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Thread: A Cavalier film, health related, BBC1........

  1. #161
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    Hello,
    it is two years ago that I was last on this message board - which I had left at the time due to health reasons. Please excuse my long absence. I came here actually looking for something else, and found this thread.
    I am "allegedly" a cavalier breeder in Germany (1 litter - therefore the allegedly). I have watched the program in question on "you tube" and have red this thread.
    I would like to crrect one point I have read here which ist stating that only the swedish kennel clubs has rules of mvd. This is not correct. In Germany we have 3 breed clubs for ckcs. Different to the UK our clubs are able to make rules and if we do not abide by them we are thrown out (do not worry I am not at risk of this). We are not allowed to breed with heart ill dogs - period - and this has been the rule for a long time. I have been involved in the breed in Germany for 5 years, I have been showing cavaliers and participate in German Forums since their inception. In all this time I have only encountered one private owner with a dog that was bred in accordance with the breed clubs rules with MVD aged under 2 years. This dog was line bred to a dog who died of an untreated heart condition aged 8 years. Therefore I have reason to believe we are making good progress here.

    I agree with the criticisms made of the kennel club in the film, but I am also concerned. A german company has bought it and will be planning to show it in Germany. I exepct that viewers will believe that the details in the film reflect standards in Germany. I am p***** off with the concept of having to repair that perception. It has taken long enough to persuade vets not to think that every cavaliers is a walking time bomb for heart failure.

    kind regards,

    Katherine

  2. #162
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    Thanks for the information that the German club has some rules around MVD too. It can be very hard to know what clubs other countries are doing without someone there who can translate and explain -- I think we have one other German breeder on the board as well. Does the club have a website where the club guidelines are written up? I would like to have details on various club policies.

    I have strongly argued here and in other threads that the only place anyone should consider getting a cavalier puppy is from a club affiliated breeder (or affiliated to a reputable dog activity -- eg working dogs, agility, obedience -- organisation), actively involved with dogs, who does the proper screening and can prove it with certs, so I totally agree with you there Certainly getting a puppy from casual or commercial breeders remains the worst possible source as whatever about some club breeders doing little, the casual breeders not only do nothing about health, they also know little about either health or genetics or the lines of the dogs they are breeding.

    I wouldn't describe all cavaliers as walking time bombs for MVD, but the statistical reality is that almost every cavalier will have this affliction by age 10 and half will by age 5-6, a horrific number for an old dog's disease. Given their size cavaliers should be routinely living to age 15-16-17, like Tibetan spaniels for example. Instead we are so used to losing our dogs at young ages and accepting anything above age 10 as an ancient cavalier that we don't notice that our dogs have a shorter lifespan than much larger breeds that are supposed to die younger. Most cavaliers will still die from heart failure at a younger age than is normal for a breed of its size.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #163
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    Hello,
    the rules in Germany are not as strict as those in Sweden - but they are a starting point.

    For my club the following applies all females must prior to being mated have a heart investigation for which a certificate is issued - the certificate may not be older than 4 weeks prior to the mating. All females must be heart clear or they can not be bred.
    All dogs must have a heart certificate produced once per year. As of the age of 3 years grade 1 is tolerated ( I do not agree with this), as of age 6 grade 2 is tolerated.

    Prior to all of this the dog must have passed a breeding licence examination. For this a patella examination must have be made either by one of a group of vets who are certified by the German kennel club or two club own judges who are educated in examining patellas. A dog must be free of luxating patellas passed an evaluation of its confirmation, movement and temperament in order to gain the licence.

    The German kennel Clubs offers Patella examinations and eye examinations at many international shows. the cost of these is very low for what they are - on the whole stud dogs owners will have these tests. I have had these tests done.
    It is also very common to have hip scoring done - this is though becoming less and less - as the breed at least in Germany does not seem prone to it.
    MRI scanning is not mandatory in Germany. A great number though of breeders have had dogs scanned in a study at the University of Giessen. A few years ago the University of Giessen had contacted the breed clubs to request help in getting people to have their dogs scanned. There is dissapointment with the work at the University - no information has been provided by them to the breed clubs about scan results or anything to do with the study. they also seem to have their own way of interpreting scans which is not in line with CR's work.
    Despite this two of the three clubs are working together to combat SM - working in the general way one works to combat polygenetic hereditary diseases, but all three clubs are in agreement that no dog suffering from SM may be bred.

    There are a lot more other rules too regarding breeding for example a female may only have one litter per calender year, incest breeding is forbidden etc..

  4. #164
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    Default Dog world article on the Pedigree dogs exposed. Beverley Costello’s response is part

    Dog world article on the Pedigree dogs exposed. Beverley Costello’s response is particularly interesting.


    What the documentary makers decided not to include in their programme


    This article has 0 Comments
    28 Aug 2008 08:10
    SEVERAL people who appeared on the programme wanted an opportunity to clarify points and expand on some issues.
    Lesley Jupp, chairman of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, said: “By the nature of its advance publicity I was expecting the documentary to be editorially biased, and this proved to be the case. But when I watched the programme, more than anything else I was struck by the almost complete lack of credit given to the extensive work carried out by our club, and many other regional clubs, to address health issues and support research.
    “For the past 20 years or more we have conducted numerous health clinics and health programmes across the country, all involving ophthalmologists and cardiologists. Ian Mason, an ophthalmologist, recently said that eye problems in the breed have been greatly reduced, due in large measure to this initiative. Ian was interviewed by the film crew during our last championship show but this achievement was apparently considered insufficiently newsworthy to warrant mention on the programme.
    “Other breed societies have also organised health-screening schemes, some of which have been very successful. Again none of these were mentioned. Syringomyelia (SM) first came to light approximately five years ago. Since then, the club has consistently endeavoured to educate and inform its members on the condition. Numerous research schemes have been established and assisted funding provided for MRI scans. Many seminars have been held, including the first International conference on SM, held at the Royal Veterinary College in 2006. None of this was mentioned on the programme.
    “The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has supported many club research projects; £24,000 was raised jointly by Cavalier clubs to fund mitral valve disease (MVD) research at Edinburgh University. The Kennel Club matched this funding and the research is now in its fourth year. Again, this initiative was not mentioned during the programme. I genuinely believe that no club could reasonably have done more than the work carried out by ours. Our efforts were not inspired by the Companion Animal Welfare Council (CAWC) meeting earlier this year, but have been in progress for at least 25 years. Sadly, health research is a slow process. There can be no quick miracle cures for historic conditions in the breed. It should also be noted that only a minority of Cavaliers registered are bred by members of Cavalier breed clubs.
    “The club has no mandatory powers to impose breeding regulations on its members, only the capacity to influence, educate and persuade. This we have done to the best of our ability. This was not reflected in the programme, even though its producers were aware of our efforts. As I watched the programme, it became very apparent that this did not coincide with the image they wished to promote.
    “Finally, some reasons to be positive. Most Cavaliers lead happy, normal lives and some vets say they do not encounter SM. Eye problems are being eradicated. Brendan Corcoran, at Edinburgh University, is conducting the first investigation of the mitral valve ‘structure’ and why it fails. Simon Swift, at Liverpool University, has conducted cardiology clinics at our club events for 18 years, following Peter Darke’s retirement. Simon is involved with the exciting LUPA project, which is funded by the EU (580,000 euros) to unravel the genetic background of specific canine diseases, one of which is MVD in the Cavalier. The project has access to the top scientists in the field. Sarah Bott at Animal Health Trust is conducting groundbreaking research to produce an internet-based breeding programme of estimated breeding values. This is a science that has been used successfully for cattle and pigs. In the near future Cavalier breeders will be first to be given the opportunity to use this programme to breed healthier dogs. Sarah has received substantial sponsorship from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust. Perhaps just as importantly, she also has the enthusiastic support of all Cavalier breed clubs. This bodes well.
    “Additionally, breed clubs are currently in discussion with the Animal Health Trust on the appointment of a panel of neurologists and radiologists, for standardising the certification of MRI scans. Currently, scans are assessed by individual neurologists and this inevitably results in differing opinions. The new panel should resolve this problem and will provide for an ‘appeal’ system to be established. Initially, this will be a Cavalier Club scheme for which we have received financial and practical assistance from the KC. Furthermore, we will continue to hold health clinics and promote heart testing, eye testing and blood sampling. We intend, in unison with other Cavalier clubs, to promote the permanent identification of dogs and cheek swabs.

    Cavalier breeder and exhibitor Beverley Costello, who was interviewed by the film crew after her champion dog won BIS at a breed club championship show, said the programme had upset her greatly and that her remarks had been ‘severely edited.’
    “I am very upset the way the programme was edited and the things said about my dog,” she said. “I have the support of the majority of club members. It was said that it was that it was known that my dog had SM because the MRI scan had been seen. But that’s not true because the scan has never left the house. I’m very angry because pet people will now believe that.
    “I have been in the breed 15 years and have made up a champion. But life has got complicated. It is upsetting. The dog in question is five this year, and is healthy. His mother lives with me – she is fine and my friend has his grandmother and she is well, too. None of them is showing any symptoms. The line is good and an MRI scan is not the answer to everything anyway. I don’t think SM is the epidemic they are trying to make out it is. I have never had phone calls from anyone saying any of my dog’s puppies have had problems. I would be angry if they did not let me know if they had. I’m sure if any of the puppies did have a problem the programme would have found them and wheeled them out.”
    Miss Costello said she would not breed any more litters: “I work full time and dogs don’t finance anything. I have nine Cavaliers – some retired – no litters and no intention of mating anything. My dogs live with me in the house and they do a lot of walking. They are like my children, and mean the world to me

  5. #165
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    It is interesting Miss Costello has made this decision now and not after the on camera confrontation in March, or better yet, before then. The Champion dog from the show currently has a July born litter from a young dam. Looking at the age of the dam this is disregarding both MVD and SM protocol.

    Isn't it wonderful to know she feels she has "the support of the majority of the club members."

    Arlene and her three: J P - Alaskan Husky, Missie - Cavalier x Tibetan Spaniel, Rocky - All Sporty Cavalier

  6. #166
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    Default It is a total disgrace

    I am horrified that she has support but clearly she does.

    Also I have seen posts on champdogs etc from people who have bought pups from her line. They claim not only do their dogs suffer SM but that they have notified their breeders and or the Costellos.

    No remorse at all in her quotes.

  7. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yuggie View Post
    I am horrified that she has support but clearly she does.

    Also I have seen posts on champdogs etc from people who have bought pups from her line. They claim not only do their dogs suffer SM but that they have notified their breeders and or the Costellos. Making a mockery of her claim that “I have never had phone calls from anyone saying any of my dog’s puppies have had problems.”

    No remorse at all in her quotes.
    Hello Yuggie,

    I am the person who was shown the scan by Miss Costello.

    It was at a dog show & I have witnesses that saw her showing me, and others , the scan.

    I also have the names of people that have informed her their puppies are SM affected.

    The two latest litters that I know about are 9 weeks & 6 weeks old. The matings would have taken place after she gave the film interview.

    What would have ever stopped this woman?

    I would be pleased to have any more information.

    Many thanks,

    Margaret C

  8. #168
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    HI Margaret,

    I just went into champdogs to cut and past all the information. I will pm it to you as I feel I can't crosspost it. Actually I misremembered the details, it was the breeders of sire of the dog in the BBC programme who were informed. You may find the details interesting anyway.

    However in the same vein I'm sure you saw this post. Karlin knows how to contact this owner. I wish you all the best, I think you are doing an amazing job in the face of appears to be a campaign of ignorance and malice.
    Best
    Yuggie


    Subject: Re: Controversy over BBC documentary on cavaliers

    Here's my 2 cents worth.
    I had a beautiful dog named Lucky. He was an owner handled AKC champion
    at age 18 months but even months before that he had some SM symptoms.
    Lucky required SM surgery once at age 2 and PSOM surgery 3 times. Lucky
    died from complications of his 3rd PSOM surgery but I strongly suspect
    the symptoms that led to his repeat PSOM surgery were probably due to
    recurrent SM. Lucky repeatedly attacked one of my other dogs so
    severely and so repeatedly and without warning that I eventually had to
    place him with a vet cardiology resident. He died about 6 months after
    he went to live with her.

    Why am I rehashing this....because Lucky's sire was the pictured BIS
    winner on the documentary. That made this pretty personal to me. I
    tried to contact his sire's breeder/owner by mail (I have never found an
    email address for her) to let her know of Lucky's problems but NEVER
    heard anything back from her. Since we live on different sides of the
    Atlantic, I did not go by for a visit. I did get very gracious feedback
    from his dam's owner but nothing from the sire's side. It took 2 dogs
    to create Lucky. The fact that his sire has been bred so extensively is
    really sad to me. I hate to think that there are other dogs out there
    with Lucky's difficulties. I hope there aren't but I'll never know
    because that information is not easily obtainable.

    I wish first and foremost that Lucky had not had to go through all the
    difficulties he went through. I wish that I could have not gone through
    the heartbreak of loving him, putting him through surgery, dealing with
    dog aggression in a breed that should not be aggressive, having to make
    a choice of which dog to keep, having to give him away, and then having
    him die. I wish that I felt I could contact a breeder and not feel
    anxious about asking about health testing, including MRI's for SM. I
    wish I could have another cavalier like Lucky but without SM. I don't
    know if any of these wishes will ever come true.

  9. #169
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    Thank you Yuggie

    I really appreciate your words & your help.

    Margaret C

  10. #170
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    “I have been in the breed 15 years and have made up a champion. But life has got complicated. It is upsetting. The dog in question is five this year, and is healthy. His mother lives with me – she is fine and my friend has his grandmother and she is well, too. None of them is showing any symptoms. The line is good and an MRI scan is not the answer to everything anyway. I don’t think SM is the epidemic they are trying to make out it is. I have never had phone calls from anyone saying any of my dog’s puppies have had problems. I would be angry if they did not let me know if they had. I’m sure if any of the puppies did have a problem the programme would have found them and wheeled them out.”
    Surely then there is no issue with the MRI in question going before an independent panel?

    The issue has never been whether the breeder believes the dog to be asymptomatic and healthy. The issue is whether the dog was diagnosed with SM on an MRI and what was said at that point about breeding the dog, and whether owners of dams brought to the stud were told, and then puppy buyers.

    Perhaps no phonecalls were received. We have at least one owner stating very clearly that they emailed and posted letters.

    Again, the obvious solution is to have a panel examine the MRI and for the neurologist who did the scan to report what he said to the breeder. There was a witness however as well who has submitted a letter to the club stating what she heard.

    It was a club committee member who put this whole discussion about what was seen on the MRI out into the public domain so surely the MRI should notw be produced and examined by somebody in the club and the issue resolved with Geoff Skerritt.

    I do notice nothing was said in this article by the breeder regarding the nature of the MRI or the advice given to her by one of the prominent specialists in this condition, Mr Skerritt, who is used by the clubs themselves to do scans and advise breeders.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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