Is a modern head shape an inadvertant risk for Syringomyelia -
investigation for head conformation in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Swedish Kennel Club and Cavalier Matters Charity/Rupert's Fund fund research into cavalier head shape and syringomyelia
Can you please help?
Wanted - photos of cavaliers over five years old
It is hoped this project may help to shed further light on the painful condition called syringomyelia. Recent research has found two significant risk factors in head shape for syringomyelia. This study will focus on whether such risk factors in head shape can be identified visually.
Do you have a Kennel Club registered Cavalier that is over the age of five that you would be prepared to have MRI scanned at no cost to you?
If you can help we need photos from different angles in order to select dogs for the project. It would very much help us to assess the head shapes of the Cavaliers if we could be sent clear photos with uncluttered backgrounds and the head photographed in the right position. You can see below examples of the pictures required.
Please send in photos of as many dogs as you can to firstname.lastname@example.org
A selection of dogs will be offered free MRI scans. The identity of participating dogs will not be published.
We need photos 1) from the side 2) from above 3) from the front. Camera held at the height from the dog’s head from ground. The photos should be taken from straight angles, straight from the side etc. If possible only head should be in the frame, ear pulled down on the side view to not obscure head shape.
These are examples of good photos, a neutral background and taken from the correct angles:
Many thanks to all of those who are able to help!
About the study...
Judging dogs is an art, not a science. The subtleties of head conformation are often only appreciated by breed type experts and in particular those who breed and judge at championship level.
Recent research has found two significant risk factors in head shape for the painful disease syringomyelia. This study will focus on whether such risk factors in head shape can be idenitfied by breed experts, without the need for measurements. The funding also provides the means to validate protocols established previously for quantitative trait analysis and conformational indicators to indicate risk for Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia.
This initiative is funded by the Swedish Kennel Club and Cavalier Matters Charity (Rupert's Fund) and supported by the Companion Cavalier Club.
Clare Rusbridge, Thomas Mitchell, Penny Knowler, Lena Gillstedt
Project funded by:
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These are also ok photos, the angles are a little skewed and the background a little cluttered but good enough: