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Thread: MVD report

  1. #1
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    Default MVD report

    There's an interesting review of MVD testing by Simon Swift on the Cavalier Club website - plus some interesting information about his interview for the PDE programme.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

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    This is truly disingenuous of Simon, who has made far stronger criticims of the clubs and the feeble support of its membership for any truly meaningful heart programmes.

    I'd just remind people of his frustrated and exasperated criticism of the club that was posted to their site (and--surprise! removed) , for not having improved MVD rates in over a DECADE... for failing to seriously address MVD despite offering lip service, or to set up a proper testing and screening programme. He wrote this after the club, yet again, chose not to even recommend Cardiologist testing as the ONLY accurate indication of heart status (as is the norm in the two US clubs! Vet results are not even considered acceptable!). The only result of his criticisms was the Healthy Hearts list finally only lists dogs heart tested and certified by a cardiologist, as should always have been the case.

    I have a copy of that criticism and will dig it out when I get the chance.

    It was clear in chairwoman Lesley Jupp's post earlier this year that the broad membership's failure to meaningfully support heart programmes (eg cardiac testing) was a source of great exasperation for her too, as this has been one of her key issues.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    This letter was sent to club members in 2006!!! The club chose to make no changes at all and still does not advocate cardiologist testing and according to Simon Swift below, most breeders obviously are not annually testing even with a vet.

    Simon Swift's conclusions to his letter make very clear he has some major alarm and disappointments with how the club has (failed to) tackle the issue, a point accurately reflected in his excerpt in Pedigree Dogs Exposed. All the fluff around the issue would not have obscured the salient fact included there: lack of real support for the MVD protocol means the UK has not improved heart health in all the time it has given lip service to it -- FIFTEEN YEARS!!!

    The club chose to remove his letter once they decided not to alter their programme at all. The one concession was the health hearts listing must now include only cardiac certified dogs. What a weak and ineffective approach to this very serious condition that kills most of our dogs well before their time. Surely it is better to have the dogs cardiologist certified BEFORE they are bred rather than when they are elderly, for the hearts list!! So many health-focused breeders would have welcomed a better and stronger club initiative. But all you have to do is look at the most recent KC records to see how it is the norm for most breeders, including many show breeders and even the various clubs' committee members, to routinely breed underage bitches and especially, studs. Many only vet heart-clear their dogs -- or don't even do that. Semi-doing something is mistaken for breeding for health. And our dogs continue to die at 7, 8 and 9. They shpuld be easily making it to 15-16-17, like similarly sized Tibetan spaniels.

    HEART TESTING SCHEME
    The following proposals have been made by Simon Swift who now lectures in
    Cardiology at Liverpool University.
    He considers that the Club MVD research has reached the stage when it is time
    for a new Initiative. The Committee will be considering his proposals, but
    would welcome the input and comments of members. Please let us have your
    views.
    Please forward your comments to:
    Lesley Jupp

    *************

    Heart Testing Scheme

    When the scheme was initially set up, there were few veterinary cardiologists
    in the UK. in order to make the scheme as widely available as possible, it was
    decided to allow any veterinary surgeon to complete the simple form declaring
    whether the dog had a murmur or not.
    There are now 17 Diplomates in Veterinary Cardiology and a further 74 with
    the Certificate spread across the UK. The Veterinary Cardiovascular Society
    (VCS) holds two lists of cardiologists who have been accredited to carry out
    auscultation and echocardiography. These lists can be accessed via the
    website. Other breeds such as boxers and Newfoundlands use these lists for
    their breed schemes.
    The UK Cavalier King Charles Spaniel scheme was set up about 15 years ago.
    Since then, the Swedish breeding advice added that breeding dogs should be
    over 5 or their parents over 5 years old and free of a murmur. Despite this,
    there has been little evidence in progression or decrease in the incidence of
    the disease.


    Proposed New Scheme

    We should continue to assess dogs on an annual basis until they are 5 years
    old to detect any dogs that develop a murmur prematurely. This could be
    performed by a Cardiologist or the local veterinary surgeon. These will be
    quiet murmurs, so ideally, a Cardiologist should perform the examination to
    increase the chances of detection. However, there will be a cost involved.
    The examination at 5 years old should become a major examination as this is
    the time at which we decide whether the dog and its progeny should be used
    for breeding. This should be carried out by a cardiologist, preferably from the
    VCS list, and should include:
    1. Auscultation
    2. Echocardiography
    It has been well established that echocardiography is more sensitive at
    detecting early mitral valve disease than auscultation alone. The thickness of
    the valve and any prolapse can be assessed and colour flow Doppler
    echocardiography can be used to look for small jets of mitral regurgitation
    that have not yet reached the human audible range.
    This would also make our breeding criteria more appropriate. At the moment,
    we exclude all dogs with a murmur but may be including many dogs with flow
    murmurs or other innocent causes of murmurs. This would explain why some
    dogs develop murmurs, never go into failure but have their murmurs for
    years. Using echocardiography we can be much more precise about the actual
    cause of a murmur in an individual dog.
    The examination will NOT involve sedation. There will be a cost (probably
    about 100 plus VAT) and some fur may be shaved off the chest. If they pass,
    their names should be published on a clear list that should be actively
    promoted by the Club.
    Issues
    There are 3 areas that are likely to raise concerns for the breeders; namely
    cost, location and unexpected failures.
    1. Cost - while this is significantly more than the costs that have been
    applied to date, it is not unreasonable. The exact cost will depend on the
    clinic involved. As this is a single major examination, there will be no
    ongoing charges after 5 years and comparisons with MRI can be made.
    2. Location -the distribution of veterinary cardiologists is not even
    throughout the UK. but now there should be sufficient that no breeder
    has to travel excessive distances.
    3. Failures - there should be an established appeals procedure where a
    'breeder does not accept the result. In that situation, and initially it may
    be quite common as the dogs will not hav~ murmurs, a second
    echocardiographic examination can be performed by a cardiologist from
    the VCS accredited list.
    Once dogs are over 5 arid murmur free, there is little benefit to the scheme to
    continue to auscultate these dogs. However, it would be interesting to follow
    these dogs and see at what point these dogs develop a murmur if they ever
    do.

    Conclusion

    I would urge the Club to adopt this scheme. When I first became involved, the
    Club was innovative in it's thinking and indicated it wanted to address the
    issues of mitral valve disease within the breed. However, since setting up the
    scheme, little progress has been made and the Club gives little indication of
    wanting to carry that enthusiasm forward. Clubs in Europe and America have
    adopted echocardiography as the gold standard and left the UK behind. As a
    result many cardiologists across the world have little confidence in the UK
    scheme: It is time to change.

    In the US many breeders say their heart rates have improved from following the protocol and this has been stated by cardiologists there too. Either it works or it doesn't work. If there's been no improvement in the UK it can only be, as Simon Swift clearly believes, that the vast majority of CLUB breeders (as he is only talking about club programmes) do not follow even the basics of the MVD protocol and most do not get accurate readings (ie from a cardiologist).
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Default MVD Report

    Could I mention that I had spoken with Simon Swift on the Phone around 4 Months ago ,asking him about the state of the MVD Problem in Cavaliers

    His answer was that it was no better than it was 10 years ago.

    Can I also combine this Post with a Personal message to all on the List who I will have insulted in the past with my thoughtless views and say how sorry I am to have made them.

    Particularly to,Margaret Carter ,Carol Fowler, Jemima Harrison ,Dr C Rusbridge, and Penny Knowler.If there is any-body else Iv'e missed out please accept my Apologies.

    I sure regret having said what I have said in the Past.

    If I could back in Time ,at the beginning of the SM Problem Making it's appearance ,I said things that I ,at that time believed, but then several things happened to make me realize how wrong I was in my views.

    First of all I realized that if the SM Problem was not tackled properly ,it could go the same way as MVD Problem has done in our Breed ,maybe it has already
    .
    Dr C Rusbridge's Neurological Web Site appeared ,and eveything I had been arguing about was given an Answer

    Then I thought about the PDE TV Film ,and realized that if it had'nt been for Jemima Harrison and her Film, would any notice have been taken about the plight of the Health Problems in Pedigree Dogs. I think not.

    Next the Letter from the UK CKCS Club Chairman appeared ,a lady I have admired for many years ,It was Mrs Jupp who about 20 years ago got to grips with the MVD Problem in the Breed,I don't know if she was ever given credit for it ,how she battled on.

    All those things combined ,made me know what a load of rubbish I had been Spouting.

    The Final Straw ,as the saying goes that broke the Camel's back, was the Lewd and Suggestive Comments on a certain Cavalier Forum against Folk who were trying to improve the Health of Cavaliers.

    I know I can't turn the Clock back, only wish I could,

    Bet( Hargreaves)

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    I guess I'm dense in understanding his letter to the Club. Am I missing the importance of testing early and is 5-6 yrs the only important numbers now? Has the problem with early onset MVD now been eradicated so early testing is not necessary and therefore breed away but do have them tested at ages 5-6 when most are done with breeding (6yrs). Realize that having good diagnostic skills does not mean that those skills carry over to presentations but with all the emphasis on early testing and breeding responsibilites IMHO this correspondence is strange.
    frecklesmom
    Learning new things everyday

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    In the US many breeders say their heart rates have improved from following the protocol and this has been stated by cardiologists there too.
    I don't think this statement is accurate. I have never heard it before.

    I don't know of "many" US breeders who even have been following the protocol. There are very, very, very, very few in that category. (I mean, like less than ten such breeders in the entire country.) What I have heard is that some of the US breeders -- who do not follow the protocol but who just have their dogs' hearts tested -- have claimed that their bloodlines' MVD onset rates have improved. If these claims are true, this means only that things have gotten better for them since they began testing at all, but that they still have not followed the protocol (i.e., waiting until their breeding stock was MVD-cleared at 2.5 years, and all of the stocks' parents were MVD-cleared at 5 years of age).

    I do not believe any US cardiologists have ever stated that CKCS MVD onset rates have improved from following the protocol. All I have heard in that regard is a comment by one cardiologist -- Gil Jacobs -- who said that the onset rate of Cavaliers has been improving among the dogs he had examined recently at CKCS conformation show heart clinics. He was not linking that observation to anyone following the protocol.

    The bottom line is that hardly any CKCS breeders in the US have been following the protocol -- except perhaps occasionally by coincidence as opposed to intention -- and the vast majority of the new AKC-only breeders (new since 1998, that is) do not even know about the protocol, because the AKC's parent club, the American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, refuses to provide any information about it on its website, or even acknowledge its existence.

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    Default MVD Report

    Like you Frecklesmom and Rod ,I don't know what to make of Simon Swift's Article.

    Is he saying not to bother with the UK CKCS Breeding Guidelines, when it was advised to Heart Test and not to Breed from a Cavalier before 2,6 years. He just can't be meaning that surely.

    Has he been misquoted ?

    Is there any-body on the List who actually heard what he said. ?

    This is only second hand ,but I was told that he said at the AGM that the MVD Problem is No Better than it was 20 years ago, that 50 % of Cavaliers will have a Murmur at 5 years of age.

    This could mean that of the 11,000 Cavaliers Registered here in Britain by the Kennel Club last year ,around 6,000 could have a Heart Murmur in 5 years time.

    In Simon Swift's MVD Article ,he mentions about the Accredited Breeders Scheme, I sent for a Copy of the List about a Month ago ,and was disappointed to see a good number of the Top Cavalier Breeders are not involved in this Scheme.

    Bet ( Hargreaves)

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    Default MVD Report,

    Could I add this comment ,that in a 2009 Report by the UK Veterinary Cardiologist ,Simon Swift, to the UK's Cavalier Club .he stated that 50% of Cavaliers still are developing MVD Murmurs by their Fifth Birthday

    This is because most Breeders are not following the MVD Breeding Protocol.

    I have just taken this from a MVD Cavalier Site on the Internet.

    This sure makes sense of Karlin's Post about what Simon Swift had said about 3 years ago.

    Bet( Hargreaves)

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    Hi Bet

    And wellcome to you on CT ,I do relise that you do have great knowledge on
    your specialist subject MVD but I also do hope that I have no reason to resort to this in the future .
    Brian M

    Poppy the Tri, Daisy the Blen, Rosie the Ruby and Lily the B & T

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    Default MVD Report

    Thanks Brian M,and hopefully your 4 legged Friends will be fine. Why I have seemed to go over the Top about Our Cavalier Breed's MVD Problem ,is because I have battled for around 20 years about it .Talk about banging your Head. I just wanted the Cavalier Breeders to make sure that the Sire and Dam of the Puppies they were selling had no sign of Heart Trouble.

    This is why I feel it's so important for Cavalier Breeders to MRI Scan their Breeding Stock.

    Back to the MVD Problem, in the late 1980's ,Dr B Cattanach ,Geneticist ,and Bruce Field ,who was the UK CKCS Club Health Representative ,were involved in trying to get to grips with the MVD in Cavaliers, but had to walk away in disgust because of the Attitude of some Cavalier Breeders.

    Is History Repeating itself,with some Cavalier Breeders' non-co-oporation in MRI Scanning their Cavalier Breeding Stock.

    I was even told by a Cavalier Breeder that they would'nt be getting involved in the EBV Scheme and that some other Cavalier Breeders are saying the same.

    Bet (Hargreaves)

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