I just got an email that Trapper died. Trapper was a Canadian lynx at EFBC/FCC, just a few years old. The following is from the EFBC/FCC website:
In the fall of 2007 we noticed he had some balance issues, occasionally had trouble walking straight, and couldn’t jump as well as he used to. We moved him to a smaller cage with less chance of him injuring himself. He was brought to the vet for an MRI in October. The news was not good. His condition is called a Chiari-I like malformation, syringomyelia C1-C3. Basically in the back of the skull the cerebellum is being pushed against the skull, blocking fluid from draining down the spinal cord, which caused the neural tube to expand with fluid. This is a congenital defect, sometimes seen in humans, and often in a breed of dog known as Cavalier King Charles spaniels.
A veterinarian who has performed the same surgery on dogs operated on Trapper in November. The back of Trapper’s skull was removed to allow the cerebellum to expand, and the top of the C1 vertebrae was removed to allow fluid to escape.
Dr. Berry then placed a wire mesh titanium basket over the back of the skull to protect the brain.
He evidently came out of the surgery okay, but…well, he didn’t make it. I don’t know the details. It’s heartbreaking. Trapper was special. I mean, all the cats out there are special, whether they’re people-friendly or totally wild. Trapper was a sweetheart. I can’t stop crying right now.