Update on the Swedish Kennel Club, Cavalier Matters & Rupert’s Fund project proposed by Lena Gillstedt, Penny Knowler, Tom Mitchell and Clare Rusbridge. Everyone is welcome to share this post.
This project is important to find out if naked eye or perhaps training in the measuring techniques and photos analysis will help identify any features that may be associated with risk of syringomyelia or painful Chiari Malformation. If this is the case then it may allow breeders to breed away from these conditions.
Nobody is more expert in appreciating conformation and variety than breeders, and a small group of representative breeders have already been created in this initial phase of the investigation. They are Lena Gillstedt, Anja Szyszkiewicz also a Swedish breeder, Margaret Carter, Sheena Maclaine and Ellie Mordecai from the UK. Henny van den Berg (Netherlands) has recently joined this group with has expertise of conformation in other breeds. Also Laura Lang (USA) who first investigated MRIs and radiographs with and without syringomyelia over a decade ago.Together they have over 200 years of breeding experience between them and will select the dogs from the photographs that will go forward and ensure that they are representative.
Every effort has been made by this committed team to ensure that the selection process for this project is as fair and unbiased as possible. Participants of the study will be known by a code only and be offered a free MRI scan. All individual results will be kept anonymous, although the owner will have the option to send a CD to the BVA/KC health scheme. If selected, two or more independent judges will examine the dogs using a conformation checklist compiled by Dr Clare Rusbridge, Thomas Mitchell, Henny van den Berg and Penny Knowler. All the researchers who are involved in interpreting and analyzing the results are blinded to the dogs identity.