View Full Version : SM experiences please

1st November 2008, 11:39 AM
Hi everone,
I have an ex puppy farm breeding cavalier who i have had for 3 wks- there are signs of SM:(
What id like to know is when i get her on meds realistically how long could she be happy for? I know each case is different but i guess im just looking for something to cling onto. Does this thing get really bad really quickly or CAN you sometimes manage it for quite some time before its time.......?
I really have fallen for my darling girl, her name is Pippa btw and shes 8yrs old, i just wanted to hear of some experiences of how long people have had with their SM cavs?

1st November 2008, 11:47 AM
Tell us a bit about what you are seeing.

The answer is: it varies and there are no clear answers. But at age 8, depending on what you are seeing, it is far more likely that she might live out a full life and actually succumb to the far more prevalent MVD (eg prevalent as a cause of actual death) than SM. Also yes, there are medications that can help. Dr Rusbridge has just revised her well-used treatment diagram and I will get that up on my SM site this weekend. If you haven't read through the site, it has lots of explanations and information to: www.smcavalier.com.

1st November 2008, 12:25 PM
Well shes scratched lots since we had her but she was filthy when we picked her up and she had to be shaved so we thought it was that- but she still scratching all the time, shes always licking her 'bits' aswell. Ive seen her air scratch a few times, caught her fly catching twice, shes just started rubbing her face on the floor although not after eating, shes scooted twice, when licking herself she will start whimpering and she has yelped out a fair few times since weve had her too. Sometimes because ive moved her or when i move her leg. When she fly catches she yaps- is that normally what they do?
When i took her to the vet when we first had her she said shes got a grade 2/3 murmur but that for her age that wasnt too bad, she has disgusting back teeth.

1st November 2008, 12:31 PM
I'd print out the SM info on my SM website and take that to your vet. It would likely be worth trying some of the SM medications. Or someone near your area may have a vet they can recommend who is familiar with SM. Given her age and that set of symptoms I'd guess you can easily make her a bit more comfortable with something like frusemide or cimetidine and perhaps also painkiller like rimadyl or if NSAIDS don't help the yelping and scratching, gabapentin.

The thing that is so sad is -- imagine how many litters this girl had and how many puppies are likely to have these issues as well. This kind of blind breeding makes me so angry as it affects both the individual dogs and the families that own them. And think how many will decide to have a litter or two off the puppies they bought as well. :( Thus do these serious problems become nearly impossible to ever eradicate from the breed.

Thanks for taking her in and I think you will have a lot of time yet with her; but she does need some medication I think. :thmbsup:

1st November 2008, 12:35 PM
Ps if she is licking at her vulva etc please be sure the vet checks for pyometra -- I'd urgently have her checked for something like that as it can quickly become fatal. Or she may have a UTI or some other problem but licking her genitals isn;t likely to be SM related but something else. In an older female pyometra must be the number one concern and is always very urgent.

1st November 2008, 12:42 PM
I was wondering if she was in season? The breeder (i use that word only because i really cant call her what id like to call her on here!!) sold a 4 month old puppy just before we picked her up and we believe Pippa was her mum, would this make her due for a season do you think? I cant really see if her bits are swollen because she yelps if i move her leg to look.

1st November 2008, 12:55 PM
I would urgently have a vet check her. Bitches are at risk of pyometra following a pregnancy or heat. She would be very old to have been having litters too. A vet needs to check her and I'd get her in today. If your vet is busy I'd get an urgent appointment elsewhere or at least call and tell them this story for advice.

1st November 2008, 12:57 PM
What are the signs of pyometra?

Pyometra is obviously only seen in females (since males do not have a womb). It is more common in olderfemales (above 6 years of age). The signs usually develop around 6 weeks after the female has finishedbleeding from her last season. Early signs of pyometra may not be very obvious. You might notice thatyour pet is just licking her back end more than usual. She may be off colour and off her food. Often she willbe very thirsty and because she is drinking so much may start to wet in the house. Sometimes the pusescapes from the womb and a reddish-brown or yellow discharge may be seen at the vulva. As she getsmore ill she may start to vomit, become very depressed and unwilling to get out of her bed.Symptoms are likely to worsen over a period of days to several weeks. If untreated signs progress todehydration, collapse and death from toxic shock.

How do vets diagnose pyometra?

Your vet will probably suspect what is wrong with your pet from your description of the symptoms althoughthey may want to do some other tests to confirm the diagnosis and also to make sure that your pet is wellenough to withstand an operation. Blood tests may be taken to see if the toxins from the infection haveentered the blood and could be affecting organs elsewhere. X-ray and ultrasound examinations may beundertaken to confirm that the uterus is enlarged. Is there any treatment for pyometra? Once the diagnosis has been confirmed your pet should have an operation to remove her womb as soonas possible. This is the same operation as carried out to routinely spay a female dog, however in a sickanimal suffering from pyometra it carries much more risk. The risk of not operating is even higher; mostanimals will die if surgery is not performed. If the womb is not removed, toxins are released from theinfection which get into her blood and make her more and more ill. Eventually these toxins can cause kidney failure.Before performing the operation your vet may want to give your pet some fluids (into her vein) andantibiotic treatment. Surgery might be delayed for 12-24 hours to give your vet time to get your pet into abetter condition to tolerate the surgery. She may need to stay in hospital after surgery for continuedtreatment.Very occasionally dogs have been treated with special hormone injections to empty the womb withouthaving to perform an operation. However, this treatment is only considered in valuable breeding bitchesand is often not successful.In very old animals with pyometra and clear evidence of organ failure, eg kidney and liver failure, or whereother major problems such as serious heart disease exist, euthanasia may be the kindest option.


1st November 2008, 01:01 PM
Thank you i will speak to my vet.