Some of you may remember I mentioned a couple months ago we were taking Buddy to Ohio State University Veterinary Hospital, to participate in a study of Primary Secretory Otitis Media (PSOM) in Cavaliers. For those of you who do not know, PSOM is a condition, similiar to "glue ear" in human children, in which mucous/fluid fills the middle ear cavity where air should be. Right now the most accurate way to diagnose PSOM is by CT Scan (or MRI). The American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club Health Foundation is sponsoring a study by Lynette Cole, DVM at OSU to explore less expensive ways to diagnose PSOM.
Buddy had his preliminary screening on Thursday when he was seen by a neurologist, a cardiologist and a dermatologist. On Friday they did a CT Scan, some other tests and when PSOM was confirmed, he had surgery, a Myringotomy, to flush his middle ears, and then a repeat CT Scan to confirm they had gotten most, if not all, of the fluid. Part of the study included hearing tests. Buddy's hearing was diminished, more on the left than the right, and the left did improve with the removal of the fluid/mucous (he did have a threshold of 60 db. and post-surgery it is 30 db).
Dr. Cole was wonderful, very careful to explain what they were going to do and what to expect now. They in fact do not know very much about the recurrence of PSOM after a Myringotomy, so we will need to watch for signs and symptoms carefully. They did find Buddy is very mildly hydrocephalic which should not be an issue or causing any problems. They also found moderate lower (but not upper) cervical pain, which we will need to continue to watch. The CT Scan did not show anything to suggest Syringomyelia (SM), but it is not definitive for SM so it does not rule out that SM is present. The only symptoms he has had to date could be either PSOM or SM (some minimal, but not compulsive, neck scratching, and occasional single "yelps" which most likely are related to the cervical pain, which may or may not be related to PSOM and/or SM)). We are going to watch and see if these, such as they were, are now diminished with the treatment for PSOM and if not, we will discuss whether we need to do an MRI for SM. My inclination right now is that unless the symptoms worsen significantly we will not do an MRI but would try medications to see if they provide relief (but that is down the road).
One very good thing - we got an A+ cardiac report. We had excellent cardiac health clearances for the dam and sire and the grand dams and sires, so I have to say I was not surprised, but was still relieved, that the cardiologist heard nothing, no murmur and no click . Dr. Cole said Buddy is the first Cavalier in her study who has been totally negative. She was so surprised she asked the cardiologist to double check.
If you have a Cavalier whom you think may have symptoms of PSOM and are within a day's drive of Columbus, Ohio, please consider participating in Dr. Cole's study. There is a charge for the first day's screening which amounted to about $200.00, and the cost of staying in a hotel, but the testing and the surgery, if needed, on the second day, are covered by the study grant funds. You may learn something like I did to help your Cavalier and also help address a health issue of concern to all Cavalier lovers. Here is the link to the information about the study and how to contact Dr. Cole about participating: http://ackcsccharitabletrust.org/research/psom.htm. If you have any questions and want to ask them privately, feel free to e-mail me.