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Roberta
14th September 2008, 04:27 AM
Hi,

You may have already seen this, as I'm trying to post it on a few different SM sites with hopes it may help others.

I haven't posted in quite some time. As way of history/introduction,
our 6 year old Cavalier, Trevor, was diagnosed at 18 months with COMS,
compression of the cerebellum, and kinking of the brainstem, but no
syrinxes at time of MRI. A repeat MRI, approximately 1 year later,
showed no change in his condition. Since that time, we've treated
Trevor with Gabapentin (100mg/3Xday). His original symptoms were
scratching of the head and some occasional "ataxic" like movements.
Over time, more discomfort (?headaches) became apparent, especially
during the early morning hours. He would wake up and swallow
repeatedly and look uncomfortable. Also, in the last 18 months or so,
he has begun "head nodding" which has increased in frequency and
severity. When especially bad, he will lie down on the floor. Finally,
over the last 2 months he has begun scratching with his hind legs to
his sides (usually making contact with his skin) and trying to
reach/bite his back and legs. Repeat clinical neuro evaluations with
Dr. Kortz have remained fairly stable. He has not had another MRI.
Over the last several weeks we have put him on medrol/methyprednisone
to see if the side/back scratching would decrease. Interesting, when
at "full strength" (2mg/2Xday)the medrol decreased the head nodding
completely, but the side/back scratching was only slightly improved.

We have been on vacation with Trevor this week at the beach. We
typically put a Lycra bodysuit on him when taking walks to prevent
burrs/foxtails from getting in his coat. To our surprise, the
bodysuit has almost eliminated his scratching entirely. If we take the
bodysuit off, the scratching returns almost immediately, but while
wearing it, the frequency has been reduced by more than 90%. He is
happy to wear the bodysuit, even sleeping in it, and has been much
more comfortable this week. I'm not sure if this experience is
idiosyncratic to Trevor, but wondered if anyone has had a similar
experience? (The bodysuit has a rather narrow opening for the dog's
head, so it might not be appropriate for dogs who have extreme head
sensitivity.)

We did a bit of searching via the Internet, and it seems as though
people with diabetic neuropathy have found that lycra compression
stockings or shorts can improve their symptoms. So I'm thinking that
if Trevor is having parasthesias (strange sensations), the slight
pressure from the bodysuit may alter his sensations in a positive way.

In case you're interested, you can look at the bodysuit at http://www.k9topcoat.com

Wanted to share this experience--hope it might be helpful to others.

Best, Roberta

Karlin
17th September 2008, 10:04 AM
Thanks Roberta; that is very interesting. I let some of the neurologists in the UK know about this and they may actually try trialling the suit with some clients to see how it works.

I know a lot of people use that Lycra coat as a drying coat as well. I think I may give one or two a try with my SM dogs as I could also use them as drying coats!

arasara
17th September 2008, 01:40 PM
I don't have experience with an SM dog, but thank you for posting that. It is very very interesting and makes sense to me. I'd be interested in seeing if it helps other SM dogs as well :flwr:

Davy
17th September 2008, 06:41 PM
I'm just wondering if it works in the same way as a body wrap does?

I know they are used as a calming method for dogs and can help with their balance among other things

http://www.anxietywrap.com/anxietywrap.htm

Roberta
19th September 2008, 02:50 AM
My guess is that the "anxiety body wrap" probably has some similar properties. It would be interesting to learn more about the underlying mechanisms! One difference with the lycra bodysuit, as compared to the body wrap, is that the lycra bodysuit extends down all 4 legs. Since Trevor, at times, seems to have strange sensations on his legs which cause him to bite or scratch, it seems helpful to have the materials there as well.

Best, Roberta

Davy
21st September 2008, 12:09 AM
My guess is that the "anxiety body wrap" probably has some similar properties. It would be interesting to learn more about the underlying mechanisms! One difference with the lycra bodysuit, as compared to the body wrap, is that the lycra bodysuit extends down all 4 legs. Since Trevor, at times, seems to have strange sensations on his legs which cause him to bite or scratch, it seems helpful to have the materials there as well.

Best, Roberta

I know that the body wrap works on body awareness from the Ttouch (http://www.ttouch.com/whatisTTouch.shtml)form of massage. Perhaps the lycra suit is also working in the same way. I know from reading from other owners that they also use T shirts and bandages (http://www.crvetcenter.com/bodywrap.htm)to help their dogs in stressful situations.

I know that most of Ttouch was used in helping dogs who learned bad behavior from fear but some have also learned from pain and that's where I think this form of massage can help.

Youtube Tellington Ttouch channel (http://uk.youtube.com/TellingtonTTouch)

*Pauline*
21st September 2008, 12:40 AM
I didn't know anyone else knew about Ttouch. I can have Dylan snoring in under a minute buy touching points on his ears.

frecklesmom
22nd March 2009, 05:09 PM
This is an older post but have wondered if this helped with some of the body sensory difficulties with SM.

Karlin
22nd March 2009, 05:42 PM
It certainly seems to help mine. I have two of the suits -- I got seconds -- and they do seem to decrease scratching. Some SM dogs would have difficulty with the necks though I think. As it is I made the neck looser. My two with SM are not overly sensitive around the neck though.