Black King Charles Spaniel

Black King Charles Spaniel

cavalier king charles spaniel dog
  • Be able to travel to Raleigh, NC for sensory testing
  • Be healthy enough to undergo anesthesia for MRI if they have not already had a recent MRI.
  • Bring routine blood work performed within 2 weeks of the appointment if MRI is to be performed.
  • Study 2: Genetic Analysis – to take part, owners will be asked to:
  • Submit digital MRIs (brain/cervical spinal cord)
  • Submit a DNA sample (blood or saliva)
  • Submit a pedigree (if available)
  • Complete a health questionnaire
  • If dogs have not already had an MRI, MRIs can be scheduled at NC State or Cornell University.

Study Protocol: Study 1

Physical and neurological examinations will be performed to identify any abnormalities that might be related to CM/SM and owners will complete a health questionnaire. Next, the patient will undergo sensory threshold testing to determine their sensitivity to heat, cold and pressure. Following completion of sensory threshold testing the dog will have a DNA sample collected (blood or saliva) for DNA banking and will undergo a routine MRI screening for CM/SM.

Study Protocol: Study 2

Owners will be asked to submit digital MR images and DNA sample from their dogs and to complete a health questionnaire. Ideally MRIs will have been performed at 2.5 years of age or older, but we will accept studies performed at a younger age. We will be able to schedule MRIs at a reduced cost at NCSU, as well as a limited number at Cornell University.

Frequently Asked Questions by Owners:

MRI of the brain and spinal cord of a cavalier king charles spaniel with CM/SM. The sensory threshold data may be useful to your dog for monitoring treatments, however, the main benefit of this study is the data generated for the breed as a whole. The information obtained may allow the development of genetic tests that will aid breeders in breeding away from the problem. By taking part in this study, your dog has gained access to MRI screening procedures at a reduced rate.

  • Sensory Threshold Testing: this testing may be associated with discomfort. Such testing will be discontinued in any patient that behaves as if this testing is distressing to them.
  • MRI: If you decide to have an MRI performed, there is a risk of general anesthesia. Dogs’ suitability for anesthesia will be assessed by the staff at the MRI center (physical examination and review of recent blood work) but general anesthesia always carries a small risk of complications, even death.
  • For study 1 participants, dogs will need to be brought to NCSU for the day and provide current blood work (drawn within 2 weeks of appointment). At the appointment we will ask for owners to complete a questionnaire about their dog and its health. Owners will be responsible for the cost of MRI screening procedures.
  • For study 2 participants, owners will be asked to submit a DNA sample, pedigree (if available) health questionnaires and MRIs.

Participants in this study are assured of confidentiality.

  • Information on individual participants is only shared within the research group and with the dog’s owner.
  • On entry into the study, each dog is assigned an ID number and is identified by this number on any data spreadsheet. This ensures that no one can look at a results spreadsheet and link the results to an individual dog’s name.
  • MRIs can be labeled in a number of ways depending on client preference. Typically we would label with the study ID, but this could be problematic for owners/breeders who need these MRIs for screening purposes. Participants will be asked whether they would like the MRI to be labeled with the dog’s name, AKC registration number or study ID on entry into the study.

Study Contact:

Please contact Courtney Rousse by calling 919-513-7235 or email at if interested in participating.

Principal Investigator
Natasha Olby, Vet MB, PhD, Dip ACVIM (Neurology) Professor of Neurology/Neurosurgery at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Co-Investigator
Sofia Cerda-Gonzalez DVM, Dip ACVIM (Neurology) Assistant Professor of Neurology/Neurosurgery College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University.

The following centers provide Chiari screening clinics:

Chicago Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center
3123 N. Clybourn
Chicago, IL 60618
Ph: 773-281-7110

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