Thursday, 21 August 2014

Clare Rusbridge website now updated to be Mobile Friendly - iPads, phones, etc

Delighted to share the fantastic work of webmaster Henny van der Berg from Amsterdam Netherlands. Thank you.

We hope the website will useful for vets, breeders and pet owners. 
It has the usual address but can also be accessed as 
If you find any missing links, problems loading, misinformation, etc please contact 

Henny is also co-author on our most recent publication with Thomas Mitchell from Bristol University and Jane Sykes from Canada. 

Syringomyelia: determining risk and protective factors in the conformation of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog. The video 'wall' found on the website is particularly interesting in this respect.  It has a variety of images of features associated with CM and SM. 

Full pdf of the paper now available here  

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Syringomyelia: determining risk and protective factors in the conformation of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog

Thomas J Mitchell 1Susan P Knowler 2Henny van den Berg2Jane Sykes 3Clare Rusbridge 2,4

1.  School of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Bristol UK 2. Fitzpatrick Referrals, Godalming, Surrey UK 3. Lawson Imaging, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Ontario, Canada 4. School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health & Medical Sciences, University of Surrey , Guildford, Surrey, UK

Full article can be found here  which has a link to the pdf. 

video to help aid the learning from the paper:

This study proposes a risk phenotype of brachycephaly with resulting in doming which rostrocaudal doming that is more rostrally distributed and hence sloping caudally. The results of this study may allow for selection against risk aspects of conformation in the CKCS in combination with the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club CM/SM scheme to enable reduction in CM/SM incidence. Further research comparing this external risk phenotype to the internal presentation upon MRI would determine how these features are indicative of syrinx development. Utilising breeds in which CM free individuals are more available may allow for validation of this risk phenotype for CM or determine alternatives.

Congratulations and thanks to all those who participated - vets, nurses, breeders and pet owners. 

Want to get more involved with discussions?  - join us on Facebook  here  

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The 5th international online veterinary conference: July 2014

Vet Education provides the highest quality online continuing education to veterinarians, veterinary nurses/technicians and support staff. Whether it be one of our highly interactive distance-learning courses, or our outstanding acclaimed webinar series, we have the right CPD choice for you!
Distance-Learning Courses: Join one of our immersive interactive online courses and find out why our courses are consistently praised by our students! Featuring live online tutorials, printed and bound course notes, interactive exercises, useful practice resources, comprehensive assessment and a whole lot more!

Complete with our own virtual event centre, our 5th annual online veterinary conference features 16 webinars delivered by some of the world’s most sought-after veterinary speakers, including Dr Stephen Di Bartola (fluid therapy), Dr Claire Rusbridge (neurology), Dr Rob Stein (analgesia), Dr Amanda Burrows (dermatology) and many more!

For details click  HERE

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Surrey Vet school embarks on Dachshund movement study

Surrey researchers use technology and techniques developed to improve human health to help dogs with paralysis and other neurological problems.

Working with the Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences, researchers from the School of Veterinary Medicine will analyse the patter of 120 paws belonging to 30 healthy smooth, long and wire haired miniature Dachshunds . The study is taking place in Surrey’s Biomedical Engineering Gait Analysis Laboratory, usually reserved for human subjects. 

Using a 3D motion capture camera system, a pressure mat and a force plate, researchers will measure the dogs’ stability while standing and monitor how their back and limbs move during walking. Some of the dogs will be kitted out in 24 tiny reflective markers, so motion cameras can capture their movements as a 3D computer model. Researchers hope to develop a system to score the dogs’ core muscle stability, similar to the one used for humans following a stroke.The study's results will help vets to get an objective picture of what healthy dog core stability looks like so they can make evidence-based decisions about the rehabilitation of dogs that are unwell.

Study leader Dr Constanza Gómez Álvarez, Lecturer in Musculoskeletal Biology, said,
“The data will help us to investigate new forms of rehabilitation, for example low level laser therapy, with the aim of shortening recovery times. Currently, vets rely on clinical examination and neurological indicators to evaluate the recovery of dogs paralysed by intervertebral disc disease. We hope to establish an objective score for healthy core stability, so we can make an unbiased analysis of patients and tailor rehabilitation methods accordingly. We also hope to improve the understanding of how this breed moves and why these dogs suffer from back problems.”

The research team includes Dr Aliah Shaheen, Lecturer in Human Movement Analysis and Dr Clare Rusbridge, Reader in Veterinary Neurology and Chief of Neurology at Fitzpatrick Referrals, where part of the study is taking place.

Well done Dachshund Breed Club for supporting this initiative which will help all breeds with back problems

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Cavalier Matters Charity promotes research to provide objective grading of Chiari Malformation in Cavaliers

Cavalier Matters is funding a PhD project at the University of Surrey to quantify Chiari-like Malformation (CM) and Syringomyelia (SM) in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

This research project seeks to provide objective measurements on an Magnetic Resonance Image (MRI) for both CM and SM affectedness that can better assess the degree of risk for inheriting both these conditions.  The funding will enable Susan P. Knowler (Penny) to extend the genetic research recently announced supported by the Dogs Trust. It is hoped that any gene/genomic markers identified in the cavalier breed will strengthen the development of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and provide a powerful screening tool for breeders.  

Supported by cavalier lovers worldwide, Penny has been investigating the inheritance and phenotype of CM and SM in Cavaliers and other breeds for over a decade. The project carries forward the research undertaken with Dr Clare Rusbridge, Head of Neurology at Fitzpatrick Referrals and Reader in Neurology at Surrey University.  The senior supervisor for the project is Prof Roberto La Ragione

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Dr Colin Driver awarded PhD from the University of Ghent for his research into Syringomyelia secondary to Chiari-like malformation

Many congratulations  to Dr Colin Driver on his award of a PhD from the University of Gent and his thesis "New Insights into the Pathogenesis of Syringomyelia secondary to Chiari-like malformation in dogs". This considerable body of work is the culmination of ~ 7 years hard work and Dr Driver has made a pivotal contribution to the dog and scientific community's understanding of this enigmatic disease.  May he go from strength to strength

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Dogs Trust to fund the search for gene/s for Syringomyelia and painful Chiari-Malformation in Cavaliers.

Dogs Trust Canine Welfare have awarded University of Surrey a grant of over £138,500 to fund the  ‘Identification of gene(s) predisposing to syringomyelia associated with Chiari-like malformation in the Cavalier King Charles.  

Dogs Trust wish to stress that the fundamental aim of all grants submitted must be centred on a solutions-based approach to conditions in dogs with a genetic underpinning and serious welfare implications.

Dr Clare Rusbridge, Reader in Neurology, will head up the research in collaboration with Dr Zoha Kibar in Montreal University CHUM research centre. It follows the success that identified two novel genomic regions in the Griffon Bruxellous breed. (see paper

The team used an approach called Qualitative Trait Locus (QTL) analysis which involved linking two types of information – phenotypic data (trait measurements) and genotypic data (usually molecular markers) in an attempt to explain the genetic basis of variation. (see paper) The research is not invasive and does not require a Home Office licence. The new funding will allow this powerful technique to be repeated in the Cavalier King Charles spaniel breed with a view to finding a genetic cause for both painful CM and Syringomeylia. Not only may it help dogs and breeders, but it might also help improve understanding of the condition in humans and lead to improved diagnosis and treatment options.”

Thank you so much Dogs Trust on behalf of cavalier lovers worldwide