View Full Version : Chiari Malformation

Kate H
3rd October 2009, 10:13 PM
I thought people might be interested in our recent experience. My Oliver, who has SM, has always been a bit light sensitive - in strong sunlight or under bright fluorescent lighting he starts squinting and is obviously uncomfortable. Once away from the strong light, he quickly recovers. A couple of weeks ago we spent the day at an obedience show (I have retired Oliver from working, but we still go to help). Although in the shade all day, he had a couple of short comfort walks in the strong sun during the day, and on the way home was definitely a pretty miserable dog. This time he took a day or two to recover - not helped by also getting a separate slight infection in one eye. I took him to the vet, who suggested I rang Oliver's neurologist at ChesterGates in case there was any connection with his SM. The neurologist ruled out a direct connection with his SM but said that the light sensitivity was due to the hydrocephalous caused by Chiari Malformation. Oliver's ventricles have quite sizeable dilation, which is obviously creating pressure at the back of the eyes, and this has been a longstanding symptom of his CM which simply wasn't recognised - just accepted as 'being a bit light sensitive'.

Really, dealing with CM/SM is like trying to fight the many-headed Hydra! You get one thing under control and something else appears. You eliminate one possible symptom - and another one presents. No wonder it's taking time to find causes, genes, better treatments etc - and thank goodness we've got people of the calibre of Clare Rusbridge, Geoff Skerritt, Nick Jeffrey and the rest working on it.

Kate, Oliver (now fine again) and Aled

5th October 2009, 10:18 PM
That's very interesting, I would never have guessed there could be a connection. Thanks for that information, Kate, as I am sure it will help some people along the way. May I crosspost or summarise what you were told for the two SM lists? I will also at some point update the info I have on my SM site to note this may be a secondary issue for some dogs.

What do they recommend; mainly to try and keep him out of bright light? I recall someone got 'doggles' goggles for another light-sensitive dog.

It does make it hard to deal with this sometimes, that there can be so many and such odd symptoms. I know humans with SM say the same. It can be hard to pinpoint the actual cause of problems sometimes.

Kate H
5th October 2009, 10:44 PM
Yes, do use it any way it can be useful/helpful. Fortunately the winter is coming, so there shouldn't be too much strong sunlight for a few months! Obviously I need to keep a close watch in bright light, but I want to do some research over the winter on possible ways of protecting Oliver's eyes - he's a very down-to-earth sort of dog and I don't want him to look silly!! At the same time, he's used to going out and about a lot and having an interesting life and I want that to continue as long as he is well enough - I'm sure the right thing is out there somewhere if I look hard enough...

Kate, a cheerful Oliver and Aled

5th October 2009, 11:16 PM
I have some Doggles if you want them. Problem is the strap goes round the back of the head and of course I'm sure most dogs wouldn't keep them on for more than a few seconds but you are welcome to them.

I'm sorry Oliver is having a bad time. :hug:

Kate H
6th October 2009, 11:44 AM
Thanks Pauline, I'd like to try them just to see whether they will work or not (without having to buy them and finding they don't!). I suspect they'll make Oliver look a bit like Snoopy pretending to be the Red Baron!! But he's a very tolerant dog - though he does hold the world record for speed in getting out of a Halti in his bad young days!

I'll PM you my address, and of course pay postage. Oliver is fine at the moment - spent yesterday running round a friend's field and orchard, with little brother Aled scuttling after him.

Many thanks for the offer,

Kate, Oliver and Aled

6th October 2009, 07:17 PM
Kate- Maybe a hat would be better? My son won't wear sunglasses to save his life but he'll wear a hat all day long. It really does help with blocking the sunlight. Good luck!