View Full Version : Hello from deepest darkest Wales

15th October 2006, 03:45 AM

I've just joined from Wales in the Uk. I don't have cav's myself but grew up with them and my Mum has a lovely blenheim boy called Rex (original I know) who is having some problems at the mo' and is coming to stay with me in a week or so and i'm looking to get some experienced cav owner advice. I myself have two lady lurchers (both rescues) who love Rex to bits, but do tend to run rings round him!

I am concerned as Rex has had some funny turnes recently - not being able to stand up and being stiff in his back legs. He has always been a 'nervous scratcher' and nobody has ever explained this until I came across the information on here about syringomelia. He is also deaf and has bad dry eye syndrome. I am starting to wonder if there may be something underlying his problems but am worried about mentioning to my mother as she loves him to peices and is still grieving over his friend Harry who succumbed to his dodgy heart at only 5 or 6 years old :( .

I am hoping to post in the SM thread tomorrow to see if I can get some opinions on whether we should check this out.


15th October 2006, 04:52 PM
Hi, Ketty. Sounds like Rex isnt doing too well!!

The good news: You've found a place with a lot of great health information and owners with specific experience (and some with formal vet education!).

I wont lend my opinion on poor Rex. I will send happy thoughts, though, and wishes that you find a way to relieve Rex of his ailments.

Coco's mom
15th October 2006, 09:32 PM
Welcome Ketty. :flwr:

I'm sorry you are having problems with Rex. Poor guy. I am sure all the experts on the site will be able to offer some advice to point you in the right direction. I just got my first puppy about a month ago, a blenheim girl, and so I don't have much I can offer you.

All the best for Rex! :luv:

15th October 2006, 10:27 PM
Hi Ketty:

How old is Rex?

Given the stiffness, inability to stand and especially the odd scratching along with it, I'd have him checked out as a matter of some urgency. Did it start suddenly or slowly develop? There is a low cost MRI programme at Chestergates vet Hospital with Mr Skerritt in Chester which would be relatively close to you. You would need to talk to your vet first. I'd go to my SM website and print out the infor from Clare Rusbridge (the information sheet, and the treatment sheet) and my symptoms document, and take those to your vet for a discussion.


The vet could then refer you to Chestergates, where there are neurologists very familiar with SM.

There's also a condition called episodic falling syndrome (see more in the Library section under Health) where cavaliers will freeze and fall over and sometimes have fits.

If this is SM there are a number of approaches that could be taken to alleviate his discomfort and improve his quality of life.

Clare Rusbridge is one of the recognised experts on the condition and is based in Wimbledon at Stone Lion vets.

16th October 2006, 09:21 AM

A subject so close to home for me with the loss of three Cavs with SM....get him to a Neurologist and take SM info with you if you can, if I can help in anyway I am on the M4 junc 15 and will help you with transport, share a drive etc for your scan if you go up to Chestergates or if you just need info on one of the mobile scanners that call at Bristol/Swindon area monthly.
These scans are returned to Chestergates for Mr Skerrit to view and write the reports on.

Have you insurance for him? SM can be very costly.

Here if you need help etc,

Alison (Swindon) Wilts, U.K.

17th October 2006, 06:32 PM
Hello, and thanks for your useful suggestions - I posted this message in the SM forum page with further details:

I have just joined the forum to get some advice about SM. My Mum's dog Rex is about 9/10 and has always been itchy and scratchy and we never got to the bottom of it and as far as I know her vets have never mentioned SM. He also suffers from dry eye syndrome and lost his hearing at a relatively early age so he's now pretty much blind and totally deaf poor lad. He also goes off his food regularly, wont eat out of his bowl but will eat if hand fed. Just recently he's had a couple of episodes where he was unable to get up and appeared to be stuck or as if one back leg wouldn't work. When he did get up his back legs were all wobbly. His heart was also racing, suggesting he was distressed or in pain perhaps?

He's been on painkillers (rimadyl) and is much better. Does this sound like SM? How much is an MRI scan going to cost (he's not insured unfortunately) and is the treatment relatively easy (on him I mean)? I have not said anything to my Mum as she would be devastated, but he is coming to stay soon and I could follow it up with my vets who are very good. I don't want to worry her needlessly but want whats best for him.


I will follow up the suggested places to go for a scan with my vet when Rex gets here next week. I will also be able to observe him a bit more closely to see whats going on. He's been a scratcher for all his life, so this is not something that's come on suddenly, but the symptoms of pain and stiffness are new - twice in about 3/4 months. He is also bad at walking on the lead and grabs it and won't let go (really won't - goes totally batty) and I'm wondering if this could be another symptom? That is definitely worse over the last year or so, but he is rarely on the lead as my mother is lucky enough to back onto fields.

I have suggested she raise his food bowl and see if this helps and will get him a harness when he comes if I can. Any suggestions for a good harness I can get hold of quickly from PAH or order on the web?

I hope I am worrying for nothing but it all sounds a bit too likely for me

Many thanks again for all advice