View Full Version : At the vets again

14th September 2007, 12:18 PM
I've been to the vets this morning because our blen girl was really struggling with her breathing last night. She had a grade 5 murmer when we got her last year but it hasn't bothered her until the last few days. They've given her fruise & benazecare?

She was sick in the car there & back & is now sat in the garden , She doesn't look very well bless her

I also took my Tri king charles for an update. Her front legs are very weak so they had put her on rymadill two weeks ago. Though she is much much happier on the rymadil it had made no difference to her limp.

The vet suggested she might have SM which I had not thought of to be honest. She does scratch her side a lot but she has very bad skin so I thought nothing of it.
She has been odd for about 3 years , She seemed very depressed & wouldnt come near me ( she was very clingy in her youth) & would do strange things like stare at the picture frames on the wall.
now her front legs are weak & About a year ago she lost the use of her back legs for 24 hours. Does that sound like SM ?

On the rymadil she is almost like her old self temprement wise. So they have kept her on it but taken her off her steroids. ( the vet admited she should not have been on both for the last fortnight, He didn't read her records.......)

14th September 2007, 01:20 PM
hi Angela,

positive thoughts coming your way.

I'm not much use on SM, but has she had an X-ray to see the state of her heart?

My Cailean's grade 5-6 and has been having difficulties for over a year. He's on 4 different meds for his heart - frusemide, of course. But I haven't heard of the other drug, unless it's another name for something.

Vetmedin is THE drug for advanced MVD. It's known to increase remaining life-expectancy dramatically, and is very well-reputed. Cailean is also on Corventyl (helps keep the airways open) and Fortekor.

As well as fluid build-up, the problem is that the heart gets so big that it eventually stops the dog breathing properly.

Thinking of you and the little lady.


14th September 2007, 01:41 PM
The tablets contain benazepril hydrochloride & the box says for the treatment of heart failure ( thats comforting , not)
Penny's not had an xray. I had one done on a dog before , it didnt solve anything & the sedative they used made him very ill.

I just want her to be comfortable, I know there arn't going to be any miracle recovery's , I've lost 7 to heart failure in the last 9 years.

Her last owner got rid of her because of her heart & her weird obsessions .
They didnt tell us that when they gave her to us but she came into my work a few months ago & not knowing who I was told me about " her" cavalier & how she had to give her to rescue because her heart was bad.

Barbara Nixon
14th September 2007, 01:43 PM
Izzy went like that, Angela, ie suddenly, but went on for over two more years. He was put on Fortekor, first of all and it appears that Benazecare is the same drug, benazepril hydrochloride, but by a local manufacturer. Fruise sounds like Frusicare/ Frusimide, again both names for the same generic drug.

Fortekor can take a few days to show results, whereas, if you later get, Vetmedin, it acts quite quickly (within 24 hours for Izzy ).

Have you tried Vitapet oil for the old girl ? It helped my old springer, Cindy, who got to the stage where she needed help lifting her bum, after lying down, but could manage herself afterwards. There's a special version, now, RA, with extras to help joints.

14th September 2007, 01:56 PM
Have you tried Vitapet oil for the old girl ? It helped my old springer, Cindy, who got to the stage where she needed help lifting her bum, after lying down, but could manage herself afterwards. There's a special version, now, RA, with extras to help joints.

The vet couldnt find any pain in her joints & the painkillers have made no difference at all to her movement so it would seem the limp is a neurological problem ( her face is slightly droopy on the same side as her bad leg too) & the painkillers have just helped something else we didnt know about.

I've had to get her a pushchair so she can go out for walks. Only the two younger ones are jelious & try to get in too ,lol


14th September 2007, 01:58 PM
I'm pretty much like you, Angela - lost Misty, Cracker and Declan to MVD since 2000 :(.

Cailean of course is pretty poorly with it too. It would never, ever put me off having Cavs and I would never turn one away because it had a bad heart!

Did your blood boil when the lady said that?

Didn't realise that drug was Fortekor - that makes sense then. :)

14th September 2007, 02:06 PM
I'm pretty much like you, Angela - lost Misty, Cracker and Declan to MVD since 2000 :(.

Cailean of course is pretty poorly with it too. It would never, ever put me off having Cavs and I would never turn one away because it had a bad heart!

Did your blood boil when the lady said that?

Didn't realise that drug was Fortekor - that makes sense then. :)

It did make me angry that she was talking about her lovely cavalier & how sad she was to let her go when she didnt care at all really. My sister ( who she handed her over to) had met her in the street & she didnt ask how penny was at all.

I took her "because" she had a bad heart ( I didn't expect her to live this long actually)

I took another a couple of years ago who was in the final stages of heart failure. The best little cav you could ever meet.
It doesn't put me off. Someone has to take care of them.

14th September 2007, 07:19 PM
Well done Angela, I have lost most of my cavaliers over many many years to mvd, it's never put me off and wouldn't ever. They have virtually all reached double figures.
As you know even Fred has now had to go on Frusemide and Benazecare which is the same drug as Fortekor apparently.
Just love the buggy!!

14th September 2007, 07:34 PM
I agree, well done and bless the people who embrace the special needs dogs as they are so deserving of a loving home. From the experience of having a few special needs dogs and cats I certainly would not be put off by the extra care and love they sometimes need because you get it back in spades and they can be the most rewarding of all companions because the bond can be very special. :)

I do think your KC (gosh she is cute!) sounds like this could be SM -- these are typical signs and behaviours. Could you try putting her on frusemide or cimetidine, and some gabapentin? Or gabapentin alone? The latter is the gold standard for SM pain. You can download Clare Rusbridge's treatment document at my site, www.smcavalier.com (http://www.smcavalier.com). The gabapentin in particular could likely really improve her quality of life as it deals with the actual neurological pain, not the limb discomfort. The limb weakness is often a sign of worsening syrinxes so you might want to talk to a neurologist but if she is an older dog now probably best to try the Rusbridge approaches.

14th September 2007, 08:01 PM
Yes everyone thinks she's cute.lol She'll wag her tail & looks so sweet then bite peoples bums when they turn round, but she let the vet take her away to be weighed with no fuss, She's a strange little dog.

She was very pretty when she was young but has aged quickly over the last 6 months. She will be 11 next March.

I'll discuss those medications with the vet when she goes back.

15th September 2007, 10:58 AM
penny seems much better this morning. the duiretic must have helped

16th September 2007, 07:14 AM
Glad to hear she is doing better. :)

The same drug (frusemide) can also help with SM pain because it lowers the pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid.

Here's the relevant info on SM medications, including the treatment diagram which can be downloaded as a document then printed out:


16th September 2007, 10:15 AM
She is quiet this morning & wont eat her biscuit ( the painkillers have to be eaten with food) .
I'll ask the vet about fruise for her when I go back. see if it makes her any brighter.

Penny is much better , her mouth is pink now instead of white like the other day

Becky's heart is still ok. well the vet said its very good for a "cavalier" Its hard to get a straight answer out of them on wether they actually have any murmer even small or not

Barbara Nixon
16th September 2007, 08:11 PM
the vet said its very good for a "cavalier"

That's what my old vet said about Izzy. As he was from a good line, heartwise, I assumed she meant she was surprised that he didn't have a heart problem (She said that they all get one eventually), but as he had a middling murmur by the time a young employee blurted it it (She was asked to leave due to her lack of interpersonal skills), she probably meant he had a mild murmur.

One of the new vets, the one I like to deal with, said he thought Izzy could have had mild sm, near the end, as he scrated an ear that had no infection. He said it would be interesting to see how this was affected when he went on to Frusicare, but it made no difference, so we'll never know.

Try some pate for the meds. Perhaps you could use it to coat a tablet and a bit of biscuit, so she has some food.

16th September 2007, 08:29 PM
She brightened up once she had her morning painkiller.

I'll have to get a stethescope so I can listen myself. I never get a straight answer from the vet, I just like to know for my own interest.
Becky doesnt scratch her ears , its always her side she scratches even if you rub her ears.

The sore skin on her chin & around her ears isnt too bad since I washed her & stopped putting a snood on her at meal times. maybe she was allergic to the lycra in it.

Apparently we have a new vets being built in the town :) Their exisiting branch is very good but 40 mins away

20th September 2007, 09:00 PM
Becky's back legs arn't good now. she was sat at the bottom of the stairs & everyone kept stepping over her & saying what a stupid place to sit. Then I heard crying & went to look , she was still sat there & needed help to stand up.
She couldnt even get up when I offered her chicken .....

I lost my tri charlie boy who was paralised, this time last year .............

20th September 2007, 09:06 PM
Oh, I am so sorry. Would your vet consider trying her on gabapentin? If the hind leg pain is due to neurological pain, this might really help. The starting dose is around 100mg 2x or 3x.

20th September 2007, 09:14 PM
I'll take her back tomorrow.
we've already been to the vet this afternoon with penny & ezme ( she has a bad tummy upset)

Becky was alright until she had a bath this afternoon , maybe all the rolling about& digging afterward was too much for her.
my mams just noticed her head is very hot ?

She seems cheerful enough otherwise & is wagging her tail
i'll give her another half rymadil

21st September 2007, 10:25 AM
I am so sorry to read of Becky and Penny troubles, this must be so distressing for you at this time of year. Jassy sends special Jassy Snogs to Becky. Arne says to tell her he knows what a pain humans can be when they dont realise you want lifted on to your paws so you can move. He also has a buggy but wont be photographed in it.

21st September 2007, 12:12 PM
Well she made a miracilous recovery in the vet , not even a limp .& she danced & barked her way out , Probably the adrenalin.

One of her back feet had delayed reflexes.

The back of her skull was boiling hot when she had the turn last night , then cooled down after about 5 minutes & is now normal.

They don't stock gabapentin but gave her fruisemide when I suggested it ( though I don't think she knew what the fruise was supposed to do)

the vet also said they'd seen a yorkie with sm last week

21st September 2007, 12:46 PM
Gabapentin is a human medication and vets won't stock it. You will need to get a prescription for it.

21st September 2007, 12:55 PM
I hope that Becky and Penny are feeling better soon. It is so difficult having a pup that does not feel well. I feel so bad for them.

Barbara Nixon
21st September 2007, 01:25 PM
I lost my tri charlie boy who was paralised, this time last year .............

A year already ? How time flies. Mind, you, Izzy's been gone 6 months.

Hopefully, Becky had a slight infection, causing her temperature, which her bodywas able to fend off. If she felt hot and 'fluey' she, like us humans, would not feel inclined to move about.

21st September 2007, 03:10 PM
Her legs are weak again now that she's calmed down from the vet.

penny is fine , very quiet , but the vet said thats normal until they get used to the heart medication.

21st September 2007, 03:24 PM
I'm reading your posts with lots of saddness too. I've lost 2 cavs from heart failure and my current 9 1/2 year old is on heart meds/diuretics/arthritis medications too. Like so many of you, I wouldn't trade my time spent with any of them due to MVD.

Here in the states, Sophie is on Previcox for her arthritis. It doesn't seem to have the side effects that Rimadyl does. Not sure what the match would be there for you tho'. I've found that even increasing a few days of the diuretic when we hit a bad spot does seem to help. Sometimes i think she just needs more fluid pulled off and then we drop back to our regular doseage.

She's a little cutie even in her carriage!!


21st September 2007, 04:35 PM
Gabapentin is a human medication and vets won't stock it. You will need to get a prescription for it.

Actually Karlin, both our vet and neurologist are carrying it now. And surprisingly it's much less expensive than when I was getting it filled at the pharmacy.

Molly's mom
21st September 2007, 08:35 PM
Spencer's Mom, how did you get your vet to stock the gabapentin? I've been paying around $20 for 180 100mg capsules. What dosage is Spencer on these days? I give Molly 200mg 2x a day and 100mg before bedtime.

21st September 2007, 11:17 PM
Actually, Bev, I didn't even have to ask. When I was there with one of my cats in May our vet said they started carrying it. I know there are four or five other dogs in their practice who take it for seizures so maybe they thought it would be profitable for them to carry. The neurologist always carried it but they are 40 miles from us and would only let me take 30 days worth at a time. They wrote me a prescription instead.

$20 for 180 capsules is a GREAT price. When I was getting it filled at the pharmacy I found Target was the cheapest and they charged $55 for 120 100mg. I'm getting two months at a time from the vet and it's about $60 for 240 capsules. Spence is still on 200mg twice a day (7:30am and 7:30pm) so 120 capsules a month. He's been scratching a lot but I don't want to increase the dose so I ordered some Nerve Eight to try.

28th September 2007, 10:14 AM
Penny Our cavalier died this morning. She was fine yesterday but deteriated over night. Her medication didnt help.........
She was only 7 according to her last owner.

I lost an 8 year old under very similar circumstances a few years ago. I wonder if they had a different type of heart problem as it was very different to our other older dogs.

Becky is ok, Though she had another bad turn on wednesday.

lady and amber
28th September 2007, 11:07 AM
I`m so sorry for you loss, will be thinking about you at this sad time

Barbara Nixon
28th September 2007, 12:31 PM
I'm so sorry, Angela. Donna (Xaraworlds) lost Heidi this morning, too.

28th September 2007, 12:54 PM
Thanks Barbara
They must be having a cavalier convention up there today........

28th September 2007, 03:03 PM
I am so sorry to read that you lost Penny. Run free little one there will loads to welcome you and play with you and I am sure someone will lend you a snuggly blanket too.

28th September 2007, 03:35 PM
I'm so sorry to read about Penny. Hugs to you.

28th September 2007, 10:05 PM
Oh Angela I'm so sorry to hear about Penny. She was very special, and it's good that she had a lovely year with you - more than you were expecting.

I'm sorry too about your concerns with Becky - she is such a sweetheart. The heat in her head can be from Syringomyelia - mine have "hot spots" like this too. Do try to get her on the Gabapentin, it should help her.

Thinking of you all.

28th September 2007, 10:26 PM
So sorry to read about Penny Angela, it must have been an awful shock for you.
Run free little Penny.

29th September 2007, 10:46 AM
Am really sorry to hear about Penny.. :paw:

30th September 2007, 06:02 PM
Sorry to hear about Penny :flwr:

Run free at the bridge, little girl *ng*l*ng*l*ng*l

30th September 2007, 06:25 PM
So very sorry to hear the sad news about Penny :hug: :hug:

30th September 2007, 06:29 PM
I am so sorry for your loss. :(

7th October 2007, 09:58 PM
Dear Angela, you sound like a truly caring and wonderful human being, not to speak of brave. I would dearly love to have another little Cavalier to give Max some canine company as he was used to having Toby and Loui around him before they succumbed within months of each other to MHD. The breeder had confirmed by means of a certificate that neither parents had MHD and that they did not have a congenital condition. Which makes me enquire if MHD can in fact develop regardless of diet and exercise at any point in a dog's life, and if so then a certificate is hardly reassuring. A few years back I would have been more than delighted to accept a little dog regardless of any condition he may have, but now being no longer in employment owing to a slight disabilty I could not possibly afford the Vetinary fees. However, I long to have another Cavalier, but would have to be so stringent with regard to his health condition that I don't even know if I shall find a breeder in the South East who will be able to supply Cardiac and Syringomyelia certs. Sadly one does not know who to trust, but I remain optimistic that I shall eventually find one. I wish you all the very best with your little doggie and may she live out her days without discomfort or distress.

7th October 2007, 11:48 PM

I hope this helps you to understand MVD a little better, it's just a short, rough explanation on how MVD occurs. Its worth noting that almost 100% of Cavalier King Charles will develop a murmur at some point in their life, usually around or before 10 years old.

Some animals are born with a slight murmur, this can disappear as the puppy grows.

Congenial heart murmurs are hereditary and usually present when the dog is a puppy. These kinds of murmurs will eventually get worse as the dog gets older, simply because the Mitral valve will continue to degenerate.

Polygenetic heart problems are under the influence of multiple genes. This means that diet, excersise and other factors can play a part in whether the dog will go on to develop a heart problem.

Hope that helps a bit..

8th October 2007, 01:27 AM
Oh I missed your post on Penny's death last week -- I am so sorry. It's clear how deeply you cared for her and how much you had done. It is just so sad and frustrating to lose them at what would be the prime of life for most dogs. :(

8th October 2007, 09:50 AM
Dear Angela, you sound like a truly caring and wonderful human being, not to speak of brave. .

Not brave , just numb & matter of fact after losing 11 in 7 years. if its unusual or difficult to treat my dogs will get it.
I've been to the vet with 4 dogs out of 5 this month.

I don't fight it or get upset anymore. just enjoy them for the time they are here.

Becky is not too bad, I think her collapsing episodes might have been due to tea tree oil ! I had used a cream & spray on her the day before each bad turn.

I tried her withought her painkiller for a day to see how she was but she was going mad last night digging , scratching & chewing herself so i gave her a rymadil & she went to sleep.

8th October 2007, 09:53 AM
Some photo's of penny



8th October 2007, 03:32 PM
Penny looks so cute and so happy.

8th October 2007, 04:05 PM
Thank you very much for that info and I shall continue to educate myself further with regard to these illnessess. Ideally I would be delighted to give a healthy rescue Cavalier a loving home, but unfortunately my finances wouldn't run to vetinary bills for a little dog who needed medical care from the onset. I desperately long for a little Balck and Tan, but having the knowledge about that there are so many uncrupulous breeders out there, I am quite anxious that I may never find one I can really trust. Only today I met a lady who now has proof that her breeder's vet simply provided her with the Certs she needed to give to new owners without any MRI scan being carried out to establish congenital heart condition or other diseases. How does one overcome the problem of corrupt Vetinary surgeons among all the other problems which lurk behind the well practised reasurrances of certain breeders? I have got to the point where I think the breeder would have to come recommended by a Cavalier owner who could vouch for her reputation. I hate being so sceptical, but do not by any means wish to offend the competant and caring breeders who are no doubt out there. Karlin's excellent articles have enlightened me and made me more cautious in my dealings with breeders. Please think positive thoughts for me that I shall soon find a healthy little dog to join our sweet Max.

8th October 2007, 05:18 PM
No problem, genetics can be a bit much for most people but I studied it years ago as well as MVD when one of our Cavs had a murmur and died from it, so while a little rusty I still remember the basics.

I guess I've been very lucky as none of my previous dogs other than Sam (the dog who died) have ever had murmurs, even later on in life. But then I put a lot of effort into tracing back the lines we have to make sure they were long lived and as healthy as possible.

The only advice I can give you about getting another is to choose very carefully, and when you find someone you think you might consider getting a puppy from, ask the breeder for the names and addresses of previous people who have gotten pups from them and actually ring or write to those people to see how their dogs are, and what health problems they've had.

It's probably impossible to find a dog without some health problems (not necessarily hereditary ones), you just have to weigh up the pros and cons on which one/s you think you can cope with.

Good luck Celticharmony! I hope you can find a puppy. :)

8th October 2007, 05:20 PM
Penny is absolutely gorgeous! she looks like she was very much a princess. :)

8th October 2007, 05:39 PM
Thank you so much for all the appreciated info and your positive reassurances with regard to breeders. I guess that I am still overly sensitive and emotional from the loss of Toby and Loui within such a short time of each other. I even worried that Max would be traumatised even though we see no signs of it whatsoever and he actually seems to like being Top Dog and gaining so much attention. BTW do you know if it is sometimes possible to buy a young healthy dog from a Cavalier Rescue? I would dearly love to contribute to the wonderful work that they do and give a loving home to a little Black and Tan Cavalier should I find one. My only concern, owing to reduced financial stability is that the little doggie would require ongoing Vetinary care which I have to accept would not be possible for me. I am hoping that perhaps there may be a case where someone who has to move to a home or elsewhere may just hand in a healthy and hitherto loved and cared for little dog. Who knows I may just be lucky. Thanks again and best wishes.

8th October 2007, 05:47 PM
[QUOTE=Celticharmony;227792] BTW do you know if it is sometimes possible to buy a young healthy dog from a Cavalier Rescue? [QUOTE]

Young healthy dogs do come into rescue but there are so many people wanting them you might find you have a long wait.

8th October 2007, 05:50 PM
Yes, can well imagine that of course. Well, shall just keep hoping that I find a reputable breeder in my area. Thanks again for prompt response.

11th December 2007, 04:30 PM
A little update on Becky.
She has not been to bad in herself , sleeping a lot but not too many manic episodes the limp has not returned.
However I just took her for a walk ( the first in weeks ) & she is scratching worse than ever . She was scratching & bouncing so much that she was almost walking on her front legs.
she didnt do it at all off the lead & not much on the way back ( she wasn't pulling)

I was trying to find a video of a similar dog walking on a leash with sm but the only one I found ( a blen called chester I think? ) was nowhere near bad enough to compare to Becky's scratching. does anyone know of anymore?

I was still in two minds of wether its sm or her bad skin. but surely her skin wouldnt do this. its not even her scabby bits she's scratching at

Barbara Nixon
11th December 2007, 07:17 PM
Teddy has had absolutely manic days, where he'll scratch anywhere, scabby or not, but I have fingers crossed over the Atopica. Actually, it's package says that the type of itching problem it helps doesn't actually involve scabby or red skin, ie these are only caused by the actual scratching or licking.

Teddy had a 30 day supply of Atopica for up to 7.5kg, though he averages 8.5kg. Within two weeks, he was no longer licking, few red marks were in evidence and scratching was much less frequent and only light. However, around the start of the second 30, he was very slightly sick, an hour after taking a capsule (they need to fast for two hours either side), so I didn't know whether the drug had been absorbed, so wasn't surprised when he started licking and scratching as before.

This didn't lessen, as expected, over the next three or four days, so I came to the conclusion that it had never worked and he'd had a short respite in the level of irritation. Deciding that, as the drug wasn't working and I had a couple of weeks' doses left, which would be wasted , whether he took them or not, there was nothing to lose by giving him two a day (he was on the dose lower than his weight allowed). However, after two 'double' days, he was back to barely any licking or scratching, so I dropped him back to one capsule and he's still fine and due to see the vet this week. I had planned double doses and then no drug, to see whther I hadbeen imagining things, but I think the vet will advise carrying on, now. Perhaps, this drug, like frusicare , works if the odd boost is given.

11th December 2007, 10:46 PM
Isn't that kind of funny walk on a lead more or less typical of SM, though? Especially when combined with the weakness, scratching, hot head, and general oddness?

so sorry about Penny (or is it Penney?).

Cathy Moon
12th December 2007, 02:53 AM
Could Becky have a skin infection as well as SM?

When I adopted Charlie, he had severe SM, a skin infection from having fleas, and an acute, chronic ear infection.

He was extremely itchy and had a musty smell about him. For his skin, he was given Clavamox antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory drug Zubrin, and a medicated shampoo. His itching stopped completely after 2-3 weeks.

12th December 2007, 09:30 AM
Could Becky have a skin infection as well as SM?

When I adopted Charlie, he had severe SM, a skin infection from having fleas, and an acute, chronic ear infection.

He was extremely itchy and had a musty smell about him. For his skin, he was given Clavamox antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory drug Zubrin, and a medicated shampoo. His itching stopped completely after 2-3 weeks.

We've tried everything for her skin but it doesnt work. she smells awful.
thats what is confusing the issue . if she didnt have such bad skin i'd say yes she has SM.
& the limb weakness went away when I stopped using t tree oil on her. so thats confusing aswell

Cathy Moon
12th December 2007, 12:01 PM
You might want to try this if you haven't already

The medicated shampoo we used was prescribed by our vet - Vet Solutions Universal Medicated Shampoo

It's a gentle medicated shampoo. The vet said that other over the counter shampoos like sulfadene and some of the others would be too strong for his inflamed skin.

The Zubrin and Clavamox healed his skin. He stopped itching and the smell went away completely.

First he had to be treated for fleas - Capstar and Frontline Plus took care of that.