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Thread: SM in Chihuahuas........Leading by Example.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Hatfield, Herts, UK
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    Default SM in Chihuahuas........Leading by Example.

    What an admirable man. A long time top breeder who truly loves his breed.
    Margaret C

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

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Dublin, Ireland
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    Every chihuahua breeder -- and every breeder of other toy breeds that thinks SM is not a potential minefield for their breed -- should read this, from the breeder's email noted in the column:

    The fact is that of the 29 Chihuahuas so far scanned under the BVA/SM scheme, 18 scanned positive i.e. 62%, so there is a very great chance that some of their unscanned dogs are affected.

    My reason for being so open with the situation with my own dogs is because I am very concerned that many other breeders are not recognising the extent of this problem, as I have done, and seem to be taking the view that it is all right to carry on breeding. It is obvious from the evidence that I have discovered that this is not simply a problem in my Chihuahuas, but is wide spread in both this country and abroad

    Yours sincerely
    Graham Foote
    Definitely a breeder to be praised for his approach to finding SM in his line and extensive efforts to follow up on every dog.

    I do think the issue of showing dogs with a confirmed, potentially serious genetic disease, that should/would prevent the dog from being bred, is more difficult.

    I cannot see how it can be reconciled with the current effort by the KC to have some breeds undergo visual checks for what -- in comparison to SM -- are minor defects (on the pain scale/in terms of health) compared to syringomyelia. An inturned eyelash or heavy skin fold seems so trivial compared to a compressed brain and spinal syrinxes. The issue of whether a dog is symptomatic is also so opaque. It's one thing if a neurologist has confirmed a dog is clinically asymptomatic (and the breeder doesn't say if this is his judgement or that of a neurologist with any of the 'asymptomatic' chihuahuas), but neurologists have seen so many times that dogs which owners genuinely believe are asymptomatic actually are symptomatic. Show dogs also get pulled around, and have their heads jerked upwards, with those show leads, which I find really alarming for any dog with any form of SM, whether symptomatic or not.

    So while I definitely applaud the breeder's actions on behalf of his breed (though someone needs to tell him he cannot assume SM came from one side or another just on the basis of a couple of MRIs; the likelihood is that there are many carriers in the breed regardless of whether a dog is symptomatic or has SM itself [yet?]) -- I find it hard to reconcile Crufts' and the Kennel Club's insistence that showing is -- and must be -- about healthy dogs (which I question anyway in practice...), and allowing a dog known to have SM, to be shown. Or supporting this chihuahua breeder's decision to do so.

    Interested how others see this issue, which is difficult!
    Cavaliers: Tansy : Mindy Connie Roxy Neasa Gus
    In memory: My beautiful Jaspar Lucy Leo Lily Libby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Essex, UK
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    Having read that I can only say how much I admire that man.


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