View Full Version : Charlie was MRI'd - here we go again :(

28th November 2006, 09:06 AM
Yesterday I took Charlie for an MRI scan as he's been quite a poorly boy over the last 2 weeks & isn't getting any better :(

As if this isn't stressful enough we were completely messed about by the place we went to - yet again. This happened with Maxx and Annie (Alison's baby at the Bridge) but we put it down to a one off.

We weren't allowed to see the scans and now I have to wait for the results to be faxed over to James (my Vet) :x

I am sooooooooooooooo angry as I specifically requested to see the plates once scan was completed - I also asked them to trim Charlie's nails and/or dew claws whilst he was asleep as he won't let anyone near his paws - this wasn't done either :(

All in all we had such a bad day that I wish I'd insisted on going to see Mr Skerritt. I am going to demand that Charlie's scans get sent to him anyway.

All they kept saying over and over to me was that they'd had to do 12 scans and were very busy....

Really? At £1275 a scan you would expect better service and care wouldn't you?

And to add insult to injury they kept referring to Charlie as 'she' AND they put a bright PINK bandage around his leg :yikes

As soon as I get back from work today there is a letter of complaint going off to them :x

Obviously I am not going to name the scanning place on here but if anyone is considering getting their dogs scanned then please PM me for the name. I'd hate for anyone else to be treated the way we were.

Cathy Moon
28th November 2006, 01:01 PM
Donna, so sorry to hear Charlie isn't well, and how insensitive the people were at the scanning place. It just makes matters worse when they don't seem to care about your feelings or your dog.

We're sending positive thoughts for a good outcome. Please give Charlie a hug and kiss from us. I hope the time goes fast for you as you wait for news. :flwr:

28th November 2006, 01:06 PM
Oh Donna - poor you and Charlie, that is disgusting - it is such as shame that there are practices like that - definately write and complain and see if there is an ombudsman for them.

When I went to Clare she was so good, the first consultation was very informative, and she was so kind especially when I burst into tears before we even got started... the only problem I did have was that there were so many booked in, they said that Ozzy would be ready at 4.00 but they did'nt scan him until 4.30 so in the end he came out at 6.30 still groggy.. but she did go through all the scans and what to do, etc. and I got to take the scans away and report was sent within 48 hours to me and our vets...... if we are paying those prices no matter even if we get it back from the insurance we are still a customer and we and our dogs deserve to have some respect.....

28th November 2006, 01:17 PM
:yikes I'm sorry you had such a bad experience.

Was there a reason why didn't you go to one of the low cost scanning services though? There are four in the UK and the average cost for a scan is less than a fifth what you paid (£175-250)? Many will talk through the scan with you while you are there.

Many places that do scans won't go through them at the time though. Not all have a resident neurologist or one available then, able to interpret the scan at the time they are done (most only have a single person who can read scans and they are also doing surgeries, consults etc on other patients; they wouldn;t be able to be right there for each scan client at the time of the scan and techs cannot interpret the results). Most places do have a lot of pressure on when trying to do scans so would probably be reluctant or unable to do something like nails. They often do not put dogs completely under either or try to only keep them under as briefly as possible. Technicians helping with scans wouldn't necessarily be the right people to do claws either.

To put things in a little perspective: I had lovely service from Mr Skerritt himslef, though they were running two-three HOURS behind schedule and there is absolutely nothing out where they are located -- no where to get anything to eat -- and I'd been travelling for three hours already, since 5 am, but plane and train to get there. No one even offered me a cup of coffee or tea until I finally saw Mr Skerritt, who asked, 'hasn't anyone offered you coffee or tea?". :roll: No one offered to give me any priority though I still had to get a train and ferry back to Ireland that day. It took me weeks after to get Skerritt's office to mail me my second certificate and I can still never get them to answer emails. So no one is offering perfect service. :flwr:

I hope his scans come back OK, Donna; this is always a very stressful experience anyway without added hassles.

28th November 2006, 02:14 PM

How awful for you and Charlie. Me and the boys send big :hug: s . hope Charlie's scans are useful in his treatment and you can ease his suffering.

28th November 2006, 03:01 PM
Oh Donna, poor you and Charlie :(

I hope you get the results as soon as possible and that they are of use. sending :hug:s to you both and of course to Maxx who I'm sure is looking after you both

Cathy T
28th November 2006, 04:54 PM
How frustrating for you Donna. Sorry you had to go through all of this on top of getting the scan. Rough day. Let us know what you hear. We'll be thinking of you.

Denise G.
28th November 2006, 05:13 PM
Donna--I'm so sorry for all the frustration. I hope Charlie feels better soon and that you get a great report back.

Claire L
28th November 2006, 09:38 PM
Sending you and Charlie huge :hug: s and :xfngr: you get good results back.

It's so physically and emotionally draining when you go to such lengths to care for your family pet and the so called "experts" don't even heed your requests and insult you further by referring to your dog as a bitch! and they charge you £1275 for it :(

You are absolutely right to formally complain. It's not your fault that they had so many scans to do. That's just bad management, plain and simple...

If they couldn't trim Charlie's nails while he was under then they should have at least told you beforehand.

I'm so sorry you had a rough experience Donna and I sincerely hope and pray that you get good results back and Charlie feels better very soon .

:flwr: :hug: :hug:


29th November 2006, 02:12 AM
Donna.....I am so sorry to hear that you and Charlie had such a bad day. I hope in the end it will all be worth it when his scans come back negative. How much does a scan cost in England in dollars? Just wondering what the difference in US and England is when I get Lily scanned.

29th November 2006, 10:40 PM
I'm glad you did get him scanned Donna - good luck with the results.

Sorry you had such a bad experience though :( what a nightmare.

Please make sure you do get a copy of the scan and the report...and arrange for it to be sent to Clare Rusbridge for her opinion...she has seen the most scans of anyone and can give you the best information. I arranged for TedBear's scan to be sent to her...

It's a shame about Charlie's nails...we have that problem with TedBear too, it's a nightmare :(

29th November 2006, 11:05 PM
I'm sorry you had to deal with all this--amongst everything else. Good for you for getting a letter off to them!

30th November 2006, 06:49 PM
How much does a scan cost in England in dollars? Just wondering what the difference in US and England is when I get Lily scanned.

At the current exchange rate that would be $2,500....but the dollar is very low against the pound at the moment.

If you ask your vet to contact your nearest scanning centre, they will be able to give you a quote.

There are some low cost schemes running in the US too...

30th November 2006, 10:29 PM
LIVS offers a low cost scanning programme: www.livs.org

They are in Long Island.

3rd December 2006, 01:20 PM
Thanks all for your replies. I have been so busy and also poorly so haven't had chance to get on here and post.

We have sort of got a result on Charlie but James said it is very 'muddled' and so he wants a Neurologist to look at Charlie's scans and report.

He apparently has no Malformation or herniation and no syrinxes but he does have some hydrocephalus which is apparently ' variable' - this is the bit that confuses us - how can hydrocephalus be variable? If it is worse on one side than the other why not say so????

Anyway, he continues to scratch and bite himself and he is getting all sore again. Nothing we have tried so far has had any effect on him and so now James wants him in for skin biopsies. He is going in for the day on the 12th & he will also get his nails and especially his dew claws, cut at the same time. :xfngr: that we get some answers and that it is treatable :xfngr:

4th December 2006, 04:38 AM
Oh Donna,

I am just catching up with this thread now.. How absolutely awful for you to have to go through this.. :hug: :hug:

First off I wanted to tell you that I just recently noticed that you got charlie as a "problem rescue." Bless you for that.. You're such a wonderful person Donna.

I am sorry Charlie is feeling so poorly. :( And then to be treated as you're not important at the doctor's office.. :( I hate it when stuff like that happens. It's ridiculous that they don't treat you a little better especially since you're paying all of that money... They should be offering you sirloin steak and wine during the scans.. :lol:

Also I am sorry his results have come back sort of "muddled." Do you think maybe he could be experiencing all of these symptoms from some of the allergies that he has? I know it sure points to SM, but lets pray that they can find the answer and it's fast, simple, and treatable.

Let us know when you find something out.. Also make sure to take some time out for yourself and take care of yourself Donna.. Make yourself a nice hot bubble bath and just lay down and read a book or listen to music or... talk on the phone.. :blabla: whatever makes you happy. :flwr:

Here's to getting some good news and for you and your family to start feeling better.. :flwr: :hug:

4th December 2006, 08:48 AM
{{{{{{{{Sara}}}}}}}} thanks for your post :flwr: I can assure you that I'm not a wonderful person at all :lol: Charlie needed a home where he could be loved & feel secure and we could offer him one - simple as that :lol:

Granted, not many people would have put up with him and his behaviour problems but I liken him to a wayward teenager or a naughty toddler & I know which I'd prefer :lol: At least Charlie will get on my lap and cuddle into me and let me know he loves me, sometimes - Oh yeah, and he doesn't stamp up the stairs and bang doors when he can't get his own way :lol:

Hubby is less tolerant of his peeing in the house, mind you & threatened to keep him in the kitchen until he stopped. Well, that is until I said that if Charlie had to stay in the kitchen then he (hubby) would have to live in the garage :lol: .

We're going to wait and see what his neurology report comes back as re: his symptoms but there is definitely something else going on in there too with him biting his belly :?

He's going in on the 12th for his skin biopsies and James has assured me that he will heal quickly afterwards. I just want him all better so that he can begin to really enjoy life :lotsaluv:

Love n hugs to you and Kos & big kisses for him too xxxxx

4th December 2006, 09:38 PM

Hope poor Charlie bops feels better soon and you have some good news after he 12th. Have you tried tea tree mist to sooth his itchiness? even if only a little....

Cathy Moon
6th December 2006, 04:21 AM
We're sending hugs from my three to Charlie! :hug: :hug: :hug: And we're keeping our fingers crossed for a good outcome on the 12th :xfngr:

6th December 2006, 08:13 AM
Thanks both :flwr:

Kirsty, i have tried everything I can think of - even Rescue remedy cream - nothing works :(

6th December 2006, 09:55 AM
donna, what excellent news that charlie doesn't have the malformation or syrinxes. but hydrocephalus is a frightening diagnosis. poor little guy. i know what it's like to so desperately want them to be well and happy and enjoying life, it's so hard when they suffer, it's a such a sad and helpless feeling. charlie is getting the best of care, i hope soon there will be some clarification of what's going on and some effective treatment.

i've had two MRIs, years ago, and there was no one there to read or interpret them when i had them done. I had to wait for the report to be sent to my referring doctor in order to find out the results. that sucked. i was trying to get some info out of the technician because they know something about what they're seeing, and they did take some mercy on me and gave me some reassurance in general terms.

me and zack are hoping for some helpful news for Charlie

PS why is he called Mr Skeritt. Isn't he a doctor?

6th December 2006, 04:36 PM
Donna -
that's great that he doesn't have SM! i hope the hydrocephalous is treatable and perhaps with treatment he can receive more comfort. ;)

Hope he's feeling better soon!

6th December 2006, 05:23 PM
So happy Charlie doesn't have SM. I don't know that much about hydrocephalus, but I hope that is a better diagnosis than SM. Hoping all goes well for Charlie and you! :xfngr: :lotsaluv:

11th December 2006, 02:44 AM
What a pity that the clinic staff had less than great "bedside manner". Did you meet any other cavaliers there? Seems were an awful lot of MRI's to have scheduled for one day. Pansy had a full scan and if recall correctly, it took an hour and a half, though she was groggy later, so we didn't go right home. The vets, radiologists and office staff were very supportive. We went to Tacoma WA for a special bre-breeding clinic for CKCS.

11th December 2006, 03:47 PM
We were charged just over 1200 GBP for ours - when I questioned that it was coming up as cheaper on the Cavalier Club website I was told by Clare that this was only for breeders - they did the scan and then wrote and told them the results - they didn't see or check the dogs...have you written to complain yet Donna.

Claire L
11th December 2006, 09:47 PM
Hi Donna,
I'll be thinking of Charlie tomorrow and hoping (and praying) that everything goes well. Hope he gets his nails clipped as well.
So glad to hear that you have something exciting to do as it will take your mind off Charlie. Even a little distraction can be helpful...

Best of luck :lotsaluv: :hug: :hug:


12th December 2006, 06:32 PM
best wishes for charlie. i hope he comes through ok and the procedure leads to some helpful information, which will make it all worth it.

12th December 2006, 09:17 PM
Donna -

Just sitting here and thinking of your crew.. Hopefully everything is going well today.. *HUGZ* from me and Kos :flwr: :flwr:

Claire L
16th December 2006, 12:41 AM
Donna - can you let us know how Charlie got on please. I hope everything is OK . Do you have to wait for James to get results back??

:flwr: :hug:

16th December 2006, 09:57 AM
Claire, :flwr:

the results for Charlie should be back by Christmas....

and as for the MRI scan costs.... it seems with Insurance cover like Donna and I and many others have they have a free reign with the bill at the end....not one of my scan costs were ever the same, but I did manage to get a low cost scan at Chestergates....I just rang and asked and they did it with no questions...

Shop around or make sure you have good cover when you bring your pup home.

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

18th December 2006, 12:23 AM
Thanks Alison :flwr:

James was going to chase the results up this week for me. We had a few problems last time - it would appear that when they say the scans have been sent to a specialist it's a bit like the old 'cheque is in the post' excuse.....

Hoping to get Charlie's biopsies results by Thursday. will post when i know more :)

Thanks all for caring and for your lovely posts :flwr: . I haven't been able to get on here as much as I'd like to, lately. I've been really busy and won't give up any of the time I get to spend with my babies for anything - as it should be, of course ;)

18th December 2006, 12:43 AM
Sorry you are having to go through all these delays; it is really frustrating when you are waiting to find out something so important to you. Hope you get all the results asap. :xfngr:

18th December 2006, 04:38 PM
Just rereading this thread and thinking you might want a second opinion on the 'no malformation' as this is quite rare, and I know from talking to Clare Rusbridge that some neurologists see no malformation when those looking at a lot of SM MRIs definitely see a malformation. Also many dogs still have considerable hind brain crowding without a clear malformation and this may well have a similar affect for some dogs as the malformation. While a severe malformation usually is linked to more severe symptoms this is not always the case. Hydrocephalus can also be a related aspect of the malformation and SM and is sometimes found in conjunction with these. A neurologist familiar with SM will be able to tell you if there are connections or this is stand alone hydrocephalus. By 'highly variable" I think James probably means it can be severe to mild, worsen and then improve, and have some some typical features but not other typical features, not that it is on one side or the other. However it is often on one side or the other as that is how the bubble of fluid forms, and dogs will be more affected by symtpoms on one side of the body (the side opposite where the bubble is). Hydrocephalus is, like SM and CM, also related to and affected by CSF flow so any obstruction in the brain/skull could affect the severity and symptoms.

hydrocephalus in dogs:


Hoping you get your report back asap.

5th January 2007, 09:56 PM
Thanks Karlin. Sorry, I have only just seen your post. I've been a bit lax on here recently and when i do get on it's usually just a fleeting visit :(

James still hadn't had any results back from the referral centre so today after yet another bad episode with Charlie, I gave them a ring. The Vet who did his scan wasn't in and tbh I was glad as the receptionist took it onto herself to get someone else to look at his notes and plates. This other Vet said it looked like he needed to see a Neurologist - urgently :yikes

To say that I am furious with them is an understatement & I told the receptionist (who was lovely) how angry I was, but not with her! She suggested that I get my Vet to call them but I said I wasn't even going there as he'd tried several times and was still waiting. They also said that the only people they would let have the MRI plates would be a Neurologist and they wouldn't let anyone else take them......

I then spoke again to James who phoned Chestergates and explained the situation. Chestergates immediately called me and arranged for me to take Charlie in on Monday morning. whilst I was on the phone to them, I got a call from the other referral centre on my mobile - asking if my friend (obviously meaning Alison) would collect the scan plates tomorrow as they wouldn't get to Chestergates in time! They seem to make it up as they go along in case you hadn't noticed :roll:

Chestergates are going to look at his scans - they couldn't believe that the referral centre were going to just hand them over as they have apparently had fun and games with them before! However, Charlie might need to be re-scanned so he's got to be starved again, bless him.

Anyway, it's a case of here we go again and an extremely hastily arranged overdraft from my bank as it could cost another £1200 again on Monday! I am soooooooooooooooooo glad my babies are insured :flwr:

Will report back on Monday when we've seen the specialist (not sure who we're seeing yet).

Cathy Moon
6th January 2007, 04:01 AM
Oh Donna, how upsetting the way you and Charlie have been treated, and now what they've done (or should I say failed to do!) with the unnecessary delays. :x It's infuriating!

Now we're thinking of Charlie and you, and hoping for a good outcome. I hope Charlie's next specialist will be much more caring and attentive. :hug: :flwr:

6th January 2007, 10:00 AM
Don't worry Donna, we will get it sorted. :flwr:

I'm picking the plates up for you shortly and I will fill the car up with petrol for Monday...will leave about 6ish and miss the Monday traffic :yikes

Thank heavens for my very understanding hubby who at a seconds notice has taken Monday off from work so that I can go with Donna. (he will mind my girls for the day)

I feel the GW at Swindon certainly need to answer some questions don't they....when we went there last year with Maxx and Annie-Belle it wasn't much better with confusion aferwards regarding the results. People don't need this upset, they need to feel confident when they hand their animals over.

All at Chestergates are lovely and know their job so well, Charlie will be in the very best hands. :lotsaluv:

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

6th January 2007, 12:52 PM
So sorry that Charlie has been poorly. Good luck on Monday. :hug:
Pepsi x

Claire L
6th January 2007, 08:46 PM
Hope everything goes well on monday Donna. :xfngr: you get some proper answers and swift treatment for Charlie.

Alison! well done to you for being such a good friend :flwr: :flwr:

Wish I was there 'cause I'd go an kick some ass too!!

:flwr: :hug:

6th January 2007, 08:58 PM
Thanks all. I am just more than a bit upset - for Charlie, not me. Now the GW are denying that any conversations took place between me and them. My Vet just cannot believe how disorganised they are - I've known him for so long and he knows I wouldn't make stories up like that :roll:

I do know that my Vet's practice will no longer send anyone to GW as they're furious at the way this has all been handled.

Will report in when we get back on Monday :xfngr: for my little man :flwr:

Cathy Moon
6th January 2007, 09:50 PM
:xfngr: :xfngr: :xfngr: :xfngr: :paw: :paw: :paw: :paw: :paw: :paw: Everthing is crossed for you at our house!
Have a safe trip Donna and Alison! :drivecar: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

6th January 2007, 10:01 PM
Donna I'm so sorry about all this hassle, you really didn't need this.

poor Charlie, it's awful that he has to go through all this due to their incompetence :(

Wishing you all the best for Monday, thank goodness Alison's DH could take the day off so that she can take you...and that she was able to get the scan for you...

Have a safe journey, Charlie will be in good hands at Chestergates, and they will help you decide the best treatment for him.

:flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

6th January 2007, 11:31 PM
:yikes :yikes :yikes

Just catching up with this one now.. :yikes :yikes :yikes

Donna, I am so sorry to hear all of this!!! How enfuriating!! I will be sending positive thoughts to charlie (yet again) and thank Goodness you have so many people around you that care. Alison you're an angel. ;)

Good luck hun and let us know how you guys get on.. *HUGZ*!!!

7th January 2007, 12:10 AM
Good luck Donna and Charlie! Hope all goes smoothly after all the chaos you have been through.

7th January 2007, 12:18 AM
Donna and Charlie....Lily and I will be thinking of you on Monday and wishing you a good outcome.

7th January 2007, 01:17 PM
Thanks all :) Not looking forward to tomorrow but it has to be done :(

Nicki, Alison isn't driving - I am! I've even tidied out my car :lol: I've printed off a route map and Alison can navigate.....

I've also chewed down all my nails (which is something I never do :yikes ) :roll:

I'm packing up a hamper of food - just in case we get stuck on the M way for 3 hours again LOL and have bought a load of bottles of water - I think we're prepared LOL

Alison's hubby is an absolute angel, bless him :) Mine hasn't even offered up his Sat. Nav :roll: (He'll probably also be sat waiting for his dinner when I get home, too :? ). My friend has also offered to pop in and walk Maxx for me and then let him out for a wee before she goes to work in the afternoon. She'll probably end up making a coffee and sitting on the sofa cuddling him as she usually does, too LOL

7th January 2007, 01:54 PM
Fingers and paws crossed here for you tommorow Donna and Charlie :flwr:

7th January 2007, 04:05 PM
Wow Donna, and some nosh for us!!! you little treaasure x :D... not like when we got stuck on the M4 for nearly 4hrs on the way home after collecting Ellis :yikes

Will leave mine at 6 a.m and should be with you by 7.15ish.....try to get some sleep :flwr:

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

7th January 2007, 06:47 PM
Good luck tomorrow Donna and Charlie, I wish all is okay.

7th January 2007, 07:58 PM
Just catching up on all this; WOW what a mess with Swindon (who are they? I don't know what clinic that is).

Chestergates are very decent folks; don't know if Geoff Skerritt will be working or you might see the German guy who works with him; he has done some interesting research and presented at the London SM meeting. I'm not sure if there are others there as well.

Fingers crossed and hope you get some answers. Please post when you know, Donna; lots of good thoughts for you and Charlie.

Cicero's Mummy
7th January 2007, 08:01 PM
Here's hoping all is well with Charlie!

Puppy hugs are coming your way from Cicero!

7th January 2007, 08:30 PM
The Great Western Referrals in Swindon, Wilts have a mobile MRI scanner that comes every Monday. It also calls in at Devizes, Wilts about 25 miles away along with two places in Bristol. It seems we are very well served by MRI scanners in this area.

The GWR is a specialist centre where many people get sent with their animals/birds/fish for a specialist referral. They do have a web page..a google search will be able to help with that.

An error of sorts has been made here but normally they have a very high reputation for the work carried out there.
It hasn't helped that the normal resident neurologist/vet that we saw last year and who I might add was very good in explaining our scan results is now absent and away at the moment awaiting the birth of her baby.

Alison, Wilts, U.K.

7th January 2007, 10:00 PM
Poor Charlie. Mine and Tobys thoughts will be with all of you tomorrow.

Have a safe journey!!! :drivecar:

Toby says he is look forward to seeing both Maxx and Charlie again and hopes all Charlie stuff will be sorted by then. Me has kept his best Pizzal stick for him! :lol:

7th January 2007, 10:26 PM
Wow Donna, and some nosh for us!!! you little treaasure x :D... not like when we got stuck on the M4 for nearly 4hrs on the way home after collecting Ellis :yikes

Will leave mine at 6 a.m and should be with you by 7.15ish.....try to get some sleep :flwr:

Alison, Wilts, U.K.


Don't worry, I've made you 18 ham and cheese rolls ;) and have got 4 bottles of water for the car. You can pick which yogurt and fruit you want in the morning :lol: I'm making sure we've got everything as they've predicted snow for sometimes this week and it would be just our luck, wouldn't it? :roll: :lol:

Just catching up on all this; WOW what a mess with Swindon (who are they? I don't know what clinic that is). .

A link to their site - remove it if you want - just letting you know who they are.... http://www.gwreferrals.com/

Chestergates are very decent folks; don't know if Geoff Skerritt will be working or you might see the German guy who works with him; he has done some interesting research and presented at the London SM meeting. I'm not sure if there are others there as well..

Thanks for the reassurances :) I wish we'd gone there in the first place but you live and learn :roll: James (my Vet) thinks we're seeing Mike Targett as that's who he spoke to on the phone. I believe Alison has already met him several times before.

Fingers crossed and hope you get some answers. Please post when you know, Donna; lots of good thoughts for you and Charlie.

Thanks :flwr: I'm sure we will get some answers tomorrow. James is very confident that we are going to get the very best care (he's known Mr Skerritt for years). One other thing I am vexed at is that when James called the GW back to ask them to send the MRI scans directly to Chestergates, they all completely denied all knowledge of any phone calls that I had made to them that day :shock: :swear:

I am just glad that I spoke to the receptionist that I did and she had the sense to speak to a different Vet (who maybe doesn't want to get in trouble with the bosses?????) who then confirmed that Charlie DID need an urgent Neurology referral....

Will report back in as soon as we can.

Thanks everyone for all of your good wishes and thoughts. Charlie is completely oblivious to the problem tonight and is snoring like a piggy after scofffing a roast dinner and then having a nice long :dgwlk: with Maxx and their friend, Sam (who is as big as both of them put together) :D

8th January 2007, 06:27 PM
Hi All,

We're back! Had a very long day driving but at least now that Charlie has been seen by Mr Targett I feel much happier and might get some sleep tonight!

OK then, seeing as how we were told by GWR that the only problem Charlie had was mild hydrocephalus, I have today had my worst fears confirmed.

Charlie has got extremely bad hydrocephalus (a skull just full of liquid), he has also got a mis-shapen foranem magnum, a kink in the cerebellum and blockages behind both middle ears.

As the GWR didn't scan down to Charlie's tail (like James had asked them to do), Mr Targett wants us to go back for another MRI scan and he also wants to see if the hydrocephalus has started to move, seeing as Charlie's symptoms have increased and worsened. We will, this time, have a full length scan and as Mr Targett is leaving :( , another consultation with a different Neurologist.

Charlie also has a problem with his lower spine which is probably causing his mild-moderate incontinence, another reason Mr Targett wants a scan of his lower back - to see exactly what the problem is. It could be a herniated or slipped disc or it could be a spinal syrinx.

I have also been asked if I would like the blockages removed from his inner ears (looks like PSOM) - they will drill holes and remove the debris, not just insert the needles and remove it :shock:

Before I decide completely on this one, I want to have a chat to James about it. When Mr Skerritt looked at Maxx's scans before, he said that he wouldn't bother with his ears and Maxx's ears look much more blocked than Charlie's - he's deaf anyway and Charlie most certainly isn't :lol:

I will get him scanned again in about 3 weeks time and then we'll decide on further courses of action - probably Neurontin (Gabapentin).

Boy am I glad that I insure my dogs :thmbsup:

Claire L
8th January 2007, 07:05 PM
Hi Donna! sorry I don't know very much about all of this. Have they given Charlie any meds to help him while he's waiting on the next scan?
It all sounds so daunting... poor little guy and poor you :hug: you must be beside yourself with worry.

I hope that James will be able to guide you and that Charlie will very soon get the correct treatment.

Sending you all BIG :hug:S

8th January 2007, 07:50 PM
Hi Donna....I'm so sorry for the diagnosis, but glad that you know now most of what you are dealing with. It sounds like Charlie is in good hands now.

Hugz from me and Lily to you and Charlie.:hug:

8th January 2007, 08:58 PM
oh Donna I'm so very sorry - this was the news we were dreading :( :( :(

Poor wee fellow...at least you know the extent of his problems now, I know it's not what you wanted to hear, but at least he can be started on treatments now.

I'm sorry too that he will have to have another scan, but that will show exactly what is going on.

Thinking of you both, give Charlie a gentle cuddle from us xxxx :flwr: :flwr: :flwr: :flwr:

8th January 2007, 10:37 PM
Thanks all :flwr: Charlie sends you all loving licky kisses with his lovely smelly 'Butchers Tripe breath' ;) :lol:

Yes, I am very upset at the outcome but deep down I think I have suspected it all along.

Whatever happens now, we will deal with it and Charlie will have whatever medication he needs & whatever time he has with us, he will of course be thoroughly spoiled as he has been since we had him :) His new collar and lead was much admired by Mr Targett btw :lol:

Claire, Mr Targett doesn't want to start Charlie on any meds until he has had his next scan as he wants to see what is really happening at the bottom of his spine (bit further up than the base). As he has said, if he starts him on meds now it could move things down (as in maybe 'remove' or reduce the swellings on any syrinxes) and also mask any symptoms as well.

He will be having the scan done very soon though so won't be allowed to suffer. In the meantime I will just be trying to keep him as calm as I can and if he tries to wriggle out of his harness then he won't go walkies - he can just do as he wants :flwr:

I will be speaking to James tomorrow and will then make a final decision about Charlie's ears but I just feel that he has been through enough lately without having yet more surgery :?

Anyway, enough waffling from me. But before I go, I must just say Thank you and give a HUGE :hug: to Alison for accompanying me and Charlie today, she makes a wonderful navigator (even if we did end up going the wrong way when we got back on the motorway :lol: - at least we were laughing about it).

Alison, Charlie says he's reserved his bestest smelliest licky kisses for you cox he wuvs oooooo so muchhhhhhhhhhhhhhh xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx :lotsaluv:

8th January 2007, 10:48 PM
Sorry that you have had this complex diagnosis but I know you will also be relieved to finally KNOW -- I have certainly been there.

Unless his ears are bothering him and causing pain (as opposed to just deafness) I wouldn't bother draining them. Most of the time, this has to be repeated *at least* once so you are likely talking more than just a single procedure. About 30% of cavaliers seem to have PSOM. Both Jaspar and Leo had it show on their MRIs -- Mr Skerritt told me he regularly sees it and doesn;t advise operating unless there's some significant reason to do it. If they feel his symptoms are caused by something else, I'd leave it, but that's my personal feeling of course.

If James has a record of asking for a full MRI and it wasn;t done, I'd be looking for finacial compensation from the service that did the scan as you are now ending up paying again for a scan that was ordered. I'd think you'd have a small claims case you'd win if James will state in writing (or has on written records somewhere) that he asked for the full spine to be done. If insurance paid for this I'd inform insurance as they will give them hell which will give you some small consolation perhaps..

8th January 2007, 11:28 PM
Thanks Karlin,

Yes I agree totally about the ear issue, that's why I'm just going to run it by James first off before i say I don't want to go ahead with surgery.

Mr Skerritt told me about the high incidences of PSOM when he looked at Maxx's scan and Maxx's was from what I remember, much worse. Maxx is almost completely deaf too, whereas Charlie hears everything (not always a good thing :lol: ).

James was off today as he's been on call all weekend and I know he was extremely busy on Saturday so I guess he deserves a day off ;) I am going to speak to him tomorrow about whether he has a record of asking for a full length scan or not. I know it's the insurance that pays in the end but it's still eaten into the insurance allowance for the year.

We'll have a good chat tomorrow & then I'll know where to go from here.

Thanks again :flwr:

Cathy Moon
9th January 2007, 01:13 PM
Hugs to you and Maxx from us. :hug:

Correction: Hugs to you and Charlie! But Maxx should have a hug too! :hug:

9th January 2007, 04:57 PM
Thanks Cathy :flwr: Maxx is fine though (it's OK, I know you meant Charlie ;) ) I got home last night and found that my darling Maxxy had left me a present on my bed ..... half a chewd up pizzle stick :yuk: :*gh: :grnyuk:

9th January 2007, 09:05 PM
((( Donna ))), I'm so sorry, I've just caught up with this thread again.

Lots of hugs to both you and Charlie.

10th January 2007, 12:02 AM
Thanks Fran, he sends you a licky kiss - he's quite tight with these mind you, so only the one :lol:

10th January 2007, 09:58 AM
Oh Donna, :hug: 's to you and Charlie. At least now you know the true results he can be given the best opportunity to be comfortable and I know that you will give him all of the love and attention he needs to make him one of the most spoilt and loved fur babies around. If he could speak he would thank you for looking into the cause of his problems and for helping to make him feel better which has to be better than the life he had before he was with you :hug:

10th January 2007, 07:53 PM
Hugs to you and Maxx from us. :hug:

Correction: Hugs to you and Charlie! But Maxx should have a hug too! :hug:

Thanks Cathy. Both boys duly :hug:ged - we send return ones for Geordie, India and Chocolate xxxxx


Thanks for that :flwr: He already is a very spoiled furbaby - they both are as I'm sure are yours! It's funny I never moan about the amount spent on my furries but if I had to spend it on myself I would be mortified!

He must still love me though because after James had given him todays injections, he turned and kissed me and then kissed James - that was a real first and James was so happy :rah:

10th January 2007, 09:02 PM
I'm so glad he's with you Donna, he's a lucky boy! :flwr:

10th January 2007, 09:54 PM
He's no luckier than Abby or Gus are Jen :D Lovely to see you posting - not seen you online for a while, are you OK? :hug:

10th January 2007, 10:44 PM
Donna, did you get to talk to James yet?

Just wondering what he thought...

You are in our thoughts and prayers xxxx

10th January 2007, 10:59 PM
He's no luckier than Abby or Gus are Jen :D Lovely to see you posting - not seen you online for a while, are you OK? :hug:

Thanks Donna. Yes, I'm fine, although my new job is taking over my life...I'm slowly getting it back though!

11th January 2007, 11:53 AM
Toby, Taffy and Archie send Charlie (& Maxx and You) loads of doggy kisses and huggles!!!

Archie is off on Tuesday to 'be fixed' :yikes

11th January 2007, 12:44 PM
Oh nooooooooooooooooo poor Archie. Shall I come and steal him away? :lol: Still, it might stop him running away from his Mummy & being a naughty boy :lol:

He's so adorable though, bless him :lotsaluv: As is our gorgeous Tobes :lotsaluv:

Who's doing it Amy? Is he going over to Perhsore or staying in Evesham? Debbie does use our Vets doesn't she?

11th January 2007, 04:04 PM
Donna - So sorry you're going through this again with Max. :( And how much more frustrating that you've been given such a run-around!! :?

11th January 2007, 11:39 PM
Thanks Kendal, I do think we're getting the best possibly care for Charlie now though :flwr:

How is Rory doing? I've not seen you post any pics of him for a while :(

Nicki, I emailed you. Didn't you get it? I will ring you tomorrow x

12th January 2007, 07:06 PM
Sorry Donna, no I didn't -last one was before you went...

Hubby isn't too well at the moment, so will try to catch up with you next week...

12th January 2007, 07:46 PM
Rory is doing great! Thanks for asking. :) I'll post some pics, soon. Hugs to you and yours!

1st February 2007, 08:30 PM
I will get him scanned again in about 3 weeks time and then we'll decide on further courses of action - probably Neurontin (Gabapentin).

How is Charlie doing Donna?

Has he had the rescan? I hope it wasn't bad news, and that you've managed to get him started on medication...

1st February 2007, 10:26 PM

As you know, Charlie is also on immunotherapy and he has responded so well to his shots that he is showing absolutely no symptoms of anything at the minute.

I KNOW he has hydrocephalus but I don't think it's bothering him. I believe it's quite possible to have the condition and have no symptoms from what Mr Targett said.

Anyway, as he has also had more than enough anaesthetics lately I have decided with the agreeance of Vets and Clinic to put his scan off for a while.

If he seems uncomfortable in any way then I will book him in and take him. For now though he is a really happy little boy and is showing a side of his character that we never knew existed! :flwr:

How is TedBear doing now, Nicki?

1st February 2007, 10:31 PM
I am glad that Charlie is feeling so well just now especially since you say you are seeing a side of him you hadnt seen much off before. That must mean a lot.

1st February 2007, 10:42 PM
Donna....I am so happy for you that Charlie is doing so well. I know it will give encouragement to others who have SM dogs. :flwr:

2nd February 2007, 11:00 AM
Thanks Norma & Shay :flwr: Charlie is soooooooooo playful now and actually wants to go for walks and huffs when I bring him home :lol:

It does make me wonder just how much of his discomfort has been related to his allergies & now that the treatment for them has finally kicked in, he's showing his true self. I've also clipped all of his coat off (except his ears and tail of course) as he was pulling his fur out around the blisters - he's stopped that now too :D

Maxx also has SM but he copes really well, bless him. He is on 20mg Frusemide and 1ml dilute Tagamet a day. Since Charlie wants to play, Maxx has now started to play with him and they now spend their resting time snuggled up in one bed together - something I never thought would happen!!!!

Norma, how's your delicious Arne? He's such a handsome boy - possibly THE most handsome B&T I've ever seen :flwr:

2nd February 2007, 02:26 PM
Donna....That's really good news about both boys. I am starting to think that all of Lily's scratching is allergy related too. I've had her to the Vets 3 times this month for vomiting, and again had her there yesterday. The Vet took an x-ray, nothing in her tummy, but her stomach lining is thick. If all the blood work comes back today normal, the Vet said we will start looking at the allergy possibility. He said that allergies could be causing the vomiting too.

2nd February 2007, 03:02 PM
Shay, if it's of any use to you, Charlie used to vomit loads - almost every meal came right back up again :( He's not done it for some time now though. I really think the treatment is working :flwr:

2nd February 2007, 03:07 PM
Donna....Was that from the allergies?

2nd February 2007, 07:46 PM
Yes Shay it was - he was on hypoallergenic food too so we've had to take him off the dried food (even though I was soaking it and then giving it to him cold and wet) and put him on Butchers Tripe :grnyuk: It stinks but dogs love it :roll: If he has any of the other Butchers foods he vomits again so he just has the tripe one now and is doing fine on it :D

3rd February 2007, 04:58 AM
Thanks Donna...All her tests came back negative. He has told me to start putting fish oil in her food, in case her skin is dry. He wants to wait a while longer before putting her on low allergen food to see if the vomiting stops. He also has her on something to settle her tummy before she eats. So we'll see.

3rd February 2007, 04:40 PM
So glad that Charlie is doing better now Donna :) Great news.

Pepsi x