View Full Version : Ted diagnosed with SM today

Mrs Crilly
17th February 2009, 08:08 PM
Our dog Ted who is 14mths old got his mri today and has been diagnosed with SM, they say it's a very mild form of it at present and they feel he is a very good candidate for surgery. We are booked in for Thursday week.

Should I be positive about this? I have read up a lot about this and I know there is no cure. I was very upset when we got the news today, (I think I scared the vet, I was already flooding the practice when he got his sedative injection and he fell asleep in my arms)

I know this might work and reduce his symptoms, I know it could make them worse, it could make them alright for a while and then worse. One of the questions I never really asked the vet was what's the life expectancy of a Cavalier when the surgery works and when it doesn't work.

It kills me to say this but if my Ted is in pain I have to be sensible and think about putting him asleep, how can I justify keeping him alive in pain?? I don't want to have to do it as I would be inconsolable but it's just not fair.

17th February 2009, 08:29 PM
I'm so sorry Ted was diagnosed with SM...there are several people on this board who are going through this right now, having just found out their dog has it, and at least 1 or 2 people who have gone with the decompression surgery...I'm sure they will reply to your post. I don't really have any advice, but at least it was caught early so you can treat it right away. Good luck, and keep us posted on Ted :lotsaluv:

17th February 2009, 09:11 PM
I'm sorry sorry to hear about Ted.
This is so awful, it must have been hard to go with surgery as the outcome is not gauranteed.
I hope all goes well with the surgery.

Best Wishes


17th February 2009, 09:13 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about Ted. It's so sad he is so young :( I hope the surgery goes well on Thursday. Thinking of you. :hug:

17th February 2009, 10:00 PM
14 months old? Have you contacted your breeder? I would never want to return a puppy, but you might really want to have a long chat with your breeder. 14 months old is very young for major problems and...well I guess you get the point. At least look into it. I'm so sorry for Ted.

:xfngr: Everything goes well.

Love my Cavaliers
17th February 2009, 11:49 PM
SM is such a devastating diagnosis. Riley had decompression surgery last June, 2008 and is doing well. She will never be complely normal, but she seems happy and content. I don't know if I've prolonged her life by doing the surgery, but at this point that seems like a moot point to me. At the time she was diagnosed I felt emotionally that I had no option but to try every thing I could to give her a better quality of life. I'm also aware of the fact (and thankful) that I could afford the surgery and was not faced with the awful dilemma of trying to scrimp and save for a procedure with no guarantees. At this point, I have no regrets about doing the surgery. It's a long recovery - but I think it was worse on me than Riley. During her recovery is when I questioned every day whether I was doing the right thing, and spent many days just crying over it. But, I'm happy with my decision and I will cherish each day she is with me. Since surgery was strongly recommended for her, I think I would always question my decision if I had chosen not to do the surgery, whereas now, I am totally at peace with it. Like you though, I wish someone could give a more definitive answer about expected life spans post-op. Good luck and I will be thinking of you and Ted and wishing for the best.

18th February 2009, 12:06 AM
Thinking of you and wishing Ted good luck on thursday.

Elaine 2
18th February 2009, 12:48 AM
I'll keep Ted in my thoughts on Thursday, I hope all goes well

18th February 2009, 12:55 AM
Abbey was diagnosed 12 days ago with sm and I did ask that question. I was told that sm was not what would kill her. She would probably live the normal life espectancy which with cavaliers isn't that old. She has a heart murmur so who knows. We also have opted to do the surgery only to keep it from progressing. Time will tell on what it does for her present symptoms. We also couldn't take the risk of not doing the surgery to have it progress to things like falling over or seizures all the time etc. At that point its too late. I know what you are going through as we're in about the same time frame here. Our surgery is on the 2nd. In regards to being so young my dear Abbey had a seizure 2 weeks after getting her and I contacted the person we got her from and they wanted to take her back--I couldn't have returned her for nothing. I was in love from day 1. We also got her from the newspaper and she came from Slovakia--yea we were dumbies BUT the neurologist said to me in his exact words "you saved her". I would contact the breeder no matter what as she/he needs to know. Hang in there--easy for me to say when this is the first day I haven't cried--nope take that back --watched Claire's video and was in tears. Thinking of you and wish you were closeby and I'd give you a great big hug. Also, at this point don't be thinking about putting him to sleep etc. There are meds etc. and take one day at a time. Try to think positive and believe me I know thats very hard. Its so scarey--the brain.

Mrs Crilly
18th February 2009, 08:12 AM
Thanks for all your messages ladies, I will be contacting the breeder to let her know what has happened to Ted. He did come with a full bill of health when he was a puppy but I suppose how do you know they are going to develop sm?

I really hope I am doing the right thing by having surgery, the recovery period seems quite harsh. I am suprised by how upset I am, if this is what it's like now I can only imagine what I will be like when it's Ted's time to go.

18th February 2009, 01:57 PM
Having only found out last week about my Charlie having SM., I know just what you are feeling. Im so, so sorry. I must say, I am very pleased with Charlies reaction to the Gabapentin hes on.All the licking & chewing etc have stopped & hes very bright & seems to be without pain. I would not go down the route of surgery but the difference is my dog is 7yrs next month & yours is only baby,we each have to do what we feel is right for our particular dog, I feel. I shall be thinking of you when he has his op. Be brave for him . Lots of good wishes. :xfngr::xfngr:

18th February 2009, 02:59 PM
Hello and so sorry to hear about Ted. My dogs were diagnosed last November. Ginger has compression and is in pain, while Charley isn't in as much pain and has a syrinx that has filled about 90% of his spinal cord. The neurologist can't believe the lack of pain while having a syrinx that large, it just goes to show how devastating it can be. Ginger has been on gabapentin and it doesn't seem to be effective. Both of them will be going into surgery sometime late March early April as I'm doing some fundraising, etc.

Hang in there.......and please keep us posted.


Mrs Crilly
18th February 2009, 04:13 PM
Hi ladies

Silly question but when they are biting and licking but not making any noises would the dog be in pain. Does the pain only really show when noises and yelps would be made during these actions?

18th February 2009, 06:23 PM
Hi, Just wanted to send my love and good thoughts. We are waiting for an MRI at the moment. The vet called today to say she knows of a vet within travelling distance of me who is doing a study into SM at the moment and is looking for Cavaliers. If I agree to the study they will MRI Leo for free.
I want to talk to him first to see what the study involves.
Hope all goes well on thursday, will be thinking of you.

Mel X

Mrs Crilly
18th February 2009, 08:46 PM
From reading all your replies it seems as though the mri's and the operations are quite costly, do you have pet insurance at all? I have it with Allianz and it's €19 per month and they have covered his mri and his operation.

19th February 2009, 02:38 PM
Unfortunately our insurance does not cover hereditary or congenital defects or diseases.

19th February 2009, 11:18 PM
Hi Mrs Crilly!
I'm sorry to hear that Ted has been officially diagnosed.Can you or Ste Pm me with the name of the neurologist you were referred to.I'm going to ask my vet to refer us asap to Vet college as we've ruled out allergies,fleas,mites and ear infection.We have the allianz petplan as well.
I suspected about 10 weeks ago that all was not right and things seem to be deteriorating rapidly.She's lost the ability to jump on the furniture unaided and gets long bouts of scratching a couple of times a day.We really need to rule out SM at this stage.She turned two on 1 st January.

20th February 2009, 01:40 AM
I will be wishing for the best for you and Ted. This must be very hard for you.

26th February 2009, 03:38 PM
Hi Fiona. Just thinking of you ALOT today as I know today was Ted's surgery. Please post when you're able and e-mail me also. You're all in my thoughts and prayers. I'm right behind you as you know as Abbey has surgery in 4 days--on monday.

26th February 2009, 03:42 PM
I hadn't realised you'd scheduled the surgery so soon Fiona.Best wishes to him for a speedy recovery and a successful outcome.

26th February 2009, 04:14 PM

My little Molly was diagnosed last December, she was only 18 months.
We were absolutely devastated. I totally understand how you are
felling and wish you all the luck.

Mrs Crilly
26th February 2009, 04:25 PM
Hi all

Surgery today, the vet has called to say that eveything went well, I will be hopefully collecting him later on, I will give you an update later when I know more xxxx

26th February 2009, 04:41 PM
That's very positive news. It's wonderful that he'll be home so quickly.

26th February 2009, 04:42 PM
Hugs and best wishes to you Mrs Tilly and little Ted

Mel X

Mrs Crilly
26th February 2009, 09:51 PM
I am bad bad person, Ted is in lot of pain, he is staring into space, then every half an hour he yelps a bit, he is so unresponsive to me, I am lying down on the floor with him. I feel like the worst person in the world, I was not prepared for this.

26th February 2009, 09:58 PM
Fiona I private messaged you and also sending you an e-mail. I wish you were closer so we could talk by phone but international is so dang expensive.

26th February 2009, 10:15 PM
I am so sorry you are going thru this with your baby. I hope he begins to recover quickly.

Mrs Crilly
26th February 2009, 10:17 PM
thanks linderbelle xxx

26th February 2009, 10:32 PM
mrs crilly you are far far from a bad person, you are doing your very best for your baby. im so sorry to hear about ted, i will be thinking about you & hope you get chance to post an update soon. i had to leave my girl at the vets this morning for a minor procedure & ive been in bits all day (she's asleep just now) so i know a tiny bit of what youre going thro'. try to stay strong & fingers crossed tomorrows a better day

26th February 2009, 10:53 PM
Mrs Tilly if you were a bad person you would not be lying down next to Ted comforting him at this time so you mustnt think that.

I really hope tomorrow is a better day for you.


26th February 2009, 11:16 PM
Fiona. I know we're busy messaging back and forth here as we've been talking for awhile before the surgery because we are in the same boat. I don't even know what country you are in so could you please post that as there might be somebody close to you that has gone through this that can help you through this. I haven't been through what you are going through but have read and read and read the past many weeks and I know in just a few days I will be going through what you are going. I also feel for you as you know because Abbey will be in the hospital for probably 4 days and here you are dealing with this just a few hours later after his surgery. Just the difference between countries and I was in Europe for 24 days in Sept-Oct and was in 10 different countries and like our tour director said "its different". Doesn't mean its right or wrong because its one way in one country and another way in another. Just plan different.

If there is anybody close to Fiona that has gone through the surgery maybe you can help her through this as I have been e-mailing her also and my heart aches for her. She said she wasn't prepared for this at all and she's plain going through hayull right now so again Fiona where are you--what country etc. I really feel your pain right now and alot of us do on here--we're all just plain people who love this breed and these guys are like our children.

Hang in there hun. Take it one day at a time and you will get through this and again Ted is sooooooooooooooo lucky to have such a wonderful Mom like you.

Love my Cavaliers
27th February 2009, 12:05 AM
Riley, my black and tan girl, had SM surgery in June, 2008. The absolute worst days are right after surgery. You question every decision you have ever made about Ted. You'll wish you had him diagnosed earlier, you'll wish he were never diagnosed, you'll wish you had never subjected him to surgery, you'll barter anything for him to look at you without pain in his eyes, you'll feel like the worst owner in the world. You'll spend days in tears just looking at Ted hoping he'll give you a sign that he's o.k. You won't want to leave him even for an hour. The recovery is hard on us, the owners, because we let our minds run away with every little thought until it becomes something of great magnitude. Ted loves you, he does not hate you, he does not think you are a bad person. He appreciates that you are with him. Remember, a large part of his unresponsiveness is not becuase he's angry, but that he is loaded up with pain medication. It does get better and easier. Gradually, you will begin to see the spark that tells you that Ted is still there. It's faint at first, but gets stronger with each passing day, each passing week. Those of us with SM dogs - both those who have had surgery and those who haven't - as well as every cavalier lover who knows that these dogs are more than dogs to us - are here for you - probably the only ones who absolutely know what you're feeling and the agony you are in right now. Let us know how we can help you. Stay with us and talk to us.

27th February 2009, 02:16 AM
9:00 on the eastern coast and assuming its probably about 2-3 where you are--I hope you are getting a little rest. Love My Cavaliers said it all. I'm sure in about a week I will be here posting everything you are and feeling everything that Loves My Cavaliers said also. Just know we are all here for you. Please post in the a.m. and let us know how you and Ted are doing. I know you sent me pictures of Ted and I said the same thing--he's loaded up with pain meds so he's not in pain. Thats the good thing. He's just plain drugged up and both my hubby and I could tell that in the pictures. Hugs Fiona. One day at a time and I care and have you in my prayers tonight.

27th February 2009, 09:25 AM
I must admit I'd got an awful shock to read you were home on the same day Ted had SM surgery.Do you have to take him back for check up? How are you both this morning.You must be totally exhausted.

Mrs Crilly
27th February 2009, 09:57 AM
Hi Sins

I know I think that they do things a lot different over here than they do in the states, we have the 'ah sure he will be fine' attidude but they seem to be more cautious over the pond. I think that Ted should have been kept in for the night, now that I have seen the state that he was in.

My neighbour said she would check up on him at 10 so I am just awaiting a text from her.

27th February 2009, 01:02 PM
Oh my God :eek: :eek: :eek:! Your dog had SM surgery and is home THE SAME DAY and is now home alone? :yikes Who did the surgery -- a vet or a neurologist? :confused: It should have been a neurologist. What sort of advice did they give for aftercare? This sounds totally inappropriate and irresponsible to have released a dog in this condition. I cannot say enough how truly alarmed I am that this dog was sent home the same day it had this invasive and serious surgery. How many times has this person done this involved and delicate surgical procedure? I do not know a single neurologist or neurosurgeoen who would send a dog home in less than 5 days and the NORM is 7-14 days and very careful in-hospital supervision!!!

Please do not name the individual or practice here but I would get this dog back IMMEDIATELY for proper care and supervision ideally to the UCD vet school. Can you PM the details of this situation and who did the surgery?

I stress that am not at all blaming you for this at all as how would you know what to do; you need the guidance of a professional; but I am absolutely shocked to hear al this -- that you have your dog home, that they didn't say he needs continuous supervision at this crucial stage... and am wondering who the hell did this surgery. :(

27th February 2009, 01:28 PM
I second that get him back there straight away.

Love my Cavaliers
27th February 2009, 05:29 PM
I'm sorry, I must have misread the post that stated Ted was home the day of or day after surgery. Having lived through this experience with Riley 8 months ago, I can unequivocally state that I would never have wanted Riley home from the hospital until the day she did come home - which was at least 5 days post-op. She had an I.V in that entire time and was being monitored for infection, hydration, level of pain, return of proper functioning of her gastrointestinal track, and neurological status - something no lay person should ever be asked to do. Even when I went to visit her in the days post-op when she was hospitalized, she had no interest in much of anything. Just from looking at the incision, these dogs must be in an excrutiating amount of pain. Riley had a fentanyl patch on for pain relief. Because it is an opiate, she needed to be monitored for pain relief and side effects. Medication dosages may need to be adjusted according to how the dog tolerates them also. When she did return home, she was still pretty out of it and I would not leave her side. If I couldn't physically be there, someone else from my family was with her. Even at night, I had her sleep in her crate right next to my bed. I felt that the crate was a safer place for her than in bed with me.

I hope you can get professional help in this. No wonder you were hysterical on the floor beside poor Ted! However it wasn't you who was the bad mother, but the practice that sent him home prematurely! He should never have come home. He still shouldn't be home in my opinion. To echo Karlin, please don't take any of this as blaming you. We just want what's best for Ted and you in the long run. Let us know what happens.

27th February 2009, 06:16 PM
Please don't feel you are a bad mother, far from it in my opinion. You are doing the very best you can for Ted. I hope that he is starting to feel better, I am sure it won't be long before you see an improvement. I have been thinking of him and you all day. He won't associate what he is going through as being your fault - he will just soak up the love you are giving to him.

Best of luck and hang on in there.:flwr::flwr:

27th February 2009, 06:57 PM
Fiona: Have sent you a few e-mails and going to try in here. As you can see alot of us are worried about Ted and you and your husband also. Concerns me as I haven't gotten an e-mail from you since you left work--haven't gotten one since I got up this morning which was in the middle of the night for me in regards to time change. As I see it right now its probably either around 8-9 p.m. and no message from you since this a.m. Please let us all know how Ted and you are doing.

amanda L
27th February 2009, 08:53 PM
I was reading your posts on your Ted, would it be possible for you to get him into UCD veterinary hospital as soon as possible? From what you have posted, it sounds like that he needs specialist care and more pain meds and that he should be in hospital. You must be out of your mind with worry. I hope he can be assesed then by a specialist neurologist, there are 2 very good neurologists in there. Its friday night now, and the vet college has an emergency reg vet on call, if you call the number, you can ask to speak to the vet on call. Could you get him in?

Mrs Crilly
27th February 2009, 09:09 PM

Ok you have me a bit scared now people, can you give me your no please Karlin so I can speak with you? My internet connection has been down all day so only getting a chance to log on now. Ted was alone for 5 hrs today, I had no way of organising cover so I had to go to work that's why I had to get my neighbour to help me out (believe me if I had of been able to get out of work I would but I am lucky to have a job at present so calling in sick was just not an option)

Ted has really perked up quite a lot today, I have taken him out to the toilet twice, he has 2 small portions of food, he is drinking a good bit of water and I am getting his meds into him by syringe. I have had to stop him from jumping up onto the sofa about 4 times today, I have a bed set up for him in the kitchen and one in the living room and I have the heat on constant. He does seem quite mobile but I am doing my best to keep him relaxed and resting.

I went to my local vet today and I told him I was not prepared for what last night was like, please tell me I am doing the best for him??? I just listened to what I was told by the veterinary hospital where he was treated??

27th February 2009, 09:31 PM
Please don't give him a chance to jump. I thought dogs who had the decompression surgery were crated for 4 months?

I'm still really worried here. :confused:

Mrs Crilly
27th February 2009, 09:34 PM
I don't have a crate for Ted never had, I was never told to get one either.

27th February 2009, 09:39 PM
Fiona let me step in here since you and I have been communicating etc. for about a week and a half. I don't think you realize how serious this surgery is. Its brain surgery. He could hemorrage and alot of other issues. Getting excited raises his blood pressure. I'm not a pro on this by any means but I do realize the importance of keeping them quiet. He should not be anywhere near where he can jump etc? I don't want to scare you but this is truly very very important. I can't believe your doctor hasn't told you this. I know I told you by e-mail and at that point they hadn't told you anything--hadn't even told you about leash to go bathroom etc. Was this a neurologist????? Do you have a business card? You should I would think.

Love my Cavaliers
27th February 2009, 09:51 PM
Riley's post-op instructions were three short (5 minute) walks on the leash a day, just to potty, no running, jumping, playing. Her neurologist did not want her running or jumping for the full 12 weeks of recovery. Could you barricade Ted in the kitchen so there is no opportunity for him to jump or run while you're not there? Riley's crate became her sanctuary during recovery. She loved it - and she hadn't been in a crate since she was about 2 years old except at the dog sitters. It was her place to be safe. Granted, I have 3 other dogs so it was crazy around here, but she was either in the crate or in my arms during her recovery. It was just too hard to keep her from jumping. The leash kept her from running around with the other dogs. As Linda said, jumping and running raises the blood pressure - not a good thing during recovery. Riley now is able to run and jump and basically be a normal dog, but this is almost 9 months later. You will get through this. Good luck.

27th February 2009, 09:52 PM
Hi Fiona,
It's good that he's alert and eating and drinking and seems perkier.This is all very positive and encouraging.
You must have had a horrible few days.
Has he actually had decompression surgery or a shunt?Sorry for all the questions, but you know we care!
You need to find out exactly what procedure was carried out
how extensive the surgery was and what follow ups are needed.
Was the vet helpful today when you called?

27th February 2009, 10:00 PM
Fiona: You need to ring your neurologist, assuming you had a consult with one and not just a vet -- and I'd ring UCD and ask for an appt with their neurologist and ask if this dog should be under care and why in the world a dog having decompression or a shunt (I assume it was decompression) was sent home the same day. I discussed this today with an extremely experienced neurologist in this area and they were appalled.

This whole thing just sounds bizarre. I would call the emergency number at the vet school.

There is a lot of information already on my SM site and if you do a search here, on this site regarding other peoples experiences with surgery. I have never in 5 years heard of a dog sent home the same day with so few instructions. I'd be filing a formal complaint with VICAS the irish vet association or whatever the oversight professional body is.

You really need professional advice, which I cannot give you. That is why I would urge you to contact UCD if this is not where the person who did the surgery is based. If it is, they urgently need to better understand best practice for this surgery. I don;t knoe the route to take; you will need to make some calls and do some research to figure this out. All I can say is -- this is a very serious surgery, a dog should basically be in intensive care for several days after, usually they are sedated initially, and on release really need round the clock supervision for at least a few weeks.

Mrs Crilly
27th February 2009, 10:03 PM

I have checked the surgery sheet and he had decompression surgery & craniectomy. I went to my local vet today and he was very helpful. I will ring the veterinary hospital tomorrow morning for some more information. I am just going to have to lock him in the kitchen from now on, my only problem with this is that when I do that he will come up on his hind legs to see inside the sitting room, if both rooms are open then he normally just chooses one to sit in.

I think I have underestimated this but I really was relying on what the hospital told me.


27th February 2009, 10:16 PM
I was told the same thing about crating - we haven't had surgery yet - and when I told them she's never been crated and that was not an option they recommended that get rid of or completely block all the furniture, put cushions on the floor for us both and make sure there was no where she could jump. Also if Ted sleeps with you put the bed away and the mattress on the floor. If you can move the sofas and chairs temporarily you could keep him in the living room.

Jen and Ilsa

27th February 2009, 10:20 PM
Oh my god. I cannot believe they sent him home as if he had a *^&%$! neuter!! Please PM me who did this surgery and where the referral came from. I am utterly shocked at this approach as is one of the leading neurologists familiar with this condition who does many of these surgeries annually and always keeps the dogs in intensive care for at least a week afterwards!

This is such a serious surgery and there should be strict guidelines for keeping the dog calm and quiet -- either confined down to a small area or (the advice of most neurologists is crated for at LEAST 3-4 weeks post-op), only tiny walks. The whole surgery can fail if the dog is out running around. The inital 3 month recovery period is crucial.

I'd recommend reading this:

http://cavalierhealth.ca/PDF/Understanding_Canine_Chiari_Malformation_and_Syrin gomyelia.pdf

This is from Dr Clare Rusbridge's document on post-op care. I know she often keeps dogs for 10 -14 days post op in hospital:

What post surgery drug treatment would you advise?
Dogs are hospitalised until comfortable enough for morphine-like-drugs to be discontinued and then discharged on a combination of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. Rimadyl) and gabapentin (Neurontin). This is withdrawn when the dog is comfortable (about 2 weeks in most cases).

From Rod Russell's Cavalierhealth.org:

Surgery to allow the cerebrospinal fluid to flow normally may be necessary to reduce the pain and deterioration. However, such surgeries are technically difficult and should be performed only by specialists.

Also see: http://www.cavalierhealth.org/syringomyelia.htm#--_surgery

Mrs Crilly
27th February 2009, 11:15 PM
Hi all

I rang UCD, I told them where the surgery was done, they told me that they had faith in the surgeons ability and said that if he felt that I was not competent to deal with the aftermath then he would not have left the dog in my care. I told them what he was like when he got him back from the the operation and what he has been like now.

They felt that a dog did better post recovery in the owners hands as they knew them best and they were in an enviroment that was safe to them. They said though if I have any doubts though to call the surgery asap but from all the information disclosed the vet on duty felt that I was coping well with the situation and that Ted's meds were working and that everything was ok but to keep monitoring the situation.

Fi xxxxx

Mrs Crilly
27th February 2009, 11:15 PM
and thanks for those links Karlin xx

28th February 2009, 12:50 AM
UCD -- or at least the person answering the call -- is seriously misinformed.

Claire L
28th February 2009, 02:01 PM
I don't have a crate for Ted never had, I was never told to get one either.

Hi , I'm so sorry I missed this thread . I live accross the road from the Marie Louise Veterinary clinic. You could have come to me on the day - sorry.

I have a crate that you can borrow for Ted , if you wish. We will drive over to your place with it. I have senior gold vet bedding in it so it will be quite comfy and you can use it for as long as you need. I'm so sorry you are going through all this -it scares the hell out of me!

28th February 2009, 02:22 PM
Good job Claire. :flwr:

Cathy Moon
1st March 2009, 03:49 PM
I'm just catching up with this thread, having been through first hand experience of decompression surgery with my rescue cavalier Charlie, and I'm in shock that the surgeon would release Ted the same day of decompression surgery. There is no board certified veterinary neurosurgeon who would take such a risk - I wasn't even allowed to visit Charlie for 2 days, but had to rely on one scheduled phone call per day for a status report. During that time, Charlie was being monitored in the hospital 24/7 and was on very strong pain medication that could not be administered outside of a hospital setting.

Fiona, I am not blaming you. But I do question the surgeon's qualifications for performing decompression surgery on any animal and the total lack of proper hospital aftercare and proper home care instructions is unconscionable. Ted's vets should have referred you and Ted to a board certified neurosurgeon at a hospital setting for this surgery.

Mrs Crilly
1st March 2009, 04:36 PM
Thanks Cathy, I am going to be seeking a second opinion on this as my case does seem to be very very different than other peoples.

Fi xx

Cathy Moon
1st March 2009, 04:45 PM
I am praying that Ted will be ok and that his pain is controlled. Has he been taken to the veterinary college (UCD?) yet? Is there a board certified neurosurgeon there?

Mrs Crilly
1st March 2009, 04:55 PM

No has not not been taken yet, I will be calling them first thing tomorrow morning, Karlin seems to think that I was given incorrect information on Friday evening when I called so I think I will have to wait until normal working hours are back in operation to get some real answers.

Ted is quiet as in not yelping, not barking, he is just moving from bed to bed every 1hr and a half, he does not seem to be to be in pain? I was told that if I felt that it was needed I could give him a 1/4 of parecetmol, I did give 1/4 on Friday morning @2am, Friday afternoon 3pm, Saturday morning 2.30 am and then Sat afternoon 3pm again. If I am honest he did not look like he needed on the last occasion so I have not given any since.

Do you think I should be giving it to him regardless? I know it's early days but he really does look better every hour considering what has been done thank God.

Fi xxx

1st March 2009, 05:18 PM
Hi Fiona,
I have been following this thread and I have found myself going through a range of emotions whilst doing so. From utter dis-belief at how casual the 'vet' has been, to frustration and concern on Ted's behalf. I note that you have insurance for this operation so feel finance shouldn't be a concern to you?
Please, please, please for Ted's sake, he can't talk for himself, seek advice from a 24 hour vet and tell them clearly what your concerns are. I don't believe Ted should be up and walking about if he has had what you say he has had done to him. You only have to look up the links people have given you here to see that qualified people are telling you that Ted's current post operative care is not at all safe and he runs a very high risk of complications that could be life threatening.
It really is that serious Fiona.
Ted deserves the best post operative care he can get to ensure a safe recovery and quite frankly - in black and white - you cannot afford to wait until tomorrow. Ring a 24 vet in the UK for advice if you need to
Chestergates on 01244853823 are specialists in SM and surgery and I just know they will be horrified to hear your story but equally they will advise you what to do to keep Ted safe.
Please Fiona. This is serious and time matters.

Cathy Moon
1st March 2009, 05:18 PM
I cannot give any advice about medicine except to urge you to get him to a board certified veterinary neurosurgeon as soon as possible.

Your situation with Ted is very troubling because he was mishandled so badly by the surgeon. Now I worry that other vets may be hesitant to become involved in his case because the risk is so high. I think you will need make it clear to a qualified professional at the veterinary college that you now understand Ted's case has been mishandled from the start and you feel it is imperative that he must be under the care of a neurosurgeon. They might be hesitant to take him on, and perhaps you could ask to sign a waiver that you understand Ted's outcome has been negatively impacted by the situation before he came into their care.

Have you tried calling UCD today? Is there a qualified professional there who you can explain this to?

Edited to add: I think Dizzy has given good advice on how to proceed as well.

Mrs Crilly
1st March 2009, 06:05 PM

I have called UCD again on the out of office hours no and they have no consultant neurosurgeon on duty, I have checked my own vets website and their out of office number is the same as UCD's along with another vets practice that I found which is not too far away from me.

I have just called Chestergates and they are going to get a neurosurgeon to call me back, thanks dizzy xx

Mrs Crilly
1st March 2009, 06:26 PM
Jenny from Chestergates just called me, she said that most dogs are well enough to go home after this surgery between 24 & 48 hrs, she says that it all depends on the dog, what they are are like when they come round and how they react the pain medication. She said that my vet obviously felt that Ted reacted well to everything and therefore was well enough to go home.

She said it is ok to proceed with the parectemol twice daily for 3 days but to make sure the dog is always kept calm relaxed and warm. She herself feels that dogs do better post op with their owners as they can get distressed when they are away from them in unfamiliar surroundings.

Fi xx

Love my Cavaliers
1st March 2009, 06:44 PM
In general, I agree that dogs are better off with their owners, but just seeing Riley after her decompression surgery I can say that she was so drugged up to keep her pain free that she really didn't seem to care where she was. All she did was lie down and sleep in the crate at the hospital unless she was out for pee and poop. She got lots of attention as she was monitored there 24/7 for 5 days. I took Oz in for an MRI for SM the day after Riley's surgery and they let me hold her during Oz's consultation with the neurosurgeon. She was so out of it, there was no way I would have been comfortable with her at home - and I'm a nurse (for humans though, not dogs). I'm still amazed that you're getting information that it was o.k. to send Ted home that early.

Please try to keep Ted quiet, quiet, quiet - no walking around even. I was told that Riley should be on strict crate rest except for the three 5-minute walks/day. She was either in my arms or in the crate for the first couple of weeks.

Similar to Ted, Riley never showed signs of pain post-op (once I got her home). She came home with a fentanyl patch on for her first 72 hours and after that was off, I never gave her a pain pill. She never whimpered or cried out and didn't demonstrate any guarding behaviors that would indicate she was in pain. She was still on steroids and gabapentin though. Maybe that was enough for her.

I do hope that this gets sorted out. We all just want the best for Ted. When is his first follow-up appointment?

Mrs Crilly
1st March 2009, 08:32 PM
We have a check up with our own vet tommorow evening, then we need to go back to the hospital in 14 days to get the stitches out and then a further check up after 4 weeks.

2nd March 2009, 01:50 AM
Just wondering about Ted. I'm sick and as alot of you know there has been a storm that has swept the south. Snow which is unheard of down here. I'm worried as its a 2 1/2 hr. drive to Auburn, AL where I am at. The consultation and prep is tomorrow for Abbey with surgery on tuesday. I've been a mess today as I can't bear the thought of us not getting her there tomorrow because roads are suppose to be an icy mess. Hubby is taking day off to drive it as I just can't. I can drive in snow but not ice. Would if I had to but 2 1/2 hrs away is a little scarey for me. Please pray for us that we get there as I will literally fall apart if this surgery is postponed. We tried to talk to them this a.m. to let us bring her in today and do consultation on phone but they wouldn't hear of it. We've already had a consultation when she was diagnosed so don't know what this is about in the first place except the usual that any surgery is a risk blah blah blah. Fiona please e-mail me--I'm not real with it either--sick with cold and fever and worried sick etc. I truly hope everything is ok. Been worried about Ted and your family etc.

2nd March 2009, 11:11 AM
I have never heard of a dog being released in 24-48 hours from Chestergates for either decompression or shunt surgery, so I am not sure why they said this. I was in having my dogs scanned with Geoff Skerritt a couple of months ago -- the neurologist who actually does the surgeries, and he said a minimum 3 days to 5 if things went very well.

I remain deeply concerned at the lack of follow up information received about a very critical recovery period and would NOT recommend using this facility in Ireland. If others are considering decompression in Ireland, please PM me fpr details on options.

Closing this thread now as it is going off topic on several different dogs and now has moved to discussing recovery so folks can open a new thread to continue these separate conversations or take discussions to PMs if they are personal discussions between two individuals, please. :thmbsup: