20th August 2010, 11:35 AM
Human beings, who by and large are not inbred or even line bred, and at least in the UK are a mongrel mixture of breeds, die prematurely of heart attacks, strokes and cancers, many of which are hereditary; they suffer from epilepsy, SM, muscular dystrophy (hereditary), multiple sclerosis, immune diseases, haemophilia (hereditary), mental health problems, etc, etc. Yet most human beings are wonderful, and the human body generally does a great job. Our Cavaliers ARE wonderful - get two Cavalier owners together and they will start telling each other how wonderful their dogs are. And even when we have coped with MVD and SM, we still buy another one because, for us, there is no other breed quite like them.
If Belinda of Saxham, so far back, had MVD (though there are a lot of other heart diseases that dogs can die of), perhaps she inherited it from the King Charles Spaniels who were the forebears of Cavaliers, and it was not the fault of the early Cavalier breeders at all. Charlies, with their domed heads and flat faces, are just as much a 'designer' breed as Cavaliers, and they have their own disease problems - but not so obvious because there are far fewer of them. Blaming breeders about whom you know little and never met is rather like a human being blaming their cancer on a great-great-great-great grandfather who might have introduced the cancer gene into the family. We just don't know, and it's a waste of time trying to find a culprit. So please save your energy to attack the modern breeders who refuse to learn from the past - you do a great job there, Bet, for which we all admire you!
Kate, Oliver and Aled
20th August 2010, 12:29 PM
Well put again Kate.
Let's all try through thoughtful puppy buying, pressure on breed clubs and kennel clubs, fundraising and strong support for research and breeders who do use the testing tools that are there, to focus on the breed's present and a healthier future. Today's breeders have the chance to give a legacy of greater health to future generations of the breed and future breeders -- but this will involve tough decisions, personal sacrifice and cost, and doing the right thing.
At the same time, Griffon breeder Lee Pieterse, who has really been outstanding in raising awareness of this condition in her own breed, has already shown that careful breeding using the best available dogs can within only a couple of generations, start to put a line back on a healthy track and breed away from SM. So there are near term results for health-focused breeders too -- it isn't all about distant goals with no immediate benefit to the breeders of today.
Likewise: supporting the health of this breed for the *puppy buyer* -- you and me -- ALSO means some personal and financial cost. We need to take the time to properly check out a breeder, ask for the test results, educate ourselves so we know what we are asking for and seeing and why to ask, and we will undoubtedly pay more for a puppy from a dedicated, health-testing breeder. We will pay for quality. But we are also paying not just for the puppy but also the future of the breed by supporting these caring, focused breeders. They will stop breeding, and some may give up on taking a more health-focused approach, if pet buyers do not understand they need to pay for the quality they want now and into the future. When a puppy buyer goes for the cheap unhealth-tested line -- we condemn the breed further. Simple as that. We the buyers have *just as much responsibility* towards health by supporting the good breeders. I cannot stress this enough.
In memory: Lucy
20th August 2010, 03:40 PM
Cavaliers of the past
Originally Posted by Kate H
CAVALIERS OF THE PAST.
I don't think I have expressed my-self very well.
I am in no way blaming Belinda of Saxham for the Heart Trouble that afflicts our Cavaliers, it was Katie Elred her -self who owned Belinda who told me about Belinda of Saxham.
What I did'nt make clear is how the Genes for Heart Trouble were in the Cavalier Breed since at least the 1940's, and in the 1950's Cavaliers were being used at Stud who were suffering from Heart Trouble,
I know of those Cavaliers ,and have passed all this information onto the MVD Researchers when I was wondering if because of the Heart Problem being known about at that time ,those Faulty Genes could have come down through the Cavalier Generations, and maybe there are now many Cavalier Carriers around to-day with those Genes.
The Answer I got back from Two different Sources was ,yes this is a Possibility.
And yes ,sad to say some of the Cavalier Breeders in the early days did know about their Cavaliers Heart problems ,and like some of to-days' Cavalier Breeders continued to use them at Stud.
No ,I have never met with many of those Cavalier Breeders ,but when I was collecting the Ages of their Long Lived Cavaliers ,I spoke to them on the Phone.
Whether it was because of my Scots ' Accent ,but they gave me this Information,which I passed onto the Heart Researchers.