February 2009
Three representatives of the CKCS Club committee made a useful trip to the Animal Health Trust (AHT) recently, to visit Sarah Blott and discuss the Estimated Breeding Value (EBV) Programme.

Further to our talk it was decided that we should again remind all members of the importance of all MRI scan results being sent to Sarah Blott at the AHT for use in the Estimated Breeding Value Programme. All UK dogs now have an EBV for syringomyelia (SM). The EBVs are calculated from the MRI Scan Certificates and links through the pedigree relationships of scanned dogs. Although some dogs may not have been scanned they will still have an EBV. The more scans that are submitted to the AHT the greater the information available for the calculation of EBVs. The team at the AHT are now working on the development of EBVs for MVD. These are based on the database of heart screening results maintained by the CKCS Club / University of Liverpool and MVD Heart Certificates (yellow forms) that Sarah has so far received from individual owners of Cavaliers.

The neurologists that have been involved in MRI scan interpretation to date do not automatically pass on their data to the AHT, although this will change under the proposed BVA/KC scheme for syringomyelia. In order to facilitate the task of having owner consent to hold the results, the AHT would like you to submit your MRI scan certificates directly to them. Whatever the result of your dog's scan it is vital that you still send it to Sarah Blott. All scan results will be treated in complete confidence and will not be shared with any other parties.

As the EBV for each dog is based on results which have been submitted on family members, it is possible that some dogs will have a poor estimated breeding value (based on the results of related dogs) that could be improved by MRI scanning the dog and submitting the results to Sarah Blott. Even if you know that there are relatives of your dog that have Syringomyelia, if your dog MRI scans clear, it will improve your dog's EBV.

One important outcome of the meeting was the discovery that the syringomyelia EBVs are based only on the absence or presence of a syrinx. (text corrected) This is in line with how MRI results will be graded when the Proposed MRI BVA/KC scheme is running. It will also provide more consistency across the results from different neurologists.

It is hoped that a prototype of the Estimated Breeding Value Programme will be available some time in 2009, but it must be stressed that it will only reflect those results that have been submitted directly to Sarah Blott, so the more results that are submitted, the more information will be available, and the more accurate the results will be.

Sarah Blott and her team are not currently directly involved in searching for the genes responsible for Syringomyelia. The DNA swabs that you have all kindly sent in to the AHT are awaiting the opportunity for genomic breeding values to be developed. If information on gene locations became available this would be incorporated into the genomic breeding values and the information will then also be available to the Estimated Breeding Value Programme. Until that time, the only information that the EBVs can be based on is the MRI scan results and the Heart Certificates.

This document maintained by the webmaster@thecavalierclub.co.uk.
Material Copyright © 2011 The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club