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Thread: Shocked !!!!!

  1. #1
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    Default Shocked !!!!!

    Today I attended a cavalier meet-up/ social. There was really a great turn-out. Maybe 25 or more cavaliers. All colors, sizes, ages etc. They were all having a great time. I really didn't know any of the members as this was the first time I had been able to attend a function. As I was mingling, I started asking various members about the ages of their cavaliers and if they were having any of the health concerns that are common to cavaliers. I was absolutely shocked that most of the cavalier owners, I spoke with, had NEVER heard of SM. They had no idea what I was talking about. That was very upsetting to me, as I was with a group of people who seemed to really love and care for their dogs, but had never heard of SM, or knew any of the symptoms. I immediately approached one of the organizers and suggested that at one of the meetings they should have a neurologist speak about SM, the symptoms, treatments and how common it is in our breed. She asked me if I knew a Dr. and I said I had been to one for a consulation. So, I am callling the Dr. tomorrow and ask if she can speak to this group. This group has addressed heart issues, patella, eye, and dental issues, but not SM it seems. I am so concerned that some of these dogs could be having pain and symptoms, but their owners are clueless...

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    Default Shocked

    Quote Originally Posted by jld View Post
    Today I attended a cavalier meet-up/ social. There was really a great turn-out. Maybe 25 or more cavaliers. All colors, sizes, ages etc. They were all having a great time. I really didn't know any of the members as this was the first time I had been able to attend a function. As I was mingling, I started asking various members about the ages of their cavaliers and if they were having any of the health concerns that are common to cavaliers. I was absolutely shocked that most of the cavalier owners, I spoke with, had NEVER heard of SM. They had no idea what I was talking about. That was very upsetting to me, as I was with a group of people who seemed to really love and care for their dogs, but had never heard of SM, or knew any of the symptoms. I immediately approached one of the organizers and suggested that at one of the meetings they should have a neurologist speak about SM, the symptoms, treatments and how common it is in our breed. She asked me if I knew a Dr. and I said I had been to one for a consulation. So, I am callling the Dr. tomorrow and ask if she can speak to this group. This group has addressed heart issues, patella, eye, and dental issues, but not SM it seems. I am so concerned that some of these dogs could be having pain and symptoms, but their owners are clueless...
    SHOCKED

    JID

    This is about the best way to get across to Cavalier and TO BE Cavalier Owners doing what you have done ,this is the only way to make it known about this Horrible Disease.

    Bet
    Bet (Hargreaves)

  3. #3
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    That is really worrying. But it is surprisingly common and yes, disturbing that people are not aware of the issue as SM can be so easily misdiagnosed, and almost always is, as something else -- often for years -- while the affected dog suffers.

    Experiences like this, with large groups of cavalier pet owners, really refute the claims by some involved with the breed clubs that there's too much information out there, that all owners think their dogs have SM, and that vets are inundated with cavaliers that they refer to neurologists who MRI only to find they do not have SM. This ridiculous claim has been made in the US and the UK numerous times now -- yet as we see over and over, vets and even many neurologists don't know the extent of the problem in the breed or (in the case of vets) know it exists at all (and thus will endlessly misdiagnose). There is no constant stream of owners taking cavaliers to vets worried about SM -- if anything, as we have also seen here, the reverse happens: owners with concerns take their dogs to vets unfamiliar with SM who misdiagnose and keep telling the owner nothing is wrong, and the owner has to arrange an MRI for the correct diagnosis themselves; in most cases finding their dog has SM.

    If the breeders and clubs do not take a lead in informing new owners what to watch for, as any decent breeder would with patellas or MVD, then dogs will continue to suffer, as pet owners have few places to get such information and the information on the breed club sites and many breeder-run health sites in most places is alarmingly thin (and in some cases, downright misleading). On some pet focused cavalier discussion sites, discussion of health issues and especially SM is discouraged (or actually banned in at least one site I know about). Hopefully that is changing too, as such an attitude is really head in the sand stuff that causes dogs that people supposedly love, to suffer.

    Responsible owners need to be aware of health issues in the breed they choose to own; simple as that. The only people it will put off taking a cavalier are the people who probably are better off, for any range of reasons, not choosing this breed. When I home rescue dogs I always go through the health issues and generally leave a homing pack. I have never yet had anyone change their mind or decide against a rescue dog because of an honest, open discussion on health -- even with the riskier health profile of a dog of unknown origin.

    It's great that you are organising a discussion for owners as somewhere down the line it will almost certainly benefit some of those owners and their dogs.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Default Shocked!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    That is really worrying. But it is surprisingly common and yes, disturbing that people are not aware of the issue as SM can be so easily misdiagnosed, and almost always is, as something else -- often for years -- while the affected dog suffers.

    Experiences like this, with large groups of cavalier pet owners, really refute the claims by some involved with the breed clubs that there's too much information out there, that all owners think their dogs have SM, and that vets are inundated with cavaliers that they refer to neurologists who MRI only to find they do not have SM. This ridiculous claim has been made in the US and the UK numerous times now -- yet as we see over and over, vets and even many neurologists don't know the extent of the problem in the breed or (in the case of vets) know it exists at all (and thus will endlessly misdiagnose). There is no constant stream of owners taking cavaliers to vets worried about SM -- if anything, as we have also seen here, the reverse happens: owners with concerns take their dogs to vets unfamiliar with SM who misdiagnose and keep telling the owner nothing is wrong, and the owner has to arrange an MRI for the correct diagnosis themselves; in most cases finding their dog has SM.

    If the breeders and clubs do not take a lead in informing new owners what to watch for, as any decent breeder would with patellas or MVD, then dogs will continue to suffer, as pet owners have few places to get such information and the information on the breed club sites and many breeder-run health sites in most places is alarmingly thin (and in some cases, downright misleading). On some pet focused cavalier discussion sites, discussion of health issues and especially SM is discouraged (or actually banned in at least one site I know about). Hopefully that is changing too, as such an attitude is really head in the sand stuff that causes dogs that people supposedly love, to suffer.

    Responsible owners need to be aware of health issues in the breed they choose to own; simple as that. The only people it will put off taking a cavalier are the people who probably are better off, for any range of reasons, not choosing this breed. When I home rescue dogs I always go through the health issues and generally leave a homing pack. I have never yet had anyone change their mind or decide against a rescue dog because of an honest, open discussion on health -- even with the riskier health profile of a dog of unknown origin.

    It's great that you are organising a discussion for owners as somewhere down the line it will almost certainly benefit some of those owners and their dogs.
    SHOCKED !!!!

    Thanks Karlin for your Post,

    What has really Annoyed me , was being Accused of only wanting to cause Trouble when I dare Mention the Health problems in our Cavalier Breed.

    This seems to be the Mentality of some Cavalier Breeders ,

    Keep The Cavalier Health Problems Under Wraps.

    This won't work any-more!!!!

    Thank Goodness for YOU ,THE PDE TV PROGRAM, and INTERNET CAVALIER FORUMS where the Owners of Cavaliers have now been made so aware of the Health Problems in the Cavalier Breed, and are hopefully now Realizing that when they want a Cavalier ,to only get a Cavalier from a Cavalier Breeder who Health Tests their Cavalier Breeding Stock and follows the CKCS CLUB'S Breeding Guidelines Recimmendations.

    If the Cavalier Breeder does not do this , then go to a Cavalier Breeder who cares enough about the Cavalier Breed and is doing this.

    Bet
    Bet (Hargreaves)

  5. #5
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    I wonder if the owner's hadn't heard because their dogs aren't suffering any symptoms? To be perfectly honest I hadn't heard of SM until I was looking for Max. I don't think it was well known in the late nineties when we got Mindy and even once I knew what the symptoms were I knew she hadn't had any. From reading this and other forums I realize she may have been an exceptional dog because even at 12 she didn't have MVD (which I was aware was a breed problem). I know chances aren't great that Max and Rylie will be as lucky health wise.
    Mindy Tri - Feb/97
    Max - Ruby - Sep/08
    Rylie - B&T - June/09

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    Sad but true. I belong to a casual meet up group....I would guess that if you brought up SM maybe 10% would know what you're talking about (that brain thing). When I put out information about upcoming health clinics I get a response from maybe 2 people out of a group of 60 or more. These are people who purchased their dogs off the internet or through a newspaper ad. There was no one to inform them about health issues or encourage them to join a club. They thought the breed was cute and bought one. I find it even more discouraging when I say MVD and they so "what?"

    I had no clue what SM was when I bought Jake in 2002 or Shelby in 2003. I only learned about Cavalier health by joining a club, taking an active role in the breed and through the message boards. The majority of Cavalier owners I meet never get more involved in the breed other than to purchase one. Yes, they make them a part of the family and love their dogs but they don't go beyond dog ownership.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  7. #7
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    A lot of people who stop to make a fuss of my two say 'We're thinking of getting one of these'. What they get is my speech about they're great dogs but they have major health problems, don't buy off the internet or the local paper, do buy from a proper breeder, do ask to see health certificates, do see at least the mother, etc. etc. I'm thinking of putting it on a flyer and carrying them around with me! Us owners who take our Cavaliers out and about with us (even small breeders usually have too many to take into town, on buses, and so on) have a great opportunity to spread the word about MVD and SM and how to avoid some of the pitfalls.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled (who all had a lovely walk in the sunshine today - 5 miles for me, probably nearer 7 for the boys, who were off lead the whole way - not bad for one with SM and the other with a Grade 3 murmur! That's the dogs, not me - I just have old bones!)

  8. #8
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    Wow. that shocking indeed. What I wonder is; how is it possible none of these dogs from the group would be showing symptoms when SM is suspected in 70 percent of the breed?
    U'd think at least some of them have it...
    Mom of Blondie aka The Monster, my furry daughter and loyal friend!!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blondiemonster View Post
    Wow. that shocking indeed. What I wonder is; how is it possible none of these dogs from the group would be showing symptoms when SM is suspected in 70 percent of the breed?
    U'd think at least some of them have it...
    Well, Blondiemonster I need to clarify that I did not speak to everyone in the group, but the ones I did speak to were not aware of SM. When I spoke to one of the group organizers, she was very nice. She said she would love to have an expert ( neurologist) speak to the group. She said the purpose of the group was not only to socialize, but to educate as well. I know all these owners love their dogs, but they were just not educated as to all the health risks. I think, as many of the above posters said, dogs were bought, or rescued, without knowledge of their health issues. These people just need to have the knowledge. I agree with you, out of this large group, I am sure there are symptomatic dogs that have not been diagnosed as having SM because their owners are not aware of what to look for. I am going to do my best to get an expert to speak to this group. As cavalier owners, we need to get this vital information out there to current owners, as well as prospective owners.

  10. #10
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    Even with SM suspected in 70% of the breed I would imagine many would be asymptomatic and would never have been tested. For all I know Mindy may well have had a syrinx had she been scanned and a murmur if she went to a Cardiologist but as she wasn't ever to be bred and didn't have a murmur audible to any of the vets we saw I didn't feel the need. Her paternal grandfather had MVD but died of something else at age nine. Her sire was clear at 5 and her breeder stopped breeding after that. Given I live closer to specialists now I will probably have my boys seen by a cardiologist when they are 3ish - particularly since they both do agility. Since one of Rylie's litter has been kept back she will be scanned if and when the time comes to breed her.
    Mindy Tri - Feb/97
    Max - Ruby - Sep/08
    Rylie - B&T - June/09

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