• Female
  • Age: 5  (DOB 8/27/2013)
  • 17#
  • Mild, asymtomatic CM/SM, otherwise halthy!
  • Adoption Donations: $500


  Spring Hill, Tennessee


We rescued sweet 5 year old Marley out of the puppy mill industry via auction back in October. She, like ALL our other poor puppy mill dogs, came in with awful ear infections which we treated with “packed in” antibiotics, antifungals, and antiinflammatories. We also treated Marley for giardia and dental disease. She is congenitally sound at this time with clear eyes, hips, knees, and heart, but suffering from neglect type ailments including ear infections, giardia, and dental disease. Earlier this week she underwent her spay surgery and dental cleaning where she lost a few bad teethA couple weeks into foster care her foster family started to notice and document concerning behaviors which mimicked “classic” SM (syringomyelia) symptoms which is a neurological condition that plagues this breed. With the episodes increasing in severity and duration, we decided to take Marley down to Auburn University for an MRI and to meet with the neurology team. Her physical exam revealed that her ears were still in very poor shape from years and years of chronic neglected infections from her puppy mill past. In addition to ordering the MRI, they also wanted the dermatology team to evaluate her in regard to her ears. SM symptoms include head shaking, pain around head and neck, ear scratching, etc., and so it can be difficult to differentiate SM and ear related issues.

While her MRI did indeed confirm the SM/CM as seen in the image below, her syrinx is relatively mild and much like DJ’s situation it is quite difficult to know if the symptoms are actually derived from the detected SM or if they are stemming for something else... in her case her ears. It is possible that her ear issues have caused these exaggerated clinical signs or it is possible that the SM is the cause of the episodes. It is also possible that the ear infections have triggered and aggravated the SM. Since her ears do need treatment, we have decided to move forward with treating her ears first which may or may not improve the episodes. If the episodes improve then we feel we can confidently attribute the episodes to her ear issues. If once the ears are properly treated the episodes still continue, then we can assume the SM is playing a larger role here and we and can move forward with medications to better manage the syringomyelia and the symptoms.

Her recheck reveals we are on the right track and this issue is from deep, ear infections which were left untreated for years. Now that we have opened up her ear canals and can get the necessary treatment all the way into the infected areas, we are seeing much improvement. She continues to improve and will have another rescheck very soon.