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of the Griffon


The Griffon is a fantastic breed but unfortunately like ALL other breeds there are known diseases that can not be avoided. If you buy a puppy regardless of breed, there are never any guarantees, other than that a responsible breeders have done everything in their power to breed the healthiest possible pups. In addition to eye diseases and Patella dislocation that occur, the griffon, like so many other toy breeds, can have the complex neurological diagnosis of syringomyelia (SM) and / or chiari malformation (CM). The fact that the issue of syrimgoymelia has received more attention and discussion in recent years does not mean that it has not been in the breed for a long time.


The only way to find out SM / CM status is to have a magnetic X-ray (MRI) and then the dog gets an international rating from 0-2 for SM and CM respectively according to BVA's (British Veterinary Association) guidelines. With a grading, breeders can make more secure combinations with the help of a recommended breeding scheme from BVA, which has been developed to calculate better conditions for healthier offspring.


It is important to point out that not all individuals get symptoms when they have syringomyelia. To avoid lost gene pool, risk of matador breeding in males and hard inbreeding, it is important not to exclude too many individuals from breeding. For all breeding stock that are asymptomatic, there are positive conditions to get better offspring and add something good to the breed in the long term IF they are combined with the right partner.


I have chosen to, in addition to eyes and patella, also examine my own breeding stock regarding SM / CM status, to make combinations after a responsible calculated risk analysis. The combinations I make are based on consideration looking at the overall qualities of each dog and what partner to breed them to.

This way i hope to benefit the breed long term.


As a puppy buyer, you can help contribute to the griffon's health by being careful to check that the parent are healthy and to ask to see their health certificates. I belive that it is good to have informed puppy buyers, who ask questions and that require to know the health status of the parent.

SM/CM status can ONLY be determined by an MRI .


In Sweden, the price for a MRI is SEK 10 000-15 000).


SM avelsschema

SM/CM Grade Scales

SM Grade 0 = Normal (no central chanel dialation; no pre-syrinx*; no syrinx).

SM Grade 1 = Central canel dilation (CCD) less than 2mm in diameter

SM Grade 2 = Syringomyelia (central canel dilation with a internal diameter of 2mm or bigger;

separate syrinx; or pre-syrinx* with or without central canal dilation.

*Then viewing the MRO scan images for SM, a pre-syrinx, which is cord oedema, is sometimes seen, This may be transitional in the course of the progression of the disorder.

Syringomyelia BVA avelsschema, Griffon hälsa
Jämförelse huvudform CM


In my experience, the griffon is healthy when it comes to breathing, even though it is a flat-nosed breed. In order for it to remain so, one needs to be aware that e.g. Avoid pinching nostrils. Below are examples of what it might look like.

Links that explain SM / CM, Partella luxation,

eye diseases, hip defects, research studies etc .:



Wikipedia Syringomyeli


Dog News - Swedish blog


Swedish article from veterinary clinic


Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Degree project) Syringomyelia in dogs- Sofie Zanders


Main study


Frequently asked questions and answers about SM / CM (can be selected with Swedish translation via google):


Effectiveness of the breeding guidelines


Research result:

This paper on CM in the Griffon uses 14 measurements of the skull and brain and has identified six of them associated with CM. It also identified two chromosomes, one region is of particular interest because it has a relationship with a condition (Townes- Brocks) which is associated with CM in humans


News from research - Dr Clare Rusbridge



What is Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI, MRI, MRI)? tomography



Eye diseases:


Patella luxation:





Special Breed Specific Referee Instructions (SRD) regarding exaggerations in purebred dogs

Approved by NKU and SKK / CS Valid from 2014:


Griffon belge, griffon bruxellois and petit brabançon - brakycefal In the breed there are risk areas such as: 1. Breathing: Difficulty breathing due to insufficient space in the throat and thorax and / or pinched nostrils. 2. Face: Too short nose predisposes to eye damage. 3. Movements: A deviant movement pattern with frantic itching and / or signs of unjustified pain when the dog is on a leash can signal a serious neurological disorder, syringomyelia. Pay attention to dogs with healthy breathing, eyes, nose and jaw and normal movement patterns.



SGS Health Statistics 2005-2009



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