Total Veterinary Services in conjunction with the Corbin SM Memorial Fund Inc is now offering MRI sessions scanning for syringomyelia.

Syringomyelia (SM) is rapidly emerging as a severe inherited condition associated with a wide range of breeds.  It is a progressive neurological disease that can vary largely in its severity.  At present the condition can only be idenitified by MRI scans or by clinical signs.  It affects dogs of both sexes and is most common in dogs aged 6 months to 3 years but has been diagnosed in dogs up to 10 years of age.

Breeds known to be affected include:

  • French bulldog
  • King Charles Spaniel
  • Maltese
  • Papillon
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Boston Terrier
  • Chihuahua
  • Hungarian Vizla
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • Pug
  • Miniature Daschund
  • Pekingese
  • Bulldog
  • Cavalier
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Miniature Pinscher
  • Poodle
  • Weimaraner
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pomeranian
  • Bichon Frise
  • Havanese
  • Giffon Bruxellois
  • Affenpinscher

The condition manifests itself in many different ways depending on the breed affected.

Some symptoms include:

  • Excessive scratching (especially while on the lead), often ‘air scratching’ where the dog scratches in mid-air.
  • General pain, often noticed as whining / yelping / whimpering for no reason
  • Weakness in limbs, lack of coordination when jumping, lack of traction or excessive licking at feet, often until raw
  • Restlessness, unable to get comfortable, constantly shfting
  • Head shaking / lip licking
  • Seizures / nerve damage
  • Head rubbing / digging, excessively rubbing face on carpet as if painful, digging obsessively at carpet or furniture


To date we have successfully scanned 32 dogs.  Their scans are graded by the British Veterinary Association.  We have since diagnosed both affected dogs and dogs that are clear of this condition.

The aim of the process is to identify this issure within breeding lines and to aid in improving the quality of these affected breeds.

To book your dog in for a scan please call the clinic and ask for Tracy