Three-dimensional Echocardiographic Determinants of the Age of Onset of Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Breed(s): Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Sample Type: Radiographic Study
Study Location: Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
CHF-funded Grant: 02649

The relevance of this project for CKCSs is represented by its potential for identifying tools to be used for screening and breeding programs. From the results of the breeding programs implemented so far, it can be noticed that using only cardiac auscultation to guide selective breeding in United Kingdom and Sweden had been somewhat disappointing. On the contrary, encouraging results were obtained by the Danish CKCSs breeding program, which used an association of echocardiography and cardiac auscultation as screening method. Therefore, the sensitivity of the method used for screening and defining breeding criteria is key for successfully lowering the prevalence of the disease. Currently, echocardiographic and echo Doppler techniques, can identify MMVD only after it has progressed to cause alterations to the MV structure and an altered leaflet’s coaptation.

Participation Requirements

Purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniels who are >18 months of age
Otherwise healthy
No history of heart disease
Mild murmurs (2/6 or less) are acceptable

Owners Responsibilities (Samples and Information to be collected):

Physical exam
Standard 2D and 3D echocardiography
Rechecks every 4 months

Dogs will undergo standard echocardiographic and physical examination to establish baseline measurements. Dogs will return for recheck examinations every 4 months until mitral valve disease develops or until the end of the study period (April 2022).

Read more about AKC CHF grant #02649 here!


More Information


Contact Information:

Name: Michele Borgarelli


Phone: 540-231-7188

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