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Thread: Oh oh, he's "begging for dollars"!!

  1. #1
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    Default Oh oh, he's "begging for dollars"!!

    OK, I hope everyone will take my post in the spirit in which it is intended: the good of the breed. I don't mean to flame anyone.

    Over the past couple years I've seen a lot of posts regarding SM and testing for SM. I don't think there's any question that SM has the potential for decimating this breed. We just plain have to find an answer for the SM problem. However, a FEW the posts refer to the breeder doing the testing and ultimately carrying the load to resolve the SM issue. Please note that I only said a few, not all. The truth of the matter is that there are a relatively small number of Cavalier breeders and we (or at least I) can't carry all that load. Heck, with the cost of showing, I already loose money every year; this is just a very expensive hobby for Kris and I and most breeders we know. So then the question becomes: what can people other than the breeders do to help the problem?

    In my mind, research is the only answer. Claire Russbridge is on the cutting edge of this, but research is expensive. Very expensive. Now I'm sure you can see where this is leading to if you didn't see it coming in the title. Those of us who love and care about the breed need to start helping out with the cost of the research. I hope Karlin will correct me if I'm wrong, but as of 3 months ago Penny Knowler was accepting donations for Claire's research. The e-mail address I have is 'penny.knowler@ntlworld.com' . As the old cliche goes, every little bit helps. Don't know if they are still doing it, but if you donate enough, you get a copy of Claire's PhD thesis on SM.

    So please, help out our breed and us breeders. Donate to Claire so research can continue. I have this uneasy feeling that if research were to stop where it is right now, the outlook for the breed would be in question. Think about it. If we take out 1/2 to 2/3 (or whatever the current estimates are) of our breeding stock for SM and who knows how much for MVD, there's not a whole lot left. We may end up with the only people breeding being the BYB's and puppy mills who don't care about anything.

    So this sounds like a lot of gloom and doom. But I honestly think there is a future for this breed or I would quit breeding right now. I just don't see Cavaliers as a breed dieing out. I am the eternal optimist and I believe that research will help find a way out of this SM problem if we can keep the money coming for research. Come on, give us breeders a hand.
    Bruce
    MysticKnight Cavaliers

  2. #2
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    Wow, synchronicity! Just yesterday we had lunch with the breeders of Sonny & Beau and we were talking about this very subject. Here in Australia, if a breeder wants to have their dog MRId they have to try to talk one of the human hospitals into doing it, and about 99.9% of human hospital will not do it, for obvious reasons. Of the extremely rare instances where a hospital will agree to do it, it is done during the night when there are no humans queueing up for their MRI's, a team of people need to be brought in on overtime, and a vet present to do the anaesthesia. Well it does not take a mathematician to figure out that this is "mortgage your house time".

    So yes, we were all nodding our heads around the dinner table, that maybe the Americans or the Brits might be our saviours when it comes to research, because it sure as hell isn't going to happen in Australia.

    And like you say Bruce, unless funds can be raised from a broader base than only breeders, then that research is just not going to happen.
    Last edited by Caraline; 22nd May 2007 at 12:36 PM.
    ~ Sam, Sonny & Beau ~

  3. #3
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    Bruce, this is a very timely request! Clare Rusbridge and Penny Knowler at the moment are trying to MRI as many good candidate cavaliers as they can and when possible, other breeds with SM because these are an important comparison point.

    Donations go DIRECTLY to the cost of individual MRIs so every additional dog they can MRI, the more information they can add to research data, the better to understand the condition. Absolutely nothing in your donation goes to pay researchers, admin costs, or anything supplemental to the actual hands-on research.

    Also, as Penny Knowler wrote recently, these scans are actually turning up dogs with *good* scans that can be used for breeding, thus broadening the pool of better genes to help them breed away from SM. In their recent newsletter, they noted that *individual donations* from people like us enabled them to do a study of head shape and correlate that to MRIs to see if they could link a certain shape to predisposition for SM. This was inconclusive but remains ongoing work -- but what happened was, they MRId some breeders' dogs that had not been MRId before because the assumption was the head shape might be that more disposed towards SM. Instead, they found some grade A dogs, meaning the top choice for breeding, and the breeders were delighted! So there were very direct benefits immediately to the breed and to breeders from just doing additional scans.

    Every single penny in any currency helps. You can donate using a credit card through Paypal, directly to this research. Just go to www.paypal.com, set up an account for making payments if you don't have one (very easy, you just need a credit card; then after, you can go buy some cavalier items on eBay! ), and click on 'send money' then put in this email address:

    penny.knowler@ntlworld.com

    And you will be taken to their research account.

    Any amount, no matter how modest, is welcomed -- only 15-20 smaller donations of say $20 or £15 or €20 would enable another scan on the low cost schemes! A £5 donation added to another and another and another also adds up -- and lets YOU make a difference for this breed as this data goes both towards the DNA research and ongoing work by Clare Rusbridge, the leading researcher in this area. Remember that Clare Rusbridge can use an MRI at a steep discount to costs in the US so these are not anywhere near the price of US scans -- a little goes a long way.

    Just as a separate comment to Caraline's post -- actually, many neurologists use human hospital MRI machines for vet medicine in the off hours when they are not being used for human medicine. The disinfection process would be the same for people or dogs. These machines are so expensive -- many millions each -- that these are usually the only machines available. Increasingly, facilities are being developed for vet medicine now, too. Though some hospitals say they can't possibly use the equipment for animals the reality is that this is widely done across the US and other countries, at many top research hospitals, with no issues.

    What is really needed I think, is a decision by clubs to focus on supporting scanning and raising funds for this so that breeders would feel more support. Again, researchers say that scanning studs is particularly of benefit -- and there are far fewer of them -- because their genes are so widely influential (they may father thousands of litters while a female may only ever give birth to 10-15 puppies in a lifetime).
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  4. #4
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    Okay, so far I have been "sitting on the fence" so to speak about this, but feel I have something to add to this.

    I recently attended a seminar hosted by the Midland CKCS Club GB, where the speaker was Geoff Skerrit, he has recently re-located his practice to a much larger premises known as "Chestergates" and he is well known for his work on the SM within Cavaliers. It was a hugely interesting after-noon, where much was learnt by all attending, many scan pictures and explanations, lots of questions and finally one of his associates took the floor and showed us some slides of a Post Mortem he had done on a Cavalier who's SM he had followed throughout her life as her condition progressed. I am sorry if that offends any of you, but we were all interested to see these slides, they certainly gave many a far better perception of this condition.

    The end result or highlight actually, was that at the end of this seminar the question was asked "Can the scans be made any cheaper?" Many breeders, like myself, are not Millionares and we breed these dogs for the love of the breed alone, believe me when I say there is NO MONEY to be made in breeding dogs if it is done properly and responsibly, (Just ask my Bank Manager!! )
    We were told that at this particular practice a Veterinary Referral Scan will be approx £600-£700 We do have the lower cost scheme available through the clubs but that is still £200 and if this is made compulsory , it will in MY HUMBLE OPINION make this a "Rich Man's" breed and many good gene pools will be lost forever as their owners quite simply could not afford to carry on.
    The Midland Club went into discussion with Mr.Skerrit and his team at Chestergates and they managed to book the ENTIRE Scanning Facility initially for 1 day, but the demand has been so great they are now up to 2 days, basically they are guaranteeing a set number of Cavaliers to be scanned on each of these days, the result of this is that these scans will be £100!! This is giving so many more people the chance to have their dogs scanned who previously could'nt. As Mr.Skerrit said at the seminar, they need to scan far more Cavaliers whom are considered to be "unaffected" as at present they are seeing 70% Veterinary Referrals and a mere 30% Voluntary Referrals from breeders, this figure alone automatically "skews" the results, his words NOT mine!

    I have booked in the dogs I feel I need to have scanned, Yes I am nervous about this it is a huge step forwards, but it goes to show what can be achieved when a Breed Club can get into discussion with a Consultant! Personnally I feel this is a huge step forwards and Well Done to all the Midland Committee for bringing this about! Details of the dates can be found on the parent club site www.thecavalierclub.co.uk I believe there are a few places still available.

    They need not only your financial help but to see and scan the dogs we consider to be "Unaffected" as this will give a broader picture overall.

    Having said all this, I agree with Bruce in that a genetic test appears to be the only way forwards, scans will show the affected dogs and to what degree they are affected, but the one thing they cannot show is whether an "A" Grade pass dog/bitch is a "Carrier".

    I have been breeding this lovely breed for over 10 years now, and the very last thing I want is for a puppy I brought into this world to have a slow, debilitating and painful existance, Cavaliers are actually quite the Martyr and will bear most things in their stride, if you can help with this funding then you would be helping the breed as a whole, like Bruce I cannot see this breed dying out, and I truly believe that if we all pull together and help this research we might be able to crack this once and for all!

    Now I will get down from my soapbox and go back to admiring your beautiful Cavaliers!!
    Cathryn
    Cavaliers leave pawprints in your heart and hair on everything else!!
    RE-LIVE YOUR CHILDHOOD THROUGH YOUR KIDS, THE TOYS ARE SO MUCH BETTER THESE DAYS!!

  5. #5
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    Thank you so much Caraline, Karlin and Cathryn for your support of my post.

    I just wanted to add that for those of you like me who haven't a clue about paypal, you can do what I did and do a money transfer. A word of warning, though: my bank charged $50 for the transfer . I expected a charge, but .....
    Bruce
    MysticKnight Cavaliers

  6. #6
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    Oh goodness Bruce! Yes, wire transfers are really expensive; it is ridiculous. A better approach is an international banker's draft which is just a bank cheque made out to the recipient that you pay for. An international draft should be much less than that.

    Paypal is easy, though, you just need a credit card and you fill in the form on the site and it is set up to just charge your credit card for a donation. You can donate in any currency.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  7. #7
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    Yep, PayPal is the best! It costs nothing to sign up & there are no fees associated with making a payment. All the fees are paid by the person receiving the funds. I think you can have it linked to your savings account if you don't have a credit card (not totally sure about that).
    ~ Sam, Sonny & Beau ~

  8. #8
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    **Use caution with PayPal. Like any other website, it can be hacked into, info stolen, etc. We were the victims of a scam artist who took over $5000 from our bank account; luckily the bank worked with us and returned the money to our account. I personally will never do anything through PayPal again.
    Critter -
    RIP Wallis, John Robert, Tibby & Pip
    Mom to JoJo, Roxie & Linguini (Cavaliers)
    and my birds Moji (Senegal) and Walter (Blue Front Amazon)

  9. #9
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    I think the price of a Cavalier from a reputable breeder causes a lot of people to feel the breeder SHOULD shoulder the load of research costs.

    KC

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    Yeah, I think the problem is that the general public do not realise what goes on behind the scenes of a reputable breeder. They hear of their neighbour putting this dog over that & reaping in the rewards. It just does not enter their consciousness that there is the cost of health checks for the bitch before she is mated (could be eyes, heart, hip-score, MRI... whatever), a stud fee for the sire or health checks for the sire if the breeder uses his own, vet checkups for the bitch as she progresses, wormings, vaccinations, microchips, registration fees, the cost of equipment, food, tea & bickies for potential puppy owners, the cost of showing to obtain titles for the parents... the list is never ending. When our Boxers were in their prime, with the aid of their breeders we had one litter each out of two of our females & we pretty well broke even, there certainly was no profit. No wait, I am forgetting, 2 of the puppies ended up back with us as adults "because the children wouldn't pick up dog poo" and "he is fretting because we are at work all day". Those dogs spent the rest of their days with us because we had a "they will always have a home with us if it doesn't work out" policy.

    Then they will look in the window of the pet shop, with their x-breeds or pure-breds? without papers & complain that the breeders are ripping off the public because the pet shop sells them for 1/2 the price or less.

    Well I can't speak for what it is like there in USA, UK etc, but here in Au I haven't met a rich breeder, even the really serious ones get their income from dog-unrelated sources or from smart investments if they are retirees. There will always be the really crass people who are in it for the money & will skimp wherever they can at the expense of their own dogs & the future of the litter, but the dedicated ones, they do it because of the love of the breed & the joy of perpetuating what they believe is a beautiful line.
    Last edited by Caraline; 23rd May 2007 at 11:39 AM.
    ~ Sam, Sonny & Beau ~

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