So nicely written and I appreciate your taking the time; not an easy task, but an important message to get out there.
I agree, we need to support research with funding, but keep an OPEN mind. There are many untold stories or told but ignored which illustrate all that grey (still).
This is where I feel strongly as a breeder, before they standardize anything overseas, they should ensure ALL neurologists and radiologists are on the same page when it comes to reporting. Because the more I scan, the more my fellow breeders scan, the more litters born by protcol there is an awful lot NOT making sense when scanning these offspring, *confused* is putting it extremely mild. I know what it like to have 2 reports from different specialist for the same cavalier, and the reports being totally the opposite – who is right and who is incorrect with the reporting??? I too have seen with my own eyes cavaliers whom you would bet your last dollar on are affected with full blown SM – to find after MRI scanning the said dog has a beautiful – solid dark spinal cord, very mild CM. Thanks Embee for opening the door, my hope is more will speak out. I just fear for the future – the what If's, the unknown and what will be in store for our breed we love with every inch of our being. If the wrong path is taken. I will close now, by saying there is a great need for people to gain some "common sense" and lastly – I am proactive about health, supporting research – yet does research support owners the way it should? Just to clarify I am not meaning $$$ wise. Again thanks for this much needed post. Huronkin
Excellent post. This was so well thought out and posted in layman's terms. Do wish this wasn't so baffling but so good to know there are people out there trying to find an answer. We all have to work together to solve this as we all suffer.
Mom to 3 CKCS
WOW, I had no idea. That was well written and even I could understand it! Loved the pictures too!
Norma Inglis (CRAIGOWL CAVALIERS) UK
This blog should be widely circulated as it states clearly what so many breeders worldwide feel about the health issue CM/SM. Well done Mary Beth. I was beginning to think common sense was dead and buried. But your words have inspired me. Everyone who reads this with an open mind will see that there are still more questions than answers re SM. Please do what you can to ensure that when the experts are trying to improve something, that the good parts don't get thrown out with the bad. Norma Inglis Craigowl Cavaliers UK
Norma I can't agree with you more with what you've written in your comment to Mary Beth. We can only hope more "common sense" is gained by others who read this well written post. Karen Murray – Mysticmoon Cavalier, ON Canada
Well written Mary Beth! I follow your blog regularly and I know why – you really have a way of putting a blurry subject in focus. I too MRI and do not understand the unanswered questions, but know we must be careful as breeders not to make haste judgements when it comes to health. I just wish others would understand the predicament we face.
I do the same thing with my camera all the time! It's very frustrating indeed!
PS: love the cute picture of Zoey in your header!
I have an 8 month old Cavalier who when MRI scanned at 7 mo. showed mild CM. He has some pretty strange painful symptoms. His neurologist tells me those symptoms can't come from his mild CM, because he doesn't have SM.
I have to thank you for this article. When the link was first sent, I was thinking, oh no, another person who has never bred a litter and yet is an expert in SM. I was pleasantly surprised when you explained your relationship to the study of the disease and ownership of an affected dog. I think your thoughts are spot on, as a breeder I try so hard, MRI my dogs, knowing I have really no more knowledge or ability to predict the future than anyone else. Everything you described in the "Doesn't make sense" category is true, we see it all the time. I will make sure all my puppy buyers get to see a copy of this. Again, thank you.
Diane thank you so much for your comment. I have never bred a litter but consider myself a breeder in every other regard by being involved and learning as much as I can. Hopefully my girl will be able to full fill the last part of that breeding equation by actually having puppies for me!
It was very important to me to have the other side out there and i'm so glad it is being read and appreciated in its true meaning.
I encourage you to print off some more research and findings and take them back to your neurologist. Your 7 month old could very well be symptomatic from just CM. Mylee started showing severe symptoms at 5-6 months old. They progressed very rapidly to the time of diagnosis at 1 year.
Study that Differentiates Hydromyelia from SM – they found some cases of Hydroymyelia can cause pain, but the good news is they tend to not get worse & over time can actually improve. The full articles is on pages 12 thru 13 on this link. I felt it gave some explanations that we have had need for as we have Hydromyelias or small Central Canal Dilations that are NOT syrinxes that have feel into a grey area – with little known about them. Study Differentiates Hydromyelia From Syringomyelia
This is the link – best place to buy accutane(4).pdf Dated 2009
The MRI's that show the pic's on page 12, are EXTREMELY Good to refer too. I found this in a search as I like many are frustrated in needing more answers for the grey areas we have found that little is being talked about with small CC Dilations or Hydromyelia – when I 1st MRIed all I knew was blk or white – clear or with SM – I was what is this Hydromyelia stuff 🙂 on a 8 yr old dogs scan in limited area & small I held him back due to lack of answers & for fear the shoe was just going to drop & he was going to get worse in time. 3 yr's later he is still doing great & I should have bred the heck out of him as he had a clear heart til just after 10 yr's of age. Experts were like well they didn't know & it could change & they can make worse than themselves – well so can a A dog none of it made sense. He showed me that this article I just found holds water in being crediable. My hope is to help give some answers by sharing this. Best – Jill Scandroli Catesby Cavaliers Memphis Tn & a Southern Neighbor to my Friends up in Cananda
Thanks for posting the interesting article and leaving a comment. The more discussion and exchange of information the better. Hydromyelia for me isn't something i've spent much time reading on. Mylee had no hydromyelia present on her MRI but I have seen it on other MRI's. Heart clear and symptom free at 10 is wonderful. 🙂
Some links that show how wide spread CM can be as found in Various Species.
Arnold-Chiari malformation and associated anomalies in Calves written in 77.-
best place to buy generic accutane
best place to buy accutane online forum Lion with COMS –
COMS has been found commonly in Cattle, a Baboon, a sheep & a pig. another litter of Lions have been reported. (this is in 1998) Arnold-Chiari Malformation in a Captive African Lion Cub
animals. (Jubb et al.,. 1996). Arnold-Chiari malformation
People due to the wide press the Cavalier has gotten & how the depth of work done by breeders in MRI's forget that this is a Mammalian defect/disease. Just many animals are not confirmed by MRI. Not all animals with CM have issues either the Airedale & the domestic cat along with wild cats CM is commonly found, butthe majority do not all SM and many do manage the CM well & others do not – finding out why is the key.
I know Mylee has only CM & yet needs med's. There are some MRI's with small CC dilation /hydromeylia that experts have not been able to give much information about. At best the Neuros suggested they be treated with caution like a yellow light ( grey area) even with considerable age to them which d/n make alot of sense to me what you see at 8 yr's old is pretty much it. CR later advised older dogs they do tend to hold with what you find then. There is not alot of information about Hydromeylia. This was a break thru in doctor's learning more about it. My boy is now 11 yr's old & is on no med's. My wish is for EVERY Cavalier/dog to have this fortune. The hope is for us to realize Hydromeylias are fairly common findings, thus the reason I shared the article as it is not just my experience, but a study. Best to Mylee & your girls, Jill Scandroli Catesby Cavaliers
I have a symptomatic scanned "A" with only a mild malformation who has an "A" grade litter brother who is just fine, it's just hard to believe. I have 5 Cavaliers and all scanned. 2 affected on medication and doing well, 1 symptomatic and 2 clear with no symptoms, so a mix of all here.
There are some good and dedicated breeders out there doing their very best for this breed, scanning and caring and never giving up. One day I just hope they will have the answers and the key to SM.
Your article is excellent, clear and well written. Lovely pictures!
You write well as this is packed with information but is an easy read that I wish all Cavalier owners and potential breeders would pay attention to. The girls look happy and Mylee always steals the show posing like the perfect little model dog.