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This is a group of genetic disorders that are based around a malformation of the area of the brain-spinal cord connection.  The disorder is more likely to present after childbirth or after trauma to the head.  There are small sacks that are created in this area that are filled with the cerebrospinal fluid.  These sacs can place pressure on the spinal cord and block the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid through the spine.  The pressure that is created can also cause an abnormal flow of the cerebrospinal fluid, causing additional difficulties.  This can be an incredibly painful disorder, although the pain is not steady and can be inconsistent.  This is a situation that should see a vet as soon as possible.  Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are the most commonly affected breed of this disorder but other toy breeds can present with this condition.  Symptoms can include:

  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Loss of Balance
  • Difficulty Walking
  • Persistent Scratching of Shoulders, Head, and Neck
  • Scratching of the Air Around Shoulder, Head, and Neck
  • Blurred Vision
  • Sensitivity to Bright Light
  • Tinnitus
  • Biting and Licking of Paws
  • Involuntary Eye Movements
  • Abnormal Internal Temperature
  • Bowel Control Difficulties
  • Seizures
  • Nerve Damage
  • Scoliosis
  • Deafness