Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Skull shape risk factors could help in welfare of toy dog breeds

Date:
August 6, 2014
Source:
University of Bristol
Summary:
Two significant risk factors associated with painful neurological diseases in the skull shape of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel have been identified by researchers. The findings could help in tackling these conditions in toy dog breeds and could be used in breeding guidelines.

New research has identified two significant risk factors associated with painful neurological diseases in the skull shape of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS). The findings could help in tackling these conditions in toy dog breeds and could be used in breeding guidelines.

The study conducted by undergraduate student, Thomas Mitchell, from the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences, and supervised by Dr Clare Rusbridge, is published online in the journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology.

Syringomyelia (SM) is a painful condition in dogs and is more common in toy breeds. It involves the formation of fluid-filled cavities, known as syrinxes, in the spinal cord. This condition affects many popular toy breeds, including the CKCS and Chihuahua. In these toy breeds, SM is usually secondary to a specific malformation of the skull called Chiari-like Malformation, CM for short.

There has been debate as to whether head shape of these dogs is related to CM/SM, especially as some humans have similar characteristic facial and skull shapes, and what this may be. Identifying a head shape in dogs that is associated with these diseases would allow for selection away from these conditions and could be used to further breeding guidelines. Dogs were measured in several countries using a standardised "bony landmark" measuring system and photo analysis by trained researchers.

The researchers found two significant risk factors associated with CM/SM in the skull shape of the CKCS. These were the extent of the broadness of the top of skull relative to its length, also known as brachycephaly, and the distribution of doming of the skull. The study suggests that brachycephaly, with resulting doming towards the front of the head, is associated with CM/SM.

Thomas Mitchell said: "Dog breeders are very experienced at selecting for a certain conformation or appearance in dogs. Our findings may allow breeders to select away from the condition over fewer generations by choosing appropriate matings and offspring to continue breeding programmes. The identification of an appearance that might protect against developing the disease is a significant step forward in tackling this painful condition.

"The study also provides guidance to breed clubs, breeders and judges that have a responsibility to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be harmful in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of the breed. It will also provide vets with verified advice to provide to breeders outside the show ring and to occasional hobbyists."

A video highlighting some of the changes is available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ivkBqMxFU0.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bristol. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Thomas J Mitchell, Susan P Knowler, Henny van den Berg, Jane Sykes, Clare Rusbridge. Syringomyelia: determining risk and protective factors in the conformation of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog. Canine Genetics and Epidemiology, 2014; 1 (1): 9 DOI: 10.1186/2052-6687-1-9

Cite This Page:

University of Bristol. "Skull shape risk factors could help in welfare of toy dog breeds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140806095115.htm>.
University of Bristol. (2014, August 6). Skull shape risk factors could help in welfare of toy dog breeds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140806095115.htm
University of Bristol. "Skull shape risk factors could help in welfare of toy dog breeds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140806095115.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Cadaver Dogs Aid Search for More Victims of Suspected Indiana Serial Killer

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 21, 2014) Police in Gary, Indiana are using cadaver dogs to search for more victims after a suspected serial killer confessed to killing at least seven women. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

White Lion Cubs Unveiled to the Public

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Visitors to Belgrade zoo meet a pair of three-week-old lion cubs for the first time. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

'Cadaver Dog' Sniffs out Human Remains

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Where's a body buried? Buster's nose can often tell you. He's a cadaver dog, specially trained to find human remains and increasingly being used by law enforcement and accepted in courts. These dogs are helping solve even decades-old mysteries. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins