View Full Version : Cindyloo Maybe having a shunt anyone had this?

15th June 2009, 10:14 PM
Cindyloo my 4 and a half year old cavalier had an MRI scan at the begining of the year and it was confirmed she had SM her scan showed in her neurologists words lots of fluid tiny brain! The medication did not do much and he suggests doing a shunt operation while I am deciding I asked him to put her on gabapentin, she has been on it for 3 days now and I have already seen a great improvement. I am not sure wether I should risk the operation and would love to hear from others who have gone through this.
With thanks
Gemma and the gang

Margaret C
16th June 2009, 01:10 PM
Hello Gemma,

Glad to see you made it here.

I know that there are a few people here who have taken their dogs to Chestergate for diagnosis, but I'm not sure if any of their dogs have had shunt surgery.

Many of us have found gabapentin works well for our dogs.

16th June 2009, 06:23 PM
Hi Gemma:

I just replied on the SM support list as well; mainly to note that I don;t know of anyone who has recently had a shunt done. It isn't a very widely used approach to this condition exceot by one or two neurologists internationally though some use it in conjunction with the decompression surghery for severe cases.

Therefore I made a couple of suggestions -- I'd want to go back and have a discussion of why a shunt is considered a better option than a decompression; I'd want to ask about the severity of the scan (eg is this a small syrinx? Does CIndyloo have a lot of pain? If the syrinx is small and pain not really severe, what is the possible prognosis if you treated via medications? As Margaret says, gabapentin is a real godsend for many -- very effective against pain.). I'd also perhaps consider a second opinion from a different neurologist about the decompression, just to have that option.

The difficulty of this condition is that there are no certainties and absolutely right or wrong decisions. I'd want to weigh up all the different variables.

If I had a 4 year old with few symptoms and a small to medium syrinx, not progressing quickly, I'd be considering medications alone as an option. That might not be right for everyone but I always think you are weighing up the prospect of a fairly serious surgical procedure against the average 10 year lifespan of the breed, and whether to manage with or without surgery... all hard decisions with no definite answer.