Breeding Restrictions Decrease the Prevalence of Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels over an 8-to 10-Year Period

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Background: Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) are predisposed to myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD). Studies have indicated a strong genetic background.

Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a breeding scheme involving auscultation and echocardiography. Animals: In the Danish Kennel Club mandatory breeding scheme, 997 purebred CKCS were examined during the period 2002-2011. Each dog was evaluated 1-4 times with a total of 1,380 examinations.

Methods: Auscultation and echocardiography were performed to evaluate mitral regurgitation murmur severity and degree of mitral valve prolapse (MVP). The odds of having mitral regurgitation murmur or MVP > grade 1 in 2010-2011 compared to 2002-2003 were estimated using logistic regression analysis including age and sex as covariates. Odds were estimated for dogs that were products of the breeding scheme (defined as dogs with both parents approved by the breeding scheme before breeding) and non-products of the breeding scheme (defined as dogs with at least 1 parent with unknown cardiac status).

Results: In 2010-2011, the odds of having mitral regurgitation murmur were 0.27 if dogs were a product of the breeding scheme compared with dogs in 2002-2003, reflecting a 73% decreased risk (P < .0001). If non-products of the breeding scheme examined in 2010-2011 were compared with dogs in 2002-2003, no difference in odds was found (P = .49).

Conclusion and Clinical Importance: A mandatory breeding scheme based on auscultation and echocardiography findings significantly decreased the prevalence of MMVD over the 8- to 10-year period. Such a breeding scheme therefore is recommended for CKCS.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)63-68
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Dog, Genetics, Inheritance, Mitral valve prolapse

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