UK's Bristol Univ. plans study of cavaliers' head shapes for CM/SM characteristics.
Thomas Mitchell, a researcher at the University of Bristol, in Bristol, UK, seeks to answer the common question, "Can you tell if a dog has CM or SM by looking at it?" He heads "The Conformational Indicators Study" and is investigating the extent to which conformational characteristics -- the external appearance of dogs, such as head shape -- indicate the presence of Chiari-like malformation (CM) and/or syringomyelia (SM). The study seeks to determine if aspects of the conformation are risk factors for CM/SM. This may identify an additional method of indicating disease by measuring the head and body of the dogs, and thereby enable cavalier breeders (and Griffon Bruxellois breeders) to identify which prospective breeding stock to scan and perhaps allow breeders to decide on future matings based upon the overall conformation of the dog and not only on the results of MRI scans.
Breeders of cavaliers with current MRI certificates are being sought to aid this study. All information obtained in the study will be kept confidential, and privacy will be maintained throughout the study. First, the participating breeders are asked to submit their dogs' MRI certificates to a confidential email address, fax number, or postal box. A trained researcher would visit the breeders' premises (or dog show or other breed event) and take a series of non-invasive measurements. A unique ID number will be assigned to each dog, so that the researcher will not know in advance the MRI status of the dog. The ID number also will provide owner confidentiality.
If you are a cavalier breeder and are willing to participate or have questions, contact Thomas Mitchell at CMSMresearch@gmail.com or join the group's Facebook page -- https://www.facebook.com/groups/CMSMresearch/ See also Dr. Clare Rusbridge's blog article for more information -- http://clarerusbridge-news.blogspot....archer-at.html