View Full Version : Some information please

Cathy and Winston
30th June 2009, 11:32 PM
Hi, my name is Cathy, and while I don't have a Cavalier, I do have a pug named Winston, who on June 3rd was diagnosed with severe SM, COMS and a moderate hydrocephalus.

As far as I can tell, Winston is not in pain, yet. Although from reading some of the stories here, which I have been doing for about a week now, he probably will be later on in the course of this disease. Before Winston was diagnosed, he would drag his front feet to the point where he scraped the dark pigment off of them and the tops of his feet would bleed if he walked around the block. He also had difficulties going up and down the stairs. Since he's been put on prednisone, he's gotten much better about going up and down those stairs. He's also undergoing acupuncture.

What I need to learn from all of you more experienced SM owners, is there a standard protocol for treating SM and COMS? My vet has never had a case in her practice before and the neuro is 2 1/2 hours away, so it's not easy to get there and just ask questions. Other than the pred, are there any other drugs or therapies we should be looking at?

Thank you so much for your answers and any support you can give me as I start the journey in this terrible disease.

Cathy and Winston

Love my Cavaliers
1st July 2009, 05:03 PM
Most dogs with SM are on some dosage of Gabapentin. Riley, my SM dog, is just on prednisone 5 mg a day. For her it is a miracle drug and she doesn't seem to need anything else.

1st July 2009, 05:21 PM
Hi Cathy, I am so sorry to hear about Winston.

There is a treatment diagram from leading neurologist and researcher Dr Clare Rusbridge that you can download from my website, www.smcavalier.com which gives a whole medications process. There's also lots of general info there including Clare's general introduction to SM. Also pinned at the top of this forum are links to an introduction to SM podcast from Clare and a link to her own website which has an excellent FAQ on SM in dogs.

She and her research assistant would possibly be interested in contacting you for more information on Winston as I know they are always actively seeking info on dogs from other affected breeds -- if it is OK with you I can pass along your contact details to them and they would likely be in touch?

Most of us find that one of the CSF inhibitor drugs is helpful and several neurologists have found this can slow, halt or even in some rare cases, reverse the condition. Many of us also use gabapentin as the drug of choice for pain as steroids are not the best for long term use as they have a lot of unwanted side effects over time, but for some dogs it may be the best or only choice.

Cathy and Winston
1st July 2009, 10:59 PM
Thank you so much for all the info you have provided. And yes, Karlin, you may send Dr. Rusbridge my contact details. I'm in the states and this is the first I've ever heard of SM and COMS, and believe me, I researched pugs six ways to Sunday and back and never came up with these diseases. I knew all about eye problems, breathing problems, and PDE, but never SM or COMS.

I'll go and poke around the site links you provided me and print out the medications process. As I said in my inital post, my regular vet has never seen a case of COMS before, so poor little Winston is her guinea pig of sorts.

I'm sure I'll be back soon with more questions, once again, thanks so much!

Cathy and Winston

Margaret C
1st July 2009, 11:53 PM
I am so sorry about Winston. I do hope we can help and support you.

Karlin has given you directions to find all the information you need. The treatment plan may be very useful for your vet.

With SM what suits one dog does not always suit another.
I have three affected cavaliers, all three have 10mg frusemide x 2 daily.
In addition, Tommy is kept reasonably comfortable on 100 gabapentin x 3 daily, Matthew has metacam, but is deteriorating, and gabapentin does not seem to help him, so we are going to try steroids, and William, who will be 13 in November, is well maintained at the moment with carprodyl ( Rimadyl ) x 2 daily.