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Thread: Information required on PSOM

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    I was asking about the AI because I thought importing semen might enlarge the gene pool?
    Sheena Stevens

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Benoni, 32km east of Johannesburg, Tvl, South Africa


    Hi Jane

    Regarding infection, I know the Australians usually do swabs before a mating to make sure that there is none - something I haven't yet resorted to, but would consider if it appeared to become a problem. But not totally certain what I would have to swab FOR.

    There is a place my friend has used here which mainly does for cattle and horses, but they only charge 50 cents per straw per month - peanuts! To make it worth the EFT I suppose you'd pay for at least ten years to start with! At the place Onderstepoort (our veterinary training university) uses it costs a lot more, but I don't think it's prohibitive. I gather from my friend who now lives in NZ, that the major cost is in the transport to and fro of the cylinder from overseas.

    Current health protocols for Cavaliers are fairly slack here (in MY opinion, only, so please don't quote me). However, my own particular friends and I follow the Swedish one as far as MVD is concerned in that we only breed if the pair are heart clear at two and a half and have been MRI'd. I haven't yet needed to worry in that particular regard as my imported boy was graded A, so I could use him on anything down to a D, but actually the bitches I used him on were also all graded A. Now that the test is available we also do the CC/DE and EF tests - however, met a big problem recently; I wanted Murphy tested for these (at my expense, although my friend wants to pay I've sort of "overlooked" that). After six weeks waiting for the kits to arrive I contacted my brother in Beds who had organised it. When he phoned the Customer Services Manager at AHT she said something to the effect that "Oh, this is always happening with South Africa and Brazil, criminals tear open the packages and when they find nothing of value they throw them away instead of returning them to the postal bag!" So we organised a second lot (no expense to us for the actual kits) by courier - and quite amazing they were with Customs in Jo'burg a mere 18 hours after being collected from my brother in England! Sadly my friend's import was shown to be a carrier for CC/DE (I know the breeder is VERY health conscious but maybe they don't have facilities for that test). Someone I know in Cape Town imported a dog from a top kennel in the UK who was also a carrier - I know this because of the information on the British Kennel Club site, but whether she was aware I don't know. He's done very well in the show ring and has sired pups - but I won't even consider him because of this. However, it's made me very wary about who I import from - and that includes semen; then again the cost of a puppy is around the total cost of importing semen unless you get several people to share the canister with you.

    I have not yet had a Cavalier long enough to see when they die, but to me 10 is young. I have a book by Dr Bruce Fogle which states that the average lifespan of Cavaliers has been reduced from 14 years to 9 years due to MVD. That is worrying. Before importing I checked (through show records, not just by asking) the average lifespan in my chosen kennels (two of NZs top ones) and used that as a criterion. If your dogs are living to 14 or 15 you must be doing something right!

    I have actually been astonished at how many top UK kennel's names are NOT listed on KC records for health testing, which I believe the owners have no choice, they get recorded regardless. Other than MRI it is just so easy to do these tests. OK, rant over!


  3. #13


    Hello Dorothy,

    We can do swabs for infection – usually looking for Streptococcus - but this dog owner was too paranoid for that! My vet has suggested that it is no bad idea to vaccinate a bitch for canine herpes virus at defined stages of pregnancy: it is one of those things extremely difficult to test for, until it’s well established. As with humans, dogs can carry the virus which lays dormant until some sort of stress “activates” it.

    In my opinion there is no good reason for excluding a carrier for either EF or CC/DE from a breeding programme as long as mated to another who is clear. The puppies will either be carriers or clear.

    I had a relatively unpleasant surprise when Hula was found to be a carrier of EF - her mother was clear and the owner of the stud dog didn't know about the test: I'd had Hula’s done at the AHT as it was cheaper at the time (for UK club members) than in France. I had a bit of a job finding a stud – my first two choices were carriers and another was out of date with his heart test. I’m signed to the breed club “charte de qualité” and may not use a dog who is not totally up to date on the predefined health tests. Heart checks are by ultrasound every 18 months, and a dog can be at Stade 2 and have nothing audible. Having said that, dogs at Stade 2 can be bred from. The dog I used was clear, of course. We don’t routinely do MRIs for SM: there is the possibility to do so but as the “jury is out” as far as French neurologists are concerned the club has, as yet, made no demand. Only one dog bred by me, again in another country, has been scanned and he is classed as “fit for breeding” with a syrinx of something like 0.01 mm: I’ve just looked on the database for that country, but it isn’t listed as one of the health tests although all his others are there, including no heart murmur just before his 7th birthday.

    For quality grade Cotation 4 and higher we are obliged to have our dogs DNA identified, and when I did it for Hula's daughter, Lettie, there was an offer of the other tests plus verification of parentage at a reduced price. Lettie is clear of EF, so I will have no qualms about mating her with a carrier if I do breed from her.

    Lifespan is an odd thing. When I bought my first Cavalier in 1977 I was told their life span was about 10 - 12 years, so I'm not sure where Bruce Fogle got his information. I’ve only bred 30 litters since I began, and a couple of those were bitches I whelped for someone else, so not technically mine. My first litter was in 1980, and I tried to keep in touch with my puppy buyers and always asked them to let me know when their dogs eventually died. I did lose touch with a few when we moved to France but I was rather pleased when one found me on Facebook and sent me a photo of the boy they’d bought from me, who was by then aged 14. What made it better still was that they bought him immediately after losing one at age six, to MVD.

    I kept records where I could, but only know the certain dates of death of 47. The average age at death of those was only 9. That is a very young age; but there were a surprising 16 that were tragedies. Three were killed by cars, two of them on their owner’s property. One of those was by the postman who reversed over the dog who was laying on her cushion in the yard. That was here in France and the owner of the dog rented a house from the owner of a wine chateau who saw it happen from his office window. It was he who phoned me, after he’d dealt with the dog and chased the postman to tell him what he’d done. The post office were taken to court and paid the price of another puppy, as it was on private property. Obviously it didn’t replace the one Mme G had.

    One was killed by snake bite (or some sort of poison – it was in another country and maybe the translation into English wasn’t quite correct), and a further three ate some sort of poison- slug pellets and/or rat or mouse poison, and all three when the dogs were being looked after by friends of the owners :-(. One developed autoimmune disease and died at 2; the only one I’ve bred to have that; it was in 1995. Three died under or following anaesthesia; two after having had surgery for a pyo (the reason I now spay older bitches) so it may have been more the pyo than the anaesthetic. One was for a simple teeth clean: a huge shock for the owner and vet who’d never had that happen before: Tallulah had no underlying conditions and all the precautionary blood tests had been fine. Another had kidney failure at three years of age: something of a shock. She too was in another country: it may have been leptospirosis. Another, age 4, had a brain tumour, and another cancer of the spleen. Bijou had a tumour in her chest cavity, and another bitch I sold who’d produced two nice litters had a cerebral haemorrhage whilst pregnant with her third.

    The average age of the others who died naturally or, as with Rascally, were put to sleep at a later age, was a bit over 11. There were 25 I don’t know about who were born before 2000 so must be dead by now, and a further 29 are almost certainly still living. I think people only really tell you when it’s been bad news!

    Now for the irony: earlier this year I lost Rascally: I had to have her euthanized due to acute kidney failure. Her sister Raziela will be 16 in a week, 4 September. She has a tumour on her gum but there is no question of surgery: she eats well and that’s what matters; she’s isn’t particularly bothered by it.

    Their father didn’t make his 7th birthday, due to MVD. He was clear (by auscultation) a few weeks before his sixth birthday, then MVD galloped.

    Vincent, who went to Stade 3 MVD when just 5 ¾, was 12 in June and is fine. There is no logic there!

    Cedric was heart Stade 2 when last tested, age 7 ¾, and is booked in for another control next month: he’ll be 9 on Thursday.

    Last edited by Janelise; 08-28-2016 at 10:59 AM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Llandrindod Wells


    Getting back to the question is PSOM genetic? The BVA/KC obviously don't consider it important as they no longer record the information on their scheme. I can only tell you that I mated two dogs with PSOM one with it in the right ear the other with it in the left mated them together had one puppy who when scanned didn't have PSOM at all. Hope that answers your question
    Bridgette Evans
    Svena CKCS

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