Veterinary News

Neurology Study at VSC of Seattle

By December 12, 2018 No Comments

A recent retrospective study evaluated dogs with “fly catching syndrome” (FCS) using diagnostic techniques including electroencephalogram (EEG), brainstem auditory evoked response (BAER), MRI, and CSF as well as response to treatment with anti-epileptics and/or anti-anxiety medication (Wrzosek, 2015). Nineteen of 24 dogs in this study underwent BAER testing, two of dogs were determined to have bilateral sensorineural deafness. Both of these patients were treated with phenobarbital and fluoxetine but were considered “non-responders” and were eventually euthanized due to owner concerns regarding quality of life. Both dogs had normal MRI and EEG studies. These patients were reported to have the most severe symptoms of all the dogs in the study as well.

For my resident research project, I am aiming to further evaluate the possible relationship between sensorineural deafness and treatment responsiveness in dogs with FCS. The results of the above study suggested the prognosis for conventional management of FCS in dogs with sensorineural deafness is guarded as compared to other patients. My study is designed to test this hypothesis. This information may be helpful for clinicians to better educate clients regarding treatment and prognosis in FCS with concurrent sensorineural deafness.

I am now enrolling dogs with FCS in my study. Inclusion criteria for this study are:

  • A video of an event and/or the event being witnessed by the researcher
  • Medical records since the time of diagnosis
  • Treatment with either an anticonvulsant and/or fluoxetine for at least one month
  • BAER testing

For patients meeting the first three criteria, we are offering free BAER testing and neurologic examination (the only potential cost to the owner being sedation if needed).

If you have any clients interested in enrolling their pet in this study, please contact me by January 5, 2018 at with the subject heading “FCS Study Candidate.” If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Lara Curtis, DVM
Resident in Neurology and Neurosurgery

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