Veterinary Neurology of the Chesapeake | Jay McDonnell, DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM | Annapolis & Towson, MD


Welcome to VNoC's "Happy Tails" section!  We would love to add more happy tails and encourage you to email us to submit your update, story or just tell us how your pet is doing.


Quincy the Cavalier

"You'd never know that Quincy had major surgery 9 months ago," says Rebecca H., the owner of the six-year-old tri-colored Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. "He is the same high energy boy he was when we got him, with tons of personality and real charisma."


Quincy began having seizures a little over a year ago. Rebecca continues, "His hind limbs would go flaccid and he'd contort his head. I did some research and began to wonder if he had syringomyelia."


Syringomyelia is a very serious condition in which fluid-filled cavities develop within the spinal cord near the brain. Syringomyelia is the consequence of Chiari-like malformation, a condition characterized by a mismatch between the caudal fossa (skull) volume and its contents, the cerebellum and brainstem. In recent years syringomyelia has become all too common in Cavaliers.


Rebecca took Quincy to his regular veterinarian, Dr. Kelly Anderson of Greater Annapolis Veterinary."She couldn't rule out that Quincy might have syringomyelia, so she referred us to Dr. McDonnell for a definitive diagnosis and treatment." After an MRI—the only way to accurately diagnosis syringomyelia—was performed at VNoC, Dr. McDonnell concluded that Quincy had Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia. Initially Quincy was started on Prednisone and Prilosec, but then Quincy had a bad seizure in September 2012.


"It was horrible. I rushed him to VNoC, hoping that they could work me in, which they did. After examining him, Dr. McDonnell recommended surgery and said that he could do it in a matter of days. He was so positive about Quincy's prognosis—other than this, he's always been so healthy and active. But if you see him ow, you'd never know he'd been through this really major surgery. He's no different now than before: he's just as smart and energetic, with all the personality as ever."


Still Rebecca admits that Quincy's recovery at home had its challenges. "Quincy is so emotive, and we could tell just how bad he was feeling. When he started feeling better, it was hard to keep him from doing too much, as he had a six-month activity restriction. On July 6th, he had a check-up and Dr. McDonnell said he looks terrific. Even though we'll always have to keep an eye on him, he doesn't have to go back for another check-up for a year.


"I want to thank everyone at VNoC for all their help and for giving us back our Quincy!"


Board Certified Veterinary Neurologist Dr. Jay McDonnell | Annapolis & Towson, MD