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Thread: The cavalier breed at a cross-road

  1. #11
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    I just don't understand so please help me because I do care. First, I do know that there are breeders who "show" cavaliers that also have a big interest in health. I'm not sure where to find others. Granted people can lump everyone together but to say to remove show puppies, what would happen to those who do like to show and are extremely proactive in health?

    If researchers selected a group of breeders to take on this task, I think karlin mentioned the KC being behind it, but what happens to breed clubs. Say in the usa, the AKC gives a lot of money along with the ACKCSC charitable trust, and ckcsc usa health trust to fund health research. Would this still happen? Would people still register their cavaliers or would it even be the same breed? Who would organize health clinics, seminars, etc?

    I know people say they are not doing enough but some are. What is the alternative? I'm just asking because these clubs and shows do give money to the health of the breed.

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

  2. #12
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    Default The cavalier breed at a cross road

    Quote Originally Posted by LovesJellyBeans View Post
    I don't want to get slammed for this opinion, but I think at least as start to help the breed there needs to be new genes added to the breed. And try as hard as you possibly can, I'm not sure you are going to find them in Cavaliers. Sure breeding two 'A' clear dogs should result in healthy litters, but that doesn't exclude the possibility of the traits being carried and somehow emerging later. Or worse, this could lead to selectively breeding a new negative trait into the dogs. Would it be so bad to introduce new genes from a different breed of dog? I realize that a lot of the close breeds of dogs and even the founding breeds of dogs also suffer from SM and MVD, but with some exceptionally selective breeding, it would help get a few healthy lines going strong that could be bred into the population, with hopefully new genes that don't lead to these devastating diseases/conditions. Although, I am not an expert at genetics, I do have a fairly strong background in Molecular Biology, and have had the occasion to work with in-bred strains of mice (which have various useful genetic defects that we as scientists manipulate), so the concepts are familiar to me. Maybe it isn't that revolting to most people looking to rebuild the Cavaliers to out-breed with different breeds, but I've gotten the impression that it is a bit taboo, and it probably would never go over with the majority show breeders (who probably only care about the looks not necessarily the health).

    As for the DNA testing... I imagine that they may be able to associate one to five genes, which lead to the smaller skull and CM, which in turn leads to SM, but I doubt they'd ever be able to make a simple enough test that will completely identify dogs that carry these genes and which mixes lead to consequences or not. It doesn't seem to be a simple one hit wonder that could lead to a quick fix.

    THE CAVALIER BREED AT A CROSS ROAD


    Thanks Jellybeans for getting to the Nitty Gritty about this problem in our Cavaliers.

    OK let us who really Love our Cavalier Breed and don't want to let it go, suggest to the Kennel Club because of CM/SM which will finish off the Cavalier Breed,

    No more Breeding of Cavaliers for at least 3-5 years from any Cavalier Breeder,Show Breeder, Puppy Farmer , BYB,

    Let the Researchers tackle these Horrendous Problems to try and over-come the Saving of our Cavalier Breed

    Remember these Health Problems are also Welfare Problems for our Cavaliers.

    This is now a Desperate Time for Cavaliers

    If Cavaliers are continued to be Bred what good is that doing for the Breed,those CM/SM Genes will continue to Multiply,so for goodness sake Bite the Bullet,and let the Breeding of Cavaliers stop for a few years ,however Unpalatable this might be to some.

    Bet
    Bet (Hargreaves)

  3. #13
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    Some questions:
    Popular sire Syndrome has always been a feature of the cavalier show world.
    It seems it's as prevalent now as in the 70s and 80s with some top dogs siring over 100 litters.
    While I agree,it's necessary to examine the need to maintain genetic diversity(hence mate select) and keeping as much genetic diversity as possible is essential,I'm not sure this will make any difference to the CM/SM situation.
    Charlies are also believed to have a high strike rate for SM.
    Assuming that some of the early foundation stock of cavaliers was affected and charlies were interbred until the late 1940's??(any breed historians help me out here),that it(SM) May have been widespread even in the 1950s.Then add in World war 2 and the need to go back into the early dogs again.
    Throw in the popular sires of the 70's,80's and 90's and we are where we are!!
    At what point did the Commercial stock break away from the show stock?
    What would be an interesting exercise,is if Karlin still had copies of the pedigree certs for some of the Irish rescues.I recall seeing the pedigrees of some fosters that I had taken in and I remember seeing the well known affixs on the edge of the last generations...even in my own Daisy's pedigree there are non show lines mixed with some amazing dogs.She has severe SM and no "popular sires" of the 1990s.
    Endorsing pedigrees has never caught on here and I had Daisy to breed from if I had wanted to.I could have bred three litters by now and shared the misery? Her dam had four different owners.None of the owners showed...but they operate(d) on the periphery of the showring and always bought showstock.
    This tells me that it's something that's there from way back...
    In the Uk, puppy farms took hold maybe in the mid 80s,I believe incentivised by Welsh government?
    If SM had been established in the breed,would it not have been in the foundation stock of the commercial breeders at that point?
    You're probably better off looking for breeders who operated back in the 80s in close proximity to the larger kennels,who always had a bitch or two and maybe used an occasional sire from a well known kennel.They may have non show stock from older lines?
    I guess we'll have to wait until a test comes out for genetic markers and perhaps then run a wider screening programme across the population,but in the meantime,we are at a crossroads,but breeders don't know which fork to take...seems there's two much fighting underneath the signposts for any group to make a lot of progress.Too much work going into putting barriers in roads to slow progress,not to mention the naturally occuring potholes.
    Bit of a mess really isn't it?
    Sins

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    Another thought provoking and good post Sins, thankyou.
    I came back from Australia in 1969 wanting a Cavalier and had quite a difficult task sourcing one in my area compared to other breeds. We didn't even have breed classes at the local shows, having to go in with the Any Varieties!
    I feel it all changed in 1973 with the win of Ch. Alansmere Aquarius at Crufts, the popularity of the breed sky rocketed and the puppy farming took off. It seems incredible now but I can remember being in shock when I discovered Cavaliers were in need of a Rescue !!

    In the early 90's I took in my first puppy farm boy at 6 months, you know the ones, they arrive in a car park in the boot of a car, questionable papers with unrecognisable names (bar one that I remember). The breeder had Westies too which was another breed puppy farmed alongside cavaliers. The person who took this boy tired of him when he reached six months which is how he came to live with me. I knew nothing of SM back then, but I would put money on it that he suffered from it. He was always an odd boy and preferred not to be handled, he went prematurely stone deaf and ended up with scoliosis and the most dreadful MVD but battled on until 12yrs and 2months.

    Going back to my being in Australia, I was very fortunate to look after an imported Champion over there and I have since been quizzed about him because he was a direct close descendent to one of the two bitches mentioned early in Claire Rusbridge's research. Although my answer can't carry any weight because I was only with him a year, he was a fit, healthy and beautiful cavalier, and was the reason I fell in love with the breed, I certainly saw nothing untoward.

  5. #15
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    SM was undoubtedly around back in the 1960s, some breeders have recalled having cavaliers that they could not walk on a lead. Obviously a lot of mildly affected dogs would have remained undetected.

    Cavaliers all over the world, whether show lines or puppy farm stock descend from the founding dogs, but they will not have all developed in the same way.

    Some countries were hard hit by SM a good few years before the UK, probably because particular imported UK dogs were used extensively at stud on the small population of resident cavaliers.
    Other countries seem to have little SM in their home-bred stock although the use of unscanned UK imports will probably soon change that.

    Puppy farm stock would be descended from the original founding dogs, but if they remained as a separate sub-population and the stud dogs used on them were not so line bred then they could offer different cavalier genes, and some of them may have less severe CM.

    It is obviously wrong to draw conclusions from just one dog, and as I said this is just speculation on my part, but this thought was prompted by the fact that at the London Pet Show I was given the pedigree of a scanned ( at 4 years ) grade A dog where the the few names with affixes in the pedigree were well known PF names ( there were a couple of show champions in the fifth generation)

    The owner had him scanned because her other dog had severe SM and she wanted to know whether he was also affected. He was KC registered and his COI was 1.3%

    You are right Sins, it is a mess, one we got into unknowingly and no one is to blame for what happened originally, but that cannot still be said now.

    This is not the researchers responsibility, or the KC or the BVA , it is the cavalier club members responsibility to bite the bullet,and however inconvenient, do what is necessary to breed away from the inherited problems in the breed and try and establish a nucleus of healthier cavaliers for the future.

    There is a simple rule of thumb to indicate who is an irresponsible breeder even if it is not possible to check whether health tests have been done.
    These days no responsible breeder should mate a dog or bitch younger than 2.5 years.....................So why is there at least one underage parent in half the litters registered by club members?
    Margaret C

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

  6. #16
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    Default The cavalier breed at a cross road

    Quote Originally Posted by Margaret C View Post
    SM was undoubtedly around back in the 1960s, some breeders have recalled having cavaliers that they could not walk on a lead. Obviously a lot of mildly affected dogs would have remained undetected.

    Cavaliers all over the world, whether show lines or puppy farm stock descend from the founding dogs, but they will not have all developed in the same way.

    Some countries were hard hit by SM a good few years before the UK, probably because particular imported UK dogs were used extensively at stud on the small population of resident cavaliers.
    Other countries seem to have little SM in their home-bred stock although the use of unscanned UK imports will probably soon change that.

    Puppy farm stock would be descended from the original founding dogs, but if they remained as a separate sub-population and the stud dogs used on them were not so line bred then they could offer different cavalier genes, and some of them may have less severe CM.

    It is obviously wrong to draw conclusions from just one dog, and as I said this is just speculation on my part, but this thought was prompted by the fact that at the London Pet Show I was given the pedigree of a scanned ( at 4 years ) grade A dog where the the few names with affixes in the pedigree were well known PF names ( there were a couple of show champions in the fifth generation)

    The owner had him scanned because her other dog had severe SM and she wanted to know whether he was also affected. He was KC registered and his COI was 1.3%

    You are right Sins, it is a mess, one we got into unknowingly and no one is to blame for what happened originally, but that cannot still be said now.

    This is not the researchers responsibility, or the KC or the BVA , it is the cavalier club members responsibility to bite the bullet,and however inconvenient, do what is necessary to breed away from the inherited problems in the breed and try and establish a nucleus of healthier cavaliers for the future.

    There is a simple rule of thumb to indicate who is an irresponsible breeder even if it is not possible to check whether health tests have been done.
    These days no responsible breeder should mate a dog or bitch younger than 2.5 years.....................So why is there at least one underage parent in half the litters registered by club members?


    THE CAVALIER BREED AT A CROSS ROAD


    I think that many Lovers of Cavaliers have realized that the Cavalier Breed is now Over-Whelmed by the CM Problem ,that about 90% of Cavaliers are suffering from this Condition ,which is Chacterized by Brains being Too Big for the Skulls.

    To have been given more Worrying Information was the Fact that 85 Whelps Researched for the Foetal Tissue Research All (100% )had CM

    As I have mentioned before, this can hinder the Flow of the Cerebro Spinal Fluid ,cause Syrinxes to form and lead to SM.

    Because this is now so Prevalent and it is along with SM complex Conditions ,meaning that it is likely that Several /Many Genes are involved,as LovesJellyBeans has just Posted mentioned that even if the Researchers were able to make a Simple enough Test that will completely Identify Dogs that carry those Genes and which Mixes lead to Consequences or not ,because of the Complex Nature of this Problem in Cavaliers as has now been discovered that there are Several Genes or even Many Involved.

    This CM Problem now seems to be out of control for our Cavaliers.

    I wonder how many of the 555 Cavaliers quoted in the Recent Veterinary Paper just Published ,70% had SM at 6 years of age,also had CM.

    I know it was mentioned that 29 Cavaliers MRI Scanned at 6 years and over, 26 had CM.

    I think that there are 3 Ways forward for our Cavalier Breed.

    STOP BREEDING FOR A FEW YEARS ,let the Researchers be given time to discover if they can find those CM/SM Genes, because by keeping on Breeding Cavalier those CM/SM Genes will just keep on Multiplying.


    Get Fresh Genes from Other Sources ,be it Puppy Farms, BYB's or where-ever.

    Or Out -Crossing Cavaliers to another Breed.

    We cannot stand by any-longer ,the Cavalier Breed just can't Survive much Longer.

    We have got to Face Up to this Fact.


    Bet
    Bet (Hargreaves)

  7. #17
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    STOP BREEDING FOR A FEW YEARS ,let the Researchers be given time to discover if they can find those CM/SM Genes, because by keeping on Breeding Cavalier those CM/SM Genes will just keep on Multiplying.
    That doesn't make sense to me Bet.
    You would effectively remove several generations of breeding bitches from the genepool,decimating the breed and wiping out any chance of maintaining genetic diversity.
    How can you justify this to breeders who have bitches now of over 2.5 years old,CM only and no symptoms whatsoever?
    To ask them not to breed from their bitches and prevent them from possibly producing similarly healthy offspring and to prevent those in turn from reproducing?
    I have tremendous respect for breeders who are determined to keep breeding through the crisis .
    Some are making good progress,many are just keeping themselves ticking over,cautiously producing a litter here and there until more is known about CM/SM.
    There are a number of ways forward..
    and none of them needing a scorched earth policy like you appear to be recommending.
    Sins

  8. #18
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    How can you justify this to breeders who have bitches now of over 2.5 years old,CM only and no symptoms whatsoever?
    I am concerned a Cavalier with CM and not showing present signs of symptoms will become acceptable! Dougall has CM, he did not appear
    to show signs of pain or discomfort. I scanned him purely on a "I need to know basis".


    Before the MRI and treatment, we assumed he was a quiet dog. After the MRI and treatment (pain relief) he became a cheeky naughty little dog.


    We have no idea whether a dog with mild cm showing no symptoms is suffering. Cavaliers with severe sm are still sweet and waggy tailed .
    The Cavaliers have high levels of Serotonin which give them this happy disposition.

    CM cannot be accepted as ok.
    Tania and The Three Cavaliers!
    Dotty!- A Sweet Little Tri
    Molly - Pretty Tri Dougall - Gorgeous Blenheim

  9. #19
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    I agree Tania,
    But taking into account current breeding stock which has already been scanned,"CM only" is achievable if breeders aim for it.
    CM free status is simply not achievable at this present time.
    I think it's quite a worthy and practical interim goal to aim for while researchers get on with their work.
    When and if the mechanism for CM formation is understood at molecular level,then maybe the search can begin for sub populations of cavaliers who may be CM free,or the scene may be set for an outcross to a different breed.
    Sadly,there are many who already feel that a syrinx is a "benign anatomical feature" and not a problem.
    I feel sorry for the truly health focused breeder caught in the middle of this mess.
    On one hand they're being branded as zealots and mavericks for trying to do the right thing and told that they're destroying the breed.Then on the other hand they're told that their efforts to reduce the incidence of SM isn't good enough,even though they breed A to A and have had tangible improvements in their stock.They donate lost puppies to FTR,they take the remains of their much loved dog for post mortem and it's just not good enough???
    No wonder breeders are walking away in despair.
    I'm convinced though,that the luckiest breeders are the ones who never frequent message boards...they can get on with their business without having to read some of the bizarre demands and suggestions that pass for expert opinion.
    I genuinely hope that a subpopulation of cavalier breeders can keep a cool head and hold their nerve and salvage this breed in what's a virtually uninhabitable atmosphere.
    Sins

  10. #20
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    Thank you Sins. It is shame and is that that these breeders give up. Even those that are doing everything for the future health of the breed get criticized and not from other breeders. Thatís all I will say publically, but even staying off message boards will not stop what is said other places.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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