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Evaluation of the Swedish breeding program for cavalier King Charles spaniels

Tobias Lundin1 and Clarence Kvart2*

Author Affiliations

1 Veterinary Animal Hospital Smådjursakuten, Ingeborgsgatan 6, 416 59 Gothenburg, Sweden

2 Dept of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden

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Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 2010, 52:54  doi:10.1186/1751-0147-52-54

Published: 23 September 2010


A breeding program with the aim of reducing the prevalence of mitral regurgitation (MR) caused by myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD) in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCS) is currently ongoing in Sweden. In this investigation 353 CKCS were selected as a sample of the population and 150 were examined by auscultation for heart murmurs when they reached the age of six years in 2007 and 2009. The aim with this investigation was to study the prevalence of heart murmurs in six-year-old CKCS and to estimate if prevalence has decreased since the breeding program was introduced 2001. The effect of the breeding program was evaluated by comparing the prevalence of heart murmurs in the two groups. In 2007, the prevalence of heart murmurs was 52% (50% for females and 54% for males) and in 2009, the prevalence was 55% (44% for females and 67% for males). No significant difference was found in the prevalence of heart murmurs between 2007 and 2009 (P = 0.8). For all six-year-old CKCS, the prevalence of heart murmur was 53% (females 46% and males 61%), which is higher than previous Swedish investigations.