In the beginning when I started breeding with my cavaliers, I only tested the hearts, eyes and patella’s but since the end of 2004, I also started to have my cavaliers mri-scanned for syringomyelia. Since 2011, all my cavaliers are also dna-tested for episodic falling and curly coat. Although there are no guarantees, I still believe in the point of testing.
I believe, that as a breeder, we have to do everything what is possible to breed healthy puppies. By testing the future parents and making responsible combinations, I hope to reduce the risk of breeding a puppy, that in the future might get problems with it’s health. But although I test all my cavaliers, I still can’t give any quarantees. I wished it was that easy, but after testing for so many years, I now know better. We can only do our best and that’s what I am trying to do. I think that’s the responsibility of every breeder.
Since 2013, our Kennelclub started with some extra breeding guidelines regarding the heart and syringomeylia within our breed. For me not much changed, since I have always done these testings, but these guidelines also apply to foreign studdogs that we want to use. This makes it very difficult for us, since they have an online list of diplomate’s that are approved to make a hearttest. You can find this list on http://www.ecvim-ca.org/home Only the names of these specialists in Europe are approved by the Dutch Kennelclub. Without a heartcertificate of one of these specialists, we are not allowed to breed from that dog. Also both parents have to be mri-scanned and we have to follow a strict Syringomyelia-grading scheme from which we can see what future combinations will be allowed by our kennelclub. If we don’t follow these health guidelines, than we will no longer receive pedigrees for the puppy’s.
So it makes it a real new challenge to keep on breeding beautyfull and healthy cavaliers with these new strict guidelines. But as always I can and will always do my best.