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Thread: Shelby's MRI

  1. #1
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    Default Shelby's MRI

    My six year old, Shelby, had been doing an odd behavior scratching related. I had her scanned a couple of months ago and she was found to have a large syrinx but no malformation. I've sent my scan to Dr. Rusbridge to get her interpretation. We haven't started any medication and am holding off until I get more opinions as to what is going on with her. Thankfully her symptoms are few and far between, for now. If anyone is interested in seeing yet another MRI of a syrinx, here is Shelby's. I've circled the syrinx in pink. It is very easy to see

    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

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    Oh Cathy I'm so sorry It looks narrow but pretty long to me. Maybe it's width is the reason her symptoms are mild. What medication is she on? You were so kind to me when Dylan was diagnosed, I'll be thinking of you likewise. PM me anytime you need to talk
    ....
    Dylan, Poppy & Kipling's
    *''' ' "*Mummy`` "*'
    ,'*" "*'

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    I am so sorry Cathy. Every day you hear of one more dog being diagnosed with this horrible SM. My friend has send her scan to Dr Rusbridge.
    Sabby
    Rosie-06/06 - Ebony-01/07 Harley-08/08
    " My sunshine doesn't come from the skies, it comes from the love in my dogs eyes "

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    I think what's really sad was my reaction. My vet's assistant and I were talking later. She said the doctor was so surprised at my calm reaction to the news. If my dog doesn't have a heart murmur or doesn't have a syrinx....I'm thrilled. It's almost as if I'm resigned to accepting it. I think that's sad. Not placing the blame on anyone here. My breeder has been so incredibly supportive. And, remember, Jake also came from her and has no problems, is still heart clear at 7 years old.

    I'm just praying we can find an answer. This is why I continue to talk to people about SM and MVD, and the huge importance in supporting breeders who breed to better the breed. Breeders who health test. I had someone at the house yesterday on business. We got talking "Cavalier" (no surprise there ) and after I was through telling him about the huge health issues our dogs face, the importance in knowledge and education he said "I don't mean to offend, but why do they continue to breed them if there are such serious problems". How the heck do you answer that?? They are incredible dogs!!! They have the sweetest tempemants, are a perfect size, and are just the best. I told him, that's where as pet buyer it's up to me to support health focused breeders. They are the ones breeding to improve the health of the dog. They are doing what needs to be done and need support.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

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    So sorry about Shelby's occasional discomfort!

    I rotated the scan around. It is hard to know, but to me, it looks like there's actually mild compression at the base of the cerebellum -- also in comparison to images of mild malformation on Laura's site, would seem to be some compression? I will be interested to see what the response from Clare is.

    Full cerebellum image from Laura Lang's site:



    Rotated Shelby's image:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Here is a rotated zoomed in copy. I'll be very curious to know what Clare sees as well.

    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

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    Hi Cathy,

    Questions -

    What percentage of Cavaliers are MRI'd and found to have a syrinx but no malformation?

    Do they have any idea what caused the syrinx if there is no malformation? I've heard trauma can be a cause but knowing you, you would be very aware if there had been any trauma. How long have you been aware of the symptoms? If you didn't know about SM, would you have suspected something else like allergies or were the symptoms so mild that you would never have investigated them had you not known about SM? (I'm thinking about some of my Cavaliers born in the early 80's.....)

    Did PetPlan pay for the MRI? I'm asking because I'm going to insure my 7 year old boy with them. He would have no pre-existing conditions (heart clear, no symptoms of SM) except for a grade 1 luxated patella in one leg, which should never be a problem.

    What prompted you to take that step (MRI) in light of almost no symptoms? Did you have a "gut feeling" and/or were you doing it to contribute to research? I know that there are many (most?) of our Cavaliers with CM, but I'm now wondering if there are many that have syrinxes that have very mild or no symptoms.

    Pat (sorry for all of the questions - picking on you since I know you!)

    P.S. I wrote this before reading Karlin's post that perhaps there is some compression - do keep us posted if you can!
    Pat B
    Atlanta, GA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    So sorry about Shelby's occasional discomfort!

    I rotated the scan around. It is hard to know, but to me, it looks like there's actually mild compression at the base of the cerebellum --
    That is exactly what I thought when I saw the scan. It will be interesting to hear what Clare Rusbridge says.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy T View Post
    They are incredible dogs!!! They have the sweetest tempemants, are a perfect size, and are just the best. I told him, that's where as pet buyer it's up to me to support health focused breeders. They are the ones breeding to improve the health of the dog. They are doing what needs to be done and need support.
    I am so sorry about Shelby's diagnosis. SM cavalier owners are a group that no one wants to join.

    You are right, supporting responsible breeders that do test and follow the health protocols fully, rewards them for their concern for the breed. Buying from breeders that do not test, or that bend the rules to suit their own purpose, makes it worth their while not to bother.
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

  9. #9
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    Cathy- Thank you for sharing your scan.

    You're right; it is sad that we expect and are fully armed to accept either MVD or possibly SM. I can honestly say I have never loved a breed as completely as I do Cavaliers, but some days I question whether or not I will bring any more into my life.

    But then I ask myself; what else would I have? A mutt? Been there, done that; and she had a multitude of health problems too (granted, she was 14!). I just don't know. Unfortunately with Cavaliers, it seems the health problems they do have are very serious, expensive to diagnose, and impossible to give an accurate prognosis. Maybe that is the difference.
    Trisha in Southwest Florida
    Cavaliers: Casey, Ollie, & Winston and usually a foster or two! Cats: Pebbles & Benson

  10. #10
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    What percentage of Cavaliers are MRI'd and found to have a syrinx but no malformation?
    Extremely rare.....that is what led me to forward the images to Dr. Rusbridge to get her opinion.

    I've heard trauma can be a cause but knowing you, you would be very aware if there had been any trauma.
    Our initial thought was the result of trauma from her Rottweiler attack a couple of years back. She also has a herniated disk at the top of her spine, but that is not a huge issue at this time.

    How long have you been aware of the symptoms? If you didn't know about SM, would you have suspected something else like allergies or were the symptoms so mild that you would never have investigated them had you not known about SM?
    I started noticing it first part of this year. I initially thought she had an ear infection. She kept scratching at her ears. I took her to the vet and an ear infection was ruled out. Had I not known about SM I probably would not have pursued it any further and just put it down to a quirky thing she did. She does an odd scratching. She pulls her leg up and out and hops around trying to scratch. Then makes contact and scratches. It's the leg up and out that threw me and I knew it wasn't a normal behavior. I sent videos to a couple of people and my surgeon. Everyone came back with "anal glands" so I knew I hadn't gotten the behavior correctly on tape, I knew for sure it wasn't anal glands. When I took her to my surgeon, I didn't give her any of my suspisions (sm) just asked to her to exam her and tell me what she thought. She came back with Chiari and suggested MRI.

    Did PetPlan pay for the MRI?
    Yes, and this is why I went ahead with the MRI. Her symptoms are so infrequent and so mild (which is why I had a hard time getting it on video) that I probably would not have MRI'd her at a cost of $1200. If she were more symptomatic, I would have ponied up the money. But this is exactly why I went with PetPlan a couple of years ago. I knew they covered SM.

    Did you have a "gut feeling"
    Yep. My surgeon's assistant commented to me later that the surgeon was very surprised at my calm reaction to her diagnosis. Of course I was a mess inside, but it only confirmed what I already knew "in my gut".

    I am waiting to hear back from Dr. Rusbridge to get her impressions. I am so grateful I have the resources and know the people to go to. So many people treat for allergies, ear infections, etc and never know that this is what is actually going on with their dog.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

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