SYRINGOMYELIA & CHIARI MALFORMATION
On these pages the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club aims to keep you informed of both the disease and the progress into the research being made into this disease. We will endeavour to provide you with the latest information on the inheritance and advice for owners and breeders. The Club are grateful for the work being carried out by Dr Clare Rusbridge BVMS DipECVN MRCVS and Susan P. Knowler BSc (Hons) of Fitzpatrick Referrals, Halfway Lane, Eashing, Godalming, Surrey GU7 2QQ and who have provided the majority of the information in these pages.
Visitors to these pages are also recommended to view the pages in the Health ­ EBV section of this website. Visitors to these pages are also recommended to view the pages in the Health ­ Foetal Tissue Research section of this website.Historical information on the Cavalier Club activities and Syringomyelia have been archived - click to be taken to Syringomyelia archives.

Thomas Mitchell, School of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol, writes:
We are very pleased to announce the publication of the results of the conformational indicators study that aimed to:
  • Identify if head shape related to the disease Syringomyelia in toy breed dogs,
  • Determine breeding strategies to reduce the incidence of the disease.
This study was funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, and the authors of the paper wish to express their gratitude for this. The project represents a combined effort between researchers, breeders, breed clubs and the Kennel Club and was a worldwide effort. Many of your members participated or offered their dogs and the study was advertised on your website – we are extremely grateful for this, uniting to achieve a common aim.
The study was successful in finding specific indicators in the head shape of the Cavalier King Charles spaniel, highlighting possible breeding strategies and a way forward in tackling this painful condition. This information allows breeders to make more informed breeding decisions, possibly safeguarding a healthier future for the dogs they wish to breed from, and empowers breeders.
The full paper can be found here:
http://www.cgejournal.org/content/1/1/9/abstract
We wished to draw this study to your attention to ensure that all dog breeders benefit from the information and insight that the study gives us to breed healthy dogs and allow the club to share the great work that they are enabling!

August 2014


Neuropathic pain (NeP) is pain resulting from damage or disease, which affects the sensory part of the nervous system. Neuropathic pain is usually chronic, affecting daily activity and quality of life. It is more severe than other pain types and resistant to conventional analgesics.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) suffer from Chiari-like malformation and Syringomyelia (CM/SM). This disease causes NeP and is thought to be poorly assessed in these dogs. Since current treatment available is rather inefficient more efficacious drug therapy is needed. New treatment options need to be evaluated for responsiveness.
The Royal Veterinary College Multidisciplinary Team (Neurology, Welfare and Pain Management) is conducting a study on CM/SM in CKCS. With this study, we are aiming to find out clinical signs and behaviour that best predict presence or severity of neuropathic pain. The use of threshold (thermal and pressure) sensory testing has been found to improve clinical assessment of human neuropathic pain. In this study, we propose to identify if the same is true for dogs. This project will have impact on the reliability of the clinical assessment for a more accurate and earlier recognition and treatment of NeP in the individual dog, and therefore improving patients’ and owners’ welfare.
Read more to see if you can help.
Please note that the email address given in the report should read "neuropathicpain@rvc.ac.uk" – 29 May 2014

Dogs Trust Canine Welfare have awarded University of Surrey a grant of over £138,500 to fund the ‘Identification of gene(s) predisposing to syringomyelia associated with Chiari-like malformation in the Cavalier King Charles’.
Dr Clare Rusbridge, Reader in Neurology, will head up the research in collaboration with Dr Zoha Kibar in Montreal University CHUM research centre. It follows the success that identified two novel genomic regions in the Griffon Bruxellous breed.

See http://clarerusbridge-news.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/dogs-trust-to-fund-search-for-genes-for.html for more infomation. – 29 May 2014

Candidate gene for Chiari Malformation in dogs - Fitzpatricks team help to find candidate gene for Chiari Malformation in dogs - 17 April 2014 – More
CM/SM in CKCS and Toy Breeds – Dr Paul Mandigers Presentation to the CKCS Club 2013 AGM – View Dr Paul Mandigers Presentation
Download a paper copy of the presentation.

BVA / KC CMSM Scheme Information Leaflet - The BVA / KC official CM/SM Scheme notes released March 2012. - More
For KC current suggested breeding guidelines (as at September 2012) –
www.thekennelclub.org.uk/download/13817/HTRF-Breeding-Guidance.pdf

Syringomyelia Made Simple - An Introduction to Syringomyelia and Chiari Malformation by Dr Clare Rusbridge - More (opens in a new window)
Low Cost MRI Centres - A list of those veterinary centres offering low cost MRI screening facilities. - More
RVC Research News April 2012 - New findings address important unanswered questions underlying pathogenesis of Chiari-like malformation in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels - More
RVC Clinical Trial 2012 - A Clinical Trial by the RVC to carry out a comparison of two different treatment options for the management of neuropathic pain in Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dogs with Chiari-like Malformation/Syringomyelia. - More
BVA/KC CMSM Scheme Seminar - Dr Clare Rusbridge’s presentation given at the BVA/KC CMSM Scheme Seminar held on 7 October 2010, Note this presentation has been redacted by the author and opens in a new window. - More
BVA/KC CMSM Scheme Seminar - Notes taken at the BVA/KC CMSM Scheme Seminar held on 7 October 2010 - More
Proposed BVA/KC Syringomyelia MRI Screening Scheme - The Proposed BVA/KC Syringomyelia MRI Screening Scheme - March 2009 - More
Opportunities for Reduced Rate MRI Scanning: - Details of future Club sponsored Reduced Rate MRI Scanning opportunities can be found in our ‘Special Events’ section - More
MRI List - A list of Cavaliers who have been MRI scanned and screened for Syringomyelia. - More
Neurologists - A list of all veterinary surgeons who carry out MRI scanning can be found under "Vet Index - Neurologists" in our ‘Recommended Vets’ section - Recommended Vets
MRI Screening and Breeding Recommendations - The latest MRI Screening and Breeding Recommendations - January 2007 - More
Syringomyelia Research Updates & Genetic Studies - Ongoing Research updates are available on Dr Clare Rusbridge’s website - More (opens in a new window)
Syringomyelia Over 5 DNA Scheme - Request for DNA samples from dogs aged over 5 - More
Syringomyelia Cavalier Collection Scheme - This is a plea to all owners with a cavalier that has Syringomyelia confirmed by an MRI scan. (Updated 8 Feb 2011) - More
The International Conference on Syringomyelia - Presentations from The International Conference on Syringomyelia - November 2006 - More
More Research Funding - More Research Funding received in 2007 - More
Companion Animal Welfare Council - Information relating to the CKCS and the Companion Animal Welfare Council (CAWC) - More
 
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