To use Toby , or not to use Toby, that is the question -
Toby and Treacle were MRI scanned nearly five weeks ago now and I have been chasing the British Veterinary Association (BVA) up for the last couple weeks, about when the scans would be graded. A sense of urgency for the grades now, as Primrose came on heat this last Sunday, so on ringing the BVA on Monday to be told they might be graded today. I was on the blower (Phone) this morning to find out if they were going to be graded today and was told that they would be and my reply was, "Yes", which made the lady on the phone laugh and she took my details, so I could be rang later on with Toby's result.
So around 4pm I got a call from the BVA to be told that Toby's results were CM 2, which nearly all Cavaliers are, so no surprise there and then she told me he was SM 1b, which also is not so bad. I would of loved SM 0b. I did not get Treacle's result, as the BVA had been a little funny about giving me Toby's result over the phone, even though these results go public on the Kennel Club website. T'is sex, lies and espionage in the dog breeding world I tell you. On Monday I got told that I could not be told the result over the phone, only the vet that did them could ring and get the result. So I said to the lady,"So I can ring you on Wednesday to find out if Toby has been graded and if he has. I then have to ring the vet in Bristol to ring you for the result. They then ring you for the result and then they ring me to tell me the result, whilst you put them on the Kennel Club website in a couple weeks time and anyone can see the result. I'm not having a go at you, but don't you think that sounds a bit ridiculous." She told me to ring back Wednesday and see what they could do.
The BVA reminds me of a little story involving my old Mum and a pasty. Although Mum is coming eighty this year, she is still pretty sharp and a little while ago was in a self service cafe. A lady came to help her and my Mum pointed to a pasty saying, "I'll have a small pasty please." The lady replied, "We don't do small pasties, we only do medium or large." My Mum asked, "Is the medium pasty smaller than the large pasty ?" The lady eagerly replied, "Yes" and with that my Mum rephrased her first request, "Well, I'll have the smaller of the two pasties you have there then." Lol
So bide my wandering. What does the grade SM 1b mean ? You can find out more about the BVA scheme for Chiari-Like Malformation (CM)/Syringomyelia (SM) and what its aims are by clicking on this link
And you can look at the BVA suggested breeding recommendations at this link http://www.bva.co.uk/uploadedFiles/Content/Canine_Health
Toby with a grade of SM 1b has Central Canal Dilation (CCD) less than 2mm. What is CCD ?
The central canal is the cerebrospinal fluid filled space that runs longitudally through the length of the entire spinal cord. The venticular system is continous with the central canal. The ventricular system is where the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced from a set of four interconnected cavities called ventricles in the brain. The ventricular system being continuous with the central canal allows for the flow of CSF to circulate. The central canal is the adult remnant of the neural tube. The neural tube is an embryo's forerunner to the central nervous system. Normally the central canal is only just visable by MRI scanning and slightly dilated this anamoly will be recorded. Dogs that have small CCD of less than 2mm show no symptoms of SM. It is though considered as part of the spectrum of CM/SM and some young dogs with CCD have then progressed to having SM with some dogs with CCD have produced pups with SM.
This is a difficult one for me because Primrose who we wish to mate Toby with is at this time SM 0b and if you look on the breeding recommendations this mating just misses the recommendation because from them I should mate Primrose with a dog being either SM 0a, 0b, 0c or 1a. Toby is SM 1b. I either wait five months for Primrose to hit five, have her MRI scanned and if she is then still clear and graded 0a, then mate her with Toby, as that then falls into the recommendations, but I would be breeding into the winter months which I'm not keen on and if I wait until next year Primrose would be nearing 6 and around this time with pure dogs fertility starts to decrease, or I call it now and go ahead with the mating, scanning Primrose later in the year with fingers tightly crossed for a 0a grading. Primrose's mother Ysobel at two months shy of 6 years old was graded SM 0a and Primrose's Grandmother on a Cavalier Club granted scheme a few years ago to scan older Cavaliers that were clear under 5 years old at 9 years old was graded SM 0a. I'm going to stick my neck out and go ahead with this pairing now.
This pairing will see pups born with a breeding coefficient of 4 % calculated from 18 generations with the first 9 generations being complete. The average for the Cavalier in the UK is 5.5 %. A breeding coefficient (COI) is a calculation of how inbreed an animal is. The lower it is the less inbreed. 12.5 % would equal offspring from a Granddaughter with Grandfather mating and 25 % would equal offspring from a daughter with father mating. Inbreeding is accumlative so over several generations of inbreeding a COI can be higher than 25 %. For me I aim always for under 10 %.
I will give credit to the Kennel Club (KC) that their mate select has become very helpful in planning pure litters. If all Cavalier breeders had to screen for MVD and CM/SM with results recorded on their Health Test Result Finder service, this would then become invaluable to breeders as well, that want to breed healthier Cavaliers. Transparency is the only way this breed will be saved for future generations to enjoy and love.
The health information for Toby and Primrose is as follows :
Primrose was heart examined by a cardiologist vet on the 10th December 2014 at the age of 4 years and 4 months. No heart murmur was detected.
Primrose is DNA tested clear for Episodic Falling and Curly Coat/Dry Eye being clear of carrying either condition.
Primrose was eye examined on the 19th January 2015 and at that time was showing no clinical signs of Multifocal retinal dysplasia or Hereditary cataract.
Primrose was MRI scanned on the 31st October 2013 at the age of 3 years and 2 months and graded CM 2 SM 0b
Toby was examined by a cardiologist vet on the 10th December 2014 at the age of 3 years and 1 month. No heart murmur was detected.
Toby is DNA tested for Episodic Falling and Curly Coat/Dry Eye being clear of carrying either condition.
Toby was eye examined on the 19th January 2015 and at that time was found was showing no clinical signs of Multifocal retinal dysplasia or Hereditary cataract.
Toby was MRI scanned on the 26th February 2015 at the age of 3 years and 3 months old and graded CM 2 SM 1b
All above health test certificates are shown when visiting us. If a breeder tells you they have health tested, always make sure you see the certificate for it.
This litter like Smudge's and Henry's, the waiting list will not open on it until we get the pups on the ground and up on their feet, as we hope to retain from this litter as well.
Caught this bit of video of Toby and his litter sister, Jessica stalking each other on the lawn. Jessica is the little lady who had her left back leg amputated last year after injuring it to bad to be repaired. Unfortunately the stalking is cut short by the other dogs hearing a dog aggressively barking on the telly, so they all ran outside trying to find where the barking was coming from.
Smudge is now around 38 days pregnant and caught a photo of her last night fast asleep on her back. Interesting to see how Henry takes to his own, as last year he was a star with the pups we had.
Last tonight, I finish on a loaf of bread I made yesterday (When I say, "made" I mean chucked a load of ingredients in a metal box and pressed a couple buttons) and on returning from milking in the evening, I came in the kitchen to see the loaf minus the lovely crusty top it had before going milking. My first thought was, "Henry," but then I looked closer at the evidence. The loaf was sitting still dead square on the chopping board and I'm sure if Henry could of done that or any of the dogs, they would not of just nibbled the crust so neatly off, I think the whole loaf might be missing. Then our two youngest strolled into the kitchen. I looked at the loaf and then smiling looked at them, and the two cheeky little smiles I got back. I new I had found the crust thieves. Lol
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me (Jane) with Puddin' and Teagol, waiting patiently to flush a patch of kale, December 2019
Hello, I am Jane!