Chiari malformation in the Pomeranian


The disorders Chiari malformation and syringomyelia occur in various toy breeds. Chiari malformation is the herniation of the cerebellum into the spinal canal, and syringomyelia the formation of a cavity or cavities in the spinal cord. The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is particularly affected by these disorders, but a screening study showed that these conditions are also common in Pomeranians. We want to know how we can combat these conditions in this breed; what causes it and how do we prevent it?


Currently we screened 230 Pomeranians and have seen that 70% of these dogs have a mild form of Chiari malformation and 25% of these dogs have syringomyelia. While these figures sound shocking, it is possible to significantly reduce the frequency of these disorders with the help of breeding measures.


More insight through DNA


We want to screen as many dogs as possible using a MRI scan. The results of the MRI scan are linked with information on clinical symptoms, which are collected through a standardized questionnaire. Using this combined information we will evaluate what treatment works best for these patients. Additionally, we collect DNA samples from all dogs to measure all kinds of internal and external parameters to gain insight into why a dog is or is not affected by syringomyelia and/or Chiari malformation.

When we know why dogs are affected by this disease, we can improve breeding regulations and maybe develop a DNA test, which will help drop the rate at which these diseases occur.

The goal is to get the Pomeranian free of Chiari malformation and syringomyelia.


With your contribution you can help Pomeranians!


DNA isolation costs 22,50 euro and an MRI scan costs 500 euros. We need a total of 10.000 euros per year to tackle this problem in a targeted manner.

We are grateful for every contribution, big or small! This way we keep getting closer to a solution for Chiari malformation and syringomyelia in Pomeranians.