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Sandy L
6th April 2009, 03:31 AM
The following is a note/question that I'm forwarding from my Mom, Carmen, who is unable to navigate internet forums. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, and forwarded to her.
Thank you,
Sandy

We have a an adorable Cavalier King Charles - born Oct. 8, 2004.
He has been very active up until early March of this year. Then he seemed to be experiencing pain in walking - and trouble lying down.
He backed away from his normal pattern . He seemed to hurt when lying down, and was no longer willing (or able) to jump up on my lap for love, attention and sometimes a nap. His eyes said, "Do something!" We didn't think he'd "over-done."
We were concerned that he may have ingested a "plastic tooth-pick." A trip to the vet, (3-9-09) for x-rays and exam did not indicate any problem visible. A shot for pain and some oral medication seemed to take care of the problem. He was back to his "old self" - for a while.
However, the past few days he has resumed the display of discomfort once again, and has fallen back into the pattern of acting as though it hurt to lie down and doesn't offer to jump up on my lap - but does beg my husband to lift him up and place him there.
I know Cavaliers "can" have hip problems, but at his young age, did not think this would/could be the problem.
Anyone out there have a similar experience with a 4-1/2 year old Cavalier? I would appreciate your insight or suggestions. I thank you - and so does Toby.

Nicki
6th April 2009, 11:33 PM
HI Carmen and Sandy - so sorry to hear about Toby's problems. Obviously we are not vets on here - they should always be the first port of call if you are worried, but from my own experience, there are a number of possibilities for problems at this age, although x-rays and examination should have ruled out the two most likely - luxating patella and hip dysplasia. In less severe cases, both do tend to cause problems at about 5 years of age as the ligaments start to loosen with age.

Arthritis is a possibility, but again should have been apparent on x-ray.

Another poss is a disc problem, but the vet should have been able to check that.

The other, more worrying possiblity is Syringomyelia. Have a read of the sister board, http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/. It is now a very common condition in Cavaliers, but if no symptoms have been apparent until this age, then it is *usually* a milder form and more easily managed.

The fact that pain medication helped would indicate that it is some kind of pain condition.

If it were my dog, in the first instance I would be going back to the vet to see if they can establish the cause, but if they are not sure what is going on, then I think I would be asking for a referral to an orthopaedic specialist, or if you are worried about SM, then a neurologist.

In the meantime I would avoid allowing Toby to jump about too much, try to rest him to see if it is a minor injury that will resolve.

I hope it's nothing serious and that Toby will soon be back to his normal happy self.

harleyfarley
7th April 2009, 11:43 AM
Cavaliers can have hip problems at any age, harley was 2 when diagnosed with hip dyplacia, only an xray can confirm if this is the case, if so then supplemements of the mobilty support i sent you are helpful and cartefen injections can also help depends of the severity of the problem. Also consider his weight any reduction can help reduce the pain of the joints.
I will ask my contact at Arden Grange nutrition if they can help, their "light" food help with weight loss or even maintainence and includes supplements if you are interested, but you really should see a vet and get him xrays just incase its something completely different and youve spent a fortune on something thats not going to help a lot. di

Carmen Marks
8th April 2009, 05:36 PM
Hi, di,
Thanks for the in-put. We did put him on Omega 3 - a "dog friend" suggested it - She also also told us msm might help, but havent' started him on that yet. He weighs 26# - and obvioulsy needs more x-rays. We don't have a pet "specialist - will try to get names from her for one. Appreiciate your help. Carmen

Karlin
9th April 2009, 12:19 AM
The fact that pain medication helped would indicate that it is some kind of pain condition.

If it were my dog, in the first instance I would be going back to the vet to see if they can establish the cause, but if they are not sure what is going on, then I think I would be asking for a referral to an orthopaedic specialist, or if you are worried about SM, then a neurologist.

Seconding Nicki here-- this is definitely the route I would take. If an orthopedist cannot find any problem and doesn't think it is hips or spine, then I think you do need to consider the possibility of SM. Most vets won't be familiar with this condition or the high incidence in cavaliers so you may need to be the one that asks for this to be considered, if other possibilities are eliminated. You can get more info here (http://www.smcavalier.com) and also some documents you can download and print out for your vet.

drphilzeltzman
9th April 2009, 04:06 AM
Hi Sandy and Carmen and all,

I agree with what is written above. When you say that X-rays were normal, what exactly was X-rayed?

Even if the spine looked OK on X-rays, it does NOT exclude the possibility of a slipped disc. You would need "advanced imaging" to diagnose it (myelogram, CT, MRI).

To the list of possibilities above I would add dislocated knee caps. It really could be a number of things with such vague signs.

I would second what was suggested: before spending a penny on an MRI, you might want to ask your vet to refer you to a board-certified surgeon in your area. The are qualified to help with hips, knees, spine etc, and definitely should know about SM.

You can read about all of these topics (and more) on my web site, where you can also subscribe to my (free) newsletter.

Good luck
Keep us posted!

drphilzeltzman
www.drphilzeltzman.com (http://www.drphilzeltzman.com/)

Carmen Marks
14th April 2009, 08:53 PM
Thank you, one and all - drphilzeltzman, Nicki, HarleyFarley, and Karlin. I am going to contact my vet for the various suggestions offered. And do appreciate your webiste, dr. - and looking forward to the newsletters! Am SO glad you are all "out there" for me. More later . . .
Carmen