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Kevin Sherriff
7th January 2009, 10:33 PM
I have a dog Barney aged three and one half years. Just like all of yours he is the best dog in the world.....!!! In the last 4 months he has started yelping out for no apparent reason and I have read about SM and I am scared. Been to the Vet 3 times and last time (third Jan. 09) he mentioned SM. Now on painkillers for 2 weeks and no exercise just in case it is a sore back but no immediate relief. Vet has mentioned a MRI scan @ £2000. Does anyone have personal experience and is there a less expensive option. I may be over reacting ( I really hope so ) but any thoughts/advice would be appreciated. We did not have Barney for breading or showing but for a pet for life.

Kevin Sherriff.

tara
8th January 2009, 05:15 AM
Hi Kevin,
I have no answers or experience regarding SM, but just wanted you to know that I hope you are able to find relief for your little guy. There are lots of people here with a lot of experience in this area -- hopefully they will be able to offer some help.
Tara

Brian M
8th January 2009, 08:24 AM
Hi Kevin
I sincerely hope Barney has not got SM ,and I hope you have him fully insursed against illness for Life with Axa or Petpaln or similar it is so important to get Cavaliers fully insured as soon as you get them as Pups
to fully protect them and You.

chloe92us
8th January 2009, 04:59 PM
My 5 YO female developed the same thing about a year ago and it would come and go. I never thought much of it but as I read the health info on this site I became more concerned b/c she also had many of the other symptoms of SM (which I had no idea about).

I took her to the vet armed with SM info and we ran a battery of tests as they were able to get a pain response quite easily there in the office when they ran their hand down her spine, between her neck and shoulders. Full x-rays, blood work, etc all came back perfect. To make a long story short, we opted NOT to have an MRI done and have not even seen a specialist, but have her medicated with Rimadyl (a pain reducer) and it has alleviated almost all of her symptoms.

So, to answer your question, it could be a back problem, or it could be some other injury, or it could be SM. I really can't spend the $$ on an MRI at this point, so we are assuming it is SM and medicating her for pain management and I will be taking her to see a neuro in the next month or so for advice on any other meds. From what I understand, though, not much can be done without an MRI to confirm the diagnosis.

Clairelou
8th January 2009, 09:07 PM
MRI's here for £200 to £300: and I've heard of them for £100 but i'm not sure if you have to be a member of the cavalier club - can anyone else comment?

http://www.thecavalierclub.co.uk/health/syringo/mriscan.html

I know you must be going through a nightmare :flwr: fingers crossed it's a sore back. Good luck.

Kevin Sherriff
11th January 2009, 10:35 AM
Thanks very much for your words of support and the helpfull information. We go back to the Vet next Saturday and I will post an update. Up until Friday Barney continued to yelp but seemed to improve on Friday evening and on Saturday and today seems much better and back to his oldself. Does anyone know if the symptoms of SM do "come and go". Has anyone experienced this before?

Kevin Sherriff.

Margaret C
12th January 2009, 02:10 PM
Thanks very much for your words of support and the helpfull information. We go back to the Vet next Saturday and I will post an update. Up until Friday Barney continued to yelp but seemed to improve on Friday evening and on Saturday and today seems much better and back to his oldself. Does anyone know if the symptoms of SM do "come and go". Has anyone experienced this before?

Kevin Sherriff.

Hello Kevin,

Yes, the symptoms of SM do come and go. It is known that changes in air pressure can cause a temporary change, and long term the dog's body can learn to compensate so that symptoms will disappear, although the SM itself is still present.

It may also be that the painkillers have now really kicked in.

There are low cost breeders schemes for MRI scanning, but they are not really for diagnosing dogs with existing symptoms.
Diagnostic MRIs are really expensive, but it is possible to see a neurologist & get an opinion based on clinical signs, without having a scan, if your dog is not insured.

There is nothing black & white about SM. It is a very complicated condition.
I will PM you my phone number, you are welcome to ring if you want to have a talk.

Margaret C

chloe92us
14th January 2009, 01:03 AM
I can only speak about the "come and go" symptoms from my perspective...and remember I have a dog that has NOT been confirmed with an MRI. There were two weeks where she would yelp for no reason, about 4 times during that period, followed by her not wanting to go up steps and reluctance to be picked up. Then she was rather back to normal except she would not jump on the bed or sofa and preferred a corner behind a chair. As soon as she was placed on pain meds (about 6 days into the meds) she came out from her corner and joined the family again. My vet and I are experimenting with finding the minimal dosage I can give while still giving her relief. I attempted 1/2 dose twice a day and the scratching came back almost immediately so I upped the dosage to 1 pill in the am, 1/2 in the pm and it seems to be working okay for the moment.

Kevin Sherriff
17th January 2009, 11:58 AM
Thanks for the very helpful dtails. This is the first time that I have used the forum and I think it is great. Went back to Vets this morning and it was a bit of a waste of time. Saw a different person who had no knowldge of SM at all!!! Going back on Wednesday evening to see the Vet (Partner in firm) that I saw two weeks ago who had a full understanding of the problem. I am getting some quotes of cost for a scan and may consider Barney having this just to see if it throws anything up. I suppose I am just looking for someone to say there is not a SM problem with Barney so I can stop worrying. I will update you with developments.

Kevin.