In honour of Chiari Malformation awareness month, @pupnamedaria called out to spread awareness for Chiari Malformation (CM) and Syringomyelia (SM). Both are disorders of the brain, which can be extremely painful for the affected dog and may impair its life considerably.
Uetli and I had a fun time capturing the main signs indicating CM or SM (swipe!), but for many families these symptoms are very real and very scary. Please note that some of the symptoms portrayed may have a different cause other than CM/SM. Facial rubbing might be sign of an ear infection, excessive scratching can be due to parasites, and so on. The only reliable method to diagnose CM or SM is via MRI. However, since CM and SM do only occur in a few breeds, not all vets have to handle these disorders regularly. This is to say that if your dog shows multiple of the signs mentioned, while you should by no means instantly fear the worst, there is nothing wrong with specifically mentioning CM/SM to your vet and asking for their professional assessment.
For more information about Chiari-like malformation and Syringomyelia visit www.cavalierhealth.org or browse through the other #smwarriorsphotocontest entries.