Syringomyelia / Chiari Malformation

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels

Syringomyelia (SM) is a neurological condition. The condition is often linked to Chiari malformation (CM) and is characterised by the development of fluid filled cavities in the spinal cord.

A scheme was launched in 2012 by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club UK (KC) to try and reduce or remove the chance of inherited CM / SM in pups.  


CM / SM is identified by the dog being scanned by a MRI scans, the scan operator will follow set BVA procedures and the output of the scan is reviewed by BVA appointed scrutinisers.


Grading is assigned according to the severity of the CM / SM changes and because it a progressive condition scans are recommended when the dog is aged 1, aged 3-5, and over age 5.


Unfortunately the condition is complex and it may be possible to produce affected pups from parents that appear clear as well as clear pups from parents that appear affected.

If a dog is KC registered and has been tested for SM / CM then the results will be available on the KC website.

2022: At this time CameronCavs does not test for SM / CM as identification of the disease is complicated and does not guarantee regardless of a negative result that the offspring remain unaffected.