The first time I heard about syringomyelia was during our conversations with Annie of Ella the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Ella has syringomyelia, you might remember her story from my earlier posts.
As I learned about it I was horrified how much potential suffering this can really mean.
I include some of the information here, please visit Two Little Cavaliers to read more.
A Chiari Malformation (CM) occurs at the craniocervical junction.
This is where the skull and the top of the spine meet. At the bottom of the skull, there is a large hole called the foramen magnum. The foramen magnum allows the brainstem to exit the skull and become the spinal cord.
Syringomyelia is a condition where cavities, or holes, called a syrinx, develop within the spinal cord.
The spinal cord is made up of grey and white matter. Using a computer network as an analogy, the grey matter can be thought of as the actual computer, whereas the white matter represents the network cables connecting the computers together.
In a study by Dr. Clare Rusbridge et al, they found that pain is related to syrinx width and symmetry. Dogs with a wider, asymmetrical syrinx are more likely to experience pain, and dogs with a small, narrow syrinx may be asymptomatic.
Ventral Horn Damage - Syrinxes that damage the ventral horn, may result in neurological deficits such as decreased spinal reflexes, muscle atrophy and limb weakness.
Dorsal Horn Damage - Syrinxes that damage the dorsal horn of the grey matter are most likely to cause persistent pain. Dr. Clare Rusbridge also found that the larger the width of the syrinx, the more likely it was that the dog would exhibit pain and scratching behaviour.
For the full article and images please visit:
The Dark Cloud Of Syringomyelia: Fight For Ella
Fight For Ella Continues
Ella's MRI Results And Update