View Full Version : I think Bentley may have SM
17th May 2009, 09:07 PM
For the past year or so Bentley has had several painful episodes, also he has had increased scratching at his neck and ears. Last year he had a very bad episode in June where he wasn't able to walk for a few days, the vet at that time ran a few tests and told me Bentley showed "exposure to anaplasmosis", so the vet put him on Rimadyl and doxcycyline, Bentley did improve and was back to his old self in a couple weeks. But, now I'm wondering if what we are really dealing with is SM. He had an especially bad episode last week, I took him to the vet and he is now on Rimadyl twice a day (I went to a different vet). Tests for anaplasmosis and Lyme last week came back all normal. Trouble is, this episode last week was far worse than the other times in that it didn't want to resolve (previous episodes would resolve after I had given him a baby aspirin, usually within a half hour he was fine, he was not on any prescription meds until now, but I did keep baby aspirin on hand for those times that he would get a painful episode), last week's episode went on pretty much most of the night, he had the initial yelping in pain about midnight, but he was very restless all night despite the baby asprin and he yelped again that morning about 7:00 a.m. as I was taking him to the vet. I kept him at the vet's while I was at work that day (last week), I just started a new full time job last week so I am not able to take time off of work. Of course the vet reported to me that Bentley was then fine all day while he was there, altho Bentley did get a Rimadyl right away at the vet's when I brought him in that morning.
My question is...... how do you cope with having to leave your dogs with SM, alone at home, while you have to work? I live alone and I have no family left. It scares me to death to think that Bentley could be having a painful episode while I am not home. I'm hoping the Rimadyl will keep him comfortable, and I am going to talk to my vet more tomorrow about other medications out there for SM (such as Gabapentin). I'm really a nervous wreck right now and I'm trying to decide what I should be doing for Bentley. Do you find that Rimadyl keeps your dogs pain-free? Of course Bentley has not been diagnosed with SM yet, so it could be something else.....the vet thinks Bentley has a "spinal problem, maybe a pinched nerve".....but my gut instinct tells me it is SM. I didn't discuss SM with the new vet last week, altho I plan to do so tomorrow. X-rays of his spine last summer were normal, and he has not been ill, altho he did have a temp of 102.6 last week during the painful episode. I am about half-crazy from worrying.
Anyway, thanks for reading this far.....I wrote quite a lot.
17th May 2009, 11:48 PM
I am so sorry to hear about Bentley. I understand how painful this condition is for everyone. We never tried Rimidel but I've heard it helped some dogs with SM - you may want to see a neurologist and get him started on Gabapentin.
To answer your question, I have always been a bit nuts about leaving Ilsa alone. When I'd be gone all day I took her to a doggie day care or had a sitter or at least a walker. Since she's had SM I've been even more nuts - I don't even trust the doggie day care anymore. I get a sitter when I need it - but I am working from home for now. If I needed it I would take her to a day care or find someone to look after her. Maybe you could find a college student in your area or someone older who can't have a dog but would enjoy it for the days.
I do know somewhere deep inside that with the proper medication she rarely to never has pain attacks and leaving her for a few hours in the evening occasionally is probably fine but even when I do I still worry like crazy.
Hope that helps, if you need to talk or have any questions send me a PM.
Jen and Ilsa
18th May 2009, 12:10 AM
Thanks, makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one who goes just totally crazy when I have to leave my boy home alone. At least he has Bailey for company, my toy Poodle. But I do worry so about leaving him alone all day while I'm at work. I do have a friend who lives a block away from me, she works from home and has offered to pop in on her breaks to check on Bentley, I may ask her if she could do that for me. Otherwise I don't know of anyone right now that I can trust. It's tough leaving him alone, and I am already worried about going to work tomorrow.
18th May 2009, 12:33 AM
I have PMed you :)
Love my Cavaliers
18th May 2009, 01:58 AM
Ah, it is such a tough one, but you are definitely NOT alone in your reluctance to leave Bentley alone. Riley had SM surgery last June and still has recurring vestibular problems. Luckily she has no pain episodes, but her imbalance issues are pretty significant (i.e, not being able to walk, falling down if she gets excited, having to lean against cabinets or the wall to stay upright, seizure like activity). Since her surgery the longest she has been left alone is 5 hours - but I also have 3 other dogs. One of them is Madison, her half-sister and they are like velcro. I have not left her with anyone other than my husband when I've been gone out of town for several days. And even leaving her with him is hard for me. i think that nobody can monitor her like I do, and I want to know exactly what is happening with her at all times. I know my husband would not pick up on subtle changes in her behavior like I would. He keeps telling me I have to let go a little bit. It probably is obsessive behavior on my part. I do have to leave her for 4 days this coming Memorial Day weekend. But the person I am leaving all my dogs with does home boarding and she is an old E.R. nurse, so I feel that she can monitor her pretty well. And Riley is now on prednisone every day which really helps with her balance.
Riley has never been on Rimadyl as her SM really didn't present as a pain issue. Oliver, my oldie at 8 years old, is on Metacam for bulging discs in his back and it really helps him. We tried Rimadyl and it didn't work for him.
Please don't ever worry about fretting over your dog. We all do it and it's nice to be able to express yourself and have so many others who can identify with your concerns. I have found that even people on this board who have dogs without SM are very supportive and empathetic to each other's issues. We all love and adore our cavaliers. Just remember, whatever you're feeling, others of us have experienced the same thing.
18th May 2009, 02:04 AM
Thank you so much for all of the kindness and support....I feel better...whew.
So far tonite Bentley seems to be doing OK, I'm probably the one who isn't doing so well....LOL. I should ask my vet about Metacam, maybe that would be better for Bentley in the long run.
I'm glad to have a place to express my anxieties and thoughts about this.....you are all so wonderful!
I PM'd you back Pauline. :)
19th May 2009, 01:17 AM
I just wanted to add an update. Today went well, I gave Bentley a Rimadyl before I left for work this morning, and I also have a couple neighbors that I could count on, or call, if I needed someone to check on him for me during the day. But, he was feisty and frisky and his old self again today, so hopefully we'll get a break for awhile and things will go OK. Just wanted to say Thank You again to everyone on here who has been so supportive.
19th May 2009, 01:41 AM
Rimadyl can be a very affective drug. I am glad Bentley had a good day. I think also, they get more rest when you leave them alone. I have worried at times when I go out for an evening and Dylan looked a bit warn out but I think he would just follow me around if I was home so I have left him for an evening.
19th May 2009, 02:03 AM
It's good that you have people who can check on him when you're worried. :flwr:
My sister used to check in on our dogs at 2:00pm to give Geordie his pill and to let them outside for a break, but now Colin is home much of the time. There are times when he cannot be there, so I'll drive home at lunch even though it's 30 minutes away.
If Bentley ever needs a drug to reduce the cerebrospinal fluid pressure, if he is diagnosed with SM, you might want to go with Omeprazole or one of the other proton pump inhibitors rather than Lasix which is a diuretic and would make him need to urinate more often.
Also, if he ever needs prednisone or another steroid, which is sometimes used for pain flare-ups, it will make him drink more and have to urinate more - he will need to be taken outside more often. Then it might be a good idea to hire a dog walker who is insured and bonded - usually the vet or a dog trainer could recommend someone. :flwr:
10th June 2009, 06:41 PM
i am just wondering how Bentley is doing now that a month has gone by. I don't know if you saw my posts, but Polka is being given medication for a slipped disc and SM. We see a neurologist next week. I just am curious how you are coping and how your lovely dog is doing.
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