View Full Version : Getting frusterated by vets

29th May 2008, 03:23 PM
As many of you know, over the time I've had Amber I've been noticing little things that have me really concerned that they're signs of SM. I know something isn't quite right, and the more I research SM the more it seems to explain alot of the quirky things I've noticed. Well, for the last month I've been desperatly searching for a vet who can help put my mind at ease one way or another, and I'm just hitting dead end after dead end! I was going to go to the Cavalier club in the area, but missed the meeting last month, and I'm not quite sure how to contact any club members yet. Anyway, I've spoken with several vets on the phone, including a couple of neurologists, and told them about Amber, and so far NONE of them even seemed to understand what I was talking about :( A couple offered to make an appt and do a full physical on Amber - But when I asked them if they where familier with Cavaliers and/or SM, they've all admitted they wheren't, and honestly, I see no point in just throwing money away if they don't know any better then I do what they're looking for :( Does anyone have suggestions that might help me find a vet I can trust? One that's knowledgable enough to really help me get to the bottom of what's going on with Amber? I love Amber with all my heart, and if there is something going on with her I want to get to the bottom of it and get it under control! I'm not sure it's SM, as she shows some of the signs but not others, but that's exactly why I want to find a vet that knows cavaliers and is at least somewhat familier with SM to give me their educated opinion!

Sorry, I just had to rant, nothing frusterates me more then trying my best to take good care of my furkids and feeling like I'm not able to do that properly!!!

29th May 2008, 03:31 PM
what signs is she showing and is she well in herself ?

sometimes the more we read the more we panic

29th May 2008, 03:55 PM
Very true - And I'm a well known panicker! Here's some of the strange things I've notice.

1. This seems to have gotten worse since we moved to Nevada - When Amber's outside, she'll run non stop like she's running away from something. I haven't seen this listed as a symptom of SM, but, having worked in the veterinary world, I'm concerned this could be a sign of pain. She'll do until I make her come back inside - Often she'll come in foaming at the mouth and panting like crazy, but it doesn't seem to slow her down when she's outside!!! I can't let her go outside for more then 5-10 minutes for fear of her overheating!

2. Amber scratchs at one of her ears often, she had earmites when I got her, but has since been treated, her ears are clean and look healthy, yet she still scratches at them alot

3. If one of my other dogs grabs Amber anywhere near the back of her neck, she'll scream, I use a harness when I walk her, but I have noticed she seems sensitive around that area

4. Sometimes she'll awake from a deep sleep crying, especially if either I bump her or another dog does. This doesn't happen often, but often enough it kind of concerns me.

5. Again, I'm not sure how this is related, or even if it is, it may just be her quirky personality, but she'll spend HOURS chasing nothing, at first she'd only do this when she saw a fly, and would chase all over trying to catch a fly, but now she does it weither there's a fly or not.

My brain isn't working today, there's other things I've noticed as well but I can't think of what they are right now. All in all she seems well, but it's just little things I keep noticing the longer I have her that are starting to concern me!!! I've had a behaviorist come over and observe Amber's behavior, especially in the back yard, and they where as puzzled by her behavior as I am - If it's just Amber's personality, that's fine with me, I can work with that, but I'm one who never assumes that it's just the way my dog is before making sure it's nothing more serious.

Daisy's Mom
29th May 2008, 06:43 PM
I'm sure that must be very worrying. I've looked at some Cavalier Club websites and they list things like veterinary cardiologists and neurologists with their contact info. I know there is one at University of Tennessee. That's probably where we would have to go if Daisy started having problems. I would hope that these doctors are ones who are familiar with Cavaliers since the websites chose to include them by name. I think one site was cavalierhealth.org .

I live in fear that Daisy will start showing symptoms of SM. Every time she scratches in the morning, I worry. I know that "fly-catcher's syndrome" can be related to SM, so that is worrying.

Good luck finding a doctor. It is very frustrating. I haven't found a local vet that I am really happy with yet (let alone a specialist). I've been through 2 so far. My current one seems to have a huge heart and is very nice, but his facilities are kind of gross. The other one I went to had gorgeous facilities, but little technology, and he was really a large animal vet! I'm looking for a new one.

I'm keeping you and Amber in my thoughts. Hopefully it will turn out to be nothing serious. :xfngr:

29th May 2008, 06:47 PM
The Cavalier Health site lists board certified neurologists by state if you decide to go that route...


29th May 2008, 08:03 PM
Was just going to suggest going to Cavalier Health as well, and find a neurologist in red closest to you (that indicates a neuro familiar with SM). If you are concerned, and have exhausted all the other possibilities, you need a neurologist -- a vet really cannot be expected to diagnose SM as they are GPs and you need a specialist so there's no point in hunting round amongst vets. Be aware though that the only way to diagnose is with an MRI, but a neuro may be able to pick up other indications on a physical exam. Nevada no longer has anyone that is known to have treated cavaliers with SM though at one time there was a woman in Las Vegas; she seems to have moved on. There are couple in Arizona and a couple in S. California.

29th May 2008, 08:42 PM
Karlin - Do you know names of vets that DO have experience with cavaliers? There is a neurologist here in Nevada (well, actually there's a handful, but they all work for the same clinic) I think it was you who lead me in the right direction to find them), and I've spoken with all 4 of them in depth about Amber, and the more I talked with them, the clearer it became that none of them seem to have a clue about cavaliers :( Honestly, Amber is my baby, I love her dearly - If finding a doctor that can help me understand why she's doing these things, or at least be able to do a good neuro exam and give me some ideas, means driving 8 hrs or more, I'll do it!!!!