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Thread: Everybody Else's Problem

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbieswan View Post
    Seems to me that buying a puppy is a lucky dip...you do your research and you still end up with a puppy with a disease, or you take a chance and buy from a puppymill and still end up with the same. Is there a failsafe way of making sure?
    No, but you can improve your odds of getting a healthy puppy, and at the same time reward those that care about the dogs they breed, by buying from someone that health tests AND breeds according to the guidelines.
    Margaret C

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

  2. #52
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    Leaving health issues aside..why would anyone buy a puppy from a puppymill?
    What about that gorgeous pup's mother? Caged in filth and inhumane conditions?
    While puppy mill customers cuddle their lovely puppies,who's cuddling it's mum? or do they ever give her a thought?
    She probably doesn't have a name - she's probably just a piece of inventory,useeful when she's producing and a liability to be disposed of when she's not.
    If people want a cavalier,it's far better to rescue an adult cavalier than to line the pockets of puppymillers.
    My first cavalier was a family pet,nicely bred,bought to help my son come to terms with his fear of dogs.He has Aspergers and having her had helped him so much.Her breeder didn't test..and SM was only being highlighted as an emerging disease.
    However,she was a veterinary nightmare,each event being recorded on this site over the last four and half years(yes It's a long time to belong to a message board).
    She's had Eye infections
    Entropion
    puppy strangles
    ear infections
    impacted anal glands
    gastroenteritis
    Skin infection
    Syringomyelia...(she takes frusemide,Rimadyl and gabapentin).
    Total cost so far approx €2,000
    My insurance company aren't interested.
    My other two came from a different breeder.
    My second has cost me €30 for a microchip and €70 for a booster vaccination and that's been it.She'll be two in october.
    My third hasn't cost me a cent yet.
    I have some lovely "family album" photos of my latest two cavaliers with their parents.(although Holly's Dad looks a bit grumpy cos he didn't realise she was his daughter instead of a visiting bitch)
    I have a particularly nice one of my latest puppy on my lap with her Mum and gran.
    The price differential between my first and second cavalier was €160.
    The reality is that you are far less likely to end up with a very sick puppy,if you choose a reputable breeder who breeds with the welfare of the parents and the puppies as a major concern.
    Healthy parents are more likely to produce healthy puppies,and if a breeder can't verify the health status of the parents,then they're not breeding for health or for the benefit of their customers.
    By choosing a health focused breeder,you can stack the odds heavily in your favour and remove the "lucky dip" element.
    No breeder can 100% guarantee that a living creature will be free from defect or illness,but they can try to do all that is reasonably practicable to put systems in place to reduce the likelihood of some early onset inherited problem happening in your pet.
    But certainly,you can try the lucky dip from a BYB or puppy miller...you might be lucky.But you're gambling a lot of money and potential heartache on the outcome.
    Sins

  3. #53
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    Ive read this thread with distust and sadness. I was, for personal reasons I wont go into totally offended by the "Hitler" comment made against Karen and I applaud Karlin for stepping in and removing Goda from this wonderful forum.
    The truly tragic thing is that Goda could have learnt so much that would have undoubtly helped poor little Luka in the future, not to mention the support she could receive from other members who's dogs suffer from this terrible disease.

    How sad for her and her dogs.
    Mel
    Momma to Leonardo (Leo to his friends)

  4. #54
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    Great post, Sins, could not agree more. Your latter two dogs come from someone health focused and testing, and you have seen the results.

    Margaret said:

    The same of course cannot be said of the large volume breeders that control the Cavalier Clubs. They are now well aware of how many cavaliers are showing up as affected.
    Yes, this is what is so frustrating -- and very obviously is causing a major change of opinion towards many of the controllers, who keep hiding the seriousness of the issue, amongst many decent smaller breeders who once thought the problem might be exaggerated then began to get back reports of affected dogs of their breeding or had the tragedy of owning an affected dog themselves. But the ones running the clubs are under national and international scrutiny now. Some things are already changing in the right direction. Many keep a low profile but scanning days at the various centres now fill, fresh initiatives have been launched by the KC, and at last, some pressure is on.

    It is so important for every owner of a diagnosed dog to let their breeder know, too. Ideally the breeder will not only be a great source of support and information but will also use that information to reassess their breeding programme. If the breeder is one of the ones mistakenly assuming they cannot have any SM in their lines, or worse, one already lying when they know they do and hide that fact -- well, at least they have been informed (I always suggest a registered letter so you know they get it and cannot as easily lie and say that they don't know of a single case of SM in their dogs. It provides useful evidence too).

    There are well-known health focused breeders who have already hugely reduced the incidence of early onset and severe MVD and/or SM in their lines. There are also several generations of breeding results now that show that both cavalier and griffon breeders have started with a D or F graded dog, unknowingly (because scanned after the fact) and through breeding to A dogs, have consistently produced mostly A offspring. Clare Rusbridge has made these results available in the past and regularly goes through them at her talks.

    So getting a puppy is far from a lucky dip unless you opt for one from someone who doesn't do any, or minimal, health testing. A buyer is playing with positively loaded dice if they work with a good breeder, plus they will have an honest and supportive source of cavalier information for life.

    There will always be exceptions -- that is basic Mendelian genetics -- but all evidence has shown breeding for health heavily tilts the results towards healthier dogs, and as every breeder knows, you can select for the qualities you want, whether in terms of health or appearance, and vasty increase the number of dogs that will have the qualities you want. Despite the attitude of some breeders towards working towards health ('a crap shoot' is a favourite term... ) oddly enough not a single one of these people, or any show breeder, views breeding for *appearance* as a crap shoot. Otherwise why bother paying for the service of costly studs whose qualities are winning in the ring, or why not just buy in some random and cheap breeding bitches?
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  5. #55
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    Leaving health issues aside..why would anyone buy a puppy from a puppymill?
    What about that gorgeous pup's mother? Caged in filth and inhumane conditions?
    While puppy mill customers cuddle their lovely puppies,who's cuddling it's mum? or do they ever give her a thought?
    She probably doesn't have a name - she's probably just a piece of inventory,useeful when she's producing and a liability to be disposed of when she's not.
    So well said! I wish people would internalize this when they are looking at those "cute little puppies" at the pet store.

    But the ones running the clubs are under national and international scrutiny now. Some things are already changing in the right direction. Many keep a low profile but scanning days at the various centres now fill, fresh initiatives have been launched by the KC, and at last, some pressure is on.
    I wish this were true in the US. There is very little mention of SM or making MRI a standard test in most US Cavalier local, regional and national club sites. With the headway being shown by the Dutch breeders with regard to lessening the impact of SM by using approved breeding protocols, hopefully more clubs and breeders will get the message. One thing I know for sure, we need many more low cost MRI clinics here in the US.

    J.
    J. and pups, Gem, Monty, Harley and Sapphire

  6. #56
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    Just one point in relation to this very long and obviously contentious post. All the members of this excellent forum are obviously well informed, lovers of the breed with only the best interests of the breed at heart. Quite a high proportion of forum members would also seem to have SM or MVD affected cavaliers. The total number of forum members would represent only a tiny percentage of cavalier owners across the world.

    It gives you some idea of the enormity of the challenge we face in educating the puppy buying public and breeders if such a well informed group like this has such a high proportion of cavaliers suffering from the main health issues affecting the breed. I guess my point is WE were all just like any joe soap looking for a puppy, oblivious to the health issues that we now know so much about. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, they only do the research after a health proplem rears its head -they just see 'cute puppy' and buy. And it is hard to be too judgemental when a lot of us have been in that same position.

    Don't get me wrong, of course we should continue trying to educate the puppy buying public and breeders- dare I say it, it is probably one of the most important roles of forums like this. But I personally would not be too harsh on the average person who buys a puppy, not knowing about SM -after all, it has often been pointed out here that even some of our VETS know little about it.

    I recently rescued a 2 year old cavalier fully aware of the health issues that come with owning one of these wonderful dogs, but it was only through visiting this forum after my last cavalier died that I became fully aware of the horrors of SM. And I read books on the breed at the time I got my first puppies -ZERO mention of SM. I am now convinced that one of my first two cavaliers had SM and was never diagnosed. And he was never diagnosed, because I didnt know the signs, and even though I feel guilty about that and wonder did he suffer much, I would say I would have done above average research before I bought him as a puppy. Back in the 90s, SM was not on the radar. Let us continue to educate and inform through this forum but avoid judging those might not be as well informed as we (now) are.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay View Post
    ...I wish this were true in the US. There is very little mention of SM or making MRI a standard test in most US Cavalier local, regional and national club sites. ...
    In the US, the same is true of mitral valve disease. Just imagine! The two most severe and majorly widespread genetic disorders in this precious breed, MVD and CM/SM, and neither national breed club will go so far as to just suggest that their members voluntarily follow either of the breeding protocols!
    Rod Russell

  8. #58
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    But I personally would not be too harsh on the average person who buys a puppy, not knowing about SM -after all, it has often been pointed out here that even some of our VETS know little about it.
    Oh, definitely. The point I think we have all made here, and made in many places on the board over the years, is that there really is no blame on the people who buy without knowing -- indeed many of these people end up the sad victims of the breeders who DO know about the problems, and should be testing and following breeding protocols, whatever the breed. This is even more true now, I think, where people think buying a puppy over the Internet is like going to Amazon for a book–you just pick out something you like because after all, breeders must love their dogs. Many of the breeders who have websites are amongst the worst–after a time, you can spot the red flag of someone saying things they know will deceive the average underinformed or just partly informed person who is trying to do their best to find a quality puppy, bred for health. but it takes a lot of initial research and knowledge to be able to pick out these duplicitous sites.

    Just “seeing the mother” is not enough for any breed and yet this is the main piece of advice most vets seem to give!. Another common comment by puppy buyers that you see is that they “are not looking for a show dog” so therefore they don't even consider going to show breeders–and yet with only very rare exceptions, it is only show breeders who will put the time, effort, and money into breeding for health, even though it is few enough of these and it takes hard research to find them.

    However, I do think it is really sad that the average person will spend more time researching the purchase of a refrigerator or microwave then they will a dog breed and breeders.

    It actually takes very little time googling Cavaliers to have the health issues highlighted these days–I bought my first puppy in 2003, and within days I was aware that I would have to look very hard for breeders who were actually cardiologist and not vet testing their dogs' hearts, and that were following the MVD protocol. I also even at that early point had started to come across the mention of syringomyelia. At the time, there was no single website to go to for information just on SM, so for my own convenience I started to assemble links onto a website, and that turned into www.smavalier.com.

    I have no hesitation in putting blame for poor breed health directly at the door of those puppy buyers who DO know about SM and MVD, and yet do not choose a breeder that is doing the needed testing and following the breeding protocols, because that is a conscious decision to place breed health as the lowest priority. That decision, and the support given to the breeder who does nothing to improve breed health, has already made MVD (and increasingly, SM) endemic breed problems. Too many buyers claim that they care about health, and then buy the first puppy that is available to them, or the cheapest, or the one their neighbor bred (we have all seen it happen with people who join this site claiming they want a healthy puppy and are looking for a good breeder and go to someone who is truly ghastly). Ethically, they are no different from a puppy farmer or the breeder who breeds untested dogs or underage dogs. The damage inflicted on the breed, and the risk of individual puppies growing up to suffer and lead a compromised, shortened life, is directly subsidized by such people. We puppy buyers need to be responsible too and support good breeders who care about this breed's health and future.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  9. #59
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    Hi
    I like many others had absolutely no idea of any problems with our Cavaliers so my first place to look at was The Kennel Clubs
    website and their accredited breeder list so thats how I got Poppy ,then we decided we wanted a quality Cavalier from champion lines so in came Daisy and then shortly back to The Kennel Club scheme for Rosie .They all came at six monthly intervals and after three arrivals we thought no more as we just wanted three Pets only and we had no interest in breeding or showing .Then along came C.T. and a huge learning curve and after twelve months we decided to complete the set and my search begin for a Black and Tan girl from A Grade parents with all the paper work began ,and I couldnt find any in The U.k. so we contacted Margaret and after her help found a little B & T aged 11 months in Glasgow that met all the necessary criteria so in came our Lily .
    Without the help of CavalierTalk and The Web its probable that my knowledge even now would be so limited that we could still have no idea of these dreadful problems and during my many visits to the Vets there has never once been any mention of SM or MVD.
    Brian M

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

  10. #60
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    Many of the breeders who have websites are amongst the worst–after a time, you can spot the red flag of someone saying things they know will deceive the average underinformed or just partly informed person who is trying to do their best to find a quality puppy, bred for health. but it takes a lot of initial research and knowledge to be able to pick out these duplicitous sites.

    I agree Karlin, sadly the ones that advertise and pretend they are walking on water are the one's that deceive unsuspecting buyers. I have looked at a number of these websites, and the breeders often have a whole section dedicated to Health, but all they say is and how healthy their dogs an puppies are and theat they've been wormed! They don't mention one health test they have done, nor do they mention SM or often even hearts as a problem. But it sounds really grand and authoritative!

    I was lucky to find a breeder who did test, but she didn't need to advertise nor have a Website as she didn't have litters often and always had ready buyers when she did.

    It is hard to find these people because they don't churn puppies out. And it's even harder for a first time buyer, because often they don't know where to look.
    Sometimes they are pointed in the right direction, but decide they don't want to wait, or Horror! don't want to pay an extra £100 or so.

    I Just want to hark back to some of the appalling comments made earlier on in this thread (where I sat on my hands and fumed)

    One member said that if a breeder can't afford to test their dogs, then they shouldn't be breeding. For that she was the subject of very abusive remarks; I will say now I completely agree with her statement. A breeder makes money from the sale of puppies, so the first priority is to ensure that any profits go back into the welfare of their dogs, by ensuring they have all the appropriate tests, and are kept in excellent conditions. It's a no-brainer! Dogs are not commodities, and I wish as well as everything else that new buyers would take time to look at the conditions that the breeding stock are kept in, before thinking about buying a puppy!!

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