So neurologists should not be insulted but driven to becoming more informed on the terminology of what is now the STANDARD analysis of CM in the UK, geared specifically for breeders.
To not do so, is totally misleading to many pet and especially breeder owners of cavaliers in the US who are assuming their dogs have a particular grade and may use this for breeding decisions (and in some cases, are telling people they have lots of clear dogs, which is almost guaranteed NOT to be the case and extremely misleading to buyers).
To repeat: there is a STANDARD for grading CM that was drawn up by a panel of neurologists and researchers in consultation with the Kennel Club and which is the centrepiece of the whole grading programme designed to help breeders make the best possible and most informed breeding decisions.
There is NO reason for ANY international neurologist not to be using a standardised analysis and to stop informally using terms like "mild". Until they are using a standard, then terms like "mild" are relatively meaningless if coming from US professionals because their mild is in many cases obviously not the "mild" used for the professional grading scheme and used in published papers.
The reality is that research and definitions in this condition have been almost entirely UK driven, and most published work has come from the UK (with some notable exceptions). What a difference it would make if the US clubs/AKC actually showed some constructive concern about this condition and the needs of breeders, and worked to connect into the existing scheme, and funded US researchers more broadly. There are pockets of research work but absolutely nothing like the BVA/KC scheme and no club or AKC drive to have anything like it.
Cavaliers: Jaspar Tansy Libby Mindy Connie
In memory: Lucy Leo Lily
Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com
I love, love, love Ella and now Elton's neurologist but when he said Elton had "NO CM", I said, "Let me see if Dr. Rusbridge would find this valuable for research even though I don't have his pedigree." I knew there were few that truly had "NO CM". He told me he wanted a radiologist (who Karlin has mentioned knew even less about diagnosing CM I think) and came back saying he does have "mild CM". Since Elton is not going to be used for breeding does it really matter? I would like to know what is causing him to act the way he does (Fly Catchers, etc.) but if medicine helps then so be it.
Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella
BVA president Carl Padgett gave a speech today at the BVA's annual dinner in London. He stated:
So, it looks like the roll-out will be a Crufts. Text of his full speech is here:"Last week the BBC screened a follow up to the hard-hitting 2008 documentary Pedigree Dogs Exposed. The programme revealed that much has happened in the last 3-4 years but that there is still a lot more to do to improve the health and welfare of man’s best friend.
"One of the starkest images of the original programme was the Cavalier King Charles spaniel writhing in agony with a condition known as Syringomyelia, where the head is essentially too small for the brain.
"This year the BVA and Kennel Club have launched a screening scheme for this painful condition and later this week we will be educating breeders and potential puppy owners on the benefits of the new scheme at Crufts."
There's a health area at Crufts, where people from the Animal Health Trust, Royal Vet College etc are available to give information and answer questions - I would guess they'll make a big thing of the new scheme there. as well as on the KC's own information stand. Incidentally, anyone buying a catalogue or show guide is also going to get a free video of the KC's two new films - one on health and one on puppy farming. With the numbers of general public who go to Crufts (it'll be heaving on Saturday, when we're going!), this may at least do some awareness raising.
Kate, Oliver and Aled