CANINE CHIARI-LIKE MALFORMATION AND SYRINGOMYELIA (CM/SM) - Frequently asked questions
CM/SM – the fundamentals
• How is syringomyelia pronounced?
• What is syringomyelia?
• Why is syringomyelia called syringomyelia?
• What causes syringomyelia?
• What is Chiari-like malformation (CM)?
• What causes Chiari-like malformation (CM)?
• What is central canal dilatation?
• What is a pre syrinx?
• What is ventricular dilatation / ventriculomegaly?
• What other causes of syringomyelia are there?
• How common is trauma a cause of canine syringomyelia?
• Can syringomyelia occur after a birthing injury?
• What is arachnoiditis?
CM/SM – the nitty gritty
• Is syringomyelia in the Cavalier an inherited condition?
• Why do not all dogs with CM develop syringomyelia?
• What breeds are affected with CM/SM?
• How common is CM/SM in Cavaliers?
• But surely dogs with clinical syringomyelia are a tiny minority of the total Cavalier population?!
• How common is CM/SM in the other breeds?
• When was CM/SM first discovered?
CM/SM – clinical signs
• What are the clinical signs of syringomyelia?
• Can CM alone cause clinical signs?
• Why do some dogs with syringomyelia seem completely normal?
• So if a syrinx is detected either by screening or because of investigation of another disease do I need to be concerned?
• What age of dog is affected by syringomyelia?
CM/SM – diagnosis
• How is syringomyelia diagnosed?
• What is a “mini” MRI?
• Will taking radiographs (x-rays) help?
• Would ultrasound help obtain a diagnosis?
• Is there a risk to general anaesthesia in a dog with syringomyelia?
• What conditions could have similar signs or be confused with syringomyelia?
• My Cavalier has been diagnosed with PSOMS – what is this?
• My dog has fly catching behaviour – is this caused by syringomyelia?
• My dog has been diagnosed with episodic collapse - what is this and is it related to syringomyelia?
• My dog’s MRI report said that there was also a quadrigeminal cyst – what is this?
CM/SM – treatment
CM/SM – surgery
• What surgical options are there?
• How successful is surgery?
• Should my dog have surgery or not?
• How long does it take a dog to recover from surgery for syringomyelia?
• Will I need to confine my dog after surgery?
• What is the recurrence rate after surgery?
• Will my dog need medication after surgery?
CM/SM – other issues
• Does syringomyelia progress?
• What is the prognosis for my dog?
• What other things can I do to help my dog?
• Can I help the research into this disease?
• What research is currently being undertaken?
• Why does the genome scan and other research take so long to get results?
• I want to buy a Cavalier – how do I get a healthy puppy?
MRI screening breeding animals
• Why MRI screen?
• But I have heard that it is not that simple?
• Does a MRI give conclusive results?
• I have been told that “syrinxes can develop a day after an MRI...so what good is the MRI except at the moment it is taken?”
• I have heard that there is no point in MRI screening because neurologists cannot agree of the interpretation?
• When is the proposed BVA / KC MRI screening scheme going to start?
• So what are the breeding guidelines?
• What is the Estimated Breeding Value (EBV) computer model?
• Until the KC / BVA scheme is established are neurologists automatically forwarding results from MRI screening to the CKCS Health Breeding Programme at the Animal Health Trust?
• Why should I forward the MRI results from my dogs to the CKCS Health Breeding Programme at the Animal Health Trust?
• Why bother MRI screening - why not wait until the EBVs are available?
• Why bother MRI screening - why not wait until a genetic test is available?
• What age is it recommended for screening dogs?
• Is it true that dogs should have permanent identification for MRI screening?
• What is a mini versus a full MRI scan?
• Is a mini MRI scan sufficient – I have been told that syringomyelia cannot be diagnosed without a full scale MRI?
• I have a dog that was determined to have syringomyelia on screening when young (less than 2 years old). He is now 5 years old and he still doesn’t seem to have signs of the disease. Surely he is OK to use at stud?
• What exactly is the problem using a dog with asymptomatic syringomyelia at stud? The dog appears happy and healthy!
Frequently Asked Questions
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