View Full Version : I have a question on SM

Sharon 7
1st February 2007, 10:27 PM
I am new on here, so sorry if this has already been asked!
My one year old has SM for sure, even though she has not had an MRI.
She started with severe pain a few months back, the vet put her on tablets. To make this short- the pain went and she has had no more pills and no more pain. Does this happen that the pain can come and go?
She still scratches but thankfully the pain seems to have gone for now.
Can someone please h*lp


1st February 2007, 11:30 PM
What were her signs of pain, and what pills was she on? How long has she been off them? Also: perhaps the pain had another cause? Have you viewed the video clips on my SM website, www.sm.cavaliertalk.com? The one of Chester is particularly good for showing a range of behaviours.

Pain can come and go, yes, for many different reasons. Generally SM is progressive though and for a dog showing a high level of pain at age one, I'd want to get him/her on frusemide on a daily basis as it is the only medication that *may* prevent or slow progression. Generally a symtpomatic dog of under 2.5 years is probably a more severe case, as Dr Rusbridge notes.

The treatment protocol is downloadable from the SM site and Rusbrdige sheet explains the condition in some detail.

Sharon 7
2nd February 2007, 12:12 AM
The pain was definatley around her neck. Sometimes when she was touched or moved she would yelp.
She was first placed on non-steriod drugs,( cannot remember the name) which worked as long as she was on them, soon as she stopped the pills the pain would return. Next they tried streiod drug (Rimadyl) that seem to work too.
She has prob been off them for 2 months.
her sternum sometimes had pain as well. :sl*p:

2nd February 2007, 12:24 AM
If it was SM related pain, it will probably return, given her age. Sometimes syrinxes can burst and then pain decreases or disappears but if a syrinx had already formed at a young age, one is liely to reform.

If Rimadyl worked for pain, then I'd stick with that if you have flare-ups and avoid steroids. Also Neurontin is a better option than steroids with few to no side affects. Steroids by contrast are not good to give medium to long term unless there's no other choice. They can be good to reduce pain during a flare-up.

Some cavaliers have SM pain that comes and goes in occasional 'sessions'. sometimes the sessions can be bad, or sometimes are mild.

There really isn't any definite set of things that always happen -- symptoms and progression are hugely variable -- but younger cavaliers showing symptoms do tend to have a more severe form of SM, so it would probably be good to think about possible routes and options if this recurs. It's a lot easier to think through and investigate choices, nearest MRI facility, if anyone does the surgery, if you'd choose that option, etc, when you are not having to make fast decisions. :thmbsup:

Sharon 7
2nd February 2007, 01:32 AM
Thankyou Karlin,

I know to have an MRI here it would be very expensive.
Our finances would not allow us to even have that test.
Then finding a neuroligist that knows about this desease seems to be difficult as well.

Thanks again Karlin

2nd February 2007, 02:56 AM
I've asked one of the SM researchers if they know any vets or neuros in Australia familiar with SM.

There could be other reasons for her pain though; did your vet thoroughly check those out? Also how distinctive is her scratching? Be sure to check the Leo and Chester videos and the scratching they do on the SM site (the top video, Leo, is my dog).

Sharon 7
2nd February 2007, 03:04 AM
Yes i did watch the videos.... upsetting thats for sure!

The vet did give Sophie an xray of her back and neck, nothing seemed out of place. Her ears were clear. one thing that I have noticed her glands behind her jaw always appear to be swollen.

Thank you so much for asking about a vet in Australia.. that was so nice of you :hug:

2nd February 2007, 03:11 PM
I'm going to PM you the email of a breeder in Australia (not of cavaliers, one of the other affected breeds) who would likely know where to go. She has MRId several of her own dogs. I have no idea where she is based but should be able to help you.

2nd February 2007, 04:02 PM
Meanwhile this name has been mentioned on my SM support email list --vet neurologist in Sydney:

Georgina Childs

Sharon 7
2nd February 2007, 10:47 PM
Thankyou very much for that! :flwr:

2nd February 2007, 11:48 PM
Oh good I see you are in Sydney -- I forgot to check. I am now just told Child is really good, knows SM and has spoken to the dog club about it, and charges between $1600-1900.

I have also been given someone you can contact about $1000 MRIs in Syndey.

I am going to forward you on by PM all the info, and name of a Sydney vet who knows all about SM (wh9 can also tell you about the $1000 MRIs). :thmbsup: