View Full Version : Minnie's MRI Results - sorry long post

26th April 2010, 11:24 AM
Have had suspicions for a while now that Minnie might have SM. Her symptoms are very subtle and if it was not for what I have learnt over the past couple of years about SM I might well have thought, like so many others, that they were just behaviours that Minnie did. She has also had a few episodes of unexplained lameness which my vet had put down to hurting her back when she did Agility.

So when I saw that Mark was arranging a day of scans at Stone Lion with Clare Rusbridge I put Minnie forward to have one done. She went for her scan on Thursday and I got the results through last night.

My suspicions were confirmed the MRI images reveal she has:

Chiari like malformation of the caudal skull.
Dilatation of the central canal - 7mm wide syrinx centred C2
Moderate Ventricular Dilatation
Mucoid material in both tympanic bullae

I'm getting her referred to Clare Rusbridge (luckily she is not too far away) in order to get her on a treatment regime and to get a better understanding of what we are dealing with.

Obviously am quite upset at the moment:( but at least I can move forward and get the best possible treatment for her.

This forum has been an enormous help and I know that without it and the information I have learnt over the past couple of years from it I would probably not have realised.

Minnie's symptoms - none of them are what I call obsessive.

- Rubbing her head - mainly in the mornings before she goes out for a walk.
- Biting her back leg/paw - very occasional and not for very long.
- Squealing when being greeted by people when they fondle her head - again has only happened very occasionally.
- Head shy when going to make a fuss of her - she often backs away.
- If I put her lead onto her collar (which I only do if I'm doing obedience work) she will stop and scratch - but does NOT air scratch, and only scratch a couple of times.
- Occasional scooting - anal glands checked and were more than often OK.
- Lameness - by this she is not actually lame, but shows that there is a problem by walking up the stairs very gingerly, instead of flying up like she usually does. And inability to jump on bed or furniture. In the past this has lasted a couple of days and we've treated her with rimadyl. The last occasion was a couple of months ago and it lasted for just over a week - the longest yet.

Apart from this she is a very active and excitable little girl who thoroughly enjoys life.
:xfngr: with Clare's help she will continue to do so.

26th April 2010, 11:56 AM
Bless Minnie - Sm is such a sad thing :(

26th April 2010, 12:43 PM
Hi Sandra,
I'm very sorry to hear about Minnie's diagnosis.
I'm thinking back to my own experience when Daisy was diagnosed after one of Mark's scanning trips.It's amazing how subtle the symptoms can be,and how easy it can be to explain them away as "normal for cavaliers".
However when they lose the ability to jump on furniture,I think we know we're in trouble!!
Cavaliertalk and the people on it have been a Godsend when dealing with syringomyelia,there's a world of support out there and it's no longer a case of being cut adrift,wondering what to do.
It's not easy when you see the Mri certificate at first,but you will cope, and I hope Minnie does well on whatever regime Clare suggests for her.
I'm very grateful for being given the chance to have Daisy scanned,and bringing her under immediate veterinary care will hopefully mean a more positive future for her.


26th April 2010, 12:44 PM
Sandra, I'm really sorry to hear your news, especially after we all had such a fun day on Saturday, but, as you know from all the posts on here, you have done the right thing and Clare will no doubt make Minnie-May more comfortable very soon.

Just a reminder that my Megan also has diagnosed SM, yet has already reached the grand old age of 11.5 and has pretty good quality of life, providing she gets her medication and I stay aware of her "requirements". There are many others on CT who will tell you a similar story, so don't be too depressed.

Meanwhile, fond and healing thoughts coming your way from me and my gang of four http://i673.photobucket.com/albums/vv97/Cavviewagtails/Animations/Heartblowingpoog.gif

26th April 2010, 12:55 PM
I'm sorry Sandra. :( As more and more get diagnosed, it gets hard to know what to say, it's just so sad. You will come to terms with it though and I'm glad at least you know and can help her now to be as pain free as possible.

Sorry if this is the wrong time to ask but what does "Mucoid material in both tympanic bullae" mean?

26th April 2010, 01:20 PM
Harley has most of those symptoms too, and he had no syrinx just the chairi malformation and maybe a little fluid in the spinal column, he is on rimadyl, i would be interested in what clare suggests, so let me know, I cant remember reading how old minnie is, its seems like the end of the world, but its amazing how they cope with it, only cavs could be so forgiving but it sounds as if she has minor symptoms im sure she will be fine. di

Kate H
26th April 2010, 01:55 PM
Hi Sandra

So sorry to hear Minnie May's results - but she's still a red rosette Cavalier! As you saw from Oliver on Saturday, there is definitely life after an SM diagnosis - Oliver was diagnosed (with no symptoms at that stage, though he has a few now) at 6 and is now nearly 9. A lot of it is finding the right medication and the right level of it for your particular dog.

One of Oliver's few symptoms is that he is occasionally lame on his right front leg. This is due to damaged nerves - he had no reaction when tapped with a little hammer - and he favours it when he doesn't trust it to take his full weight - on rough ground, for example - though it doesn't seem to be painful; he also prefers to lie down rather than sit if he has to wait around. This might be why Minnie doesn't always feel confident about stairs - worth checking out with Clare?

Kate, Oliver and Aled

26th April 2010, 02:04 PM
So sorry to hear the news Sandra, but I think you were very sensible to have Minne scanne d and at least you now konw what you are dealing with, and can go ahead and get the treatment she needs - even if it's just to stop things progressing.

As others have said, often the affected dogs can still enjoy a very good quality of life and live to a good age. If they are only showing minor symptoms then this is very hopeful.

Thinking of you anyway and wishing you both well.

Sorry if this is the wrong time to ask but what does "Mucoid material in both tympanic bullae" mean?

Pauline, this is PSOM {like glue ear in children}. Cambridge are saying that often they see this in scans but when the dog is rescanned, it has gone...so unless it is causing major problems, perhaps deafness, it's not something to worry about.

26th April 2010, 02:45 PM
Pauline, this is PSOM {like glue ear in children}. Cambridge are saying that often they see this in scans but when the dog is rescanned, it has gone...so unless it is causing major problems, perhaps deafness, it's not something to worry about.

Nicki - thanks for that - I wasn't sure what it was either - Minnie certainly doesn't have any problem with her hearing - she can hear paper rustle from a mile away:)

26th April 2010, 09:42 PM
Hi Sandra,

I am so sorry you have this news. I know how upsetting this is, the symptons you have described are similar to Mollys. When Molly was first diagnosed we were told
she would only survive a few more months. We saw Clare, now with the correct treatment 16 months later Molly is still enjoying a pain free life. We are all thinking of you and hope all works out well for Minnie. :hug:

Karen and Ruby
26th April 2010, 10:06 PM
As many have already said Im so sorry to hear about Minnie.

It gets more depressing wwith each and every diagnosis of this bloody diseasse. To the point of anger really.

Clare is wonderful and very helpful and she will give Minnie the best possible future!!

Its heartbreaking and I dont think i gets any easier as time continues- the best days are when you see them as a normal dog again but I think it makes you appreciate them so much more than ever before.

Hopefully she will get on the right mix of meds as soon as possible but just be aware that it can take some time to find the right mixture.
Ruby too had real problems jumping on and off furniture and travelling up stairs etc but she is fine with it right now.

Im sure Minnie will have manyy more happy, comfortable years ahead of her yet x x x

26th April 2010, 10:46 PM
Im so sorry to hear youve got this diagnosis for Minnie. As others have said with the right meds she'll be more comfortable.Well done for getting her a scan from your suspicions,its a difficult decision. Thinking of you both & wishing you well:hug::hug:

Margaret C
26th April 2010, 11:44 PM
I am so sorry your suspicions proved to be correct. To actually have SM confirmed is a shock, even when it is half expected.

I do not think you could find someone more knowledgeable or kinder than Clare, so Minnie will be in good hands.

I hope she will stay pain free and happy for a good many years.

I just want to remind all owners of SM dogs that one of the best ways to help our poor dogs is to make sure that breeders know when they have bred an affected cavalier.

If you have got your pet from a rescue centre, then tell them.
They need to know that they must check for symptoms before they pass on SM affected dogs to owners that cannot afford to meet the vet bill.

We know how common the problem is becoming, but there are still those that really think it is not a problem for them. They need to know that it really is widespread.

27th April 2010, 01:51 AM
Hi Sandra,
I was so sorry to read about Minnie's MRI results. I think it takes alot of courage to take the step to get the MRI done. It is a shock when you first get the diagnosis. My Riley is being fairly well managed on medication right now. He was just diagnosed a little over 6 months ago so it is still a huge learning experience for me. You have already taken the biggest step and now Minnie will get the help she needs.

27th April 2010, 08:53 AM
I am so sorry to hear about Minnie.
To look at her on Saturday you would never know. Even if you suspected SM it must still be a shock to have it confirmed. I am sure Claire will find the right treatment for her. We are all so lucky to have this forum for support. Sending lots of:hug::hug: