View Full Version : Geordie & Charlie Update
12th January 2008, 07:31 PM
I've just returned today from spending 3 days at Ohio State University with Geordie and India. Geordie took part in the PSOM study, and India will probably join the study in February.
I'm feeling heartbroken because I found out on Thursday that Geordie's heart murmur has increased to grade 3 (it was grade 1 in Aug 2007). :( Then yesterday they found a syrinx in C1-C2, mild hydrocephalus, and bilateral PSOM. He had the myringotomy/middle ear flush surgical procedure yesterday for PSOM and came through that well.
The neurologist found the syrinx in Geordie's CT scan, which usually doesn't happen. But they told me it is a syrinx, so we don't need an MRI to confirm it. I have been suspecting SM, as Geordie has been having symptoms: scratching at the left side of his neck and sometimes twisting to the left while walking (as though he wants to stop and scratch.) OSU has a new neurologist, so I will call her next week to discuss medications. (She also knows about Charlie, so I will discuss his meds too)
Geordie had an heart echocardiogram on Thursday, and he doesn't need heart medication yet because he isn't showing any signs of congestive heart failure. I have to take him back in 9 months for a re-check.
Charlie has not been doing well during the past month. :( We were planning to put him in the PSOM study, but his SM causes too much pain in his ears to have them scoped without sedation, and our vet doesn't want him to undergo anesthesia right now, which is required for the CT scan and other testing, as being handled under anesthesia could make things worse for him. Charlie prefers to lay in his bed most of the time, but still has a good appetite. He has discomfort when posturing to go potty, both #1 and 2. We have been giving him Tramadol every 8 hours in addition to his SM meds and acupuncture. The acupuncture is not as effective as it was initially. His neurologist has doubled his dose of Tramadol, and we have another vet appointment for him this coming Tuesday.
12th January 2008, 08:03 PM
I'm so sorry you have had such disappointments recently with both dogs. :( On Geordie -- I know that when a grade changes so much in a short period, a lot of the experienced cavalier breeders say to have another cardio check the grade. There was a long discussion on this on the breeder list a while back and many members had stories of being shocked by fast changes when a check by a different cardio, or a recheck, gave a very different (lower) grade. So it may be worth rechecking now for your own peace of mind, just to be sure there has been this fast shift. That's interesting they could give you a definite yes on a syrinx with a CT scan -- I know this can happen if the syrinx appears between the vertebrae. Sorry that you got this confirmation though; but I know it also helps to know what you are dealing with. H sounds fairly mild in terms of symptoms, fortunately.
I'm really sorry that Charlie has been doing poorly. I think having him visit the OSU neurologist sounds like a good idea as often a different perspective can bring some new ideas. I always am quietly cheering him on.
12th January 2008, 08:13 PM
I'm sorry Cathy. My thoughts are with you. I think once it has sunk in, you will handle it in the way you usually do, with determination to do what's best and all you can. It's a good job they have you as a Mum. :hug:
12th January 2008, 08:40 PM
Oh Dear. That sure is a lot of burden to bear. It is hard to watch your dogs in discomfort and know that you can't fix it. I hope things get better in the weeks to come.
12th January 2008, 08:42 PM
Oh Cathy - very big hugs(((()))). I know you must be feeling so shocked at the moment - but once it sinks in a bit, you will realise that this is perhaps only confirming what you already suspected. I know you wil give Geordie the best possible care, he is lucku to have such wonderful guardians who wil l do everythign possible to keep him comforatble.
At present it sounds like he is managing ok - maybe it would be worth starting him on Frusemide to try to prevent things deteriorating.
Different vets and cardiologists do hear murmurs differently - again I always say, judge tnat on symptoms rather than the grade. It's good that the ECG isn't showing anything - that is positive.
Jsut know we are thinking of you and sending lots of positive thoughts - Charlie is particularly in our thoughts. You must be feeling like the world is crashing down around your ears - not a great start to the New Year, but hang in there, it will all come together and you will get him balanced on his meds and feeling more comfortable again.
12th January 2008, 10:40 PM
Thanks so much for the update. I think of Charlie often. Something about him just touched me in a special way. So sorry he is not doing as well as you might have hoped but he is blessed to be where he is loved and cared for and for that I know he is grateful even if he does not always tell you so.
Also, sorry to hear about Geordie. I will be interested in how he is doing. I honestly believe that Bud Bud's PSOM was causing him some discomfort. Although he was not exhibiting many symptoms before his diagnosis, his eyes and his mannerisms just seemed brighter after the myrinogotomy. Perhaps the syrinx was not causing Geordie's symptoms, but instead it was the PSOM. Something to discuss with the neurologist.
Because Bud Bud had PSOM with almost no symptoms, except very occasional single yelps for which I could not find an explanation, I am concerned about whether I will know if it has come back. I am hopeful Dr. Cole and her colleagues will find a less expensive way than CT Scan to diagnose the condition. In the meantime, I watch carefully, and will discuss with Dr. Cole if I have any suspicion of a recurrence whether we need another CT Scan.
Hugs to Charlie and Geordie, and to India and Chocolate, too, for being such good siblings, and an extra hug for you for being such a wonderful caretaker!
12th January 2008, 11:11 PM
Blessings to you and your fur babies. There is nothing more painful than their pain.
You may want to consider starting Geordie on Enalapril (an ACE inhibitor). I am not a vet (although I am a doctor) and in people ACE inhibitors are the only drugs which have been proven to prolong life in those with heart failure (due to any cause but in our dogs due to genetically programmed enlargement of the heart leading to a murmur). It works by preventing the build up of fluid which would normally occur in heart failure due to inappropriate activation of the kidneys. This fluid puts extra pressure on the damaged heart causing it to fail earlier. Thus the Enalapril is protective although it is not a cure.
Forgive me if I am telling you things you already know! My Missy also has a grade 3 murmur and I have not yet decided what to do. For your information, the medication is about £20 a month.
You may find this article useful:
An Approach to Asymptomatic Acquired Heart Disease in Dogs and Cats
Clarke E. Atkins, DVM, DACVIM (Internal Medicine & Cardiology)
Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine ( I didn't know how to send you the shortcut but you can google it)!
I am sending you loving thoughts and wish you and your beautiful ones all the best! xxx
13th January 2008, 02:11 AM
I know it’s a long shot but could T-touch benefit Charlie?
13th January 2008, 11:08 AM
I have no advice but just wish you and your furbabies all the best luck in the world. As others have said these things are a shock but once you know you can deal with them, and knowing you as you already have done you will continue to do your utmost and your babies love you for that.
Bigs hugs to all :paw:
13th January 2008, 01:30 PM
I've been thinking of you Cathy; I check Charlie's blog daily. I'm really sorry to hear this recent news about both of the boys. As Karlin said, it sounds like Geordie has mild symptoms, and hopefully another cardio check will shed a different light on the situation.
Little Charlie breaks my heart, :( I just wish this little guy could get a break. Fingers crossed that the OSU nuero will offer some helpful and effective recomendations. :xfngr: :xfngr:
13th January 2008, 05:55 PM
I would duplicate what many other have said...so instead I will just say that you, Charlie & his siblings are in my thoughts & prayers and I wish you only good things. :flwr::flwr::flwr:
I think we need to start a new forum here....a positive energy / prayer circle of sorts....to list the dogs in need of positive energy sent their way. I could be wrong, but it seems like Charlie was doing better when he was being discussed more...more of our collective thoughts/ positive energy being directed his way????
15th January 2008, 01:28 PM
Cathy, thanks for the update on Charlie and Geordie. As others have also said, I've been clicking in to Charlies Blog every day. I'm so sorry to hear that he has stopped improving. As for Geordie, I'm sorry his murmer has increased, but the fact that the ECG is clear must be good news.
I'm sure this is a difficult time for you and Colin, but you are both in my thoughts and prayers. :flwr: Best wishes, lots of hugs and good vibes to you all, especially Geordie and Charlie.
15th January 2008, 05:14 PM
Just caught this thread. Cathy, I'm so sorry you are dealing with so much. I agree with others in that you probably suspected this with Geordie and are now having it confirmed. Sounds like you have gotten some great advice and guidance on how to proceed.
I'm so sorry Charlie isn't doing better. I know we had all prayed that he would have the surgery and, voila, he would be cured. Not a realistic thought but one I'm sure we all had. I know he's in the best possible hands and will be taken care of in the best possible manner for him.
Hugs to you and Colin. Know that we are all out here rooting for you and the pups.
16th January 2008, 03:59 AM
Big hugs all round. This is so tough! :(
16th January 2008, 10:56 PM
Sending hugs, prayers and lots of positive healing thoughts for all :hug:
17th January 2008, 07:03 PM
I'm sorry to hear about Geordie and Charlie. As mentioned, I hope the higher number was a fluke and re-testing proves to be more encouraging. :xfngr:
I was thinking of Charlie the other day. I'm so sorry to hear he's doing poorly. I so hope he's still healing up from the surgery and you'll see progress soon. :xfngr:
We're sending lots of hugs and prayers your way!
19th January 2008, 05:22 AM
Oh Cathy I am so sorry to hear about Geordie and Charlie :(
I'm sorry to hear about Gordie's progression of his murmur. Hopefully he will remain a-symptomatic and nothing will cause him trouble. he's always been one of my favorite blenheims.. he's absolutely gorgeous!
Also I am sorry to hear about Charlie :( I still check his blog all the time and have noticed that you haven't posted on it for a while.. :( I hope Charlie has just hit a "bump in the road" so to speak and you guys are just in a rut. I hope he improves shortly.
Take care Cathy and I hope to hear a more positive update from you guys soon :flwr:
19th January 2008, 11:44 AM
Sure hoping for better days ahead for Charlie and Geordie. They are so blessed to have you and Colin as their "special people".
25th January 2008, 08:00 PM
I too look daily at Charlie's blog and have been worried since you haven't posted in over a month. I am so sorry to hear about Charlie and Geordie. My prayers are with you that things improve soon. Big hugs to you all.
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