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Thread: SM Protocol and buying a puppy in the USA

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    Default SM Protocol and buying a puppy in the USA

    I don't know if this is the right place to post this. Now that I am thinking of sometime in the future (a year or so who knows) of either buying a puppy or rescue, some things have crossed my mind. I have looked at the UK club list of breeders who scan. That's great but most of them are not in the South. I am a little different than the average pet buyer because I am familiar with some websites like Laura Lang and Anne Eckersley's and certain protocols.

    If I or someone not familiar with MRI's contacted one of the recommended breeders on their sites and the breeder DID scan, how could the average pet buyer know what the images mean? I might be able to see a syrinx and have someone help me, but scanning doesn't mean much if they are not good results especially if they are symptomatic. I feel even a good result without SM but having symptoms from CM should not be breed either.

    I have heard stories of a breeder wanting to breed a cavalier that was symptomatic even with MRI results showing SM. I asked someone on this forum about how she heard of a breeder giving false MRI's that were altered. I strongly feel there are GREAT breeders but I would like to share with others on how to find them or make it easier for Breeders and pet buyers.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    The post I have on this site on buying puppies explains what to ask about on MRIs. Many of the links on the Buying a Puppy sidebar on the main page also explain this.

    There is no way to vet breeders or their truth or honesty about scans. A health registry listing results would be a start but breeders, outside the usual health-committed few, have shown little interest in doing this and either it eventually has to be forced on breeders as a requirement or get major buy-in from clubs (and/or their (so-called) health representatives).

    Basically as when buying just about anything, it is up to the user to learn as much as possible -- that is why I set up the separate panel on the main page with links that will provide basic information. These explain things in as simple language and terminology as possible. We really cannot do much more than that, as understanding MRIs cannot be made simpler. A specialist is needed to interpret them, though people can learn to recognise some basics.

    But you do not need to interpret them yourself anyway. The point is not to ask for the MRIs at all -- as the puppy guides states -- it is to ask for the MRI *certificates* (where the scanning neurologist will note whether there's a syrinx etc). If only the breeder is interpreting the scans I consider that pretty valueless.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Default Certificates in the USA

    Karlin,

    When I asked Ella's neurologist about this because he is listed on Rod's site as a low cost center for breeders, he said no breeder has asked for a certificate. He did not know about them. I think people around here are now going to NC State but logistically, there are low cost centers so spread out. I would imagine even for the health focused breeder, that would be difficult. I know there are more breeders up North doing this, but I am just thinking of how to help them and pet buyers. His low cost was a lot more than most so I don't imagine many breeders going to him now especially since NC State is now offering lower cost, but others in the South? If I was a breeder, it would be a lot to drive, fly etc. to these places.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    Just to add, it would be a lot for me to fly up North and then find out that I did not want the puppy or did not connect to them. For me, it is about that connection and seeing the puppies. I mentioned Rescue which I know none of this would be done which is one reason I am hesitant about that.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    I may not be completely computing what you're asking (sick and tired, apologies), but I wish there was a list too. I know of one scanned dog in the south, the others I contacted were up north. One option may be finding a breeder who can show you all the certificates, and then planning a vacation in the area. That way, you could possibly meet with the breeder/puppy at least twice, and if it didn't work out, well then at least it was a fun trip . Also, try contacting Auburn University Vet School. They are within a couple hours (or less) of Atlanta, and have (or at least had) a low cost MRI program. Maybe they can help you find a breeder in the south?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Furrfoot View Post
    I may not be completely computing what you're asking (sick and tired, apologies), but I wish there was a list too. I know of one scanned dog in the south, the others I contacted were up north. One option may be finding a breeder who can show you all the certificates, and then planning a vacation in the area. That way, you could possibly meet with the breeder/puppy at least twice, and if it didn't work out, well then at least it was a fun trip . Also, try contacting Auburn University Vet School. They are within a couple hours (or less) of Atlanta, and have (or at least had) a low cost MRI program. Maybe they can help you find a breeder in the south?
    I'm actually in NC and I am joining an ACKCSC Regional Club and I know that there are breeders that scanned at NC State. I know some did before with Ella's neurologist, but there are no certificates. I very well could travel in the future but I am mainly wanting to help others. If they did do an MRI, why are only some submitted so they are on the UK site. I'm sure, in fact I know, there are some that had good scans but don't think they are listed.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    I'm not really knowing what I'm asking. I don't know about certificates. MRI scans for breeders are costly in the USA. I don't know how to help breeders and pet owners.

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    I guess you would need to find out how the voluntary list got started in the UK? I'm really kinda surprised that there isn't a list here...I don't know what it would take, either . The one dog I know of was scanned in the UK and is on that list. I'm blanking on what it's called at the moment...argh.

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    I started the voluntary MRI list years ago when I was the UK Cavalier Club health representative. At that time breeders had to send a copy of the report or certificate to show that the dog had actually been scanned although they could delete the results.

    USA breeders may not get a certificate but I know that even then many of them were given written reports about the results of their cavaliers' MRI scan.
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

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    You are right, only some neurologists issue certs in line with what was agreed at the London SM symposium. Almost none in the US: LIVS does I believe. But there should be a written summary from the neurologist. Otherwise if a buyer feels they do not understand MRIs perhaps pay a neurologist to give a consult on the images -- similar to taking a used car you want to buy to a mechanic for an opinion. But I have never heard of scans being done without the neuro issuing some form of written results.

    There isn't any easier solution. So, I would be asking for the neurologist's summary/analysis that came with the scan if there's no cert. If the breeder doesn;t have that or won't give it, then that would seem suspicious or at least very odd.

    Breeders themselves have to decide to create a roster of scanning breeders and be PUBLIC about the results. I am quite aware from other breeders that some breeders have had a single dog scanned to be listed on the UK club site as 'scanning' just so they appear to be 'a scanning breeder' and even though their result was not likely to have been very good -- as they have refused to share it with other breeders.

    So I would consider any such list as only the most basic starting point and would want a LOT more info about scan results, breeding programme, which other reputable breeders rate them and so on, before I'd even think of getting a puppy from them.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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