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Results of this study suggest that caudal occipital malformation syndrome is relatively common in small-breed dogs and has many clinical similarities to Chiari type 1 malformation in humans." CW Dewey, JM Berg, G Barone, DJ Marino, JD Stefanacci. As with human Chiari I malformation, dogs with COMS can display a variety of clinical signs; these include cerebellovestibular dysfunction, myelopathy (usually cervical), and seizure activity.
J Vet Intern Med; May/June 2005;19(3) (ACVIM 23rd Ann. Foramen magnum decompression (FMD) is usually performed for humans with symptomatic Chiari I malformation; results are favorable, with better outcomes being attained with early surgical intervention.
This article reviews the pathophysiology, clinical features, available treatment options, and prognosis for canine Chiari type 1 malformations.
Quote: "Hydromyelia is a dilation of the spinal cord central canal. This surgical technique was performed on 4 Cavalier King Charles spaniels diagnosed with Chiari type I malformation by symptoms (scratching of neck region) and by MRI. The fourth dog was euthanized within 24 hours after surgery at owners request due to progressive seizures and decreased capability of oxygen saturation.
Therefore, in human medicine, a suboccipital craniectomy and cranial dorsal laminectomy with opening of the dura mater is the procedure of choice for surgical treatment of CIM.
Breeds included Cavalier King Charles spaniel (9), Maltese (2), Yorkshire terrier (1), and Pomeranian (1). Neuroanatomic localization included multifocal CNS dysfunction (7), isolated cervical myelopathy (6), isolated cerebellovestibular dysfunction (2), and L4-S1 myelopathy (1).
All dogs with multifocal CNS signs had evidence of both cerebellovestibular and cervical spinal cord disease.