Simon Swift
May 2004

As many of you know, we are organising several meetings in 2004 across the country with the help of the Healthy heart Partnership to Provide a cardiologist and ophthalmologist to enable dogs to be screened for mitral valve disease and eye problems.

We know that Cavaliers tend to develop their murmurs later in life. Approximately 50% of Cavaliers will have murmurs by the time they are 6 years old. For many years, cardiologists have attended Cavalier breed shows to screen dogs but this has only limited success as:
  • Mainly younger dogs are presented, usually under 2 years old
  • Older dogs are not brought to the shows as they are not entered
This has been very frustrating for us, as we need to screen the older dogs, especially the 5-8 year old. While these dogs can be examined by their own vet, few dogs have been screened this way and the vets are not trained in cardiac auscultation. The association with Boehringer has given us a great opportunity to examine these dogs at no charge.

Please come along to make the sessions worthwhile.

In addition, we are trying to obtain blood samples from dogs who have severe mitral valve disease or who are over 10 and murmur free. This is being run in parallel with the Syringomelia research as there is little point in having 2 genetic databases. Response for syringomyelia has been excellent but the response from the mitral valve disease has been very poor, I find this amazing as about 60% of the dogs you breed will die from mitral valve disease.

If you have a. dog over 10 with no murmur as verified by a veterinary cardiologist or a dog with severe mitral valve disease i.e. needs frusemide to breath properly, please contact your vet to organise a blood sample.

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