Margaret C

The Cavalier Club Health Day. Part 3, Syringomyelia

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I started this blog once, tried to save it to draft and messed up. So here is the second attempt.

One of the reasons for my difficulty was that although I found the next two talks interesting, and all three SM presentations fitted so well together, I took few notes at the start of the afternoon.

Imaging versus the clinic

Colin Driver is a Resident in Neurology at RVC.

His presentation was about what was shown on imaging and how that related to clinical symptoms.

The few sentences I took down......

Cavaliers have a smaller Caudal Fossa ( hind brain ) than Labradors but not other short faced dogs.

It is the amount of brain tissue within the skull that is associated with SM, in other words a mismatch between the amount of brain to skull.

A large ventricle system means more SM

Herniation may not be associated with SM.

Neuropathic pain and how to treat

This was a presentation that really spelled out that SM caused pain.

I hope that breeders that dismiss symptoms as "just scratching" took on board what was said.

Holger Volk is a Senior Lecturer in Neurology and Neurosurgery at RVC. His abstract on the Cavalier Club Website is quite detailed and worth reading.

He reiterated Colin Driver's findings that the more severe the mismatch of skull and brain tissue the higher the likelihood of SM.

He said that cavaliers with SM had been found to have more inflammatory proteins in their body, which explains why metacam, rimadyl and other anti-inflammatory medication will provide some initial pain relief.

Dogs with syrinxes have been found to have more spinal disc problems.

Neuropathic pain ( NP ) in humans can include burning, pins and needles, numbness or itching sensations.

NP in dogs can only be diagnosed by behavioral signs such as phantom scratching, dislike of being touched in certain places and vocalisation when changing position.

CM can cause pain and this may be due to a compression of pain-processing pathways.

There was a discussion on the medication used to treat SM and a question was asked about the 'Pain Trial' undertaken at the RVC.
It appears that no information has yet been released by the pharmaceutical company that sponsored the trial, and so the results have to remain confidential.

Hopefully there may be some other attendees who will be able to add more details on these two talks

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