New study provides clarity on the recognition and signs of canine chiari associated pain | 1/28/2019 | Staff
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A recent study from Fitzpatrick Referrals and the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey, has found that canine chiari-like malformation can cause significant pain and impact on activity, temperament and sleep in dogs.

Lead author Professor Clare Rusbridge was inspired to conduct the study because of lack of clarity on the recognition and diagnosis of the clinical signs associated with chiari malformation as opposed to syringomyelia.

Chiari - Malformation - Abnormality - Skull - Brain

Chiari malformation is an abnormality in the skull, making it smaller, and impacting on the brain altering the flow of cerebrospinal fluid; this results in pain and a collection of fluid pockets within the spinal cord. These fluid pockets are commonly known as syringomyelia and over time can cause irreversible damage to a dog's spinal cord. However it is not clear whether signs of pain in affected dogs are due to chiari malformation or syringomyelia or both.

To try to rectify this Professor Rusbridge studied the medical records of all the cavalier King Charles spaniels diagnosed with chiari malformation presented to her at Fitzpatrick Referrals over a five year period. She documented the historical and examination findings and related them to results from the MRI including presence and size of the syringomyelia.

Signs - Dogs - Vocalisation - Pain - Neck

She found common signs in all dogs were vocalisation, spinal pain (neck, middle or lower back), reduced activity, aversion to being touched or groomed, altered emotional state (described as...
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