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 Prof 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Tissue Research section of this website.Historical information on the Cavalier Club activities and Syringomyelia have been archived - click to be taken to Syringomyelia archives.

Research Study Into Cavalier Head Shape – Help Wanted
It is hoped this project may help to shed further light on the painful condition called syringomyelia. Recent research has found two significant risk factors in head shape for syringomyelia. This study will focus on whether such risk factors in head shape can be identified visually.

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A multidisciplinary team from the Royal Veterinary College, with Sandra Sanchis-Mora, MRCVS as primary investigator, is conducting a study on Chiari-like malformation and Syringomyelia (CM/SM) in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels. They are validating techniques to measure pain associated with CM/SM and consequences for canine quality of life. These tools will improve the welfare of Cavaliers now and in the future. They are currently seeking dogs and owners to take part in their studies.

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Research Update on Conformational Indicators
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:
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

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 for more infomation. – 29 May 2014

Kennel Club And British Veterinary Association Fund Fight Against Health Condition – The Kennel Club Charitable Trust and the British Veterinary Association (BVA) have pledged up to £30K to support breeds concerned about the health condition Chiari Malformation/Syringomyelia (CM/SM). – 6 March 2015 – More
Candidate gene for Chiari Malformation in dogs - Fitzpatricks team help to find candidate gene for Chiari Malformation in dogs - 17 April 2014 – More
BVA / KC CMSM Scheme Information Leaflet - The BVA / KC official CM/SM Scheme notes released March 2012. - More
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
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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