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Thread: Important: medical terminology -- 'early onset'

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    Exclamation Important: medical terminology -- 'early onset'

    There is a medical term used by veterinarians that is easily misunderstood: 'early onset'. It means the disease started early in the dog's life. Some people mistake this term to mean the disease is in early stage.

    Having a clear understanding what 'early onset' means when your cavalier has been diagnosed with progressive diseases like MVD and SM is important.

    I know of someone who assumed that early onset SM meant the disease was in an early stage and because of this misunderstanding neglected to get the dog the appropriate level of care, assuming there would be lots of time to deal with the SM in the future. In reality, the dog was diagnosed at a very young age and the disease had progressed to the point of extreme pain and severe deficits while the dog was still young.

    I'm hoping this info will help others, so they won't have to go through a similar experience.
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

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    That's a really good clarification; thanks. I hadn't thought about how easy it would be to misunderstand this!

    Early onset versions are definitely the WORST form of progressive diseases like MVD and SM as it means that not only will the dog have to live with the conditions longer, and thus, they can cause more damage and discomfort, but often the dog has the more severe form of the disease, too.

    For example with SM, Clare Rusbridge and other neurologists believe early onset SM -- with symptoms showing before age 4 -- progresses more quickly, with more severe symptoms, than many later-onset cases.

    Likewise, early onset MVD is what breeders most try to *avoid* by following the mVD protocol as it is far worse for a dog to get this condition early, with more time to progress, than late in life.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
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    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy Moon View Post
    There is a medical term used by veterinarians that is easily misunderstood: 'early onset'. It means the disease started early in the dog's life. Some people mistake this term to mean the disease is in early stage.

    Having a clear understanding what 'early onset' means when your cavalier has been diagnosed with progressive diseases like MVD and SM is important.

    I know of someone who assumed that early onset SM meant the disease was in an early stage and because of this misunderstanding neglected to get the dog the appropriate level of care, assuming there would be lots of time to deal with the SM in the future. In reality, the dog was diagnosed at a very young age and the disease had progressed to the point of extreme pain and severe deficits while the dog was still young.

    I'm hoping this info will help others, so they won't have to go through a similar experience.
    MVD is a disease that most small dogs will likely get in their lifetime-- it is the deterioration of the valves(which I believe are made of connective tissue). It is considered somewhat normal in middle to old age dogs(even in humans it happens). Early onset is to MVD what juvenile is to diabetes. (diabetes becomes more common as humans age too(insulin resistance etc...)). The earlier you get any disease, the more likely it will negatively impact their lives.
    So when a byb tells people that their lines come from England and they don't inbreed like we do and that is why their lines are clear of MVD-- they are lying. jmo, others may disagree

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    Thanks for the clarification Cathy. With my non-medical knowledge I had assumed "early onset" meant the beginning of the disease. Appreciate that you've pointed this out.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

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    Thanks for the clarification. I always thought that the term meant in "early stages" also! Very good information to be aware of.
    Marianne
    Mom to Dottie, and our precious rescue, Claire-Bear

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    Quote Originally Posted by hbmama View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. I always thought that the term meant in "early stages" also! Very good information to be aware of.
    Me too - Thanks for the clarification Cathy
    Kirsty
    Merlin and Oakleys Mum (Merlin -Male/B&T/5 years, Oakley - Male/Ruby/3.5years)

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    So when a byb tells people that their lines come from England and they don't inbreed like we do and that is why their lines are clear of MVD-- they are lying. jmo, others may disagree
    It's not just your (valued!) opinion... they ARE lying!! A well known irish broker based in New York state makes this statement about Irish dogs as well. It is a LIE.

    MVD is actually the biggest killer of all elderly dogs. Sandy is right: early onset MVD is like juvenile diabetes. Conditions that, if they do arrive, should come on later in life, not earlier in life.

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    Can you PM me the name of this Irish broker? Sounds familiar.
    Trisha in Southwest Florida
    Cavaliers: Casey, Ollie, & Winston and usually a foster or two! Cats: Pebbles & Benson

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    "Early-onset" MVD, as used by the researchers who developed the MVD breeding protocol, has been defined as an MVD murmur (regardless of its grade) developing before the dog's fifth birthday. The goal of the MVD breeding protocol is to eliminate early-onset MVD in a breeder's bloodline in as early as the second or third generation after following the protocol.

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