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Keywords:

  • syringohydromyelia;
  • cerebellar tonsil herniation;
  • dural graft;
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels;
  • dogs

Objective— To evaluate retrospectively the efficacy of the suboccipital craniectomy and dorsal laminectomy of C1 with durotomy and placement of a dural graft for treatment of syringohydromyelia (SHM) because of cerebellar tonsil herniation in Cavalier King Charles spaniels (CKCS). This technique is used with great success in human medicine.

Study Design— Four CKCS diagnosed by Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of SHM because of cerebellar tonsil herniation and not responsive to medical therapy underwent a suboccipital craniectomy and dorsal laminectomy of C1 (2 dogs) and of C1 and partial C2 (2 dogs) with durotomy and placement of a dural graft. Three dogs were evaluated neurologically 24 hours, 1 month, and 3 months postoperatively and evaluations were compared with preoperative neurological examination. Repeat MRI took place 3 months postoperatively.

Results—

Neurological examinations showed neither improvement nor progression of clinical signs 3 months postoperatively. MRI showed no regression of syrinx size 3 months postoperatively.

Conclusion— Improvement was not seen. Given the progressive nature of the disorder, evaluation over a longer period of time is necessary to detect if progression has stopped. Some modification to the surgical technique is needed to accomplish the same results as in human medicine. A study of a larger population is needed to attain more reliable information.

Clinical Relevance— Suboccipital craniectomy and dorsal laminectomy of C1 with durotomy and placement of a dural graft is a feasible technique in CKCS, but needs some modification to accomplish the same results as in human medicine.