Newly published paper from a research team including Penny Knowler and Dr Clare Rusbridge.
Truly shocking figures -- in cavaliers with no symptoms, scans found SM already present in a FOURTH of all dogs by age 1 and 70% in dogs over 6.
This means overall incidence in the breed is far higher than 70%, as this doesn't even include symptomatic dogs.
How can any remaining doubting breeder now argue that this is not a widespread and serious problem and the chance that the still-heard claim that it 'isn't in my lines' might even remotely be true is virtually nil if such a high rate of dogs with NO symptoms scan with SM. The only good news is that if such a large percentage had no symptoms still at age 6 -- then clearly there are dogs less inclined to develop serious pain with this condition -- again, this is exactly why breeders need to scan their older dogs, not just the dogs coming to breeding age.
There is plenty of cash in Rupert's Fund right now for breeders to use towards such scans.
Published in the Veterinary Record.Prevalence of asymptomatic syringomyelia in Cavalier King Charles spaniels
J. E. Parker, S. P. Knowler, C. Rusbridge, E. Noorman, N. D. Jeffery
The prevalence of syringomyelia was investigated in a sample population of 555 Cavalier King Charles spaniels. All dogs, which were declared by their owners to be showing no clinical signs of syringomyelia, underwent MRI to determine the presence or absence of the condition. Data were analysed by logistic regression to determine the effects of sex and age on the prevalence of syringomyelia. Only increased age was found to have a significant effect. The prevalence of syringomyelia was 25 per cent in dogs aged 12 months, increasing to a peak of 70 per cent in dogs aged 72 months or more.