View Full Version : A thank you from the researchers, plus a research update!

3rd February 2011, 09:51 PM
A big thank you to all who have supported Rupert's Fund, from researchers Dr Clare Rusbridge and Penny Knowler. They offer this update too on results coming back from the research you have helped to fund:

Thank you so much, all you cavalier carers that are so passionate about your dogs.

The energy and enthusiasm for Rupert’s Fund has been quite frankly amazing. The variety and quality of the fundraising activities to hit the total 11,122 ($17,364) target in 1/1/11 in just under one year is simply fantastic. It has not only provided an incredible boost to the research but also for the breed.

Rupert’s Fund Report for 2010
So far the funds have paid for 29 dogs (all over 6 years except for one over 5 year years old male). The average age was 7.7 years and the oldest dog scanned was 12 years. All but one was from the UK.

18 A grades: 11 females and 7 males
11 D grades: 6 female and 5 males
All had CM, two with mild CM.

Genome research
Rupert’s Fund was set up primarily to support the genome research aimed at finding the gene or genes responsible for Syringomyelia, which needed additional DNA from dogs clear of SM over 6 years. This is essential to secure funding for the fine mapping of the haplotype (set of linked genes) so that the variation can be isolated and ultimately sequenced. The fact that there is so much support for this genetic research, demonstrated through the financial support around the world for Rupert’s Fund, will strengthen the funding proposal.

Helping the Breed
Older dogs scanned with RF have highlighted the fact SM can be late onset and/or progressive. Several dogs were selected because they already had previously scanned clear but had subsequently developed SM even after the age of 4 years. Such valuable additional information allows the researchers to investigate factors which might influence why some syrinxes progress rapidly and others don’t.

Helping Breeders
Analysis of litters produced using the interim breeding guidelines revealed that higher numbers of dogs SM clear over five years were produced if a parent was also clear of SM over 5 years. RF enables breeders to identify suitable mates for their breeding programmes, since all results are sent to the Animal Health Trust in the UK for use in the EBVs (Estimated Breeding Values)- computerised mate selection.

Donations from RF continue to fund MRIs (in various centres with the BVA/KC CMSM protocol).

Priority is given to male dogs over 6 years particularly if they have already had a SM clear scan but we are also interested in stud dogs of 5 years of age and bitches that have had a scan over 4 years of age or unknown MRI status over 8 years of age and asymptomatic. However all requests made for RF are considered on an individual basis and no one should be deterred in applying if they can justify how it helps the breed.

4th February 2011, 10:31 AM
One of the things I think is great about the results is that more rather than fewer were A dogs. :) Also it is wonderful that there are a number of males now. :jmp2:

At the same time in counterbalance, given that these were all clinically asymptomatic dogs (as checked by a neurologist, not by any assumptions from a vet or owner), 11 had syringomyelia. Still those dogs are valuable -- to understand as penny and Clare say, what might cause some to go onto develop later onset SM, and also, what might keep some later onset dogs asymptomatic.

4th February 2011, 11:09 AM
I have a lot of sympathy and respect for those who have put forward their dogs and have come away with a D grading.I know it must be disappointing for them personally,but they've made a valuable contribution to the research and they fully deserve the gratitude and support of all cavalier owners.
It's good to get some feedback on how the project is progressing and hopefully 2011 will be another fruitful year.

4th February 2011, 05:36 PM
From what I understand D can still be bred, so I hope they aren't shunned by others in the breed if they were brave enough to scan their dog in the first place. We must remember this is for the overall good of the breed. The more dogs scanned the better understanding we will have of the problem and how to correct it. MVD is still a real problem so having a dog scan D but has a good heart health history behind it is very valuable still.

4th February 2011, 05:54 PM
It's wonderful to have this update, and fantastic to see what Rupert's Fund has already achieved b*n*n*b*n*n*

This proves that responsible breeding decisions work:

Analysis of litters produced using the interim breeding guidelines revealed that higher numbers of dogs SM clear over five years were produced if a parent was also clear of SM over 5 years.

It is also exciting that we may have helped to secure funding for the halotype mapping.

As Sins says, I too have the greatest respect and admiration for people who put forward their dogs for scanning, most especially those who travelled long distances to do so, and those who very kindly put forward older dogs - not an easy decision.

It is hard to live with the results when they are not what you are hoping for, but I hope it is a comfort that you have helped with the research by scanning your dog.

We wish all the dogs who didn't have good results the best possible quality of life and hope that they remain pain free and asymptomatic. Our thoughts are with their guardians too.

:thnku::thnku: to everyone who has supported the fund during it's first year, hopefully you can see that every penny and pound really does make a huge difference.

A lot of the money has been raised on this forum - so you should be proud of yourselves :thnku: