Syringomyelia, what is it? Just thought I’d do a quick PSA video to maybe help people identify SM. ⚗️ Arnie, has a severe case. Arnie’s SM is caused because he has a normal-sized dog brain, that like everything else in his head, is squished inside his skull. It causes his cerebellum to be pushed out through the back of his skull. This causes cerebral spinal fluid to get backed up into “pockets” inside his spinal cord, which in turn cause nerve damage.
☠️ Because of it, Arnie has scoliosis and the permanent head tilt. He also has a very sensitive spot on the right side of his neck. If anything touches that area, it causes him to scratch. Some people call this scratching the “air guitar” or “thumper foot.” People think it is his tickle spot, but my understanding is that because of the nerve damage, it feels like burning hot pins and needles. He also will sometimes chew on his hind foot or rub his head in the couch or in pillows (I assume he’s experiencing a bad headache).
His vets thought the scratching was due to allergies for the longest time because sometimes he will just be sitting there and then all of a sudden start furiously scratching at his neck. Of course, he does have allergies, so it complicates diagnosing everything. He has undergone brain surgery for this, where they removed part of the back of his skull and his first cervical vertebrae. Unfortunately, they can’t undo the damage already present prior to surgery.
SM is a common condition in Cavaliers and Brussels Griffons, but I believe it is flying under the radar in frenchies and pugs. SM is an unintentional byproduct of breeding dogs with a flat face and domed skull. As everything seems to go with Arnie, he is a severe case.
☠️ Here is a link for more information about syringomyelia and chiari malformations (also sometimes called COMS) in dogs:
#syringomyelia #syringomyeliaawareness #coms #chiarimalformation - 2 hours ago