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  • Author or Editor: Dominic J. Mellor x
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Objective—To perform morphometric analysis of the caudal cranial fossa in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCSs), to assess the relationship between caudal fossa dimensions and the frequency of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) features of occipital abnormalities in CKCSs (with and without syringomyelia), and to compare caudal cranial fossa measurements in CKCSs with measurements of 2 groups of mesaticephalic dogs.

Animals—70 CKCSs and 80 mesaticephalic (control) dogs.

Procedures—Dogs were placed into 4 groups as follows: Labrador Retrievers (n = 40), spaniel-type dogs (40; English Springer Spaniels and Cocker Spaniels), CKCSs with syringomyelia (55), and CKCSs without syringomyelia (15). Multiple morphometric measurements (linear, angular, and area) were obtained from cranial midsagittalT2-weighted magnetic resonance images including the brain and cervical portion of the spinal cord. Several specific MRI findings were also recorded for CKCSs that appeared to affect the occipital bone and cervicomedullary junction.

Results—No significant difference was identified among breeds in control groups and between sexes in any of the groups for all morphometric measurements. Significant differences were identified in CKCSs, compared with mesaticephalic dogs, in the area of the caudal cranial fossa and for several linear measurements that reflected the length of the ventral aspect of the occipital bone. These differences were greater in CKCSs with syringomyelia. All CKCSs had abnormalities in occipital bone shape.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CKCSs had a shallower caudal cranial fossa and abnormalities of the occipital bone, compared with those of mesaticephalic dogs. These changes were more severe in CKCSs with syringomyelia.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To investigate the association of 6 clinical features with outcome of dogs with generalized megaesophagus.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—71 client-owned dogs with radiographic evidence of generalized esophageal dilation.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed for data on signalment, age at onset of clinical signs, body weight, evidence of undernutrition, and the administration of drugs to treat or prevent esophagitis. Radiographs were reviewed for evidence of aspiration pneumonia (AP) and to calculate the relative esophageal diameter. Details of outcome were collected from the medical records and by contacting owners and referring veterinarians. The association of 6 factors with death before discharge and overall survival time was assessed.

Results—Overall median survival time was 90 days. Nineteen (26.7%) patients died before discharge from the hospital. Radiographic evidence of AP was both positively associated with death before discharge and negatively associated with overall survival time. An age at onset of clinical signs of >13 months was negatively associated with overall survival time. No evidence of an association of the degree of esophageal dilation or the use of drugs to prevent or treat esophagitis with death before discharge or overall survival time was found.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Radiographic evidence of AP and the age at onset of clinical signs were the only variables found to be significantly associated with survival time in this study, and this should be considered when advising on prognosis in dogs with megaesophagus.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association