Monday, 1 August 2011

Cavaliers - the agony and the agony

Just to absolutely secure the Cavalier's pride of place in PDE2 (oh, OK, they'd be in it anyway) comes an announcement from the KC and the British Veterinary Association revealing that there's an impasse with breeders over the proposed official MRI screening scheme for syringomyelia (SM) in Cavaliers and other affected breeds such as the Griffon. The reason? Breeders have refused to accept full publication of the results. The scheme, then, is now officially "on hold".

Oozing thinly-disguised frustration, the statement says:

"The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and Kennel Club (KC) have been in discussions regarding a Canine Health Scheme to screen for chiari-like malformation 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, but the KC is actively endeavouring to resolve the issues with breeders and breed clubs."


I hear that the Kennel Club intitially supported the breeders, but the BVA stuck to its guns and insisted that the results were published - resulting in a stalemate that threatened to de-rail the entire scheme. Perhaps recognising the PR-suicide of having to announce that the scheme had been shelved before it even launched because of intransigent breeders, the KC has now invited breeders to a KC meeting at the end of August in an effort to broker a deal. 

So if this fails, who is going to take the lead here for the sake of this breed? Or is everyone going to pass the buck saying, ah well, we tried...?  Because, let's face it, at the moment it looks for all the world as if breeders are truly determined to fuck-up a Kennel Club breed, there's absolutely nothing anyone can do about it. 

For what it's worth, I do not think that the Cavalier Coven (the small but sadly-influential core of mainly show-breeders blocking health reforms) is representative of many other breeds. And I'm amazed that right-thinking breeders haven't lynched them for bringing so much bad PR on dog-breeding. 

Among the Coven's recent classics was the throwing out of a motion at the Club's AGM, put forward by Cavalier health campaigner Margaret Carter, that those on the Club Committee should set an example by actually adhering to the breeding guidelines (for both SM and mitral-valve disease) endorsed by the Club. 

Meanwhile, the latest research indicates that 70 per cent of the breed (however-bred) shows evidence of syringomyelia on MRI and that almost every Cavalier has an abnormal skull (chiari malformation - CM). Both these conditions are known to sometimes cause excruciating pain in humans.

Dogs are very stoical and pain-symptoms can be very easy to miss, hard to read unless you know what you're looking for. 

Have a look at this picture. It is of Molly, who has syringomyelia.

On the left: before pain meds; on the right: after.
Molly is owned by the indefatigable Tania Ledger, who as a result of her experience, set up the charity Cavalier Matters to provide simple, straightforward information and advice to pet owners coping with a Cavalier with SM.

This is Molly's story:

"The first sign of trouble was when Molly was three months old - for no apparent reason she would yelp, and on several occasions she screamed very loudly.   We took her to the vets on numerous occasions, checking all sorts of things without result.

"We were careful when walking as she never seemed to be able to walk very far without becoming obviously exhausted.  Sometimes she would stop and refuse to walk.  More often than not she would have to be carried home. 

"Eventually the vet decided she should have her hind legs x-rayed as he suspected she might have a problem with her hips. The results showed she had dysplasia in both hips and luxating patella. We made sure her weight was down to take the pressure of any joints.  She seemed fine for a while.

"Molly then started to limp on her front left leg, the vet guessed she may have ligament problems in her shoulder.  We took her to hydrotherapy, hoping to strengthen the muscles around the joints. 

"Gradually Molly became more lethargic and listless and we got to a point where she would not walk at all.

"I finally decided to take her to leading orthopaedic surgeon, Noel Fitzpatrick. He guessed immediately Molly had SM - confirmed by an MRI. He  told us she would probably die within the next few months. You can imagine how upset and shocked we were.

"Then I remembered Pedigree Dogs Exposed, managed to find a copy and contacted neurovet Clare Rusbridge. Clare immediately put Molly on Cimetidine and changed her pain medication. The change in Molly was amazing. All of a sudden we had a waggy-tailed little dog that appeared to smile.  She started to bring us presents on our return home, she would goad and play with Dougall, our other Cavalier, and overall became a really cheeky little monkey. At 18 months old, Molly was given the gift of a life with quality.

"Occasionally Molly’s medication has to be altered. I can tell if Molly is not well, her eyes become dull, she become listless and very remote. The expression of her face changes.  When I look back at all her photographs, you can see a dog suffering pain, simply by the expression on her face.

"When Molly was diagnosed after her MRI, I decided to MRI Dougall.  Dougall was a very quiet dog, we assumed lazy - until his MRI showed he had Chiari.  Dougall is now on the same medication as Molly and is a completely different dog - although he still suffers dreadful sensitivity in his back.  

"We rescued another CKCS 15 months ago.  Dotty appears to be healthy - her general behaviour is completely different to Molly and Dougall. She constantly wants to play and bounces around like a little toddler. The difference between them is remarkable!"
 

49 comments:

  1. When a breed has serious problems that are as widespread as SM and mitral valve disease are in Cavaliers, the only hope for the future is to outcross to another healthier breed. A Cavalier outcross has been talked about by some people, when it is it actually going to happen? Now that the Kennel Club has brought back the old B registry (under a different name) there is a way to do this legitimately

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  2. Good God the breed hierarchy cant even agree on a testing publishing plan after two years never mind the heresy of an "outcross" How many more dogs and their owners will have to endure this disease in the time they are waffling crap
    CAVALIER BREEDERS.....GET ON WITH IT !!!!!!

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  3. Why is all this MRI-ing and research seen to be more sensible than an outcross and the elimination of the flat back of the head? The mitral valve issue might also be eliminated - a bonus.

    If they are going to spend money on MRIs and research they might also want to toss in some $$ for corrective surgery, which is what humans have done. In for a penny...

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  4. With the KC's new provision for bringing outcrossed dogs back into the main registry, an outcross for the Cavaliers wouldn't have to be done through the breed club or get breed club approval . Any concerned Cavalier breeder could apply to the KC to register F1,F2 and F3 generations from a suitable outcross. I would think that in this case the KC would be sympathetic and helpful, especially to somebody prepared to do MRI scans and checks for heart disease in each generation. And I think its quite possible that if a dog that looks like a Cavalier and has the Cavalier temperament , but without the health problems , could be bred, a lot of pet Cavalier owners would be keen to have one, whatever the show fraternity think

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  5. dalriach: You would think so. Perhaps this is why the cav crosses are popular - or maybe just a happy accident for their health that they are popular.

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  6. This is such a sad and depressing post for the future of cavs

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  7. I would first like to say I know what tania means personally about their eyes. That is what I noticed most about ella who had cm/sm and how much they would change. Ella went to rainbows bridge in may not related to her syringomyelia but from a linear obstruction.

    I just want to comment on what rmholt said about cav crosses being popular. I am in no way minimizing the concern of cm and cm/sm in cavaliers but when people start talking about crosses being healthier it is missing the point. There are cavalier crosses with sm along with several other small breeds. It is up to puppy buyers to buy puppies from breeders who are testing and not just SM


    We can say breeders should do this and that but unfortunately people want a quick fix or a puppy right then. There are breeders out there but its up to the public to support them. If someone wants a cross because they think they will be healthier, then I would hope they get health tests for inherited conditions for both parents.

    I would be skepticle of any breeder who adverised a cross as healthier. I would expect them to follow recommended protocols on the cavalier and on whatever recommended tests on other breed. If something was done in the future to outcross, this should be with knowledgable breeders, researchers, geneticists, etc and not a "breeder" just picking another breed. I feel the best thing pet owners and buyers should do is research and find a breeder health testing. It may take time, but there are some breeders out there and when I buy a cavalier puppy, I will so my part by supporting them and the breed.

    This is a very complicated

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  8. Rmholt,

    All this money is spent on mri's by breeders and in the usa it can be over $1000 per cavalier. Thank goodness there are cavalier breeders spending this money so we have a better idea of what is going on. I don't quite understand your comment. I find it unsettling since I have owned a cavalier with SM and I am very thankful to those breeders scanniing and don't quite get the joke. If it had not been for all the cavaliers scanned throughout the years, we would not know nearly what we do now about this condition.

    Maybe just maybe with help and work with researchers, we may know more but I doubt they would say it is throwing money away!

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  9. Jemima,

    My previous comment didn't go through but I wanted to add not just breeders paying for scans but pet owners contributing to ruperts fund and cavalier matters (who is mentioned in post) along with friends of lola to help fund mris for research

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  10. Thank you for posting again, Annie - moderated your comment on the small screen on my iPhone (was 1am and I was in bed!) and hit the reject button instead of "publish" in error.

    Yes, there are some good people in Cavaliers - and also breeders making sure that a) they scan and b) tell their puppy buyers everything they need to know.

    But it can be v difficult for puppy buyers to ask. I get many stories of breeders (and I'm not singing out show breeders here by any means) saying oh yes, done all health testing, but then go vague and don't or won't produce any certificates. The results need to be out there, publicly-available, so it's easy to check without feeling awkward.

    I recently helped a friend find a Golden Retriever puppy and was amazed at how hard even I found it to ask breeders about COI, history, what health checks had been done etc.

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  11. Thank goodness for the dogged determination of a few to win out despite the best efforts of some. It does seem to me to be a numbers game. Not I am afraid restricted to this breed. http://galody.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/facts-about-srhps-in-the-uk/

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  12. Jemima wrote: "I get many stories of breeders (and I'm not singling out show breeders here by any means) saying oh yes, done all health testing, but then go vague and don't or won't produce any certificates. The results need to be out there, publicly-available, so it's easy to check without feeling awkward." --- I have heard that story often, too. Those breeders (including many self-styled "responsible" show breeders) think they can con the buyers with what they want to hear, but when the tough follow-up questions are asked, those breeders shut down because they've been lying all along. --- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

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  13. Margaret Carter3 August 2011 00:52

    "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."..............

    At the moment many cavalier breeders either do not scan or scan really young cavaliers ( a better chance they have not yet developed SM )and use that underage result to proclaim the dog clear for the rest of their breeding life.
    Some scan in the hope of good results but continue to use the cavaliers for breeding even if the results are bad.

    Show winning cavaliers that scan badly are often sold abroad to spread the problem worldwide


    "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."

    Actually most cavalier owners do want publication of results. So do responsible breeders. It is only the small group of commercial breeders, so aptly described here as the "cavalier coven", that do not want their ability to defraud the cavalier pet buyer taken from them.


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

    Last week another two 3-year-old cavaliers were put to sleep because they were screaming in pain and no medication could be found to control their suffering.

    It is about time the Kennel Club developed some backbone and did what was right for the dogs.

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  14. Rod,

    I know we have all heard that story but being in the usa, do you not think the ofa database is a good start (besides the obvious of not including mri)? I was playing around with it and was impressed with how you could see the result of test, by whom ex. Cardiologist, date of test, age of cavalier? You know more but it would seem hard to make false results? No scanning in the usa is a whole other topic but ideally, it would be nice if that was included down the line.

    Margaret,

    I'm curious about the show cavaliers with bad scans being sold abroad. I recently inquired about the opposite. Male A studs being brought to the usa for breeding and I didn't think there were many sold to the usa? I have heard people say a male stud that is an A maybe used from the uk which would technically be breeding to the sm breeding protocol as a way to use an unscanned female. Scans in the usa are expensive but one has to be careful it doesn't lead to popular sire syndrome. This is all hearsay but I would be concerned if that was the case about them being sold and how would you or anyone else know?

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  15. "Show winning cavaliers that scan badly are often sold abroad to spread the problem worldwide " what proof does this person have to make a such a claim? If Ms Carter had not sold the Trust of those who had started to scan their dogs to get her "profile" she now enjoys, the schemew would of been more advanced as the no blame no shame culture would of ment more would now be infavour of all published test results, this has been the way for all previous BVA tests for many conditions in the past, but her actions scuppered this, in her own words she should grow a backbone and admit such actions undermine the Trust inthe scheme and set it back by years!!

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  16. Why do you need the "scheme".. why not start a website of your own and publish all of the results you want to publish if you are indeed a Cav breeder who wants to do that.Why not start your very own registry for health information.. why does it have to be the KC?.? No one is stopping you or the BVA from publishing information that breeders or owners give you the right to publish, are they? heck they even have things called "scanners" where you can copy your certificate results and post them for the world to see.. will wonders never cease..?
    The idea that "no one" can see the results.. or buyers are too afraid to ask for them is ridiculous..
    and does anyone realize that you actually can breed a Cav to whatever you want to breed it to and still sell the puppies?
    Why does the KC have do anything.. why not just breed what you want.. sell what you want.. health test what you want.. publish what you want..
    "sometimes" causing "excruciating" pain in humans has nothing to do with this.. this is about dogs.. not humans and your photographs prove nothing.. but that is not new..
    I am sure Mollys owners could tell if the dog was in distress.. but not by a picture.. Poor Molly also suffers from dysplasia and luxation both of which are painful conditions.. I am pleased to read she is doing much better but these pictures are proof of nothing.
    There is no need for a lynching.. although I am sure you will tighten the noose whenever you can for no apparent reason other than you get publicity..
    Displeased with the KC and Cavs or GSD's or Pugs or whatever? NO ONE is stopping you from breeding what you think is right.. NO ONE.. not even you Jemima..and certainly not the KC
    No one forces anyone to register dogs.. someone here said:

    "Now that the Kennel Club has brought back the old B registry (under a different name) there is a way to do this legitimately"

    and:

    "And I think its quite possible that if a dog that looks like a Cavalier and has the Cavalier temperament , but without the health problems , could be bred"

    really?? I did not know it was illegal or illegitimate to breed any two dogs together..am I missing something?

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  17. Why don't the KC withold CC's as a starter?

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  18. Margaret Carter3 August 2011 14:13

    Anonymous 02.13

    I broke no trust, the information I gave on PDE was not in any way confidential. The owner of the dog put it in the public domain herself by showing the scan and certificate to other exhibitors at shows.

    The SM status of that dog was widely known within the showing community, but he produced lovely show winning puppies and so was used despite this widespread knowledge.

    He was number seven in the Cavalier Club stud dog list when the film was aired, and could well have become top stud dog if he had continued to be used.

    I did break the breeder's unspoken but very powerful Code of Silence, but that was after six years of trying to get recognition and positive action on the threat that SM posed to our breed from within the Cavalier Club.

    The responsible breeders that were scanning at that time continued to scan and most of them support publication of results.

    Many other breeders started to scan and carry out other health checks because the publicity meant buyers were better informed, but some of the more commercially minded 'coven' members deliberately deceive buyers while pretending to follow the health protocols that they have signed up to as Cavalier Club Members.

    I haave no doubt whatever that appearing in that documentary was the best thing I could have ever done for cavaliers.

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  19. Well, Margaret Carter you could also throw in a patella test now and again and save dogs like Molly that additional pain. Guess no one is perfect.

    Wait maybe some breeders are perfect! I think I know a few that follow both protocols, test hips, eyes, and PATELLAS. But you wont find them on a message forum telling everyone else how to behave.

    I found this the other day. Looks to me like 6 yrs ago lots of breeders supported research (and still do) and researchers acknowledged their efforts.

    You know what else is interesting? The fact in 6 years not much has changed. No rash choices should be made in a breeding program till more is known. Not till you or anyone else can tell me why my A dog has severe pain and the next D dog does not have any.

    http://www.fckc.com/imprim-cavalier-king-charles-recherche-syringomyelia_news-summer05.html

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  20. Miss Kodee I am curious. Can you tell me what the connection is between the ideas in your post and what Margaret Carter mentioned above? What 'rash' choices have breeders been asked to make in their programs? How does your grade A dog with pain signify that Cavalier breeders should wait until more is known before following current recommendations by researchers?

    In regards to 'lots' of breeders supporting research 6 years ago, maybe my perception of the word and yours are quite different . . . and I was on the lists, going to shows, listening to the breeders and actively seeking a Cavalier (in Western Canada) 6 years ago. What I saw was many resistant to the idea that SM was a problem in the breed and downplaying the need for testing. I can't seem to figure out how to comment as anyone but anonymous, but my name is Roberta.

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  21. Anon(2.13) - struggling with this.Are you really saying that because someone chose to speak out that it so put everyone's nose out of joint that they decided to do the wrong thing by their dogs? And that this is OK?


    Jemima

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  22. My point is based only on where I live and what I see. In Canada close to 85% of Cavalier breeders are situated in Ontario where I am from. Of those, 25 out of 32 breeders (last statistic I know of) have assisted research in scanning at least one dog. That tells me, many are participating in screening programs and they deserve to be acknowledged for their contribution. Canada is quite proactive in assisting research for both MVD and CM/SM. Too much negativity does not spur change in the long run.

    An A dog on paper means little to me, after all, I am living with an A dog in severe pain. I believe in scanning, I also believe in following the protocol but prefer to not allow it to lead me to “rash choices”. What is more important to me is to know the A dog is also sound to eye and ear as well. Let us not forget, a D dog can be asymptomatic, and follow protocol and be bred to an A. For me, no online database is going to give me complete confidence. To really give me confidence, I must develop a relationship with breeders so they can get to know me, and I them. I am assured by a few I am an OK person :)

    Today this is how I feel. Tomorrow who knows, research may give me a bit of information and I will chance my mind.

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  23. Margaret,

    You responded about breaking no trust in PDE, but I really want to know where you got the information about show winning cavaliers with bad scans being sold abroads to spread the problem worldwide

    That is a very serious accusation and since you are a public figure it holds more meaning than someone else saying something that is hearsay. There is already people who feel like what anon said about trust is important.

    We really have to be careful of hurting researchers reputations who I greatly admire because the way that comment makes me and others think they are sharing private information which I doubt they would do for their own reputations.

    We NEED breeders to trust researchers and work with them so please respond how you got the information?

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  24. Margaret Carter4 August 2011 01:00

    AnnieMac,

    Why do you continue to publicly repeat malicious gossip like this?

    Writing in the next sentence that you doubt they would compromise their own reputations does not excuse you from accusing leading researchers of unprofessional conduct.

    The only information I have ever received from any researchers is about my own dogs.

    I have however been part of the cavalier community for over thirty years, I still have considerable support, and receive a great deal of reliable information, from breeders well entrenched within that world.

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  25. AnnieMac, can you explain to me how "show winning cavaliers with bad scans being sold abroads to spread the problem worldwide" is "hurting researchers reputations?"

    Who sells which dog to whom, and where, is hardly privileged 'researcher' information. Though I find the idea appalling, it sounds more like your average dog world rumor mill in action to me.

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  26. Margaret Carter4 August 2011 18:38

    Miss Kodee,

    I have already told you that as far as I know there is no official scheme for checking patellas in the UK, but my vet does check as a matter of routine when I have Cavalier or Japanese Chin puppies.

    Thank you for posting the link to the SM research newsletter. The group of breeders there were indeed a brave and pioneering group, but unfortunately there were so very few of them.

    I am very familiar with the contents of the newsletter because, as the Cavalier Club Health Representative at that time, I was asked to check some of the details.

    I was very involved in many of the activities discussed in that newletter. I helped devise the UK DNA Donor Project and arranged the sessions at shows and health clinics.
    I actually sent nail clippings from my dogs to the Canadian Geneticists, as they wanted to see if DNA could be extracted that way, rather than the invasive blood collection that was the only option at that time ( technology has now moved on and mouth swabs can provide the DNA needed )

    I organised three SM talks, two by Clare Rusbridge, one by Geoff Skerritt.

    Interesting to see the first set of SM guidelines in this 2005 edition. Six years gone by and a small group of UK breeders are still stalling attempts to deal with the escalating problem.

    You write " No rash choices should be made in a breeding program till more is known. Not till you or anyone else can tell me why my A dog has severe pain and the next D dog does not have any."

    So in the meantime breeders should carry on mating unscanned dog to unscanned dog despite the fact studies have shown that over 50% of the puppies will develop SM before they are two and half years old?

    It has been well documented that cavaliers can suffer from CM alone, which presumably is one of the reasons CM as well as SM is being graded on the new, official, ready-to-go, but still stalled, scheme that is the subject of this particular blog.

    And just to clarify, my understanding is that a cavalier with CM, no SM, but obvious pain symptoms would not be graded A but would be considered Grade F ( not to be bred from )

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  27. Can I ask if they could take DNA from the nail clippings?
    I wonder if they could get it from teeth that the dog has lost? ........ just curious.

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  28. Margaret Carter wrote: "And just to clarify, my understanding is that a cavalier with CM, no SM, but obvious pain symptoms would not be graded A but would be considered Grade F ( not to be bred from )"

    --- I don't think that is correct. I don't think that the current SM breeding protocol (November 2006 edition) says that cavaliers showing no SM but with symptomatic CM should be graded any differently from cavaliers with asymptomatic SM, which means they both would be graded "A". -- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

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  29. Strike the last part of my last comment. I meant to write:

    I don't think that the current SM breeding protocol (November 2006 edition) says that cavaliers showing no SM but with symptomatic CM should be graded any differently from cavaliers with asymptomatic CM, which means they both would be graded "A". -- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

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  30. First I am well aware of what you have done, you are quite outspoken.

    Second, twist words much? Read it again. I stated I believe in following the protocol - the protocol DOES NOT suggest unscanned to unscanned so how did you comprehended that from what I wrote.

    Third, I was illustrating many MANY fine breeders exist who have the best interest of the breed at heart BESIDES yourself.

    Fourth, my point AGAIN is an online database does not distinguish between an A or an F (as of yet - but I am sure you will be the first to tell me if that happens). To date there is not a clinical exam to distinguish an A from an F. A neurologist clinical exam is so judgmental. ONE must establish a RELATIONSHIP with a breeder to really get to know them, and their dogs to make an informed purchase. My personal opinion (and I am entitled to it) is your tactics make people fear breeders - except yourself who you put above others. You are entitled to frequently state your beliefs – as am I.

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  31. Margaret,

    We are in agreement then. I in NO WAY would ever want to discredit researchers that I fully support. If it sounded that way then I apologize puplically because we should be very grateful to then,

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  32. My 4 yr female, spayed, maltipoo became sick last weekend, vomited several times, and in the meantime began drinking an excessive amount of water, and urinating frequently and volumes. She recouperated from her stomach upset in a couple of days, but continuous to drink enormous amounts of water. Meanwhile, she wet her bed three times, has forgotten all her housebreaking training, and has forgotten even what her puppy pads are for! But she is eating very well now. I just keep refilling her water bowl, which is a 3 lb. butter dish! She stays in the a/c, and I had her hair cut very short to keep her cool and to avoid her pulling it out. She is a very skiddish, nervous dog anyway, so I hate to make too much of her wetting accidents. My neighbor who is a diabetic, keeps saying that is it, but could it be something else? Her treats contain no sugar. and she is eating Beneful's Playful Life dogfood. Thank you!

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  33. Anon, please take your dog to a vet as soon as possible. A sudden increase in drinking/urinating needs investigation.

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  34. So let me get this straight If Margaret Carter hears me saying anything in a conversation in public she feels she has a right to BROADCAST it in a NATIONAL TV programme with out either proof or my permission? I fear the world will be very quite in future when you enter a room,a show or any other public space Ms Carter

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  35. Sure she has a right - if it's true and if it's in the public interest which many would argue was the case in this instance.

    Jemim

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  36. Anon wrote: "So let me get this straight If Margaret Carter hears me saying anything in a conversation in public she feels she has a right to BROADCAST it in a NATIONAL TV programme with out either proof or my permission?"

    Answer is, yes. What proof would be needed? That you said it? But you just admitted that fact. That what you said was true? It doesn't matter if it was true if all she would be doing is stating that you said it, because it would be true that you said it.

    What permission would she need? You just stated that you said it in public. If you did not want it to be heard, why say it in public? -- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA

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  37. Margaret Carter5 August 2011 10:08

    Anonymous 19:23

    Yes, they did get DNA from the nail clippings.
    I believe they hoped to get a grant to take it further but that did not happen.

    I don't know about teeth, but now that technical advances enables researchers to obtain so much information from the small amounts of DNA that can be collected from mouth swabs, I imagine it would be seen as a pointless exercise.

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  38. ever heard of "hearsay" or ipse dixit? it might be in the public interest to say that the emperor has syphilis... but you better be able to prove it.. and you better be an expert on the subject..

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  39. Im curious Margaret, do you scan your Japanese Chins for SM as well?

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  40. Common Health Concerns for Japanese Chin:
    •Cataract
    •Entropion
    •Heart Murmur
    •KCS-Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca
    •Patellar Luxation
    •Achondroplasia
    •Epilepsy
    •Portacaval Shunt

    http://www.trupanionpetinsurance.com/BreedGuide/Dog/Japanese-Chin
    Suzanne

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  41. And the point you're trying to make here? That Margaret has another breed that has health problems?

    So, perhaps, she shouldn't be campaigning for improved health in Cavaliers?

    Not quite getting the logic here.

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  42. Common Health Concerns for Cavalier King Charles Spaniel:
    Entropion
    Hip Dysplasia
    Mitral Valve Insufficiency
    Patellar Luxation
    Syringomyelia
    Would it not be in her best interest to be campaigning for the health & well-being of both breeds she dearly loves? Her comments about cavalier hips & patellas testing in the past, still leave me unsettled. When this is the norm for all breeds around the world - prior to being part of any breeding program and it's not mandatory by clubs it's just a given by breeders to carry out, with the rest of the testing – including an MRI.

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  43. Margaret Carter5 August 2011 20:24

    Chinderella,

    I offered one Chin, dying of Mitral Valve Disease at seven years old, for SM research.
    He was MRI'd and then euthanized lying on my lap while still unconscious.
    No CM and no SM, but the scan was a graphic illustration as to how crushed the soft tissue of the respiraory system is in brachycephalic breeds.

    Anon 19:07
    Well that gave me a wry smile......

    I don't think that any one reading the events of the last few years would say that campaigning for the health of one breed has been "in my best interest", so I really don't think I have the stamina to take on another breed that is in denial.

    I still have five Chins, but no longer breed them. PDE brought it home to me that breeding dogs that are unable to breath properly was wrong.

    Among my five there is one wry jaw, one set of slipping patella, two hip dysplasia ( uncle and nephew from top lines )one obstructive airways disease , two cataract sufferers.

    My nearly eleven year old cavalier has SM, MVD and dry eye. The SM causes the most pain, is hardest to control so he has a reasonably comfortable life, and the pregablin he now needs is very expensive.

    My four year old cavalier bitch has no health issues so far.

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  44. Anon wrote: "ever heard of 'hearsay' or ipse dixit? it might be in the public interest to say that the emperor has syphilis... but you better be able to prove it.. and you better be an expert on the subject."

    --- Anon, if you said something in public and Margaret Carter or anyone else heard you say it, then if she repeats what you said and attributes it to you, she does not also have to prove what you said is true. The only truth is that you said it. --- Rod Russell, Orlando, Florida USA.

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  45. Makes me very sad to read this...Not only speaking of Cavaliers in general but esepecially in this case. Seeing the photos is just heartbreaking. You can see the pain in her eyes.

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  46. DNA can easily be extracted from tissue that has cell nuclei in it. Hair follicles on the end of hairs that were alive when plucked, whole blood, whole teeth since they have cellular tissue in the pulp, cheek swabs and almost any tissue sample from a deceased animal or from a biopsy. DNA is degraded by bacterial action so tissues and swabs need to be fresh or preserved in alcohol or citrate. Do not preserve in formaldehyde. That destroys the DNA.

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  47. Could anyone tell me how to interpret an MRI result, please? Am looking to buy a healthy pup from tested parents, but not quite sure what this actually means:

    Chiari like malformation of the caudal skull: YES

    Dilation of the central canal: YES 1mm in C3 region

    Syringomyelia: NO

    Ventricular dilation: MILD

    Mucoid material in tympanic bullae: NO

    The grade of A would be attributed to this individual.


    I'm led to believe this is a good result, yet the wording implies that anomalies were in fact detected?

    I have read the BVA/KC CM/SM grading and breeding guidelines but they seem to imply each section should be graded 0-2 with a denoting letter the age group of the dog when tested?

    Can anyone please help shed some light on this? I just want to find a nice pup with best possible chance of a long and healthy life!

    Thanks

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  48. Margaret Carter10 January 2012 20:58

    Anonymous 10 January.

    As far as I know.........

    The BVA/KC CM/SM Scheme is due to be launched any time but until then the gradings and breeding guidelines you have mentioned are not in use.

    The certificate you have been shown has been issued under the scheme being used by responsible breeders at the moment.

    Grade A is a good result. If the other parent had a grade A certificate as well, then this litter would be just about as good as you can get.

    If the other parent is unscanned, or graded other than A, then the litter would not be so desirable.

    The cavalier has chiari like malformation....You will not find a certificate that does not have 'yes' here. Virtually all cavaliers have a brain that is crushed by a skull that is too small to accomodate it.

    The dilation of the central canal shows that there is a slight swelling within the central canal of the spinal cord. This may never get any bigger or it could increase and become a syrinx. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing.

    At the moment there is no Syringomyelia.

    There is only a slight amount of fluid within the ventricles of the brain.

    There is no PSOM ( 'glue ear' )

    The Grade A shows this was issued for a cavalier scanned when over the age of 2.5 years and if heart and eye certificates are clear then, despite the seeming anomalies, this would be a very good cavalier to breed from.

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  49. I don't have a Cav but I lost a (so-called top quality from a show breeder)Show-Type Springer pup at 11 weeks to SM and my rescue (puppy supermarket) Poodle has severe HD and at 2yrs, can hardly walk. He cost the original owners £750.00.
    The root of all this canine misery is money. And glory.
    A good breeder will genuinely want to improve his stock and the breed, so what does that make these show breeders in denial?
    Everyone who wants to buy instead of adopt should be made to watch that video of a pup writhing in the agony of SM or see my poor little boy struggling to play with his friend.

    My poor little Springer spent her last night on this earth clasped to my chest in my bed, screaming in the dark (she'd gone blind) and in the silence (she'd gone deaf) her pain.

    It broke my heart in two and I will never fully recover from it. To be honest, I wouldn't want to because it would make me like one of them.

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