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chopsuey 47
5th January 2009, 11:42 AM
Hi Cavalier lovers

My dog Luka has been a little out of sorts this last week. One day out of the blue he tried to get on the couch and yelped as he failed. He started to curve his body into a C shape and looked like he was in discomfort. I took him out for a walk to stretch him and he quickly went back to normal bounding around jumping etc.

My daughter confessed that she picked him up and he twisted to get out of her arms and fell awkwardly. This was earlier the same day. Since he has been a bit reluctant to get up on furniture etc, but is completely normal on walks.

He has yelped 2 or 3 times usually is someone has touched or ticked him in the area where his rib cage ends.

I have been watching him very carefully and have noticed other things. He occasionally scratches his flank. That may be due to recent grooming (we have to have him shaved underneath for hygiene purposes. He occasionally shakes his head and is moving around a lot when trying to sleep. If this is behaviour associated with pain its still possible that it is a result of some injury.

I am taking him to see the vet today and I dont know how forceful I should be about ruling out SM. Would it be best to see if he has hurt himself first.

All the web site and your forums stress early diagnosis but up until this week he has been a very happy lively dog. Hes just 2.5 years old. That seems to be a key age with SM.

My question is do you think I have time to watch and wait or should I push for a MRI.

Hoping for the best
Sue

Karlin
5th January 2009, 12:32 PM
Hi Sue:

I wouldn't even be considering an MRI unless the vet does an exam and feels there is some strong reason for doing so based on an overall evaluation. There are so many reasons possible for all the things you describe that you'd want to eliminate a huge range of things before considering something like an MRI.

The vet at any rate would refer you to a neurologist if s/he is concerned, and the neurologust would make that call.

Make sure your vet is informed about SM though -- there are several documents you can print out at www.smcavalier.com.

There's also a page that lists all the things to check for first.

Hopefully this is just a minor injury but if it doesn't go away and you see other things that concern you, then press to see a neurologist. Most vets are not very familiar with a specialist condition like SM and may not refer a dog for a very long time (on average it is about 18 months to two years according to neurologists before vets refer dogs, which is a long time for the dog to live with discomfort). But a neurologist will want a vet to have cleared the dog for many other things before sending the dog for a neuro consultation. :thmbsup:

Mindysmom
5th January 2009, 01:42 PM
My Mindy acted like that once. I took her to the vet and he determined that she had most likely injured herself jumping off of our bed. He told us to not allow her to jump on or off anything for a period of time (10 days I think) which was easier said then done once she felt better. Our vet seemed to be bang on as this only happened to her the one time. Now she is quite elderly I have got her stairs to get on the bed (although she still jumps on occasion).

chopsuey 47
5th January 2009, 06:30 PM
The vet thinks it is more likely a back injury. Luka didnt seem to distressed at examination. He has been much more himself today. Did advise that he took it easy re excersise and like Mindy avoided jumping if possible.

I probably sounded neurotic on behalf of my dog but since that awful program last year and hearing the stats I watch him like a hawk.

Thanks for your replies

Sue

EddyAnne
5th January 2009, 06:45 PM
Sue thanks for the reply after the examination and Karlin does offer wise information. Over many years there were times my Cavaliers appeared similarly and where sometimes the problem persisted quite severely. For those some occasions I’m lucky in that my Veterinarian had additionally done a 2 year post-grad diploma to also become a qualified Veterinary Chiropractor where the problems were sorted out with physical manipulation, medication and rest. I think that things like Mindy’s stairs may help in avoiding certain problems, but keep in mind what Karlin mentioned that there could be many possible reasons and I think the first port of call should be your veterinarian to examine your dog.
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