Study Reveals, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels Carry More Disease-causing Genetic Mutations than Any Other Dog Breeds Following Years of Inbreeding – Putting them at Higher Risk for Heart Disease

Both King Charles I and his son, Charles II were devotees of the breed. The especially large number of potentially harmful genes in the genomes of cavalier King Charles spaniels, compared to other dogs, likely resulted from its breeding history

The cavalier King Charles spaniel is the dog breed that carries the most disease-causing genetic mutations, a new study reveals.

The small but adorable breed has been negatively affected by years of inbreeding – putting it at higher risk for heart disease, the study warns.

Specifically, it has genetic variants linked to myxomatous mitral valve disease (MMVD), a common and deadly heart condition.

The past 300 years of dog breeding have created an incredible diversity of breeds with various sizes, shapes and abilities, the authors say.

But unfortunately, this has also caused many breeds to become more inbred and more likely to inherit genetic diseases.

Erik Axelsson of Uppsala University in Sweden and colleagues published the new findings today in the journal PLOS Genetics.

‘We find that individuals belonging to the breed affected by the most intense breeding – cavalier King Charles spaniel (cKCs) – carry more harmful variants than other breeds,’ they say in their paper.

[This indicates] that past breeding practices may have increased the overall levels of harmful genetic variation in dogs.’

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SOURCE: Daily Mail, Jonathan Chadwick