearances too, the norm for good breeders. But still, not enough cardiac test. Puppy buyers have the power of all consumers -- if they keep asking, it is very persuasive to a breeder that buyers are looking for this level of care. There's good 'buyer education' around cardiac certs now in many places and this is my all accounts increasingly happening with MRIs/SM. At the moment as Nicki notes it can be hard for breeders to find clinics offering lower cost scans but for stud dogs surely such a cost can be distributed across stud fees easily (and the males spread their genes far more widely that females as they can father literally thousands of puppies whil mothers only add their genes to maybe 15 puppies if she has three litters -- so it really is important to do the males).

    As low cost schemes come on line this should really help breeders if they wish to know the status of their dogs.

    Within the next month or two there should be a comprehensive east coast, USA clinic offering scans at a similar price to the low cost UK clinics and pet owners or breeders will be welcome to that. I'll post details when I have them. Needless to say if the clubs or breeders themselves pushed for low cost facilities as a group, I have no doubt more would be forthcoming. To date it has just been a few breeders and even when low cost facilities are offered, the take-up hasn't been great. I think many breeders fear to discover what might be there -- but surely not knowing and breeding anyway is little different than breeding cavaliers with no awareness of heart status. I think the range of research coming out now and in the next 12-18 months will be very persuasive that more needs to be done (certainly the NCSU results are most worrying -- and I have yet to see the breed club that funded the study make any comment on it; I hope that is because they are busy formulating a thoughtful response.

    Just remember you all have the ability to influence what happens with the breed by asking questions and making sure breeders know what matters to you.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Our scan with the appointment with Clare, profile and tablets was £1300.00 - but I did ask about the price I saw on the Cavalier website - it was 300.00 for breeders...... the only thing she did say was that 90% of cavaliers would probably have some small malformation....

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    To clarify, the £300 means you get no consultation or treatment and is not as thorough an MRI. What that type of scan enables breeders to do is get a grading for their breeding stick according to Clare's breeding recommendations, which many are beginning to follow (she produced this in response to breeder requests for some kind of suggested guidelines as to which dogs would be better to breed).

    Breeding guidelines: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/protocols.html

    The other low cost scanning programmes do give some treatment guidance but if the recommendation is surgery, the dog needs another full MRI and a more in depth work-up.

    So if youhave a concernt aht your dog has SM and aren't sure what the treatment options are, then the full MRI is really the route to take, as your dog is then under the full care of the neurologist.

    Think of it as the difference between going for cholesterol testing, and going to see someone for a cholesterol problem. The basic analysis is in this case much cheaper of course, but if the results indicate you need care and treatment, you need the oversight of a specialist.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Yes, she did say that it was just the scan and a written report by post - there are three other vets that do it for 200.00 for breeders also so will probably be the same for them.

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