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Syringomyelia in Dogs

What is syringomyelia in dogs?

Syringomyelia is known to be a condition to where a sac begins to fill up with fluid that is located in the spinal cord. This condition may be caused by many different reasons, whereas the more common reason is a malformation of Chiari I. When a dog suffers from this sort of condition, the occipital bone may become weak and may get in the way of the circulation of the spinal fluid. If a dog becomes affected by Syringomyelia, the dog may show signs of weakness and being moving their legs and body in a clumsy way, as well as pain within the neck. Read below where questions regarding the causes, symptoms and treatments have been answered by Experts.

What are the syringomyelia symptoms?

The symptoms of Syringomyelia in dogs may be pain within the neck, have a sensitivity to touch the neck, shoulders, ear or sternum. However, in some dogs the pain may become more intense during the night, when the dog wakes up, or when in hot and cold weather. Also, other symptoms of Syringomyelia may include scratching the ears, neck and shoulder, often a dog may scratch without making actual contact with their body. In more serious conditions a dog may show signs of weakness, being unstable when walking, seizures, deaf for paralysis to the facial nerves.

What is an effective syringomyelia treatment?

There are many different types of effective treatments for dogs who have been diagnosed with Syringomyelia. In some situations, the most common treatment may be a surgical procedure known was suboccipital decompression. This procedure often removed the hypoplastic occipital bone and often the cranial dorsal laminae which may result in decompression of the foramen magnum. Also, another effective treatment may be pain meds such as non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) which may include Rimadyl and Metacam.

If a 2 ½ has been diagnosed with syringomyelia is this treatable?

As to whether or not this condition may be treatable, this may all depend on the abnormalities that may be happening with this condition. Syringomyelia may often be similar to another condition known as caudal occipital malformation syndrome. However, often the goal for treatment may be to stop any further progression of this condition and try to help improve the clinical issues. Some dogs may effectively respond to a short term treatment with Prednisone. However, there are other cases where a dog may need to be treated with surgery for a long term treatment. In some cases, when a dog has been treated earlier on in the condition, there is a better outcome of the dog becoming curable.

What is the lifespan for a dog who has been diagnosed with syringomyelia?

In some situation, the lifespan of a dog who has been diagnosed with syringomyelia may vary from situation to situation. The disease may not always cause death, but in some cases it may. However, if this condition becomes fatal, it may often be because the dog was not treated properly and the pain was not controlled with medication. The disease is progressive, but the rate of fatality may vary. Some cases with a dog that has this condition may show no signs, and this may be scary.

Syringomyelia is a serious condition that may need to be taken care of as soon as the dog begins to show signs and symptoms in order to rule out the possibility of death. When a dog has been diagnosed with syringomyelia, many dog owners may begin to wonder how this disease is caused, the effective treatments and the symptoms a pet owner may need to watch out for. For more information and answers to complex questions regarding syringomyelia, individuals may contact an Expert.

Ask a Dog Veterinarian

Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: General
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Experience:  Over 12 years of clinical veterinary experience
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