Syringohydromyelia in cavalier King Charles spaniels

Publication date 1st January 2000
Authors Clare Rusbridge, JE MacSweeny, JV Davies, K Chandler, Susan N Fitzmaurice, R Dennis, R Cappello, SJ Wheeler


Syringohydromyelia secondary to foramen magnum overcrowding is described in seven Cavalier King Charles spaniels. Clinical signs were consistent with a central spinal cord lesion. The most common signs were persistent scratching at the shoulder region with apparent neck, thoracic limb, or ear pain and thoracic limb lower motor neuron deficits. The diagnosis was made by magnetic resonance imaging. The syringohydromyelia is postulated to be a consequence of an occipital bone malformation resulting in a small caudal fossa and cerebellar herniation. Clinical signs improved but did not completely resolve when the dogs received treatment with corticosteroids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.