Arachnoid cysts is a disease that affects the central nervous system whereby the arachnoid membrane that surrounds the entire central nervous system (think spinal cord) does not develop properly.
As a result…
Cysts (which are defined as small hollow balloon like structures that are filled with liquid secretions) are formed throughout various parts of the central nervous system which can cause a variety of symptoms depending upon their location.
Most pets suffering form this disease will likely go undiagnosed simply because most will remain asymptomatic due to the location of the “malformation” and therefore not exhibit any clinical signs of the disease.
That’s the good news…
The bad news is that for those few patients that actually do exhibit symptoms of the disease, diagnosis and treatment does tend to be difficult and very expensive!
Symptoms associated with arachnoid cysts in dogs.
Symptoms of this disease will generally be defined by where the cyst is located within the central nervous system. In cases where the cyst is located along the spinal cord, patients will like exhibit symptom that will affect their movement leading to cases of:
- Ataxia, loss of full control of their movement,
- Hypermetria, or extended gait/movement.
Whereas when the cyst is located with the brain (intercranial placement), patients will tend to suffer from symptoms such as:
- Loss of vision,
- Headaches or pain,
- Nausea or vomiting,
- Etc, etc…
Diagnosis of arachnoid cysts in dogs
As noted before, because many dogs suffering from arachnoid cysts won’t actually suffer from any symptoms of their condition, its fair to say that many of these same animals will also go undiagnosed simply due to the expense of actually making a definitive diagnosis.
While it is possible to come make a “suspected diagnosis” based on incidental findings that are easily observable, in order to make a definitive diagnosis, your veterinarian will likely need to order some pretty expensive tests such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam which may or may not be readily available in your area.
Treatment of arachnoid cysts in dogs.
Treating arachnoid cysts can also be very expensive in some cases simply because it could require the need for a neurosurgeon to perform a surgery in order to “lance” or remove the troublesome cyst in your dog. This of course is in cases where the cyst is located in an area that is treatable and would not present too much of a risk to the patient.
In other cases…
Where treatment is too dangerous or too costly, your veterinarian may recommend treatments designed not to actually “cure” the condition, but instead actually treat the symptoms being cause “by” the condition.
In either case…
One can easily imagine how having a pet with symptomatic arachnoid cysts can easily become of the more expensive medical conditions to treat particularly due to the fact that it could require the services of a neurosurgeon.
Which brings us…
To the point of the article where we like to remind folks that we her at IndulgeYourPet, are not medical professionals and we’re certainly not veterinarians. All we are is a bunch folks who are passionate about animals and want to try to help any pet owner do what’s best for his or her loved one.
This is why…
In addition to trying to shed a light on some of the most common and costly medical conditions that could affect your loved one, we also try to recommend that any new prospective pet own take a moment and see what it would cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy on your new family member.
If your loved one does end up developing a condition like arachnoid cysts, you’re not going to have to burden the cost of paying for such an expensive medical condition on your own, instead you’ll be able to share this cost with your insurance provider and not have to spend all your time wondering how you’re going to pay for the care your loved one needs.!