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Thread: Sad about our Cav's

  1. #1
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    Default Sad about our Cav's

    I don't really know if this is the right area to post this in, but I am just sad today...so sad about our cavaliers and their health issues. I feel that we cannot escape them, even if we run fast enough (and I feel like I try to run away from it every day). I hate being paranoid all the time. I hate always wondering. I hate looking at Brooklyn and knowing in my gut something might be wrong. My heart aches, for her, for you all, for your dogs, and for all the puppies that aren't even born yet who will be birthed into a world of unknowns.

    I met a woman at the dog park today with two SM affected cavs, her stories of their pain broke my heart. All I wanted to do was fix them. Fix all of them.

    I sometimes day dream about taking every cavalier into my home and healing them all. Making them okay. Making them live a life they deserve. I look at Brooklyn sometimes and just pray. I pray that she gets to live the life she deserves. She is a wonderful being. She is the most special creature I have ever seen. And it wasn't until her that I started to believe in god again...something special gave me this gift of love and I just want her protected, always. God gave her to me to keep me going through my own struggles of pain and disease...and what if the tables ever turn? Sometimes I feel like I am selfish, because I need her so much. She can't get sick because I need her to take care of me. But I know she needs me too. She is my other half, the pea in my pod. She is my left hand, my laughter, my Kleenex. She is something special, like all of our Cavs...they are one special breed and I am constantly amazed by how much they change our lives in remarkable ways.

    Sorry for the endless rant...I don't even know the point of this post. I guess I am just emotional about my brain that never stop thinking about the "what if..." and "how do I...". You are all such wonderful people, our dogs are such wonderful creatures and I just wish our "health" section of the board could remain empty forever, and all we wrote about is how our cav ate the herb garden, or frolicked in the sand. And we posted funny pictures of our dogs in weird sleeping positions all day or videos of them chasing the cat. Yeah, that would be nice. I bet that is what Cavalier Talk is like in heaven...and we are all good photographers up there too

  2. #2
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    I think we all feel like this at times - if it's not SM, it's heart problems, or infected anal glands, or something. I listen to friends who try so hard to breed healthy Cavaliers and are on the verge of giving up in despair. And I look at Oliver and wonder if the occasional wobble in his back legs is a progression of his SM, a symptom of his spondylosis, or something else entirely; and I look at Aled and wonder what the future holds for him.

    But at the same time, I'm so grateful for what Oliver has given me in the 9 years I've had him, and I delight in Aled's increasing confidence and enjoyment of life, and how much pleasure they get in running in the countryside and being fussed by the people they meet. The pain of loving them is so much smaller than the pleasure they give us and the relationship we have with them. And the pain can motivate us to fight on their behalf - both to keep them as well as possible, and to work for better breeding practices, better treatments, and successful research.

    Hang in there!

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    I totally agree with Kate , you take a risk with an pedigree dog that they come with health issues but you have to look at the joy they give to you and cherish each day.

    My dog scooby is very poorly with MVD but although I know Iam losing a part of him each day , I cherish the time we spend together and still enjoy his company, I remember the funny things he has done over the 9 years we have had him from running round the back garden like a looney after we bathed him to constantly running off when I used to take him for a walk and I would catch up with him out of breath and he would be sat there looking at me like ' What took you so long mum????'..........

    Enjoy making those memories together and whatever the future holds for you and your cavalier you will face it together like all cavalier owners do .....

    Take care
    Sharon and Scooby XXX

  4. #4
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    Default How did I get into this?

    We bought our first cavalier puppy, for my daughters 8th birthday, in 1976.
    We went to a little fund raising dog show, our puppy won two fun classes and the Judge commented she looked like a nice puppy & we should try showing her.

    So, for twenty five years I listened to all the long time influential breeders in the cavalier show world had to say & despite the knowledge that many cavaliers had MVD, I felt able to firmly defend the breed with the sentiment " Well all breeds have their problems" and I was convinced that cavaliers were healthy little dogs on the whole.

    I had a wonderful time, made good friends and had some success until my belief in what I had been told was shattered by a phone call from a sobbing cavalier owner whose dog had been diagnosed with SM.

    I had not bred the affected dog but I owned his father. It had been a classic half brother to half sister mating, my Champion Sire was grandfather on both sides of the pedigree.

    I emailed the Neurologist, Clare Rusbridge, who had diagnosed the condition to find out if my Monty could be implicated, and at that point my cosy little world exploded.
    I started talking about health, campaigning about SM and became a very unpopular person indeed.

    Cavaliers are the sweetest little dogs and my dogs have given me great joy over thirty five years now.

    It is not fair what is happening to them. It is not fair that dogs suffer or that owners have the distress seeing them in pain and the worry of trying to find the money for the treatment they need.

    It is not fair that first time owners come onto this forum with pride and joy in their new puppy and read grim post telling them that their lovely puppy may develop some very nasty inherited condition.

    I feel guilty when young owners agonise over mild scratching symptoms and say how they are obsessed with watching everything that their puppy does instead of just enjoying their lovely new pet, but on the other hand there is no way that I feel a cavalier owner should be left unaware of the symptoms of SM.
    Too many cavaliers have suffered for years and too many are still suffering becaause owners do not recognise their pets quirky traits as reaction to discomfort or pain.

    None of this is fair, but it is the reality and we are stuck with it. I often feel that I am fighting an impossible fight but I still feel the need to try and make a difference in any & every way that I can.
    Margaret C

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

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Margaret C View Post

    I feel guilty when young owners agonise over mild scratching symptoms and say how they are obsessed with watching everything that their puppy does instead of just enjoying their lovely new pet, but on the other hand there is no way that I feel a cavalier owner should be left unaware of the symptoms of SM.
    Too many cavaliers have suffered for years and too many are still suffering becaause owners do not recognise their pets quirky traits as reaction to discomfort or pain.

    None of this is fair, but it is the reality and we are stuck with it. I often feel that I am fighting an impossible fight but I still feel the need to try and make a difference in any & every way that I can.
    I don't think you should feel guilty for being one of those who chooses to educate us (young/new owners). While we agonize and worry over every slight scratching behavior/potential SM symptom, it's not because you and Karlin and many others here, actually provide real information on the breed's health, it's because we all love our dogs so much and just want them and all the others to be okay.

    I had to grant myself the relief from the anxiety and worry about my puppy when I first found out about SM, (here, although I didn't join until just recently). But, I am thankful that I now know about the possibilities, and I hope that I can manage half as well as some of you here do daily, if something does come up in my JB.

    You guys have all dealt with a lot, and I seem to feel as some of you take the weight of the whole problem upon your own shoulders. It's not all your problem... it may seem like an uphill battle, but I am confident that with people like you Margaret C and Karlin (and many of the other fabulous people here) leading the way we will get this problem solved for our beloved breed. One day at time, one step in the right direction.

    I think everyone needs a big cuddle with their Cav's today... it is afterall why we care so much.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Jelly Bean- 1yr Blenheim male
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  6. #6
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    You have probably summed up how most of us feel sometimes.

    I have two affected dogs, I carefully chose Molly and Dougall to play a major part in our family life. We wanted these two lovely little souls to share our future.

    They do play a major role and they will share our future but not in the way we expected. Our lives would be very different without them, for all of the reasons you have described.

    Despite my occassional feelings of dispair. I would not turn the clock back. I will do my best for Molly and Dougall with the help from people here. I am glad they are with me and not with someone else that doesn't care and doesn't accept help. I try and raise awareness at every opportunity and most of all I will try and help other people to help their sick dogs.


    I feel guilty when young owners agonise over mild scratching symptoms and say how they are obsessed with watching everything that their puppy does instead of just enjoying their lovely new pet.
    You have done so much for the future of these dogs and you have helped so many people you should not feel guilty.
    Tania and The Three Cavaliers!
    Dotty!- A Sweet Little Tri
    Molly - Pretty Tri Dougall - Gorgeous Blenheim

  7. #7
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    Default

    But at the same time, I'm so grateful for what Oliver has given me in the 9 years I've had him, and I delight in Aled's increasing confidence and enjoyment of life, and how much pleasure they get in running in the countryside and being fussed by the people they meet. The pain of loving them is so much smaller than the pleasure they give us and the relationship we have with them. And the pain can motivate us to fight on their behalf - both to keep them as well as possible, and to work for better breeding practices, better treatments, and successful research.
    Yes and yes -- I so agree with this. I have three with SM, had two, now one, with MVD. You live with always waiting and watching. The final stages of MVD are very hard to go through and require a lot of 'being there' for the dog in case there are problems. A dog with truly painful SM is just heart breaking. The owner is always weighing up horrible options -- when to put their loved dog down -- when is the suffering too much. The costs are very high -- even with insurance, owners have to pay a deductible, and those add up very quickly. That's setting aside the emotional cost and time commitment.

    The breed is so sweet, good natured and trusting -- I truly cannot understand how many breeders can look their dogs in the face and live with themselves when they do not scan, do not cardiologist auscultate, do not follow the MVD protocol, ignore the SM protocol, breed underage dogs, fail to disclose the test status of their sires as they rake in the cash, and do not even spend the cost of a tank of petrol to get the new episodic falling/curly coat DNA test which would help totally eliminate both awful conditions from the breed. Breeders say they want DNA tests and then won't spend 38 on a DNA test. One wonders that any researchers at all keep trying to work with breeders and clubs to help the breed -- but it says a lot about the commitment to the breed from researchers... and a lot about the real concerns (or lack of them) of far too many breeders (at last count only 16 UK dogs had availed of the DNA test. Sixteen ).
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  8. #8
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    Oh dear, I'm so sorry you are feeling this way, but it is a feeling we have all had. It's scary and frightening and at the same time loving, because love does sometimes hurt. But it has the greatest rewards too! Think about how happy you feel when your little fur ball runs towards you fill of joy, tail wagging and butt wiggling. Something you can watch over and over again and it never gets old. Even with all the fears I'm now having with Sydney, I wouldn't give up a split second of his time with us. He is my greatest joy and that is what I try to stay focused on.

    God gave her to me to keep me going through my own struggles of pain and disease...and what if the tables ever turn? Sometimes I feel like I am selfish, because I need her so much. She can't get sick because I need her to take care of me. But I know she needs me too. She is my other half, the pea in my pod. She is my left hand, my laughter, my Kleenex. She is something special, like all of our Cavs...they are one special breed and I am constantly amazed by how much they change our lives in remarkable ways.
    Yes, Brooklyn does need you too and if your worst fears are ever realized, you will do what any of us will do, you'll cry, you'll yell, maybe even throw things. But when all is said and done, you will give her your best. All our Cavs deserve no less.

    I just wish our "health" section of the board could remain empty forever, and all we wrote about is how our cav ate the herb garden, or frolicked in the sand. And we posted funny pictures of our dogs in weird sleeping positions all day or videos of them chasing the cat. Yeah, that would be nice. I bet that is what Cavalier Talk is like in heaven...and we are all good photographers up there too
    I couldn't agree with you more.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

  9. #9
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    I completely agree with all of you!
    I find it just heartbreaking and feel physically sick when I continue to see ads in pet stores and in newspapers selling these little guys because I can say with fair certainty these dogs are not checked and will only hurt the breed further.
    Another thing that makes me sad, is the blank stares I get when I tell people who are looking for a cavie about their health problems and the importance of going to a breeder who health tests. Moreover, health tests appropriately (i.e not just one heart check at one year old). I find many people just want instant gratification and going to a pet store is much easier than looking into a proper breeder.
    Thank God for those on this forum who are aware and truly love these sweet angels.
    Irene-
    Jack and Penny's Mom, NYC

  10. #10
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    Thank you all for sharing your stories and emotional support. I know my post is what many of us feel, sometimes 10 times a day, but I just had to let it out of my head and my heart yesterday and I appreciate you all listening....it reminds me to worry less, and smile more. Brooklyn is here to be loved, played with and giggled at and I need to spend more time doing that than always filled with wonder and sadness (it is hard sometimes though!). I will always be there for her, just like she is for me and I appreciate that this forum will always be here for us too.

    I, like many of us and what lovecavalier mentioned, spend pretty much all my time talking to people about Cav's health issues. People who stop Brooklyn always want to ask about her, they want one, they are looking for one, and I go into the whole story. I tell them that before I got Brooklyn I researched and compiled the MRI scanning breeders in my area, I give them my email, I try to get theirs so I can give them my "list" in the hopes that they will understand that we need to fund scanning breeders....but I always get a blank stare. Like I am being too deep with them. But heck, I've got one shot with everyone who stops me, and damn if I won't use it! If I could just inform one person to make a better decision, then I have done my job. But it is hard, no one wants to listen. They assume it won't happen to them. They want one "tomorrow", forget waiting lists. Or they just don't fully understand the gravity of it all (which I can understand...I did all my research and Brooky came from a scanning breeder...but I still didnt understand how deep it was).

    And as a side note, Margaret...please don't ever feel guilty. You do amazing things and our cav's owe a lot to you. You have not made me "obsessed" but rather more aware, so like you said, I now know that "quirky signs" might actually mean pain and to get it investigated. You bring to us knowledge and each individual can choose to take it or not, so please don't feel guilty. I for one am grateful for you, all of you.

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