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Thread: More points raised by PDE2

  1. #11
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    Yes, these things come up now and then and are always widely circulated by certain circles of (the same old) breeders. Funny thing is -- just read the comments by other breeders around such posts and it is quickly apparent that most of these people hardly know a thing about SM, have hardly followed any research, yet are merrily breeding and showing as if this breed health catastrophe doesn't exist. They rush to endorose and share any scrap that they hope gets them off the hook of responsible breeding .

    It's another sad attempt by breeders to convince themselves that 1) the SM problem isn't that serious and 2) it is so darn confusing anyway that they cannot be expected to do anything, and now have an 'excuse' not to have to spend a penny on that costly testing and can go back to selling those now more lucrative puppies, and showing their dogs in self-imposed ignorant bliss.

    I find it interesting that a study of 500+ asymptomatic cavaliers can be dismissed as a mere drop in the ocean in one sentence but in the next her personal experience, based on a very small number of mostly unscanned dogs, are used to argue against a carefully thought out BVA/KC Scheme.
    Bingo.

    I have watched breeders for almost a decade now complain that research trials were 'too small to be meaningful'. Yet, as Margaret notes, they are more than happy to draw uninformed, unprofessional, anecdotal conclusions based on their own tiny households of dogs or those of their friends. The more the results are not to their liking, the faster they are to start to ask questions about how meaningful the study sample was too (even in the case of the foetal tissue research supported by many breeders -- results were questioned and sample size criticised when results dovetailed with all the other research).

    As more and more studies emerged, with larger and larger study samples of cavaliers including a sample of over 500 cavaliers, primarily owned by UK show breeders (a huge sample by any calculation, for a dog-oriented study), the overwhelming evidence remains that the incidence of SM is extremely high in this breed; that most symptomatic SM is strongly correlated to syrinxes, not CM alone; that SM is genetic; that there are definite patterns of inheritance. The fact that some dogs with mild CM sadly have severe pain is hardly disproof of any of this-- rather it underlines what researchers (human and dog) have been saying for some time (if any of these people EVER actually READ any studies ): that one key element of pain and progression in the condition seems to be the individual variation in CSF flow. This is a very poorly understood area but there ARE existing human studies that have shown when flow is analyzed by a special type of MRI in humans whose decompression surgery has not worked well, the discovery is often that the flow is unusual and a fresh surgery that facilitates the kind of flow an individual has, greatly improves pain. I can count on maybe two hands, the dogs I know of with 'mild' CM and no SM that are seriously symptomatic. The vast majority fall into the 'norm' of syrinxes causing problems and as a couple of studies show: width and shape of syrinx are closely correlated to level of pain/severity of symptoms. That doesn't mean there are not rare exceptions. Odd exceptions to the 'typical' presentation occur with ANY disease, *because we are all individuals*.

    Also, many cavaliers have PSOM to some degree as well, and symptoms can be very painful and correlate to some being described. Many of these dogs also have enlarged ventricles, which are believed to have some not yet understood role in CM/SM and possibly could initiate pain. And bottom line: I have seen so much totally inaccurate information about individual cases of dogs, including deliberately distorted information, passed around by some (the same old...) breeders to suit their own ends that anyone should be very cautious about claims of what this dog or that dog they've heard about has or doesn't have. I have spoken to some of those US/UK neurologists and some of the actual dog owners and often the information being spread around is simply, wrong.

    This claim of breeders being able to breed symptomatic dogs under the breeding protocol is an old canard. It is simply untrue, and such an interpretation raises questions about the intelligence of people claiming this -- surely breeders are not so incredibly stupid and ethically bankrupt that they would ever, knowingly, breed from a dog in pain for ANY reason (diagnosed or undiagnosed)?
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Margaret C View Post

    I find it interesting that a study of 500+ asymptomatic cavaliers can be dismissed as a mere drop in the ocean in one sentence but in the next her personal experience, based on a very small number of mostly unscanned dogs, are used to argue against a carefully thought out BVA/KC Scheme.
    I thought the same when I saw this being circulated yesterday, you cannot knock a scientific study for being too small then use your anecdotal experience of even less dogs to try and disprove it.
    and experience of your possibly related dogs does not represent the breed as a whole.


    I used to say i'd never seen SM either & it couldnt be that widespread. Then fate kicked me in the face and I realised my dog with the "skin condition " was severely affected. We have had 6 king charles who airscratched & one who has it on mri but no symptoms yet ( out of 22 dogs owned) & our previous cavalier penny certainly had something wrong as she screamed randomly and rubbed her back end on the wall until she bled. our current cavalier ezme scratches if you stroke her shoulder.

    I'd love it if everyone who says it is not a problem arranged to have their dogs scanned, the results analized and published and proved us wrong ( who wants SM to be widespread , I dont ) but instead they try to knock those who are doing something & try to discourage others from scanning to make themselves feel better
    Last edited by AT; 4th March 2012 at 07:04 PM.

  3. #13
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    There are some people that have cavaliers that show extreme symptoms with mild CM and I DON'T think they are trying to undermine any scheme or anything else but just want to help their dogs. The only time I saw it mentioned that they be used for breeding was here and from a comment that Rod made that he would have to see what researchers say. Karlin quickly addressed it and said that they would not want them used. You know I now have a cavalier that is showing symptoms and it is hard when people don't believe you. I know I came on here saying his MRI was without CM or SM but that diagnosis changed. I am waiting for my sister to mail the CD so I can see the images again. A really good friend told me to try and journal symptoms, frequency, duration, etc. so I am.

    I could not help to go to a cavalier meet up today and someone told me they are worried about their cavalier air scratching. There is another cavalier that I think (and another person on here who is in meet up group) both thought was symptomatic. Two of us had MRI with severe SM and now Elton with mild CM both had surgery out of a group of maybe 8 tops. Now another one is having concerns. I was reading one post about importing but its a problem in all countries. I just wanted to say there are people who do care and have symptomatic mild CM cavaliers, myself included.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Margaret C View Post
    ... I find it interesting that a study of 500+ asymptomatic cavaliers can be dismissed as a mere drop in the ocean in one sentence but in the next her personal experience, based on a very small number of mostly unscanned dogs, are used to argue against a carefully thought out BVA/KC Scheme.
    Aside from the obvious irony that one breeder's experiences should make her a skeptic, versus the MRI scans of 550 asymptomatic cavaliers, I still see a problem with that 550 figure. It includes a wide range of ages, from 12 months (and possibly younger) to over six years, and from that number, the researchers have found that 25% of the 12 month olds had CM/SM and that 70% of the six year olds and older had CM/SM. We don't know how many of the 550 fall into each age group.

    Perhaps among the 550 dogs, there were a sufficient number in each age group to make their percentages statistically significant.

    But if data like that, with unanswered questions, are enough to make breeders skeptical, then I think there should be a symposium to hash the questions out, and I don't think that just having clubs' health representatives report back to their clubs, and gather responses back from their clubs, is enough.

    When the MVD breeding protocol was introduced, in 1996 to the UK breeders and in 1998 to the US breeders, the breeders were welcome to meet the panel of cardiologists and geneticist who devised the protocol, and ask their own questions to the panel members. The transcripts of these symposia were widely distributed. The result was that these kinds of skeptical comments were stifled from the start. Admitedly, it did not result in many breeders actually following the MVD protocol, but it did stifle the complaint that they did not get the chance to hear directly from the researchers and to get their questions asked. Instead, the breeders came up with other excuses.
    Rod Russell

  5. #15
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    Just on the assertion in the argument about dogs with mild CM having significant pain -- again, I would strongly question the interpretations of the scans and whether such dogs have 'mild' CM. In a paper using this same general cohort of dogs as the 70% paper (a bit larger as some were eliminated for some reasons in the 70% paper), Clare noted:

    Of a group of 564 scanned cavaliers reported by Clare Rusbridge in a 24 month period there were NO dogs without CM and only SIX (1.1%) with mild CM.


    This is why it seems extraordinary that a handful of primarily US neurologists are finding many cases of mild CM and even some CM-free dogs. True 'mild' CM is actually extremely rare. I would guess the majority of the US-graded 'mild CM' dogs actually are not 'mild'.

    http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.../b-g-paper.pdf

    Rod, I have a copy of the 70% paper and seem to recall that it does give the proportions for each age group in the full paper, but I haven't looked at it in a while. Unfortunately I don't have it with me on my laptop; it is back in Ireland on my desktop (I am in the US at the moment). Clare does note in the paper above that almost half of the scanned breeding dogs were under 2.5 though (in itself that seems fairly alarming -- presumably breeders who are already complaining of cost and the need for repeat scannings, are in many cases ONLY scanning their dogs at a point where they have no grade applicable to breeding and at an age they are most likely to be free of SM -- of the proportion without SM (about 75% in that age group) she notes some number will likely go on to develop SM.

    Hopefully any thinking person will go read the paper linked to above as it totally undermines the ridiculous claims (based on -- FIVE dogs! As opposed to 555! ). It gives LOTS and LOTS of statistics on SM affectedness in that 550+ group and how many offspring end up affected depending on grades and whether one or both parents has SM.

    A symposium on SM would be really interesting and helpful at the moment for all sorts of reasons, but I do not think it will change many views within the skeptics -- because the same crowd that attended the other two symposia and asked questions still stick to their same old arguments years later (typically based on the most convoluted twisting around of information, wishful thinking, and anecdotal information about tiny groups of dogs, compared to these huge research samples).
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    This is why it seems extraordinary that a handful of primarily US neurologists are finding many cases of mild CM and even some CM-free dogs. True 'mild' CM is actually extremely rare. I would guess the majority of the US-graded 'mild CM' dogs actually are not 'mild'.
    I am sorry but I think this is insulting to neurologists here in the USA. Are you suggesting that Dr. Rusbridge is the only person who is fully qualified to interpret MRI scans?

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    ... Rod, I have a copy of the 70% paper and seem to recall that it does give the proportions for each age group in the full paper, but I haven't looked at it in a while. ...
    I read the article, and I just re-read it, and if a breakdown by age group is in it, I'm not finding it.
    Rod Russell

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    Quote Originally Posted by KingCav View Post
    I am sorry but I think this is insulting to neurologists here in the USA. Are you suggesting that Dr. Rusbridge is the only person who is fully qualified to interpret MRI scans?
    Oh, man, here we go again. Certainly, Karlin can respond, but looking for an argument does not become you.
    Rod Russell

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    Quote Originally Posted by RodRussell View Post
    Oh, man, here we go again. Certainly, Karlin can respond, but looking for an argument does not become you.
    I am not looking for an argument Sir. I am defending the reputation of neuros in the USA.

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingCav View Post
    I am sorry but I think this is insulting to neurologists here in the USA. Are you suggesting that Dr. Rusbridge is the only person who is fully qualified to interpret MRI scans?
    It could be taken as insulting, but it's probably true as well. Very few neurologists in the US would have extensive experience grading CM in cavaliers; most of these specialists would also be happy to allow input from more experienced colleagues.

    I suspect the quality difference is actually in the positioning of the head during the scan, rather than neurologist competency.

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