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Thread: Not The Greatest News

  1. #11
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    Nela I want to say that I commend you for saying something to the group. I too have felt ashamed for buying a dog who's parents were not SM tested. I thought we were doing right by choosing a breeder who tests for MVD, eyes and Patellas. I have all the certs for the parents on these. I thought we did great at the time until I got home from giving a deposit and I went on a search for message boards to share my news and I found this board. It wasn't until I looked at the threads on SM that I felt a pit in my stomach. I tried going back to our 3hr conversation with the breeder trying to think if I just over looked that part of the conversation. I honestly don't know if it was discussed. I did immediately call the breeder and talk about it. She did inform me that none of her dogs were SM tested but have not shown signs of it and neither had their parents or any of the family. Sad to say but I put my head in the sand and took that and ran with it. I am very paranoid at anything I see with Toby now. We did get insurance for Toby and I cannot stress that to you enough, get it NOW!
    It is very hard to admit that I was in denial and I am truly scared for Toby and for us. I am trying so hard to not worry about anything until its time to. I am trying to just love this dog and make sure he knows that I care. But I know that this will probably be a fact of life for our Cavalier and I have to face it head on. I can only hope this group will be there for me when the time comes and I am sure it will. I know we will need as much help as possible. I know I will need to take fact sheets to our vet as most don't know about SM. I want to give it to her in the next few months so she can be informed when the time comes.
    I hope this group does not look down on me either. In the last few weeks I have seen many conversations that have made me scared to say anything. I really wanted to make friends with those that have Cavaliers and share all the great things that Toby does or the funny things he does. I hope I can still do this.
    Good Luck with your Cavalier, Many hugs((())))
    Becky

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nela View Post
    I have had him only for a couple of days now and felt too ashamed to tell you. Really, I figured I just wouldn't show my face here again but then I realized that I will really need the help and support because I do expect that I will be faced with heartbreak down the line. Basically, that's the only reason why I am pushing myself to post here right now.
    I'm so pleased you have stayed with us.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nela View Post
    Whilst it's really difficult to explain and comprehend the situation, the puppy will always get the care he needs.
    I am sure that Puck will get every care. I don't think anyone reading your posts would doubt it and you are right that there was nothing in your decision that would directly harm him. In fact he is a lucky little man to have such a well informed owner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nela View Post
    It's really odd for me to say this, but it's not about money even though it actually is. Basically, my boyfriend has no financial objections with treating a sick dog, but he had a problem with paying so much for a dog that couldn't be guaranteed to be free of the illnesses. In his mind, this breed meant health problems down the line one way or another.
    Your boyfriend is not wrong about the likelihood of health problems down the line, nevertheless on financial grounds alone his decision may cost a lot more than the extra money paid for a properly health tested puppy.

    Taking a chance and buying a less expensive puppy is why it pays breeders to not bother about the health testing. They can afford to sell their dogs cheaper.
    That is why puppy farms continue to exist.

    As you would expect I cannot help but be disappointed that you rewarded someone that knew about SM but did not get her breeding dogs checked.
    Perhaps she is honest in her intention to stop breeding. If she does not MRI scan then I hope so.
    I have heard many breeders in the UK say they will give up when frustrated at the expectation that they be more responsible about their breeding programme, but a year later they still have another litter of puppies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nela View Post
    Like I said, in the end, my own decision came down to having a puppy or not having one and I made a selfish decision at that point for my own personal reasons.
    It was an informed choice, not the one I would have made, but then I have lived with dogs suffering with SM & MVD for years.
    You reduced your chance of getting a dog that stays healthy, but it is the luck of the genetic draw and SM and/or MVD are not inevitable.
    Your gamble may well pay off.

    Puck is now a CavalierTalk pup and we will love him, want to admire his pictures, and rejoice with you at the happiness he will bring to your life.
    It was brave of you to post and what is done is done.....So welcome to cavalier ownership & I hope you can now relax and allow yourself to enjoy your new puppy.
    Margaret C

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

  3. #13
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    Nela,
    Whats done is done....simple as that. You obviously care a great deal about Puck and will undoubtedly take exellent care of him for the rest of his life.
    All you can do now is educate yourself fully to health issues in this breed and recognise them should they arise and treat accordingly. (Its what we should all do)
    Dont waste your time with him worrying what "might" happen. Just enjoy the little chap and post some pics of him soon.

    Mel
    Mel
    Momma to Leonardo (Leo to his friends)

  4. #14
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    I too hope your puppy has a healthy life. You are aware that this might not be the case, and you are willing to pay the expensive cost if this is not so (it could be very expensive, much more than the difference in price between an untested and a puppy from tested parents)

    I think what you have been honest enough to say just highlights the colossal struggle that cavaliers are up against. Many people are trying to educate the public, and it seems to be falling on stoney ground. Maybe you can help here? because even the very knowledgeable people on this forum, including Margaret Carter, who I think gave you some names, were not able to persuade you to buy a pup from tested parents.

    If you are able to throw some light on why all the explanations didn't stop you, and for that reason won't stop others doing as you have done, then maybe the people who are trying to save the breed can get their message across more successfully.

    I am glad , at least that you bought Puck from someone who looked after their dogs and their pups well, and cared for them. (and it wasn't a puppy farm!)
    Last edited by Davecav; 11th July 2011 at 05:15 PM.

  5. #15
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    While you are right that your pup was already born and he will be what he will be no matter who owns him. At least you are an informed owner and you have access to wonderful support and information here.

    I really hope the breeder was honest. All too often I see breeders who "Are getting out of the buisness" and just like Margret said a year later they still have a litter. The "breeder" I got mine from said she was getting out of the buisness due to health and injuries. She "cried" over my pups terrible diagnosis... She "cried" when I made her watch the videos of my 6 month old puppy suffering in pain... But guess what? It's been exactly a year since we got our pup and she still has dozens of puppies for sale. At least (as far as I KNOW) she is no longer breeding cavaliers! She just expanded to other breeds.

    I am in NO position to judge and you sound very well informed. That is what so many of us what.. informed owners AND breeders. While some may not agree with your decision it is after all your decision and you are the one that must be happy with it. I know so many people are hard on new owners because of where the puppies came from... its only because we care! In a perfect world if ALL new owners demanded health testing... breeders would have no choice BUT to health test... but we are not a perfect world. I too bought a puppy from a breeder who didn't health tests... I'm paying the price now...

    I decided to buy the 1st Tri Color Cavalier I set eyes on. Not knowing the serious health issues in the breed. He is 1 year old and we are out about $5000 in medical bills for him. His monthly medication runs almost $100 a month. The worst part is watching him suffer at such a young age.

    The MAIN benefit of purchasing from a health testing breeder is your chances of a longer lived dogs with LESS sever symptoms.

    For example: I purchased my pup from a breeder with no health testing.... at 12 weeks old he had symptoms. By 6 months he had VERY SEVER in symptoms. His expected life span without invasive surgery is only a couple of years. While I wouldn't trade him for the WORLD and I love him dearly it is just heartbreaking on a daily basis.
    His 4 year old dad is even worse (I managed to get the breeder to relinquish him to me). He has been given less then a year to live by his neurologist. He is the happiest little dog in the world and did not ask to be born with this condition but it is terrible and painful. He is also in the early stages of MVD.

    I have now meet SEVERAL people who purchased from health testing/MRI scanning breeders... Not only are there dogs healthier but they seem to LIVE LONGER. While the risk of eventually developing SM is still there it helps to at the VERY least delay the onset of the disease. I would MUCH rather deal with a Cavalier who was affected by SM at say 8-10 years old then a 1 year old. Both dogs get affected but the older dog has a better quality of life. Dogs affected later in life can go on to live out there natural lifespan of 10-12+ years! While my dogs (who were affected young) have an expected life span of 4-6 years....

    Aside from the financial drain of the long term medical care there is serious emotional drain involved. With 3 affected Cavaliers not ONE DAY goes by where I am not faced with SM symptoms and trying to manage them. All require medication 3X a day on a SET schedule. This means EVERY day is planed out between medications. 3 X a day (Every 8 hours) alarms are going off because if I'm late on medications they get set on a terrible course of painful symptoms that can take days to go away. Every dinner date or movie has to be planned around the dogs.

    We really wanted to take a long vacation this year but decided in the best interests of the dogs that we DON'T. This is because of there strict medication schedule and there sensitivity to sudden change (humidity, pressure, temperature, excitement) I don't think it would be fair to take them OR leave them behind in the care of someone unfamiliar with the disease.

    Then there is the physical state of the dog. Two of my SM dogs "dribble pee" uncontrollably. Not all the time. Only every now and then. My youngest has some ...lets say obsessive, protective/aggressive, behavioral issues... By talking to his vets and a few trainers the best conclusion we have come to is it is due to his neurological condition. Our neurologist basically said when you put that much pressure on the brain unexpected things like this can happen. It is a daily battle as it is triggered by the smell of food & drinks. Then try telling a 4 year old dog that he has a heart condition? LOL Thankfully they don't believe there is anything wrong with them! But over stimulation or over excitement is not safe for his heart conditions. So I have to always be aware of that. And finally the grooming situation! SM makes them more sensitive and any kind of grooming can be a real challenge.

    I really do hope you pup is one of the lucky ones and never has to face SM, MVD or any other disorder. I'm sure many of us would like to see photos!!!

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davecav View Post
    I think what you have been honest enough to say just highlights the colossal struggle that cavaliers are up against. Many people are trying to educate the public, and it seems to be falling on stoney ground. Maybe you can help here? because even the very knowledgeable people on this forum, including Margaret Carter, who I think gave you some names, were not able to persuade you to buy a pup from tested parents.

    If you are able to throw some light on why all the explanations didn't stop you, and for that reason won't stop others doing as you have done, then maybe the people who are trying to save the breed can get their message across more successfully.
    I just have to say I wonder this question ALL the time...

    When I purchased my puppy the the answer was simple... I didn't understand the severity of the issue. I knew about MVD and other conditions (such as hips, eyes & knees). I did not know about SM. I THOUGHT I would "just deal with any issues when they arise" Sure I got my cavalier at a "great price" but boy have I paid for it in a SHORT period of time.
    Had I read about SM I'm pretty sure I would have made the same decision only because the severity of the issue did not "sink in". I know statistics say "90% of cavaliers will have CM and up to 70% of then will develop SM". But it is really hard to believe it. Looking at a cute, cuddly & sweet puppy it is impossible to believe such terrible health issues could come up. It is not until the "I have been there, done that" that I truly understand. Seeing my poor dogs suffer is just heartbreaking... I KNOW I will never buy from a breeder who doesn't health test AND MRI screen. I LOVE my dogs unconditionally and would not trade them for the world. My days revolve around them but I can not live with the thought of paying a single penny to someone who is actively NOT trying to help this breed.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by gamefanz View Post
    Nela I want to say that I commend you for saying something to the group. I too have felt ashamed for buying a dog who's parents were not SM tested. I thought we were doing right by choosing a breeder who tests for MVD, eyes and Patellas. I have all the certs for the parents on these. I thought we did great at the time until I got home from giving a deposit and I went on a search for message boards to share my news and I found this board. It wasn't until I looked at the threads on SM that I felt a pit in my stomach. I tried going back to our 3hr conversation with the breeder trying to think if I just over looked that part of the conversation. I honestly don't know if it was discussed. I did immediately call the breeder and talk about it. She did inform me that none of her dogs were SM tested but have not shown signs of it and neither had their parents or any of the family. Sad to say but I put my head in the sand and took that and ran with it. I am very paranoid at anything I see with Toby now. We did get insurance for Toby and I cannot stress that to you enough, get it NOW!
    It is very hard to admit that I was in denial and I am truly scared for Toby and for us. I am trying so hard to not worry about anything until its time to. I am trying to just love this dog and make sure he knows that I care. But I know that this will probably be a fact of life for our Cavalier and I have to face it head on. I can only hope this group will be there for me when the time comes and I am sure it will. I know we will need as much help as possible. I know I will need to take fact sheets to our vet as most don't know about SM. I want to give it to her in the next few months so she can be informed when the time comes.
    I hope this group does not look down on me either. In the last few weeks I have seen many conversations that have made me scared to say anything. I really wanted to make friends with those that have Cavaliers and share all the great things that Toby does or the funny things he does. I hope I can still do this.
    Good Luck with your Cavalier, Many hugs((())))
    Becky
    To both you, Becky and Nela, I know how you feel. I didn't know about SM until after I got Jelly Bean. And when I found out about it I was devastated. Not only for the possibility that he might/would someday develop symptoms, but the fact that I could have done better research before I got him and possibly saved myself the emotional trauma it caused. I thought that I was doing everything I could to make sure I'd be getting a healthy pup. The parents were all MVD tested, eyes, and patellas too, and his mom's mother was still at the breeders and at 5 years still tested heart sound. Though, I later found out that JB's Mom was just over a year-old when bred. I try and count myself as a smart person, but I fell into the trap of falling in love with the pup and jumping at the first opportunity to get my own dog. I have done the best I can to ensure that JB will have the best life possible (he definitely gets enough love), and I got pet insurance for him to make sure that I can pay for any of the issues we might have down the line because I neglected to do better research early on.

    I would say that we as Cavalier owners can't blame the new owners of these precious dogs. It shouldn't be on them to know all of these things beforehand. Yes, they should research, but really it comes back to the Breeders doing the right thing and doing the health testing. They are the ones bringing these pups into the world, they need to take responsibility and ownership of this breed's problems and make it their business to produce healthy pups. It is not entirely the new owner's fault for wanting the sweet and gentle, not to mention beautiful, Cavalier, especially when a lot of this problem seems to be fueled by the greed of some shady people out there.

    Nela, please enjoy your puppy. Don't let the worries about his future cloud the fun of having such a bundle of love to play with each day. He's only going to be a pup for such a short time, so enjoy it. It is a unique opportunity, and yes you will probably still feel guilt about getting him over the properly health-tested dog. But he's yours now so love him and please please please show some pictures of him while he's so adorable. You are educated about the breed's health issues, so at least if there is a problem you aren't going to ignore it or possibly let a vet shove it off as non-serious. Good luck with the potty training, and most of all have fun with Puck!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Jelly Bean- 1yr Blenheim male
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  8. #18
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    [QUOTE=Nela;396157]
    I understand that many people must be shaking their heads and having to refrain from truly saying what they feel so I appreciate that those who commented delivered their message in a civil manner.
    With everything we have been through, seen so many of our dogs suffering, and the heartbreak it has caused us, not to mention the financial issues, it was very difficult not to be angry. However being first to post, I wanted to set the tone so that this would give rise to a useful discussion, and not turn in to a slanging match. If you read many of the posts on the board, we always try to support everyone through whatever is going on with their dogs, the happy times but more especially the bad times.

    Many of us spend hours and hours raising money, campaigning and trying to raise awareness of health issues, helping people to find good breeders etc - so this feels a bit like a slap in the face - I'm sure you can appreciate that.

    There are some excellent replies here, and I really hope you will reply to Davecav's post - we are obviously doing something wrong and it would really help to know how we can improve.

    Davecave: I think what you have been honest enough to say just highlights the colossal struggle that cavaliers are up against. Many people are trying to educate the public, and it seems to be falling on stoney ground. Maybe you can help here? because even the very knowledgeable people on this forum, including Margaret Carter, who I think gave you some names, were not able to persuade you to buy a pup from tested parents.




    However, I insist that you understand that we did commit to Puck.
    I'm very pleased to hear this - and I'm glad that this has been made clear. Too many times, as soon as the dog becomes ill, they are just dumped into rescue.


    I politely (and with absolutely no intention of offending) reject the following statement:
    "I do feel sorry for your puppy, as you yourself say, it was a selfish decision and it has not given him the best chance of avoiding health issues."
    I did not word that as well as I could have done - I was trying to say that you had not given ANY puppy you brought in to your home the best chance of avoiding health issues.

    I appreciate that Puck was already born and understand that you are committed to caring for him - as you say, he could have gone to someone who would not have taken care of him.

    It is such a shame that his breeders failed to MRI scan, when they do seem to really care about the breed and their dogs - these are the people we need to be encouraging to MRI scan and to then carry on breeding, following health protocols. I hope you took the opportunity to talk to them about Syringomyelia and MRI scanning.


    I hope you will stay with the forum, you are most welcome and we look forward to seeing photos of Puck and hearing about him. It will also be a most useful resource for you - and we hope that you will help us in getting the message out.

    Have a look at this site too http://cavaliermatters.org/cavaliermatters/
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

  9. #19
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    Nela - Thank you so much for being honest.
    I am sure your puppy will get a good life with you, and we are here to share your ups and downs.
    Hopefully there will be a majority of ups and happy moments to share.
    Charlotte & Christian
    Molly & Éowyn & Khaleesi

  10. #20
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    I hope that flaming doesn't begin, a thread like this reminds me of flamebait... it also reminds me of another thread started a couple weeks ago by a member who is no longer with us. I don't know, tiz strange- I just get a really strange feeling from this thread, sorry, just have to say it. (Although the interaction between everyone has been very civil and with great consideration and understanding.)
    Good Luck with your puppy and of course we won't ostracize you for it.
    Last edited by Desrae; 11th July 2011 at 11:15 PM.
    Desrae, guardian of two tri-coloured cavaliers, Belle 3 years old and Bobby 1 year/8 months.

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