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Thread: Umbilical Hernia

  1. #11
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    I also have a B/T bitch- and apparently she had a hernia- possibly the kind you refer to-which was not discovered until the breeder was petting her the other night whilst spending time with the new pup! They said it was nothing to worry about as it had almost certainly been there from birth, and was totally healed. Incidentally, Holly has given me no health issues whatsoever, is a beautiful example of the breed, and the breeders were disappointed that I'd had her spayed since they would have liked to have gotten a litter out of her. Maybe- since you appear to have fallen for this little bitch- you'd be better taking her as a pet, and learning the breed first hand? You could show her as suggested and learn the ropes that way, and leave breeding for a while until you've had more experience at assessing and looking at Cavaliers, as well as owning them. I might be way off base, but from your posts I get the impression that you've never owned a Cav before. Either way, good luck!

    Incidentally, my little bitch had a bad start- her dam's owner got fed up with breeding and let nutrition suffer. Holy- along with her mother and aunt (I think) were to all intents rescued by the sire's owners when she was eight weeks. Apparently a few weeks earlier everything had been fine...The sire's owners worked with Holly to restore her health, and I paid full price for her when I got her at 12/13 weeks. I don't regret it. She may have had a bad start, but her lines are excellent.

  2. #12
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    I would back everything that Bruce, a very experienced and reputable breeder, is saying here. Umbilical hernias are extremely common in the breed. Both mine (from a good breeder) had them and generally they are not considered a major problem and very often, vets fix them at the time that a dog is spayed/neutered. My breeder did mention that they are common. If you were looking for a breeding/show dog your breeder may have assumed you would know this was a common and minor issue for most cavaliers... the fact that she didn't suggests she hasn't really talked to you enough breeding and showing generally and perhaps about some far bigger issues (which would raise concerns about the breeder, for me -- see below); and also suggests you might need to sit back and spend some more time investigating the breed and seeking the right breeder/mentor before considering breeding (also see below).

    Given that hernias are pretty minor, I would wonder here about broader health issues in the breed and whether you have examined the breed enough to be fully aware of the implications of those. The breed is under some considerable pressure at the moment due to much bigger health problems, primarily mitral valve disease which will affect nearly every cavalier during its lifetime and give 50% of them heart murmurs by age 5 -- which has to be very carefully bred around with a knowledge of genetics, lines and pedigrees, and with proper testing by a certified cardiologist -- and increasingly, a potentially serious neurological problem, syringomyelia. I would hope that if you are considering showing and breeding, that any breeder would have discussed these issues in detail with you, and that you would have investigated the breed thoroughly enough to verify that your chosen breeder has done parents and grandparents cardiac clearances and follows the 15 year old heart protocol for breeding herself. The fact that not enough breeders are following the protocol has been raised recently with the CKCS club by the club cardiologist, who has found no decline in incidence in the UK due to so many breeders not following the protocol. The difference can be cavaliers that die routinely at age 5-7 in a line, vs cavaliers than live a largely heart mjurmur free life into old age. You can see his comments on this issue on the UK club site at the moment.

    Likewise, any prospective breeder should be aware of the growing incidence of syringomyelia in the breed and the attempts of the UK club in particular to establish low cost MRI screening and grading programmes for breeding stock. You can read more on the UK club site on both MVD and SM and there's much info here as well in the Library section under Health.

    You sound like you are doing a lot of reading a research and taking the right steps but make sure you are focusing on what is important here. Be sure to choose a breeder who 1) has followed the far more important heart protocols and talks openly about SM, and also tests hips, eyes and patellas in addition to hearts; 2) is willing to mentor you for both showing and breeding -- no reputable breeder would sell a dog for potential breeding purposes without wanting to offer a strong guiding hand to a novice, not least to continue to help protect a breed that does have some very significant potential health issues that can easily arise in every breeding and to protect his/her own lines and the time the breeder has already put into breeding for health as well as temperament and conformation. I cannot stress the second point enough -- this alone will help determine whether you have chosen a reputable breeder as the overall health and welfare of the breed is more important to any breeder and his/her line's integrity than selling a potential show/breeding dog.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #13
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    Thank you for your comment Donna, the latter very much appreciated.

    The reason for thinking that she would not be able to be shown was I believed it to be the KC rules. As in an earlier post, this may change, but for now I believed this to be correct. The operation to correct is, somewhat oddly, classed as cosmetic and the breeder was in no doubt that an operation was required and happening at 6 weeks. I have read that no cases of notifying the KC have been allowed for this and animals stripped of awards when caught undisclosed.

    There is no doubt that we would love and care for anything less because of a problem. But, and a big but, we wanted a girl who had the possibility of breeding and showing, and as such if the dealer (I will use that term instead) had be honest from the outset, we would have gone elsewhere, as indeed we did with the mass of farms and other unsuitable types/outlets.

    I think it is great that it is suggested that mentoring generally takes place amongst this breed. I would certainly appreciate it and think more of the breeder for requiring it. I have only come to realise that from this posting, so thanks for that.

    We are going to seek elsewhere. If this had happened over a couple of days, contact, deposit, viewing and being told of the problem, well, a lot easier to decline. Sad though as it is not the puppies problem and that really tugs our heart but I am sure, and hope, she finds a loving home. It is much like turning down a puppy from a farm or wanting to home all the dogs from the rescue centre, it's hard to say no but we know it's for the best.

    Reading the last but one post, if the hernia was our only concern then perhaps at this point it would be different, but it surely isn't right for a breeder to know we wanted her as consideration for breeding and not mention this along with any mentoring. Karlins comments also pend to this 'dealer' perhaps not being favourable and I think the choice has been made on those issues alone without taking the hernia into consideration.

    I hope it's felt we are making the right decision. I feel now we are making it much less so on the hernia and more on the breeder.

    Both I and the good lady have done much in reading and taken advice where given, it's the only way we learn. Today, a learning curve again.

    We do want to home a b/t girl, of good line, with at least the initial ability should her outcome prove suitable to breed and show.

    We are based on the border of Wales, near Shrewsbury, if anyone can recommend a good breeder.

    Our thanks to you all.

  4. #14
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    Just to put my 2 penneth in - I'm no expert, but if you don't feel right - its not meant to be.

    I personally would not be bothered by an umbilical heria ( if it is so common) I had an unbilical hernia and it never did me any harm ( unless you call being not maternal towards human children being a side effect!)

    Best of luck in your decision but don't penalise a little baby just because his breeder may or may not be the type of person you would choose to be friends with. After all its how enjoyable and loving you make your fur baby's life thats important......
    Kirsty
    Merlin and Oakleys Mum (Merlin -Male/B&T/5 years, Oakley - Male/Ruby/3.5years)

  5. #15
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    I always say," If it doesnt feel right, dont do it". It sounds like you were already questioning your decision on the pup. I can also understand that you want the best whether you breed or not. You want to be safe in the knowledge that the breeder is open and honest with everything, and that they will help you through all the ups and downs of breeding and showing.
    My mentor was and is fantastic. She was there for my first 2 litters and I still call on her now, even though I have different breeds to her. Personally, I prefer to get a show and breed quality dog even though I may not do either because then I feel asured that if a reputable breeder would use it then it may not have to many health issues. Even though it doesnt always work out that way. It may sound twisted but a lot of people feel this way. But on the same token, think seriously on whether you want to breed cavies. I just know with all the health issues and the testing that needs to be done, I would leave that one alone and just have them for showing and have some fun with obedience and agility. Make sure you have fun with your dog. That to me is the most important thing of all.

  6. #16
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    i'm confused. I thought umbilical hernias were minor, common and of no consequence as far as showing and breeding go. In fact, i think it's the rule rather than the exception--one would expect it. It would not need to be disclosed by a breeder. Several people posting on this thread confirmed this impression. roscoe86 says this impression is wrong and that dogs who have had hernias can't show or breed, which is a serious matter--roscoe86 was quite insistant about this, if i understood right. At first i thought roscoe86 was just naive about how common and inconsequential umbilical hernias are, and that it was understandable and no big deal that the breeder didn't mention it, as people informed about the breed would not be surprised about it, nor concerned. It would not be at all important to disclose. but roscoe86 said they have done research and have found that umbilical hernias are serious matters with respect to showing and breeding, citing the kennel club.

    which is true?

    i do think it's a bad sign if a breeder is willing to sell a puppy to someone with no experience, without a spay/neuter clause. My impression has been that novices often are eager to have litters, and plan to breed too early in their dogs' lives to know yet about whether the dog will develop early onset MVD, not expecting to wait the necessary number of years. As roscoe86 said, everyone must start somewhere, but to me, it seems best to start with something so advanced as cavalier breeding only after having some direct experience with cavaliers as pets and companions, and with the cavalier "world," the world of SM fears, and other things that draw cavalier owners together into a sort of information sharing and emotional support community. It seems important to have put some time and long term learning into the process that eventually leads to breeding as a labor of love, a crash course is not adequate. There's so much to learn, especially about the monumental health issues and related genetic implications, that to plan breeding right off the bat with a first cavalier strikes me as premature. So i agree with others who made this point, that if the breeder had no problem with this, then this is a red flag.

    It's like Woody Allen said: "i wouldn't want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member." If someone wants to get a cavalier from a reputable breeder, they would want to get one from someone who makes them promise not to breed the dog.

  7. #17
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    Our thanks again for the comments,

    Selina is right in her point that we do want the best whether we breed or show or not and do want trust, faith and honesty in our breeder.

    I too am confused by the whole hernia issue. Not from what I have read, but from the differing opinions from those of which advice was sought. As for Judy saying that it was of no consequence to breeding or showing, one truly wonders, as at the very least, even in pure naiviety, I considered that one does not breed from any bitch with such.
    With the important view of maintaining the lines and quality of the breed as expressed throughout, surely this is contrary to everything?

    I'd like to know as this seems to discredit everything I thought true.

  8. #18
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    If you are troubled about breeding from a bitch with an umbilical hernia dont be. My Griffon bitch had a huge hernia and although she was to big for showing, she had great bloodlines so we decided to use her anyway.
    She had 2 litters of 9 pups with no problems at all. Don't worry we were all surprised that such a small dog had so many. When I had her desexed I had the hernia fixed. But it never caused a problem in her life, and the only reason we had it fixed in the end was for cosmetic reasons. I know I am talking about a different breed of dog but I am pretty sure it is the same for all breeds.

  9. #19
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    I've just spoken to one of the regional representatives from the Cavalier Club here in the UK and was told that there was no problem in breeding from a bitch with a hernia, they had done it many times and is no way a problem.

    I've also spoken to my vet and she said it was a dis-service to the breed to ever breed from a dog or bitch with an umbilical hernia as it is a hereditary condition that should not be continued.

    I guess this is just one of those issues that there is never a clear answer on, but from my 'naive' position I have certainly learnt a great deal.

  10. #20
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    Misha had an umbilical hernia that was repaired at age 4/5 when he was neutered. Seeing as Misha is 10 and murmur free and other than the occasional injury has been super healthy his whole life, I think he would have made a good breeding dog! Then again, I'm not a breeder so this is all speculation. I guess I'm assuming breeders have to outweigh the risks/benefits in any situation. If a dog's only fault is an umbilical hernia, and they are completely healthy otherwise, I'd assume their genes should be kept in the pool so to speak.

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