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View Full Version : New UK Study of CKCS with CM shows brain too big for its caudal fossa



RodRussell
9th August 2009, 02:22 AM
Who was it that wrote awhile back about Cavaliers having brains too big for their skulls? Well, maybe some of them do after all.

In a research study -- "Comparison of cerebral cranium volumes between cavalier King Charles spaniels with Chiari-like malformation, small breed dogs and Labradors" -- published in this month's issue of the Journal of Small Animal Practice, Hannah Cross, Clare Rusbridge, and Rodolfo Cappello found that Cavaliers do not have a proportionately smaller caudal fossa compared to other small breeds, but that the CKCS's brain is comparatively large.

See details at http://www.cavalierhealth.org/syringomyelia.htm#comparing_the_cerebral_cranium
or http://tinyurl.com/mnmd49

Bet
9th August 2009, 09:28 AM
I would like to ask this Question,

Because it has now been mentioned that the Cavaliers have a larger Brain,and a number of Cavalier Folk have said how the Cavaliers' Skulls are Smaller than they were a number of years ago ,because of the Cavaliers' Heads Becoming Smaller, did their Brain not become Smaller as well ,and could be why their Brain is Larger than their Heads.

I don't know ,but if this is the case , is the Cavalier Breed in big trouble,since many ,many Cavaliers World Wide now have this Smaller Type of Head.

Any-body got thoughts about this.

Bet (Hargreaves)

harleyfarley
9th August 2009, 10:19 AM
I read that its the genes, when cavs were first bred using toy spaniels and flat faced lapdogs, the genes controlling the size of the brain and the genes controlling the skull size are from different types of dogs and dont correspond, there for is some dogs the skull grows to the lap dog size and the brain grows to the spaniel size causing problems. Some cavaliers have the same size brain as bigger spaniels but not the same size skull. I think its only a therory but makes sense.

Karlin
9th August 2009, 01:00 PM
It isn't yet understood how or why this happens -- this is what researchers are trying to figure out. The issue does seem to be genetic and to have something to do with breeding for smaller size as only small breeds seem to have SM with this cause. Being flat or flatter-faced is also a factor it seems.

This research demonstrates that there is actually a skull size/brain size issue, as Dr Rusbridge had proposed some time back. The foetal tissue research in the UK recently also indicated a mismatch in development between skull and brain size where the skull stops growing to match the brain's size.

It is very exciting to see some puzzle pieces begin to fit together and get this type of cross-confirmation between researchers. The Canadian gene research and its initial genetic work on CKCS had also indicated early on (a couple of years ago) that genes in the area that controls brain/skull development were likely candidates for the problem gene(s).

chloe92us
9th August 2009, 01:10 PM
Rod, Should we start using the shoe analogy again?!?! I was hoping I would never hear that again! :eek::eek::eek::eek:

Very interesting research...it's amazing how quickly researchers are working to help the Cavalier! There is light at the end of the tunnel...maybe.

RodRussell
9th August 2009, 02:53 PM
Rod, Should we start using the shoe analogy again?!?! I was hoping I would never hear that again! :eek::eek::eek::eek:

Very interesting research...it's amazing how quickly researchers are working to help the Cavalier! There is light at the end of the tunnel...maybe.

I believe that Dr. Rusbridge used the foot-in-the-shoe analogy in her seminar presentations, and then Bet took it and ran with it.

RodRussell
9th August 2009, 03:15 PM
The foetal tissue research in the UK recently also indicated a mismatch in development between skull and brain size where the skull stops growing to match the brain's size.

Yeah, what she said! I think Karlin has distilled it for us.

Bet
9th August 2009, 05:53 PM
Are we now at last getting somewhere with the SM Problem in our Cavalier Breed?

Looks like Dr C Rusbridge has been right all along, could the New Look Type of Cavalier Skull ,giving the Pretty Look to Cavaliers World Wide ,with Smaller Heads, be part of the Problem.

This Smaller type of Head only appeared in Cavaliers about 15 years or so ago.

A number of To- days Cavalier Owners won't understand what I am talking about, but Cavaliers did'nt always look how they do to-day.

This could be making sense, if at the time this Pretty Look first appeared in the Show Ring in Cavaliers ,and started winning ,then Bingo , Many Cavalier Breeders would jump on the Band Waggon,so that they also could have a Winning Cavalier.

So is it now down to the Cavalier Breeders to go back to the Older Type of Cavalier Head that Cavaliers used to have, or is it too late ,because this Type of Skull will now be involving Cavaliers carrying the Gene responsible for SM.

Bet(Hargreaves)

tupup
9th August 2009, 07:21 PM
Bet or someone would you be able to post a link or picture as to what a cavaliers head shape was say 20years ago?
thank you

sins
9th August 2009, 07:32 PM
http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showpost.php?p=281437&postcount=64


Try this Tupup.
Sins

chloe92us
9th August 2009, 07:48 PM
I love looking at the old pictures. It's funny, when you think about it, that today, a lot of the "poor breds" look like the originals with their longer legs, noses and flat skulls! :eek:

Karen and Ruby
9th August 2009, 09:36 PM
I love looking at the old pictures. It's funny, when you think about it, that today, a lot of the "poor breds" look like the originals with their longer legs, noses and flat skulls! :eek:


I think we must be the unlucky ones as i chose Ruby specifically for her old Cavvie look. I will try to post some photos foor you to see. I dont like the look of the Show Cavs which is why I Chose Ruby.
She has the old style longer nose and head although she has still been plagued by SM.
It must be the genes as if it was just down to size and shape Ruby shouldnt have SM!!

Karen and Ruby

chloe92us
9th August 2009, 09:48 PM
I have an old-school-looking Cavalier too. ;) And another that just looks like a miniature St. Bernard with the size of his head! :eek:

Karen and Ruby
9th August 2009, 09:48 PM
I think we must be the unlucky ones as i chose Ruby specifically for her old Cavvie look. I will try to post some photos foor you to see. I dont like the look of the Show Cavs which is why I Chose Ruby.
She has the old style longer nose and head although she has still been plagued by SM.
It must be the genes as if it was just down to size and shape Ruby shouldnt have SM!!

Karen and Ruby


I have added 3 photos to the community photo albums if you wanted to look- they arent the most flattering photos but they are the best angles to see her head shape!

Karen

Karen and Ruby
9th August 2009, 09:55 PM
Ah I finally managed to get a picture on for when I post but you can see the length of her nose in this one even!
i think she is the most beautiful Cavvie in the world but then Im bias I supose!!!!!!!!!:wggle:

Bet
10th August 2009, 09:52 AM
This is just a thought ,I have looked at the Photos mentioned, could it be possible that some Cavalier Breeders ,behind Closed Doors, have been crossing Cavaliers with King Charles Spaniels, this is how Cavaliers are looking smaller in size now-a-days.

Many Cavaliers have what I call wee Snub Noses, like KCS.

Bet hargreaves

Bet
10th August 2009, 10:14 AM
Thanks Sins , for putting the WebSite up, I had'nt known about my Article being on it.

The Photo of Ch .DAYWELL ROGER, is exactly like what the Cavalier Heads used to look like.

Then Cavalier Dogs and up to about 30 years ago looked liked Dogs , not Pretty ,Pretty like they look to-day. !!!!

Ch Homaranne Caption ,born 1976 ,lived to 15 ,and is the back-ground of many Long Lived Cavaliers ,also had this same DOG look .

Why has the the New Type Look become the Norm for Cavalier Dogs. ???

Bet (Hargreaves)

Evelyn
10th August 2009, 01:55 PM
Bet said "some Cavalier Breeders ,behind Closed Doors, have been crossing Cavaliers with King Charles Spaniels, this is how Cavaliers are looking smaller in size now-a-days. "

Oh Bet thanks for saying something I have wondered for years!

While I would NEVER say anything was deliberate!! I have seen the popularity of the KCS grow and become a favorite of the CKCS breeder/exhibiters for many years now. The look of the Charlie and particularly the temperament has become more Cavalier like. I feel the Charlie dome is not as pronounced as it was when the Charlie was a more select breed owned by a few who guarded the breed fiercely.These are just my personal observations but I fear the breed stalwarts that have dwindled now would be sad as Charlie pups are now turning up on internet puppy sites.Accidents can and do happen ,as Cavaliers are already a "mixed" breed would DNA tets pick this up?

Karen and Ruby
10th August 2009, 06:56 PM
Evelin I thought exactly the same thing when I visited Crufts this year- I actually went to see some friends in the healwork to music and obedience competitions however I couldnt help but go and have a look round all the Cavaliers. I must say I was very suprised at the difference I saw between these show dogs and my own Ruby. Suprised and Shocked!! It definatly looked like the two breeds (Charlies and Cavs) are beginning to merge back in to one another. They are two breeds for a reason so why can people just leave them as so.

Karen and Ruby x

Kate H
10th August 2009, 09:56 PM
Dr Rusbridge once remarked that proportionately (given the preponderance of blenheims and tris) a lot of rubies seemed to have SM. Looking at old photos, the rubies and black and tans often seem to have rounder heads and shorter noses, and I have often wondered whether some of the first Cavaliers were long-nosed rejects from whole colour litters of Charlies and whole colour Cavaliers continue to throw back more easily to these ancestors.

I bought a fascinating CD at the Cavalier Club show this year, containing Cavalier pages from the Dog World and Our Dogs annuals for 1936 to 1970. Featured kennels are Eyeworth, Hillbarn, Millstone, Otterholt, Pargeter, Sunninghill and Ttiweh, and each photo is linked to an index of 3-generation pedigrees. I think it is still available from the Bookshop page of the Cavalier Club website (www.thecavalierclub.co.uk (http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk))

Kate, Oliver (definitely shorter nosed but flat-headed ruby!) and Aled

PS CD is called 'Cavalier King Charles Spaniels of the Past, A Photographic Record'

Karlin
10th August 2009, 10:36 PM
I do know that there are very few B&Ts or rubies scanning well and finding suitable mates has been a challenge for wholecolour breeders. If more wholecolours were scanning I am sure many more would turn up; the breed desperately needs more scanned in these colours...

On head shapes -- Dr Rusbridge has addressed this a few times in Q&As and I've discussed with her before directly as well-- she definitely says size of head is not a determining factor nor is length of nose nor is size of cavalier as to preponderance of SM. What the research work in this article is showing is that internal area for the skull is a determining factor but this may not correlate at all to outer shape, it is an internal skull measurement for volume. A very experienced person who has looked at hundreds of cavalier heads and MRI scans and skull xrays could likely pick out a likely 'good' skull externally but this would be very hard without shaving the dog! I know one researcher has said people misjudge heads all the time because of the position of ears or the way the head is being held and see shapes the skull doesn't have.

However as miniaturising dogs does seem to be one factor in the appearance of SM it would seem that simply being a toy breed is an issue.

Bet
11th August 2009, 09:40 AM
Will this Study still not mean that all Cavalier Breeding Stock should be being MRI Scanned for SM.

If it's the Internal Head-Room that's too small for the Brain ,then it's only by MRI Scanning this will be discovered.

So does it follow on ,that Cavaliers with the Bigger Type of Head ,can still have Smaller Internal Head Room.?

I'm thinking as I am Posting this, what it seems to boil down to is the Internal Head Room,is that right.

Hopefully some-body will see this and give their thoughts.

Have other Small Breeds of Dogs also got Internal Head Room that's too Small.?

If it's only the Cavalier Breed ,how has this happened.?

Bet
11th August 2009, 09:44 AM
Sorry forgot to sign my above Post.

This Study is sure giving Food for Thought.

Bet(Hargreaves)

Sharon 7
11th August 2009, 10:47 AM
I have often wondered about this, as my Sophie has SM and has a small head, much smaller than our previous Cav that lived to be 14.

Kate H
11th August 2009, 10:08 PM
Bet asked: 'Have other Small Breeds of Dogs also got Internal Head Room that's too Small.?' Clare Rusbridge says on her website that the only other breed with significant numbers of dogs with SM (though still small in comparison to Cavaliers) is the Griffon Bruxellois, which of course has a small and very rounded skull. Other breeds (including King Charles Spaniels) have isolated cases which don't warrant scientific investigation. If you haven't discovered her website, Bet, do have a look - www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk (http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk) - it has excellent information about SM - but I expect you know it already.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Sharon 7
15th August 2009, 04:13 AM
Bet asked: 'Have other Small Breeds of Dogs also got Internal Head Room that's too Small.?' Clare Rusbridge says on her website that the only other breed with significant numbers of dogs with SM (though still small in comparison to Cavaliers) is the Griffon Bruxellois, which of course has a small and very rounded skull. Other breeds (including King Charles Spaniels) have isolated cases which don't warrant scientific investigation. If you haven't discovered her website, Bet, do have a look - www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk (http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk) - it has excellent information about SM - but I expect you know it already.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

i love that breed as well