These revised breeding and MRI grading recommendations are issued
jointly by the neurologists and researchers who attended the November
2006 Sm Conference in London, sponsored by the UK CKCS Club. I also
have the PDF form for the pain scoring/evaluation but it is too
complex to translate the table into an email post. All these forms
will be available from the SM website later in the week -- I am
working to get the tables to render in HTML:

SM website:

Revised CKCS MRI screening and breeding recommendations

These breeding recommendations are made using current information and
in response to CKCS breeder
request for guidelines. It has yet to be proven if this guide is
appropriate. The aim of these recommendations
is to reduce the incidence of symptomatic syringomyelia (SM) in the
breed, not to create litters of puppies
guaranteed not to have SM as the chance of producing an affected dog
cannot be predicted without knowing
the inheritance.

The age cut off at 2.5years has been decided so as to tie in with MVD
recommendations and because most
dogs with symptomatic SM will show signs before 3 years of age.

The following categories from the previous guidelines have been
removed because of difficulty in accurately

Previously A * -- now A
Previously B -- now C

It is recommended

1) That both the sire and the dam of a proposed mating are screened
(any unscreened dog should
be assumed to be D)
2) Offspring of any mating should also be MRI screened before breeding.
3) Any dog screened before 2.5 years old has a second screen when older.
4) That dogs are screened from 6 months of age
5) That if a limited (mini) MRI screen is performed that
a) the minimum area covered is from the level of the interthalamic
adhesion to cervical
vertebrae 5 (C5)
b) Both TW1 and TW2 sagittal images are obtained in addition to TW1
and /or TW2
transverse images through the upper cervical spinal cord.
c) An assessment is also made for presence/absence of ear disease and
6) That interpretation of images is made by Diplomate level
radiologists, neurologists and, in special
circumstances, by surgeons with recognized expertise in this area.

Grade: A
Age: Over 2.5
SM: Absent or less than 2mm central canal
dilatation in the C2-C4 region only
Breed to: A, C, D

Grade: C
Age: Under 2.5
SM: Absent
Breed to: A and re-scan after 2.5years

Grade: D
Age: Over 2.5
SM: Present but Asymptomatic
Breed to: A

Grade: E
Age: Under 2.5
SM: Present but Asymptomatic
Breed to: Do not breed

Grade: F
Age: Any
SM: Present and Symptomatic
Breed to: Do not breed