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Cathy Moon
14th June 2008, 01:28 PM
This is a thread for sharing tips on how to make it easier for us to care for our cavaliers who have SM.

The medicine schedule that works best for Geordie is: 6am Gabapentin, 8am 1/4 Prilosec, 2pm Gabapentin, 8pm 1/4 Prilosec, 10pm Gabapentin. I've found that splitting his dose of Prilosec actually works better for him, and the neurologist approved. We keep this schedule posted in the kitchen so there is no mixup on his next dose.

We use the stove timer to help manage his schedule. I set the timer for 2 hours when I give him his 6am dose. Then Colin sets the timer for 6 hours when he gives Geordie his 8am dose, etc. Then if we're busy, we have the timer beep to remind us of his next dose.

We've had 2-3 times where Geordie was restless at night. I learned something from Geordie about what he needs. I had a thick comforter folded on the floor (I was planning to wash it the next day) and he climbed on and made himself comfortable for the night. It really works for our little guy! :)

Does anyone have tips for living with SM?

Bridam
14th June 2008, 03:59 PM
Why are you using prilosec? Is the gabapentin causing upset stomach? I wonder if we need to add it to our regimen. This is a great thread btw. I'm trying to think of stuff but can't really think of anything special that we do. I'm looking out for some great tips!

Cathy Moon
14th June 2008, 05:32 PM
Why are you using prilosec? Is the gabapentin causing upset stomach? I wonder if we need to add it to our regimen. This is a great thread btw. I'm trying to think of stuff but can't really think of anything special that we do. I'm looking out for some great tips!

I use Prilosec (which is now available in the US as a generic over the counter drug Omeprazole) to reduce Geordie's production of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). I'm using this rather than Lasix, a diuretic that reduces CSF by pulling fluids out of the body. I don't think you'd want to use both at the same time. I don't know if there are studies showing which is more effective. Charlie's neurologist took him off Lasix and put him on Omeprazole, so I automatically started Geordie on Omeprazole when he was diagnosed with SM.

Bridam
14th June 2008, 05:46 PM
Ah. I must have gotten confused with the other pill that started with a p that we used in conjunction with the prednisone to reduse tummy ache.

Karlin
14th June 2008, 09:00 PM
Prilosec is an antacid primarily and therefore also reduces stomach discomfort. However a secondary effect is on the CSF. So generally it is prescribed for SM dogs for that effect, not as an antacid. Another drug that works in a similar way is Tagamet (which I use for Leo).

Karlin
14th June 2008, 09:06 PM
Some other suggestions:

1) Raising feeding dishes and water dishes as lowering the head can be very uncomfortable for an SM dog.

2) Get a few of those crate liners with the raised edges (like bumpers) as SM dogs often like to have their head elevated when they are resting.

3) A dog having a pain session can sometimes be calmed and the pain alleviated by applying something cold -- many use a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a dishtowel, applied to the neck and shoulder area where syrinxes tend to form

4) Keep ears trimmed short for easy grooming so lessen the discomfort if you have a dog that is sensitive around the head/ears, as many SM dogs are.

5) Use a harness for walks, not a collar -- though infrequently, some dogs may be more comfortable with a collar because of the location of its syrinxes. You may need to try different types of harness to find the most comfortable for your dog, depending on where it feels pain or irritation

6) Some say rolling their dog on its back gently during a pain session seems to alleviate pain -- maybe it shifts the position of a syrinx or changes the CSF flow dynamics but does help some dogs.

7) Some dogs like a cool place to lie down and those chilly mats designed to keep dogs cool may be appreciated

Cathy Moon
14th June 2008, 11:26 PM
More suggestions:


For gait problems, trim the hair that grows between the foot pads so your dog will have better traction on smooth floors. Also, using a little paw wax on his/her foot pads can help with traction.



For gait problems, put down runner and throw rugs on smooth floors to help with traction.



For extremely sensitive ears, before going outside on a windy or cold day, tie a little bandana on his/her head to cover the ears and hold them down. This will make trips outside more enjoyable for cavaliers who have SM pain.

Bridam
15th June 2008, 12:30 AM
You guys are awesome. I've never heard of paw wax and my little girl slips all over the place. Does it leave a residue on furniture?

My only tip would be to wrap her gabapentin in cheese and to get dog ramps for the couch and bed to make life easier on them.

Cathy Moon
15th June 2008, 01:54 PM
You guys are awesome. I've never heard of paw wax and my little girl slips all over the place. Does it leave a residue on furniture?


I bought Excel 8 in 1 Paw Wax at PetSmart. It can be used year round, but they think of it as a winter product (they had some in the stock room though.) I bought it on the recommendation of my agility instructor to prevent Geordie slipping on the dogwalk. It comes in a little flat can like shoe polish.

It should not leave a residue on the furniture if applied correctly. First trim the hair that grows between her foot pads even with the pads. Rub a small amount onto each foot pad, then let her outside to walk around. When she comes in, wipe her feet off in case she picked up any bits of debris. Her feet will not be sticky, just protected. I used it on Charlie to help him walk on smooth floors, as he would not stay on the rugs I laid out for him.

Molly Mo
26th July 2008, 10:23 PM
Hi Cathy,

I have a cavalier who is 2 and has SM, at the moment she is on gabapentin 3 times a day, you mention that your cavalier has Prilosec, will I be able to get this from our local vet? and what are the side effects ( if any?) Many thanks

Cathy Moon
26th July 2008, 11:13 PM
Hi Molly, Prilosec is now an OTC drug and has also just come out in the generic form Omeprazole as well (in the US). Please take your cavalier to the vet or neurologist to discuss using this drug and getting the correct dosage for his weight. Depending on other medications, he may not be able to take it, so it is necessary to check with your vet first.

Also Prilosec/Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (as are other similar drugs) which lessens the amount of CSF produced by the body. There are other drugs that can have a similar effect in decreasing CSF, like Lasix the diuretic. So if your cavalier is already taking Lasix he may not even need Omeprazole.

It is always best for your dog's medications to be managed by the vet, who has access to information about all known drug interactions. And any time your dog needs an additional medication, such as an antibiotic, the drug interaction must be considered beforehand.

As far as side effects, as long as I give Geordie his Omeprazole 2 hours before or after any other drugs, he seems to do quite well. I can tell it is working, because he sometimes starts scratching when it's time for another dose. I have noticed that he seemed a little happier when he was on Lasix for 10 days due to pulmonary edema, and I stopped giving him Omeprazole. But then the vet wanted him off the Lasix to make sure the pulmonary edema didn't return, so he's taking Omeprazole again. Soon I will be asking if we can try something else, just to see if he seems a little happier.

Karlin
26th July 2008, 11:38 PM
You can buy Prilosec over the counter in the US but this should only be given in consultation with your vet or neurologist as they need to look at everything the dog is taking and at what medications might help a particular case as many of them do different things. There can be various side effects with any of these medications of course and there can be clashes with other medications or alternative treatments so it is really important to have any additional medications OKd by a vet and also have them go through the possible negative side effects to watch for. I have heard that Prilosec has had side effects for some dogs but don;t now exactly what those were.

Edited to add: Oops Cathy I see you already said all this! :)

Molly Mo
28th July 2008, 11:10 PM
Hi Cathy,

Thank you for your info, I will take Molly and ask my vet, anything is worth a try, we have good days and bad days, thank you once again, I will let you know how I get on.
Many thanks

Molly Mo
28th July 2008, 11:11 PM
Hi Karlin

Thanks for your info, I am going to take Molly to the vet and see what he has to say, I will let you know the outcome, many thanks

Molly Mo
29th July 2008, 09:21 PM
The vet has recommended Zylkene for Molly 2 tables twice a day, has anyone got any thoughts on Zylkene? She is on 3 gabapentin aday, and also she is having mitagin twice a day, and on a bad day she will have rimadyl, I would like to hear from anyone with any info on the above, Many thanks:pcavtiny

Dibby7
19th October 2008, 04:12 PM
Bonnie has been on prednisone for a few days and she is jumping, running and as happy as can be! We will be reducing the dose in a week so we will see what happens the. I am so thrilled that she is doing so well. Secretly I worry this may be a "honeymoon" period. Has anyone had this experience? It also makes me realize how "quiet" she had been before. We are closer than ever. She is so wonderful. :lotsaluv:

*Pauline*
10th November 2008, 03:04 AM
I am looking into buying steps for Dylan to climb onto my bed. He has until recently been able to jump it but now it takes a couple of tries. I've seen two on ebay, one plastic and one wooden, both covered in fleece. Has anyone tried either. I think the wooden ones cover looks too loose. I may keep one in the lounge for the sofa but want it to look neat.

Wooden:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/DOGGY-ELDERLY-DOG-PET-LIFT-STEPS-STAIRS-709_W0QQitemZ370073983434QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item3 70073983434&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1345%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A2%7C 240%3A1318
Plastic:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/LIGHTWEIGHT-DOG-CAT-STEPS-MOBILTY-AID-OLD-OR-SMALL-PETS_W0QQitemZ250321760195QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item 250321760195&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1345%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A2%7C 240%3A1318

tara
10th November 2008, 03:44 AM
Pauline -- what about step stools for kids? I have a couple that I use for Holly (for the couch and my bed). I took two step stools that my oldest daughter used and covered them with carpet (on the steps). I have one with three steps and the other with two. Here in the US they are available at stores like Target and Walmart, and come in many different colors and finishes. I've paid around 15-20 US dollars for nice wooden step stools. I just cut carpet to fit the stairs and glue, or I suppose you could use another non-skid material. Just a thought:)

hbmama
10th November 2008, 04:20 AM
Hi Pauline. I am using the fleece covered stairs for my foster cavalier "Claire." She is at least 7yrs old and unable to jump up on the couch. She happily learned to use them right away after I pushed them up against the couch. Now she can easily climb up for a nap and a cuddle, and get down on her own when she is ready. They are lightweight and my puppy mill girl started using the stairs right away. I think this is a great idea for Dylan. They are portable and lightweight. :thmbsup:

Arne
10th November 2008, 07:57 AM
I have one of these faux leather bean slabs which is beside my bed and mine use that to get on the bed.

Tania
24th November 2008, 09:42 PM
Hi

Molly was diagnosed only on Thursday so we are still in shock. We
have been prescribed Gabapentin twice daily and Previcox for her
joint pains. I know this might sound stupid but she has a build up of fluid
in pockets on her spine, would something like dandelion help to disperse
this. The vet is very gloomy and has said she is a severe case and has
said he will prescribe her something to reduce the cerebal fluid in 4
weeks time. We are a bit lost and confused, now she is on pain killers
she is in good spirits.

Tania

ilsamom
24th November 2008, 10:04 PM
I saw a holistic vet who gave Ilsa some supplements, dandelion wasn't one of them but I think she feels even better on them then on the regular meds alone (of course I give both)

Hasn't been that long yet but I think acupuncture and homeopathy can't hurt if you can find a good specialist in your area,

I'd recommend that they are also familiar with SM and the meds your dog is currently taking to avoid interactions.

I wouldn't try at home, it's hard to dose for small dogs
Jen

*Pauline*
24th November 2008, 10:21 PM
You have to be very careful in using homeopathy/alternative remedies and traditional medicine at the same time. I won't give my daughter homeopathic medicine as she is on epilepsy medicine. If she needs any other meds, her Dr types it into the computer and, if there is any incompatibility with her epilepsy meds, we are told about it. I am not anti homeopathy, I prefer it in fact but the truth is, the compatibility of traditional drugs and most homeopathic drugs has not been researched.

I do know that St Johns Wort interferes with the contraceptive pill. My daughters epileptic drug interferes with her contraceptive pill but she only uses it to regulate her periods.

Nicki
24th November 2008, 10:32 PM
This gives details of homoeopathic vets - I know Chris Day has considerable experience of treating cavaliers with SM.

http://www.bahvs.com/findavet.htm

*Pauline*
24th November 2008, 10:53 PM
Just done a little online research and came up with this.

http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69200.cfm#HerbDrugInteractions

"Animal studies have shown moderate anti-inflammatory, cholagogic and hypoglycemic activities; however, results of studies of its diuretic properties have yielded mixed results. "

This is quite good:

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/natural/patient-dandelion.html

"Some modern naturopathic physicians assert that dandelion can detoxify the liver and gallbladder, reduce side effects of medications metabolized (processed) by the liver, and relieve symptoms associated with liver disease."

Interactions with Drugs
Drug interactions with dandelion have rarely been identified, although there is limited study in this area.
Dandelion may reduce the effects of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin (Cipro®) due to reduced absorption of the drug. In theory, dandelion may reduce the absorption of other drugs taken at the same time.
Dandelion may lower blood sugar levels, although another study notes no changes. Although effects in humans are not known, caution is advised in patients taking prescription drugs that may also lower blood sugar levels. Those using oral drugs for diabetes or insulin should be monitored closely by a healthcare professional while using dandelion. Dosing adjustments may be necessary.
Historically, dandelion is believed to possess diuretic (increased urination) properties and to lower blood potassium levels. In theory, the effects or side effects of other drugs may be increased, including other diuretics, lithium, digoxin (Lanoxin®), or corticosteroids such as prednisone. However, dandelion also contains potassium and human supportive evidence is lacking.
The effects or side effects of niacin or nicotinic acid may be increased (such as flushing and gastrointestinal upset), due to small amounts of nicotinic acid present in dandelion.
In theory, due to chemicals called coumarins found in dandelion leaf extracts, dandelion may increase the risk of bleeding when used with blood thinners. Examples include warfarin (Coumadin®), heparin, and clopidogrel (Plavix®). Some pain relievers may also increase the risk of bleeding if used with dandelion. Examples include aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®), and naproxen (Naprosyn®, Aleve®, Anaprox®). It is possible that dandelion may reduce the effectiveness of antacids or drugs commonly used to treat peptic ulcer disease. Examples include famotidine (Pepcid®) and esomeprazole (Nexium®).
Dandelion may interfere with the way the liver breaks down certain drugs (using the P450 1A2 and 2E enzyme systems). As a result, the levels of these drugs may be raised in the blood, and the intended effects or side effects may be increased. Patients using medications should check the package insert and speak with a healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, about possible interactions.
Be aware that many tinctures contain high levels of alcohol and may cause nausea or vomiting when taken with metronidazole (Flagyl®) or disulfiram (Antabuse®).
Although not well studied in humans, caution is advised in patients taking analgesics (pain-relievers), anti-inflammatories, or certain types of antacids or peptic ulcer agents (Pepcid® or Nexium®). Dandelion may increase the effects and toxicity of blood pressure-lowering agents or niacin if taken together.
Dandelion may also interact with cholesterol-lowering agents, such as bile acid sequestrants. Consult with a qualified healthcare professional, including a pharmacist, to check for interactions.
Other potential interactions with dandelion that are lacking human scientific evidence include anticancer agents, appetite suppressants, hormonal agents (such as estrogens), and laxatives.

Interactions with Herbs and Dietary Supplements
Interactions of dietary supplements with dandelion have rarely been published, although there is limited study in this area.
Based on an animal study, dandelion may lower blood sugar levels, although another study notes no changes. Although effects in humans are not known, caution is advised when using herbs or supplements that may also lower blood sugar. Blood glucose levels may require monitoring, and doses may need adjustment.
Historically, dandelion is believed to possess diuretic (increased urination) properties and may increase the effects of other herbs with potential diuretic effects, such as artichoke, elder flower, or horsetail.
In theory, due to chemicals called coumarins found in dandelion leaf extracts, dandelion may increase the risk of bleeding when taken with herbs and supplements that are believed to increase the risk of bleeding. Multiple cases of bleeding have been reported with the use of Ginkgo biloba , and fewer cases with garlic and saw palmetto. Numerous other agents may theoretically increase the risk of bleeding, although this has not been proven in most cases.
Dandelion may interfere with the way the liver breaks down certain drugs (using the P450 1A2 and 2E enzyme systems). As a result, the levels of other herbs or supplements may become too high in the blood. In theory, dandelion may also alter the effects that other herbs or supplements possibly have on the P450 system, such as bloodroot, grapefruit juice, or St. John's wort.
Dandelion leaves contain vitamin A, niacin, lutein, and beta-carotene and thus, supplemental doses of these agents may have additive effects or side effects.
Dandelion may reduce the effectiveness of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin (Cipro®) and thus may have interactions with other antibacterial herbs or supplements.
Although not well studied in humans, dandelion may interact with anti-inflammatory agents, antacids, analgesics, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), laxatives, nondigestible oligosaccharides (such as inulin), urine alkalinizing herbs and supplements, anticancer herbs or supplements, or other antioxidants. Dandelion may also decrease dehydroepiandrosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone-sulfate, androstenedione, and estrone-sulfate levels.
Dandelion may increase the toxic effects when taken with supplements that lower blood pressure such as hawthorn ( Crataegus laevigata ). Toxic effects associated with herbs such as foxglove may increase when used in combination with dandelion.

kloey
7th December 2009, 03:24 AM
I posted a long thread about this subject but wanted to say that I have read the chat but was to upset to ever respond. My little B& T 3 1/2 year old guy just lost his life to SM. He had the most up to date surgery, crainoplasty, seven months ago and was on Gabaphentin, Tramadol and predisone (5 doses over seven months) but the symptoms got worse, more varied and more severe. I had to release him from his pain. I can't stop the tears from flowing and feel for everyone out there that is faced with this terrible genetic illness. It's so hard to watch your beloved friend going through the pain and discomfort and having to take so many meds. It certaily isn't the life I envisioned for Ollie after he passed his CGC and therapy test and we worked as a team in childrens hospitals and assisted living homes giving comfort to others. Then unfairly Ollie needed comfort. it's really hard and I hate to say it just gets harder but until the breeders start having their dogs MRI for SM and taking those that test positive out of the breeding gene pool we won't have a chace of saving our babies from this terrible plight. I'm working with breeders and vets now and trying to get low cost MRI screening available in each state. I would not recommend the surgery although that's a personal decision. I feel that treating with meds is the best course of action as even after surgery you must treat with drugs. So...what's the point in putting you baby through brain surgery. Good luck to all. I feel your pain. I know what you're going through. Hugs to all. Karen Orange

*Pauline*
7th December 2009, 08:52 AM
I'm very sorry for you loss. I agree with your thoughts on surgery. I hope you come to terms with your loss soon but I can only imagine how you must feel. My thoughts and feelings are with you. :hug:

Charlifarley
7th December 2009, 10:47 AM
Karen, I'm so sorry to read about Ollie. It sounds like he was a great dog and did lots of good work. Life is so unfair sometimes.
:hug::hug:

Margaret C
7th December 2009, 01:11 PM
I am so sorry.

Please keep telling everyone what it is like to see this happen to your much loved family pet.

Love my Cavaliers
7th December 2009, 01:51 PM
I'm so sorry that Ollie suffered so much from SM. He probably is thanking you for giving him his wings. It is such a heartbreaking and heart wrenching decision to make though.

Just another viewpoint about SM decompression surgery - for my Riley it was absolutely the right decision. No medication helped her prior to surgery and her symptoms were gettting worse. Since her surgery last June she is like another dog and is only on prednisone, no other meds. Unfortunately, we don't have crystal balls and can't tell for sure if the surgery will help or not. The neurologists can give it their best medical opinion, but they still don't know how each dog will react. I'm so sorry it wasn't a help to Ollie.

jacies
7th December 2009, 03:04 PM
So sorry to hear about your loss of Ollie, I think it is a decision all of us with SM dogs will have to make one day and really dread. Its good that you are working to help others in the same boat with the scans.

Tania
7th December 2009, 03:35 PM
I can't imagine how you are feeling. I am so sorry for you and Ollie.

Living with an sm dog is like living with a ticking bomb, we will be faced with this impossible decision in the future and I am not sure how you know what is the right thing to do.
Ollie was very lucky to have your love, care and devotion.

jazzyismylife2009
30th March 2010, 07:44 PM
i was reading your post. and i have a cavalier her name is jazzy she is 8months old. she is the light of my life. i have a question for u about the sm. how old was your baby when u new that he had sm? what are the signs? i hope to hear back from u. im really scard about this. :(

Karlin
31st March 2010, 01:48 AM
There is lots and lots of information here on the site on SM and also I gave you four website links for information on your intro thread. Cavaliers on this board have been diagnosed with SM at anything from a few months old to elderly dogs so really it depends on the dog and if it is symptomatic -- many dogs with the condition are not. This is more a thread for discussing ways to care for dogs with the condition -- so maybe have a read of the sites I suggested and other information pinned at the top of the SM/MVD forum and if you have questions about what you have read, post them into the SM forum and someone will be happy to answer I am sure. :thmbsup: It is a complex condition so reading up on it from some accurate sites will help fill in answers to many of your questions. :) Sites I suggested as starting points are:

www.smcavalier.com (http://www.smcavalier.com)
www.cavalierhealth.org (http://www.cavalierheath.org)
http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/faq.htm
www.cavaliercampaign.com (http://www.cavaliercampaign.com)
www.cavaliermatters.org (http://www.cavaliermatters.org)

Ylan
12th April 2010, 01:43 PM
Hello all, while this is an old thread, it is very helpful to me. Lily was diagnosed last week with severe SM. We are now trying out and implementing as much as we can to make her as comfortable as possible.

Along that line, I have made her her own custom designed walking harness. It looks like this one (http://www.bottomsupleash.com/) which I found after the fact and which she wears around her front legs. I made it out of an old jersey knit belt, a large keyring, and a clip. It stays on as loose versions of other harnesses have not, has no neck collar or chest strap, and she doesn't scratch at all on her walks! It was completely easy to make and it is my contribution to things we can do to help our beloved family members.

Jeszel
1st June 2010, 04:04 AM
My 6 year old, Jeszel, gets pills/capsules 6 times per day. I use a timed cat feeder that is set to open when I'm not at home or alseep. I wrap the pills/capsules with Greenies pill pockets and place them in the feeder and set the timer. Jeszel likes the taste of the pill pockets so she grabs the meds out of the feeder right away and has never left a pill behind. Jeszel actually found the timed feeder fun and keeps an eye on it... she makes sure to sleep near it in my bedroom so that she does not miss it opening at 3am. If you dont have another dog around that could grab the meds instead, this is a handy method.
:-)

anniemac
3rd July 2010, 08:30 PM
1) Enjoy the good days. I learned that I was really scared of what would come and the unknown future that I missed out on a couple of months. However those months were when she was recovering from decompression surgery. It is tough when there are bad days and set backs but try and stay stong even though it can be tough. I know it was for me.

2) Support groups. These have helped me a lot.

3) Medication may need to be adjusted but finding the right mixture and if some works it is worth it.

4) Accupuncture- This helped Ella but I was told Prednisone does not work with accupuncture.

5) water bottles- When Ella had a hard time drinking she would drink from a water bottle used for cages.

6) watch for too much activity. Some days Ella is playful and is fine, but others I notice she isn't feeling good so I am just aware of her needs.

7) Give them all the love in the world and even though it may not be enough to heal them, they will know.:paw::paw::l*v:

*Pauline*
3rd July 2010, 08:37 PM
What a thoughtful post Anna. :flwr:

Cathy Moon
11th September 2010, 06:02 PM
I think this tip has been discussed before in other threads, but I didn't see it in this thread:

Some cavaliers who have SM seem to have pain build-up around when they have to go potty. I have seen it happen with Geordie, and also with Charlie in the past.

If your cavalier is exhibiting signs of discomfort and it isn't time for his/her next dose of pain med, try taking him/her outside to go potty and reward them for eliminating. I've found the reward works to help them 'want' to go, and they should feel some relief afterwards.

Usually when I see Geordie start to scratch himself or 'dig' in his bed, I take him outside and he potties with a little encouragement. He seems to feel so much better afterwards!

3cavies
28th February 2011, 03:38 PM
These are great tips. Thank you for posting these.

pkt89
22nd August 2011, 08:47 PM
My 6 year old, Jeszel, gets pills/capsules 6 times per day. I use a timed cat feeder that is set to open when I'm not at home or alseep. I wrap the pills/capsules with Greenies pill pockets and place them in the feeder and set the timer. Jeszel likes the taste of the pill pockets so she grabs the meds out of the feeder right away and has never left a pill behind. Jeszel actually found the timed feeder fun and keeps an eye on it... she makes sure to sleep near it in my bedroom so that she does not miss it opening at 3am. If you dont have another dog around that could grab the meds instead, this is a handy method.
:-)

Hi,
I am looking into timed cat feeder to give medicine for my Bee. There are so many out there and don't know which one to choose. If I may ask, what brand are you using?
Thanks
Kitty

NicoleK
14th September 2011, 05:10 AM
I have had such a hard time finding elevated food/water bowls. They are either too high or too big. It really helps her not to strain so much. I ended up buying 2 french fry cones (the metal holders for french fries found at restaurants) and putting bowls in the top. It doesn't take up too much space and it is just the perfect height (around 7 inches).

I know this is a weird idea, but it has been great. I hope it can help someone out there!

Here is an empty holder:
http://img03.static-nextag.com/image/Tablecraft-Appetizer-Cone-7in/1/000/006/422/844/642284440.jpg (http://www.cavaliertalk.com/Tablecraft-Appetizer-Cone-7in-641973312/prices-html)

sarahsum
6th October 2011, 11:47 AM
hi, i'm new to this forum & already it has been a big help....and this is the first thread i have read! my 2 year old border collie was diagnosed with severe syringomyelia 3 weeks ago by MRI, the vets are astounded that he has this condition & that he is able to walk.....i agree with Anniemacs sentiments exactly...its so hard to watch my previously happy healthy dog struggle, but he has moments of magnificence! He astounds me with his strength & spirit.
We have a harness to help steady him if he gets too wobbly, its a Ruffwear one with a handle on top...excellent for helping him on steps etc, rugs everywhere on hard floor & playmats on the garden paths so he doesnt wear his claws down cos he drags his front feet, we also covered the garden steps with carpet so he doesn't knock his legs, we bought some excellent little fleece boots from Snowpaw store ( they need making a bit smaller) but they are great at protecting his feet. Tried him on dog boots from Ruffwear but they seem to make his feet catch more cos he drags them. Got the savic ergo bowl so his food & water are off the floor.
The hardest part is not knowing what the future will hold, but i have to follow my dogs example, Blue lives for the moment & when I get upset will drop a toy on my lap or come and give me a lick...My duty as I see it, is to help him enjoy his life, day by day, as much as i can & if can wag his tail & carry on...then so should I!!

Ylan
7th October 2011, 01:19 PM
Hi Sarahsum and all,I feel your heartbreak at seeing your beloved Blue go thru this. My Cavalier Lily was diagnosed in April 2010 at age 5. She is also in the worst category of Syringomylia. Seeing her in pain & knowing what it meant broke my heart. It took us a while to find the right medicine balance for her (we followed Clare Russbridge's treatment matrix to good effect) and we also needed to have her ear operated on as she fairly rapidly lost her hearing (probably from PSOMS). We were lucky and her hearing returned although the chance is high she will lose it again and may not get it back. So we've taken the 'hearing time' to teach sign language commands (as well as for good dog!) along with her voice commands so we will always have a 'line of communication' with her. And now Lily's a "changed dog!" Energetic, giving, sometimes mischievous but healthy, happy, and leading a quality life. Dont lose hope Sarahsum! I suggest you keep a log book to track the medicines, their effects, and all the changes; we found this enormously helpful for really being able to see the small and large scale changes in a more clinical way. Enjoy Blue an his beautiful heart and know that the change you've made and the right treatment regime will make the difference. Good luck!Ylan

sarahsum
7th October 2011, 09:08 PM
Thanks Ylan, you are right, he does have a beautiful heart....whenever I get upset he brings me a toy or snuggles up to me and gives me a kiss. At least they do not have the burden of knowing or worrying what the future holds.....I have had some amazing help today from different people.....and I have had emails from Clare Rusbridge so I have a new avenue of treatment if the meds don't work. It's easier to deal with if you know exactly what is going on & can recognise symptoms & improvements. I had thought about keeping a diary and have started a record of dates etc and his condition.
Lily sounds a gorgeous plucky girl too. We are so lucky to share our lives with these wonderful, inspiring dogs.

kwalker1991
9th March 2012, 10:15 PM
Hello all,

Im new to the forum, and to SM.
My 18 month old, Barney has just been diagnosed (Few months back)
I am working very closely with on of the vets in my practice, as i work there too as an animal care nurse.
I do have to say SM was a huge shock. Ive been told he doesn't look like a typical sufferer, but the MRI showed the Fluid to be severely large. I was with him when we did the MRI and the readers reaction said it all.

Barney is coping so so well.
We still do have our days when he is lethargic and particularly chewing at his left foot.
I have given him a large duvet, folded to sleep on, and he sleeps next to the radiator for warmth.
I recently got him a harness which doesn't put pressure on the neck at all, and reduced his walks a bit, but increased playtime in the garden.
I feed him a little higher up now too, in case bending was putting pressure on his neck.

Im giving him Gabapentin twice daily and Frusemide half tablet twice daily which seems to be working great so far.


Any tips on walks?

I want to take him to Delamere forest along with my healthy 3 yr old cavalier, Maisy but short from taking a backpack and letting him sit in it if his sensations get bad or whatever i cant think of anything else.

Katiex

Ylan
10th March 2012, 12:55 PM
Hello all,

Im new to the forum, and to SM.
My 18 month old, Barney has just been diagnosed (Few months back)
I am working very closely with on of the vets in my practice, as i work there too as an animal care nurse.
I do have to say SM was a huge shock. Ive been told he doesn't look like a typical sufferer, but the MRI showed the Fluid to be severely large. I was with him when we did the MRI and the readers reaction said it all.

Any tips on walks? I want to take him to Delamere forest along with my healthy 3 yr old cavalier, Maisy but short from taking a backpack and letting him sit in it if his sensations get bad or whatever i cant think of anything else.

Katiex

Hi Katie,

I'm sorry to hear about Barney! I understand your shock. My Lily was diagnosed at 5 years old with large & severe syringes on her right side; her right paw is the one that she most fixates on. :) Barney is in good hands. You've done much for him already, diagnosed it early, and your care for him will help him immensely.

In terms of walks, I made my own harness for Lily to minimise her discomfort. It's essentially 2 loops of soft fabric which go (1 each) around her front legs and clip together over her back. I found I needed to add an attachment between the fabric between the legs to keep it secure. This has made a huge difference. Excitement also causes more scratching so I would suggest beings blas as possible before the walk& this might help. Also, I suspect that Lily is sensitive to rain on her head as she really doesn't like going out when raining. We have a little coat for her but this isn't a great solution.

So much of Syringomyelia is just watching and being sensitive to our pups' needs. I'm sure Barney like Lily will show you what he needs. So easy to say but try and not let it get you down. You've caught Barney's Syr. early so there's every reason to be positive about the future.

Good luck with it and loads of pats forBarney & Maisy,
Ylan :)

nicolse
12th May 2012, 12:52 PM
The prilosec is thought to reduce the pain from the puddled syrinx which is what causes many of the symptoms of SM.

emmaK11
29th October 2012, 04:05 PM
about the elevated feeders: i had a really hard time finding one as well. the ones with the right bowl size were too short and the ones with the right height had enormous bowls. however, i found a perfect one at homegoods for about 20 dollars! and its pretty tall, i wanna say about 8 inches tall and the bowls can probably hold 2 or 3 cups so they arent enormous. its adorable. its white wood and bone shaped. i love it! homegoods always has a wide variety of pet stuff near me, so you should try a store like that!

MelsCavieMum
4th February 2013, 12:40 PM
Have you ever tried snoods to cover your pup's ears and head in the cold? There are some create sellers on etsy with polar fleece. My Mel LOVES his :)

JeannieK
9th July 2013, 11:15 PM
Hi
Ive a 3 year old bitch with SM (MRI-scanned). She is having garbaphentin 3 times a day. We found out that its important, that she gets it every about 8 hours. Because of the limited possibilities to get the right dose (3* 100 mg/day) - the pills in Denmark is only comming in 600 mg/pill, she is having 1/4 pill 3*/day (= 150 mg *3/day. She is also given a small dose of Furix every morning. She is a happy dog, and seems to have no sideeffects.

ByFloSin
17th July 2014, 09:11 AM
Hot Weather Warning

I thought it a good idea to mention that the building high temperatures/humidity forecast to start coming in today might well affect our SM/CM symptomatic dogs. Rebel has already showed signs of distress so I am increasing his medications all round and turning on the fans everywhere in the house. The patio doors to the garden are constantly open until I go to bed and there is a fan on max. beside his bedtime crate so that he is constantly in a swathe of cooler air.

Anyone in any doubt about the maximum dose of prescribed drugs should speak to their vet or neurologist for recommendations.

For what it's worth, I think any kind of stress is likely to trigger my boy's acute symptoms.

Aly
4th September 2014, 07:52 AM
Hi there, I wondered if there was any particular harness that you could recommend for dogs with sm?

thanks

Kate H
4th September 2014, 10:10 AM
Adding to Flo's timely warning, besides heat and humidity it definitely pays to keep an eye on air pressure. Many CM/SM dogs are affected by rapid changes in air pressure, either up or down. The average is 1010, so if you see a rise to say 1020 or more or a drop to 1090 coming, it can help to give extra medication at the beginning of the day. You can get an app to check pressure, or I use the BBC weather website. In Coventry, 30 miles down the road from Flo, the forecast heatwave seems to have disappeared - temperatures of 17 to 20 degrees and cloud for the next 5 days and pressure not more than 1018, so fairly manageable. As well as Flo's suggestions for keeping your dog cool and comfortable, it helps to keep curtains closed as soon as the sun starts coming into rooms.

Aly, a lot of people like the Puppia harnesses; mine wear Easy Walk, where the lead clips on at the chest - very good for stopping pulling, serviceable nylon webbing so not as elegant as Puppias, but then my boys don't do pretty! Both of these types you can google to see what they look like.

Kate, Oliver and Aled