Our Patron

Picture of Cavalier Matters Patron, Professor Clare RusbridgeProfessor Clare Rusbridge Chief of Neurology
Chief of Neurology / BVMS (Hons) PhD DECVN FRCVS

EBVS® European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology
RCVS Recognised Specialist in Veterinary Neurology
becomes Patron of Cavalier Matters

The Cavalier Matters charity is delighted to announce that Professor Clare Rusbridge has agreed to become our patron. Clare has been the greatest of friends to Cavaliers throughout her career having researched Chiari-like malformation and Syringomyelia (CM/SM) for over 20 years. This has been done at the same time as providing care and support to thousands of dogs and their owners as a practicing specialist vet. 

Clare has world recognition for her outstanding contribution to research and the veterinary world. She has received numerous accolades including the JA Wright Memorial Award (otherwise known as the James Herriot award) from The Blue Cross Animal Welfare Charity for her work with CM/SM, while in 2016 Clare was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. She has authored and co-authored over 130 scientific articles in addition to several book chapters and co editing a human medical text book  on syringomyelia. Her other professional interests include neuropathic pain, inherited diseases, epilepsy, polymyositis and rehabilitation following spinal injury.

In July 2018, Clare was awarded her professorship from The University of Surrey, in recognition for her postdoctoral research and teaching at the School of Veterinary Medicine where she continues with teaching and research between treating patients at Fitzpatrick Referrals where she is Chief of Neurology.

CM/SM can be extremely painful and life-limiting. Sadly, these conditions are widespread in Cavaliers. Cavalier Matters has been involved with Clare’s work for many years helping to fund research, such as a current project aimed at making screening for CM/SM easier and less expensive. The charity was formed in 2011 by Tania Ledger after her Cavaliers Molly and Dougall were both diagnosed with CM/SM in 2008. 

“Their quality of life was severely affected,” recalls Tania. “Clare took over their specialist veterinary care and prescribed a carefully managed treatment plan, which was maintained and allowed them to enjoy long, contented lives. Dougall, aged, 14, is pictured with Clare.

“Following Molly and Dougall’s diagnosis, it became clear that there are varying degrees of these complicated conditions. For some dogs it can be traumatic and painful, in addition to being distressing for their owners,” she continues. “Cavalier Matters was established to guide owners through managing their sick dogs via an easy-to-understand website and by providing support. It raises funds for research and health studies, promotes reform, and assists rescue charities.”

According to Tania, Clare is a true Cavalier hero. “I cannot imagine a world for Cavaliers without Clare Rusbridge. Her dedication, passion, and, above all, kindness have helped so many dogs and their owners. We are honoured that Clare has agreed to be Cavalier Matters’ patron.”