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Thread: News on the BVA/KC Official Scheme for CMSM

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  1. #1
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    Default News on the BVA/KC Official Scheme for CMSM

    I asked the BVA for an update on the official CMSM screening scheme (a meeting was held between Cavalier breeders the BVA and KC on 12 July)

    The BVA have sent the following reply:

    The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and Kennel Club (KC) have been in discussions regarding a Canine Health Scheme to screen for Chiari-like malfomation and Syringomyelia (CM/SM) for a couple of years. Both organisations agree there is a need for such a scheme and it has a significant amount of public support. Considerable work has already been undertaken to develop the scheme in consultation with expert neurologists and radiologists.

    There has been much discussion within both organisations regarding the publication of the results of the proposed scheme. The BVA firmly believes that the results of the CM/SM scheme must be available in the public domain to assist breeders in making breeding decisions and to assist puppy buyers in choosing a healthy dog. The existing Canine Health Schemes operate in this way.

    The KC has concerns regarding the attitude of breeders and owners towards publication of the results and does not yet have a mandate to support results being put in the public domain.

    As a result of this the Scheme is currently on hold, bu the KC is actively endeavouring to resulve the issues with breeders and breed clubs.

    Apparently there is another meeting between the KC breeders on 31 August 'by invitation only'.

    Meanwhile the Heart Scheme has been put 'on hold'. And Cavaliers will continue to develop heart murmurs at a young age, suffering from (and many dying prematurely) from heart failure.

    What are we to think? It has taken two years and 3 months and still the CM?SM scheme is not up and running due to objections being raised by Cavalier breeders. Why would they not want the full publication of the results of the scheme? There is only one answer to that.

    The Kennel Club's slogans, 'Fit for Function, Fit for Life' and 'Happy Healthy Dogs' both have a very hollow ring. Who, at those meetings was prepared to put the health and welfare of the dogs first? At least it is good news that at last the BVA has stood up to the KC and this is to be very much welcomed.

    Meanwhile Cavaliers continue to suffer. I heard within the last week of two 3 year old Cavaliers who were pts because they were screaming in pain from SM. My Rosie, coming up to 9 years old, has SM, MVD (grade 3/4 heart murmur), seasonal Atopy, is becoming deaf, developed a mammary tumor at the age of 4, and has a benign growth on her eyelid. Nine years isn't such an old age for a dog, but for a Cavalier it is. This isn't right. I don't need any more evidence that self regulation will not improve the genetic health of dogs. Only tough welfare laws will do that.

    I'm angry today.

    Carol

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    I think we should all be angry!

    I really really don't understand what the breeders want, I mean what do they want??????????

    It is selfish, really really selfish behaviour to keep putting themselves above the welfare of these dogs, I remember standing in the waiting room of Stone Lion with Tania talking to Dr Rusbridge just before Xmas last year and a comment passed about 'Cavalier breeders being a law unto themselves' or something to that extent and this is further proof of that!

    How Dr Rusbridge, Penny Knowler and all the other wonderful researchers doing their upmost to help this breed continue to do what they are doing in the face of this adversity is a powerful statement to just how much they care!! And Inspirational!

    I'm just at a loss for words..WHAT DO THEY WANT ????????



    Karen

    Ruby - my stunning soul mate who defies the odds every day
    Charlie- my angel at heart and devil at play


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    Oh Carol, I know you don't know me, but just reading your posts breaks my heart. Hearing all the issues that are happening right here at CT, and knowing that our dear Cavaliers are suffering at the hands of those who only seem to care about the money or status, is overwhelming to think about.I feel at a loss to know what to do to help this precious breed, and it makes me very sad.
    Cindy and Claire
    Claire was born on Feb7, 2010

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    This is just so very disappointing and I think we are all with you in expressing anger that this scheme is now on hold YET AGAIN.

    Other breeds and breeders are so supportive of their health schemes, and really want to look after their breeds - what can they think of how our breeders are behaving?

    It is wonderful though the the BVA are standing up to the KC and breeders...
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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    Hi

    Totally on your side ,as J. H. says the few in The Coven have a scary hold over the many normal ,caring ,responsible breeders.


    http://pedigreedogsexposed.blogspot.com/
    Brian M

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

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    Well, just read Jemima's blog "Cavaliers, the agony and the agony"

    And thanks to those select breeders they have earned themselves a prime spot in PDE2!!


    But they were so unhappy about being in PDE1 !! And so unhappy about PDE2 being made !!!


    MAYBE THEY SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT AND DONE THE HONORABLE THING AND MADE AN EFFORT TO CHANGE!!!! THEY'VE HAD A FEW YEARS TO DO SO!

    Ah well- i'm starting to think they like the attention!!



    Just venting again!

    Karen

    Ruby - my stunning soul mate who defies the odds every day
    Charlie- my angel at heart and devil at play


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    Words fail me
    Sandra
    Minnie-May (6yrs) & Rosie the Rescue (approx 6 yrs)
    My Darling Cinders and Lady Jane waiting at the Bridge

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karen and Ruby View Post
    Well, just read Jemima's blog "Cavaliers, the agony and the agony"

    And thanks to those select breeders they have earned themselves a prime spot in PDE2!!


    But they were so unhappy about being in PDE1 !! And so unhappy about PDE2 being made !!!


    MAYBE THEY SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT AND DONE THE HONORABLE THING AND MADE AN EFFORT TO CHANGE!!!! THEY'VE HAD A FEW YEARS TO DO SO!

    Cavalier breeders win pride of place in PDE2, a well deserved accolade!

    Hopefully the breed will also be high on the list of priorities for the Dog Welfare Council, APGAW and CAWC. All bodies concerned with the health and welfare issues associated with dog breeding.

    You might have thought that with all the negative publicity of PDE, the Clubs might have made an effort to put their house in order before the next version was made ? What has actually changed in those 3 years ?

    Still no BVA/KC CM/SM scheme
    Still no BVA/KC heart scheme
    Committee members frequently breaking their own Club's breeding guidelines
    Despite a new AHT genetic test for episodic falling, only a handful of UK dogs have done the test.
    Still no way of requiring these health tests through the KC Accredited Breeder Scheme

    All of this could have happened with the Clubs' support

    Meanwhile several peer reviewed papers have been published, showing the high level of incidence of SM, showing that using breeding guidelines will show an improvement for SM and MVD.

    What hope is there for the future of this breed ? Its 'broke' and the most influential breeders don't want to fix it, and those caring breeders that do want to do the right thing are to scared to speak out.

    Maggie

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    Quote Originally Posted by mommytoClaire View Post
    Oh Carol, I know you don't know me, but just reading your posts breaks my heart. Hearing all the issues that are happening right here at CT, and knowing that our dear Cavaliers are suffering at the hands of those who only seem to care about the money or status, is overwhelming to think about.I feel at a loss to know what to do to help this precious breed, and it makes me very sad.
    I am neither a breeder nor a health expert when it comes to cavaliers but I am very concerned about the plight of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. My thoughts are these.

    Firstly-from what I understand many breeders are barely breaking even out there (regardless of why others here feel they are breeding cavaliers). I know many who are carefully thinking about giving up on breeding Cavaliers because of their very serious health issues(I know of at least one personally who has been breeding cavs for a long-long time-- she is also an AKC judge and it did break her heart when she found that two of her dogs had been affected by SM. She had taken them back and they have remained at her kennel until one of them recently passed on. (She has taken back two that I am aware of) Is this the answer to have our more experiencd breeders leave the breeding circuit?

    Secondly--it could be quite intimidating to a breeder, I suppose, who has an established line of dogs which may have a high propensity for SM/CM/MVD as indeed others have said here and it will take them time, perhaps years to try and breed out the health issues they may not even know trully exists as the breed clubs in the states have not even been advocating for scanning as yet and perhaps many have been trying to deny that CM/SM is trully in their lines to begin with. You cannot fault people who have spent years of time, dedication, and money trying to do what they felt was the right thing at the get-go-only to find out years down the line their dogs may have a higher propensity for severe health problems.
    No one could have predicted this-maybe I'm wrong.

    Thirdly-there are indeed several breeders that I have met that are outcrossing within the breed--ie from lines that have never been incorporated into that breeder's dogs in the past in hopes this will lead to a decrease in incidence/severity or both within their lines even though they DO realise they will not get the same conformation-bred dogs as they had in the past- at least not as quickly anyway.-and many are doing this because of their LOVE and CONCERN for the preservation of the cavalier.(And this again will prove to be quite costly as it might be as difficult for some as it was starting out in the beginning of their breeding careers.)

    Fourthly-I am wondering if an intermediate can be considered-ie that health info is only made public to other breeders within the breed club looking to breed with unaffected/less severely affected dogs? At least this could be a starting point.
    This at least would give those breeding our beautiful dogs an advantage that they do not currently possess-ie knowing what dogs are trully healthy as shown in verified health records to aid in an informed decision of who to breed with.
    Perhaps this would be less intimidating at first for some breeders and will give them time to incorporate different unaffected/less severely affected lines into their already established lines. Although this seems as though it will take a long-long time even if it trully can be done.) It is the breeders who do propel the majority of our available pups after all. Perhaps it would be less intimidating if only other breeders could view this info.(I am not advocating for hiding any info here it's just that I feel those breeders who truly do have cvalier health at their uppermost level of importance will not knowingly select dogs any longer based on conformation only--naive? Quite possibly. But I do feel that there are many breeders out there who are begining to gain insight into what is trully important when selecting other dogs to breed with. And although again it may seem naive of me I feel that breeders are not being giving much credit here and all are being frowned upon as being money grabbers.(I have not found this to be the case with most breeders I have met at shows)

    Fifthly--I agree that all breeders should begin scanning their dogs immediately but as others have said-yes at present it is very, very expensive. I am attending a show in August and do intend to begin a petition of interested club members who might be interested in scanning all/or some of their dogs. After I survey those who are interested I will the attempt to contact several neurologists experienced with CM/SM to see if they would consider providing scans on a reduced-rate for those breeders. The answer right now seems to be WE NEED MORE INFORMATION, TESTING, AND RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, if we are to save the cavalier as we know it now. And yes there does need to be more involvement and we do need to pick up the pace.

    Sixtly--I for one do find it very distasteful to consider a total outcross with another breed-as this negates the trueness of a cavalier king charles spaniel. At least at this time and I feel that the present breeders of cavaliers will find this pill harder to swallow then trying to preserve the breed through breeding protocols (Of course it is a buyer's decision to purchase a cross breed if they so desire but I still feel the research does not, as yet, support the fact that this will illiminate the health issues.) The only way it would seem logical to me to reduce the incidence of SM is to breed a dog that has a larger head-not so much breed out a flat back as the dog- will still have a brain/skull mismatch if the skull itself is not larger. And this would not BE A CAVALIER would it? Don't get me wrong as I do want, just as we all do, for the cavalier to have less health issues than they presently have. And yes, knowing what I now do, I believe my Bandit was affected but I was too ignorant at the time to realise this and my vet was uneducated with SM as well. Change is often slow in coming sometimes, I do agree.

    My aim is not to make any enemies here but only to learn.
    Thoughtfully
    Karen H

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    I appreciate the thought you have given to these issues, Karen. Please don't take my comments personally. I, too, have given a lot of thought to these issues, and what I write are just my opinions, worth no more than anyone else's.

    Quote Originally Posted by keekycat View Post
    ... Is this the answer to have our more experiencd breeders leave the breeding circuit?
    I long have believed that there are too many breeders of cavaliers in the US. When the AKC recognized the cavalier as a breed in 1995-1996, my greatest concern for the breed was that the resulting publicity would prompt a whole bunch of AKC breeders -- perhaps knowledgeable about purebred breeding but ignorant as a stump about the special genetic health conditions of cavaliers -- would start breeding them, for any of a variety of reasons, but certainly none that included wanting to breed early-onset MVD out of the breed. My concerns were accurate. There are way too many cavalier breeders in the US, and most all of them are AKC-only breeders, meaning that they have not joined and do not compete in the CKCSC,USA.

    Quote Originally Posted by keekycat View Post
    ... You cannot fault people who have spent years of time, dedication, and money trying to do what they felt was the right thing at the get-go-only to find out years down the line their dogs may have a higher propensity for severe health problems.
    Whether I can fault them or not depends on a few other things about them. I can certainly fault them for not following the MVD breeding protocol, and that fact alone would include most all of them. MVD tests don't cost thousands of dollars. Not testing for MVD and not following its breeding protocol is inexcusable. Surprise! Surprise! that they still seem to have that pesky early-onset MVD in their lines.

    Quote Originally Posted by keekycat View Post
    ... there are indeed several breeders that I have met that are outcrossing within the breed--ie from lines that have never been incorporated into that breeder's dogs in the past in hopes this will lead to a decrease in incidence/severity or both within their lines even though they DO realise they will not get the same conformation-bred dogs as they had in the past- at least not as quickly anyway.-and many are doing this because of their LOVE and CONCERN for the preservation of the cavalier.(And this again will prove to be quite costly as it might be as difficult for some as it was starting out in the beginning of their breeding careers.)
    If these breeders have been doing nothing but line breeding, they ought to leave now!

    Quote Originally Posted by keekycat View Post
    ... I am wondering if an intermediate can be considered-ie that health info is only made public to other breeders within the breed club looking to breed with unaffected/less severely affected dogs? At least this could be a starting point.
    Starting point? What exactly is it that they have to hide? What legitimate reasons do they have?

    Quote Originally Posted by keekycat View Post
    ... I agree that all breeders should begin scanning their dogs immediately but as others have said-yes at present it is very, very expensive. I am attending a show in August and do intend to begin a petition of interested club members who might be interested in scanning all/or some of their dogs. After I survey those who are interested I will the attempt to contact several neurologists experienced with CM/SM to see if they would consider providing scans on a reduced-rate for those breeders. The answer right now seems to be WE NEED MORE INFORMATION, TESTING, AND RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH, if we are to save the cavalier as we know it now. And yes there does need to be more involvement and we do need to pick up the pace.
    More power to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by keekycat View Post
    ... I for one do find it very distasteful to consider a total outcross with another breed-as this negates the trueness of a cavalier king charles spaniel. At least at this time and I feel that the present breeders of cavaliers will find this pill harder to swallow then trying to preserve the breed through breeding protocols...
    Which breeding protocols, of course, the vast majority of them find totally distasteful -- so distasteful, in fact, that the two national breed clubs in the US refuse to endorse either the MVD breeding protocol or the SM breeding protocol.

    Quote Originally Posted by keekycat View Post
    ... The only way it would seem logical to me to reduce the incidence of SM is to breed a dog that has a larger head-not so much breed out a flat back as the dog- will still have a brain/skull mismatch if the skull itself is not larger. And this would not BE A CAVALIER would it?
    Excuse me here, but breeding larger heads is what most breeders have been trying to do for the past fifteen years or so (and not at all because of SM). The resulting larger heads have not reduced the incidence of SM in the breed. In this breed, few have disproportionately small heads, and I don't know what this "flat back" talk is about, at all. In this breed, it has been shown that if you breed for a larger skull, the cerebellum will manage to keep up the same pace.
    Rod Russell

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