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Thread: feeling guilty...

  1. #1
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    Default feeling guilty...

    I was in the market earlier and met a girl with a lovely 6 month old ruby cav boy- dressed in a very fetching pink plaid coat - and got talking to her. I asked if she knew about Cav health issues and she immediately said, "Oh, with their eyes?" and I told her about MVD and SM. I tried not to scare her, simply said that statistically these conditions had a very high occurence in this breed. I gave her the name of this site and told her not to panic at this point- to enjoy her puppy, but to ensure that she was aware and informed. The girl thanked me and left after saying that the breeder had mentioned NOTHING about ANY health issues apart from runny eyes - but it left me feeling angry at the breeder and guilty that my words may have destroyed this girl's pleasure and delight in her lovely pup.

    How DO you raise awareness without risking this, or scaring people altogether? Or worse, frightening a new owner so badly that they decide they can't be bothered and dump the dog?
    Holly - 7years
    Amber- 3 years

  2. #2
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    I think you did the best thing. When I meet someone who is unaware of the health issues and have already aquired their Cavalier I will usually give them my e-mail and phone and tell them about a couple of the sites. I try not to scare them but let them know they need to be aware of these things.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  3. #3
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    Sometimes I wish I didn't know, I can work myself into a real good worry with very little effort. On the other hand, to be responsible care givers, we need to be prepared and be knowledgeable about the breed.

    What did you say about putting pink on a boy? Seems to me we've got an identity crisis brewing.
    Mum to Tucker, born May 14, 2005

  4. #4
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    When I bought Lia, the breeder said me nothind about MVD or SM. I have a book ao Cavaliers and in it is explained all about MVD, but nothing about SM.
    I love this site because we talk about the gorgeus things of our cavaliers, but talk about the saddest things too.

    And I think you did the best thing!
    Laura Lia Maia

  5. #5
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    I'd tend to encourage people to get involved with the boards or email lists and as one reason why, say they cover lots of key information and advice on feeding, exercise, training, and the important health issues that owners need to know about like MVD and SM.

    I don't think I would directly approach people to warn them of health issues -- I'd rather have that be part of a larger, positive package I'm promoting.

    I keep meaning to do up some cavaliertalk/rescue business cards to give to people I meet on walks. Incidentally, I give new owners of rescue cavaliers the same packet of info I gave people at Tara and Lisa's cavalier training class (mostly stuff from here) -- and go through things like feeding, grooming, history of the breed a little bit, and of course health issues. But not only health issues. My emphasis remains MVD and symptoms as that is what most people will deal with at this time.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  6. #6
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    I understand what you mean about some of the joy being diminished. I was saying that on another thread the other day, that all the worry about SM has taken some of the joy out of having a new puppy. While my breeder did tell me that Lily's parents had been checked by an opthamologist and cardiologist, and were clear, when I asked her about SM she acted like she didn't know what I was talking about. Whether she really didn't know or was faking, I'll never know. She's the one that brought up the MVD and eyes, so I thought she was really caring, and forthright. However, knowing what I know now, I can't believe that a person who has Cavs for 5 yeas could not know about SM. I had read about SM, but I had not found this site yet. Mostly everything I read stressed the MVD. So when the breeder acted like she had never heard of it, I assumed that it was nothing serious, and the chances of getting a dog with SM were 1 in a million. I had no idea it was so wide spread, and serious.

    With all that being said, I could have a dog with SM, and never have known if I had not found this site. While it has been stressful, and some of the joy diminished, for me personally, I would rather know if she does have it so I can get her treated early, if that's an option.
    Sharon,
    Mom to Bleinham Cavaliers Lily, 5 years old, and Alfie, 8 year old puppy mill rescue.
    At the Bridge, Chloe, Lhasa Apso.

  7. #7
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    I am in the process of developing my thoughts and opinions on many subjects having to do with health, breeders, etc. I'm hoping I can come up with a balance. I too did not know about SM. I admit, plain and simple, I got Laci from what has been termed a backyard breeder.. I think... as I have understood the definition of back yard breeders up to this point. I do believe it's important to know about the possible health issues, and I do think if at all possible dogs should not be bred in such a way to knowingly promote these health problems. Having said that, I grapple with the thought that all living creatures have health weaknesses, no matter what and at some point are going to age to the point that they will be sick and die. Of course we don't want them to do so prematurely and we certainly don't want them to suffer painful unhappy lives. I can not allow myself to worry about Laci having any of these issues. I'll learn about the possibilites, and if I see symtoms, I'll seek the care she needs. And.... if the time comes that she can no longer enjoy life for pain and suffering, I'll do what I have to do.

    I think Karlin's idea about giving new folks website information and inviting them to join the forum is excellent. These sites have a human element and alot of caring folks so as new people get their eyes opened a little at a time they will have someone to bounce ideas off of and talk to for support should the need arise. Otherwise, laying it all out for them at once might be more than some can take.

    Nean

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    I never heard of SM until I came here. What's MVD? Maybe in Dutch I've heard of it.
    kisses Ester & a licky from Sam

  9. #9
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    Mitral Valve Disease
    Laura Lia Maia

  10. #10
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    the breeder never told me about either of the conditions! like some of u, i work myself into a mad yoke, watching freddie like a hawk when he starts scratching, i am glued to him, put alot of it is his collar and normal puppy behaviour i hope!

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