She's also the puppy referral contact for Victoria.
She's also the puppy referral contact for Victoria.
The more I've read the past few days, the sadder I become
Proud member of The Spaniel Trust - putting the trust back into spaniels.
A Charity registered in Scotland SC038987
As do I, Misty.
There was a wonderful post, by a breeder, this morning on the CKCS-SM yahoo list that helped my heart.
She is one obviously recognizing and facing the problem.
I have yet to recieve permission to crosspost, but it points out the studies which show the prevalence of SM in the breed, and a belief in the accuracy of the studies and in the scientists trying to help this breed.
I am thankful for breeders like her.
For those unfamiliar with the studies, they were of dogs voluntarily MRId but which were not showing outward signs of SM.
In the Netherlands - 56%, in France - 42%, and in North Carolina - 37% had SM.
Googling can find the studies, but as I have just been reading the French Abstract, here it is: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/j...TRY=1&SRETRY=0
For Bet, this is a published and peer reviewed paper I believe (feel free to correct me). To note from the study, "The incidence of Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia may be high in an asymptomatic population of cavalier King Charles spaniel."
Arlene and her three: J P - Alaskan Husky, Missie - Cavalier x Tibetan Spaniel, Rocky - All Sporty Cavalier
Yes, there have been several studies, one of which, in Canada, has not yet released figures formally I believe.
- Couturier and others 2008 -- study of 16 dogs, none with symptoms, 43.7% affected SM
- Guelph (Canadian) study -- as yet unpublished
- South African study -- 52 dogs, 5% had signs of the disease and 52% were affected with SM
- USA study (US club funded) -- Cerda-Gonzalez and other 2006 (abstract) and 2008 (pending publication). 64 dogs of which 49 were fee of clinical signs of disease. 26.5% of these 49 asymptomatic dogs were affected SM - if you included the symptomatic dogs then this figure rises to 42%
- UK and Netherlands -- Rusbridge and others 2007. 75 dogs of which 55 were fee of clinical signs of disease. 65.4% of these 55 asymptomatic dogs were affected SM -- if you included the symptomatic dogs then this figure rises to 74.5%
None were random samples but all as noted had a high degree of asymptomatic dogs presumed to be clear, many of them breeder-owned dogs. Most of these studies have dogs aged 5 or under -- eg breeding age -- so the assumption would be that levels of affectedness are higher because SM is progressive and would be likely to be seen more in older dogs than younger.
Ideally now would be the time to fund a fully random study to MRI a larger population of cavaliers.
A big thank you Karlin for listing those studies.
This is the post from the breeder Laura Lang that I wrote about earlier. I now have permission to crosspost.
I post it not for the information, but because it reflects the great intentions of a breeder.
As I said, after reading through lists and posts over the last few days I'm getting a bit negative. From a breeder this is a welcomed post that warms my heart.
"Dr. Rusbridge has stated several times that about 30-50% of Cavaliers have SM. She also stated this on the documentary. I have yet to read a published percentage by Dr. Skerritt. All other studies have shown percentages in the same range. These can easily be found on the internet by doing searches.
Overall 56% had SM.
With this group, 43% of clinically normal champion breeding dogs (genitors) had SM
MRI Findings: 37% had SM
Of the MRIs sent to me and put up on the Cavalier InfoCenter site, the results are also in the same range. 42% had SM.
These were breeding dogs voluntarily MRId by their owners--not clinical cases. I have heard of no studies showing a lower incidence. Possibly a higher incidence however. I believe Dr. Rusbridge uses those statistics because not only is that what she has found, it has also been backed up by every other study done worldwide.
For those who don't know what SM is--it means there is a significant pocket of fluid inside the spinal cord called a syrinx. Significant means the syrinx has to have a diameter wider than 2mm. This is not a normal finding in any human or animal. 80% of humans who have SM have symptoms. The primary symptom of SM is pain--headaches and a burning sensation being some of the most common forms of pain. Lots of it mild, some much more severe. Maybe some expect that dogs are not in any pain unless they are rolling around screaming but quite honestly unless the pain is really severe--few of us would roll around and/or scream while in pain! Humans will tell others they are in pain and will take pain meds when needed, both of which dogs are not capable of. Therefore, there is no way I could state with any certainty at all that my dogs are free of all pain and therefore have no symptoms of SM. I cringe when I hear breeders flat-out stating none of their dogs have symptoms for this reason.
I also cringe when I hear someone say CM may be a normal finding in the breed. No way can I believe it is 'normal' to have one's cerebellum squashed to half it's normal size! And crammed up against the foramen magnum all the time. The fluid that the brain and spinal cord floats in needs to move back and forth with every heartbeat and if it can't--no way can this be a good thing. No one will ever convince me it is.
Common sense--this should be common sense.
I believe in my heart that these stats are somewhat accurate. Maybe, hopefully a bit on the high side, but still close enough. As accurate as the stat that 50% of all Cavaliers have a murmur by age 5 or 6 and most by age 10 or 11. No one would be happier if many more people would MRI their dogs and it would show that the 30-50% stat is not correct and that the percentage of affected is actually much lower than that. I hope that happens but my heart tells me research is way beyond the point of questioning stats and now moving towards getting answers.
I do not believe it is all gloom and doom however. If I did I wouldn't still be here. I think something can and should be done. I know I'm doing all I can--using every clue. I have no idea if I'm doing the right thing, but I am doing something. Something that makes good common sense to me. I'm hoping to reduce the amount of CM in my line and breeding towards that end. I do not believe CM is normal so I don't want my dogs to have it. I feel that if the fluid is moving freely between the brain and spinal cavities, it will be better for my dogs. MRIing is part of that picture. By the end of the year I hope to have most of the dogs in my house that are still in my breeding program that are 3 years old and older MRId. I also hope that by 2010 their MRIs will show that I have been somewhat successful towards achieving little to no CM. SM or not, I do not want my dogs' cerebellums squashed or free-flow of fluid blocked much of the time! I wouldn't want it in my own head or my childrens' heads. So I also don't want it in my dogs' heads!
I have to follow my own conscience and what I believe is common sense.
Arlene and her three
Last edited by Arlene; 26th August 2008 at 10:59 PM. Reason: The font of the quote was initially incompatable. Hope it works this time!
UK Neurologist Geoff Skerritt has said he feels he has the right of reply to the email from Dr Ingpen criticising the quality of his MRIs on the Malvern dog (and thus by implication questioning a diagnosis of syringomyelia referred to on Pedigree Dogs Exposed).
The email was posted widely by the health representative to the Southern CKCS Club, Veronica Hull, who referred to the email as "fascinating and balanced" Dr Ingpen as an 'unbiased' source ("a true perspective from an unbiased source who has expertise in this subject"). Dr Ingpen, it turns out, is married to a cavalier breeder in Australia who is also listed as their puppy referral contact. Dr Ingpen is also a human rheumatologist without veterinary background. Veronica Hull is the breeder who is questioned amongst the group of women at the very end of the BBC film.
This is the portion of his email that Geoff Skerritt is responding to:
Geoff Skerritt's response:6. Whilst in the UK in 2007 I was invited to examine a number of MRI images
relating to this problem. There was one which was clearly diagnostic and it
is my understanding that the breeder took responsible action. I also had the
opportunity to view the MRI referred to in the BBC programme. I think the
images were poor, inadequate and certainly not diagnostic anatomically.
There is no doubt that the problem has to be looked at seriously but in my
view at least the evidence available does not support the propaganda. I
sometimes wonder which 'bitch is on the end of the lead'.
Thank-you for your support. I am surprised by the impertinence of this man! Considering that I lectured in veterinary anatomy for 20 years, pioneered veterinary MRI, was a founder of the European College of Veterinary Neurology and currently have one of the largest caseloads of veterinary MRI in the world, it is surprising that a man with no applicable qualifications should think that he knows more than I about a study that has occupied me for 10 years. The many students that I have examined would find Dr Ingpen's questioning of my ability most amusing. Much of my early work, including publications and presentations, were with Charlie Davies, Consultant Neurosurgeon at the Preston Hospital (human!) allowing parallel study of Chiari in human patients.
Dr Ingpen should know that the best MRI material for interpretation is on the VDU of the scanner -- my reports are so-based. Original hardcopy film is OK but any other reproduction is for illustrative purposes only. I don't know which films he thought he saw but it sounds as if he needs some lessons in basic interpretation.
I have viewed about 1000 scans of Cavaliers ---- I think I know what I am looking at! On both T1 and T2 weighted images there can be little doubt about the presence of syringomyelia; enlarged lateral ventricles are often obvious but I have always conceded that they can be present as a completely separate entity. The most difficult feature to assess is herniation of the cerebellum into/through the foramen magnum; however, if you compare likely abnormals with definite normals ( the same and other breeds ) caudal protrusion of the vermis ( not the tonsils of the human patient ) is clear but you must be able to identify the bone of the occiput ( not easy since it is black not white as on a radiograph ).
I would appreciate an apology, Dr Ingpen.
Well done, Mr.Skerritt. I doubt he expected that type of fallout from the BBC program. The Southern Club seems a little to the left, or is it to the right, of distinguished leadership. You'd need tough skin to approach some of them about a puppy-I didn't say all--just some.
Learning new things everyday
Arlene, thank you for your observations and inspiring us with cross-posts from breeders like Laura Lang. Her approach to cavalier health is awesome. I'm sure there are more breeders like her who are doing their best to eradicate SM using a common sense approach. What would we do without people like her?!
Last edited by Cathy Moon; 28th August 2008 at 04:48 AM. Reason: typo, tone down
India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)
Cathy, it is very self serving of me. I hate Greek tragedies. I am much more of a comedy fan! If I didn't find that post I'd still be crying into my cereal about this situation. It feels good to pass it along.
I have a question. As I have been bumping around on these threads the last few days I once came across a post about someone being close to a genetic marker. I lost it and haven't been able to find it.
If someone else here has read it can they point me in the right direction please?
Arlene and her three: J P - Alaskan Husky, Missie - Cavalier x Tibetan Spaniel mix, Rocky - All Sporty Cavalier
This is probably Zoha Kubar/Guy Rouleau's info on the genome project.
There is info summarised from Guy's presentation here and some from Sarah Blott:
Also check the Q&A as Guy was asked further ant this. He is an eminent geneticist who has done this type of groundbreaking work for several diseases.
Paper 2 here from Clare Rusbridge summarised the genetic findings so far:
In one of the Rusbridge newsletters there's a summary from Zoha but Clare Riusbridge's paper above gives that info in more detail and at a later point in the research.
Sarah Blott is dependent on the Rouleau work (which is the genome project initiated by Rusbridge/Knowler) to be able to offer the most accurate estimated breeding values, so much rides on that particular project.