Take a seat, grab a cup of tea. This will be a long post! Alle pictures are clickable and can be viewed in big size.
On Tuesday August 22nd we went to the Veterinary Centre in Dordrecht with Yara and Lucy. They are one of the few clinics in The Netherlands to offer all the equipment and testing we need for our testing protocol. Executing the tests is one this, interpreting the results well is another. In Dordrecht all specialists are available in one clinic and they have all the knowledge to provide us with all the possible information we need.
Recently we extended our research protocol with CT and MRI scans. Yara has been tested following our old protocol so we planned a CT and MRI scan for her. For these scans Yara has to lay completely still so she had to be sedated. The MRI takes about 30 minutes. On this scan all soft tissues are very well visible. The nasal passages, palate, but also the brains. This is the main goal of making the MRI.
Lately too many French Bulldogs are diagnosed with Syringomyelia, too much to our liking and too much to ignore. Syringomyelia is caused by a skull that is too small.
In every breath and every heartbeat the volume of the brain changes a little: the brain continuously become a little bigger and smaller. In a normal skull there is plenty of room for this. When the skull is too small the brain bulges out of the backhole from the skull into the spinal cord. This coming and going of the bulging part from the brain creates some kind of vacuum around the spinal cord causing cavities. The cavities are filled with fluid. This is very painful for the dog.
The MRI images are sent to Drs. Paul Mandigers, a neurologist. He will judge them and give them a score. In the coming week these will be sent to us. I have not yet received them. Whenever I get those of course I will share them.
After that Yara was brought to the CT area, this is also a huge machine. This scan takes significantly shorter, in a few minutes it is done scanning her whole body. Unbelievable, because more than 1500 images are made in such a short time! On the CT scan is well visible if there are any abnormalities in the respiratory system. Not only the size of the nostrils will be judged but the whole nasal passages, everything behind that. The throat area becomes more visible, and next to that the whole spine is visualized. On here it is very obvious if there are any abnormalities and the consequences on the interverbral discs and the spinal cord.
Yara her full-body CT scan is visible below with the patient record. Unfortunately the report is in Dutch. Because she already had x-rays made from her spine we knew she had hemivertebrae in her chest area. These are clearly visible on the CT. We can also see that those vertebrae do not cause compression in her spinal cord. It is visible she has a calcification in the transition are from her cervical to her chest vertebrae, you can also see an arrow pointing to it. She has a little bit of a thicker palate but because of the space in the rest of her throat area it causes no problems.
Lucy had some tests on Tuesday as well. The cardiologist performed an ultrasound on her heart. Her heart is in perfect shape without abnormalities. She also had an official Patellar Luxation exam. She is declared Clear from this as well!
On Friday August 25th we returned to Dordrecht with Lucy. This time she also had to be put under. But first she got the full fysical exam. The forms from this I have yet to receive but all was totally fine! After that they gave her the anaesthetic IV. First they made the x-xays.
The x-rays look great! The trachea is nice and wide, a spacious throat, nice space inbetween the vertebrae. Lucy has one minimal hemivertebrae in her chest area, vertebra T10. Her hips and elbows look good, without abnormalities. Official scores are done on her elbows and hips by the Kennel Club. Her hips are also judged through the PennHip method.
We have received these results already! Lucy her PennHip result is 0,72 left and 0,63 right. This means her hips are relatively loose. The breed average is 0,62. The closer this number is to 0 the tighter the hip is in the socket. The result from the Kennel Club for Lucy her hips is HD A. Her ED result is Clear. The certificates are visible below.
After that it was Lucy her turn to go to the CT and MRI scan. She also got a full-body CT scan with more than 1500 recordings. This way absolutely nothing will be missed! The CT brought no surprised. the hemivertebrae is well visible and it is visible that the interverbral disc towards the next vertebra is calcified. Besides this there are no abnormalities found in the spine. Also her nose and throat area was great!
On the MRI scan everything looked good too, but we are now waiting for the official results from Paul Mandigers to come in. Below you can see the CT scan with the patient record. Again in Dutch unfortunately. The hemivertebrae is pointed by an arrow.
After this marathon it was time for Lucy to wake up. Thankfully she woke up quickly and after being wobbly for a little while she found her balance again. When she completely woke up there was one last exam to be executed: the ECVO eye exam. For this the eye specialist looks for different eye conditions. Lucy is Clear from all eye conditions!
It did become a long post with a lot of information! We are still waiting for the filled in research protocol from Lucy and the MRI scores from both of the girls. When we have received this the results are complete!
We are very proud and content with all the results we have received. When the MRI result does not show anything crazy we can plan for Lucy to be bred in her coming heat. The waiting list for this litter still is and keeps closed until we have received all results and we announced the combination. We have an amazing male in our heads for Lucy, he is almost as well tested as she is.
When Lucy sticks to the planning we hope to be expecting puppies around New Year!