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Karen and Ruby
28th July 2009, 02:09 PM
Hi everyone, I wanted to ask how you all cope on a day to day basis with the worry of having a poorly dog?
My Ruby struggled with anxiety as an adolecent and was a very fearful dog- of most things really.
We have worked very hard to bring her out of it which we managed quite sucessfully- there were still a few issues but on the whole she was happy.
Since the SM has propped up I worry on a day to day basis that she is happy and pain free and this worry is transferring to Ruby- which is the last thing she needs with the rest of her issues! She is slipping back to her old ways.
I just wanted to know what you all do to cope with this and whether it affects your dogs happiness and state of mind.
I do study dog behaviour and care (doing a degree) but it seems to all go out the window when it comes to my own dog?

Thankyou all
Karen and Ruby xx
:dgwlk:

Margaret C
28th July 2009, 03:10 PM
Hi everyone, I wanted to ask how you all cope on a day to day basis with the worry of having a poorly dog?
My Ruby struggled with anxiety as an adolecent and was a very fearful dog- of most things really.
We have worked very hard to bring her out of it which we managed quite sucessfully- there were still a few issues but on the whole she was happy.
Since the SM has propped up I worry on a day to day basis that she is happy and pain free and this worry is transferring to Ruby- which is the last thing she needs with the rest of her issues! She is slipping back to her old ways.
I just wanted to know what you all do to cope with this and whether it affects your dogs happiness and state of mind.
I do study dog behaviour and care (doing a degree) but it seems to all go out the window when it comes to my own dog?

Thankyou all
Karen and Ruby xx
:dgwlk:


I am so sorry, I know exactly how you feel. I wish I could say something helpful, but I don't think I can.

What you are describing is something that I live with every day and I would imagine so does everyone else with a symptomatic cavalier, however well the medication seems to be working.

Owning a dog with SM does spoil the uncomplicated joy that you feel in your pet ( although in other ways it makes them a lot more precious to you ) and I really don't know how you can ever lose that worry.

For me it is the not knowing how much pain they may be experiencing.

I think you do become slightly paranoid, you do spend time wondering if you are imagining symptoms or, on the other hand, whether you are being cruel because you are not acting on your vague worries.

I cannot say that I feel my anxiety about my three affects their behaviour, although their behaviour ( when I wonder if they are having a 'bad' day ) can cause me to feel even more anxious about them and whether I should be looking again at their medication.

I have lived with the situation long enough to appreciate every day I have with them, and to enjoy them when they are obviously having fun.

Scaring pet owners is one of the accusations directed at the Pedigree Dogs Exposed film, and at Carol Fowler and myself when we appeared in the film in an attempt to bring the problem of SM to the cavalier owning public.

I know that has happened, & I am sorry for those that have been scared for no reason, but better a concerned and well informed owner checking for something that may not be present, than a dog in pain and the owner oblivious to the signs of extreme discomfort.

Ruby has an owner who cares, an owner who knows her problems and will not let her be in pain if she can help it.
You are a great Mum to her & she is so lucky to be with you.

tupup
28th July 2009, 08:03 PM
beautifully put Margaret:)
I feel that i constantly struggle to find the middle ground between taking care of & or smothering my Rubes. For example i have a pushchair for her but try to get her to walk a little each day still for her fitness/weight, ive had to cut down on her treats as she's piling weight on since we got the pushchair but does it matter if she's overweight if the treats make her happy, yes for her heart health & so it goes round in my head! Some days she looks happy to have a walk, some days not so i try to gauge each walk at a time,its a hard line to find.
A couple of friends have said she looks tired recently, ive tried putting ruby to bed in the bedroom but she comes poddling back thro in minutes!
I guess im not helping much, what im trying to say is you are doing your best & you can only go on how your Ruby seems at the time, you know her best so try to enjoy her good days, come here for support on her bad days, good luck with finding the fine line:)

Sharon 7
29th July 2009, 05:02 AM
That was beautifully put, I agree. That is how I feel, you nailed it.
I will be interviewed soon as well here in Australia, (for a TV documentry on problems like this with dog breeds) I am now concerned that I must get the most important points about this dreadful condition across.

Anybody that wishes to give me their ideas on the most important things I should say, would be welcomed.

My Sopohie is about 3 1/2 and showed symtoms when she was only about 6 months old. She does not seem to be in pain lately, so for that I am grateful

*Pauline*
29th July 2009, 10:51 AM
Margaret described it exactly how I feel. One thing that I think helps me is that I have a daughter with health problems and her two conditions are completely controlled with medication. I try to accept that the medication cancels out the illness and we have to live with the fact that it's there, but we don't have to see it. So I feel getting the medication right with our dogs is so important. I'm not sure anyone who has an SM dog medicated can eradicate symptoms completely but we do our best to make our dogs comfortable and that's all we can do.

Talking about it will help. I think Margaret helped me most with this because she saw how distressed I was (she went with me for Dylan's scan) and she knew just how I felt having been through it herself. It does help to have people to talk to so you are doing the right thing coming on her and talking about it.

Love my Cavaliers
29th July 2009, 03:09 PM
I'm sure most people with SM dogs watch them a little more closely and warily than their other dogs. Most of Riley's symptoms are controlled by medication at this point, but I find I am always on the lookout for anything that might indicate that the meds aren't working as well as before. I admit that I do care about her and for her in a different manner than I care for my other three. I am more protective of her. Since she had her surgery I don't want the other dogs pulling on her ears or body slamming into her when playing. I adore all my "kids", but Riley has a special place in my heart. I try to take it one day at a time, but it's hard not to imagine that her lifespan will be cut shorter because of SM. She will be 7 years old in August and while I hope she lives to a ripe old age, I truthfully don't forsee that for her. Because of that, I sometimes look at her and get really sad about her future prospects and my life without her. I try to stop myself - she may live for a long time, but it's hard not to think about it. Like Margaret said, I don't feel that she senses my anxiety. She does however, look to me to rescue her when the other dogs are particularly rambunctious. So, I just try to love her a lot and appreciate what I have now. Even when I give her a little extra TLC, the others take note and come over for their extra TLC. Everyone's happy! And I love what Tupup said - enjoy her good days and come here for support on bad days. We're with you.

Karen and Ruby
29th July 2009, 08:43 PM
Thankyou Margaret

You always find the right thing to say. Ruby has started on Gabapentin today and Ive been told to give 100mg 3 times a day for the pain. Does this sound right to you? It seems alot!

I live for the good days when she is runnng about like a proper dog chasing geese or playing with her friends! Unfortunatly excitement is one of the things that flares her symptoms and she pays the price for the brief momments of joy!

We will see how she goes as I hope it brings her some releif! Its true what you say about thinking everything they do is due to the SM, like the fact that she keeps nibbling her front paws and tripping up curbs!
I know deep down that what will be will be and she has been bought to me for a reason- she is my angel and for however long she is with me for is a life long blessing and I need to take a page out of Rubys booka and live for today not tomorrow!!

Karen and Ruby xxxxx

Margaret C
30th July 2009, 12:39 AM
That is the amount of gabapentin that Tommy is given and seems to be the usual amount that most SM dogs are prescribed.
It really does help Tom, although gabapentin did not work for Matthew, and he has now been put on to prednisolone.

It will be interesting to see if the foot nibbling and tripping over curbs stops when Ruby is on it.
Let us know how she gets on.

Pauline is right, it does help to share & we are all here to help each other through the bad times

linderbelle
30th July 2009, 12:58 AM
I haven't hardly been on here for the past 2 months because of breaking my arm but many know who I am. My Abbey is my world. I love her so much --I just can't express into words what she means to me. She had decompression surgery the first part of March so we're almost at the 4 month mark. This year has been a year from hayull literally. One thing after another--I'd say its the second worst year of my life actually. The first being 7 years ago was losing a dog one month, the next month losing mother in law and 3 months after that losing my own mom and all 3 were shocks. Abbey was advanced and I know literally there were days that I couldn't hardly breathe from all the worrying. I do worry about her and there are days when she scratches and even tonight she acted like she had a cramp and I hate it horribly when she shows symptoms as I'd never want her to suffer. I've never had to put down a dog but if I truly felt she was miserable I would. I don't believe that. I do believe she is a very happy dog with a "handicap" lets say. She's my special needs angel.

Tell you what as I am rambling.

Go to my blog on Abbey and go to my guestbook and read I believe it is the latest entry or maybe the second to last one and its actually from a woman who has it. I've even put a sentence on my page hoping she will come back as I would love to talk to her.

As time goes on it does get better--at least for me it has but I still do worry but its not the same kind of worry as I had when this nightmare started.

Abbey is unable to really play with my other 3 dogs. Bentley just loves her and comes at her and I know she wants to play but he goes to jump on her neck and thats the end of it.

Abbey also is on 100 mg 3 times a day. She does wonderful at night and actually goes longer than 8 hrs. Before her surgery nightime was horrible.

Hang in there I understand what you are feeling and again read what that S. Rogers said as she has SM and it came with Chiari Malformation
(CM)and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome(EDS). It was very comforting for me to read what she wrote and feels. I'd copy and paste her post but I can't without her permission and since I have no way of getting her I can't. Read her last paragraph and this is coming from a woman or man that has the disease.

My blog is at:

http://abbeygeorgelinda.blogspot.com/

LIke Bev said I'm also more protective of Abbey and I treat her more babyish than I used to and let me tell you she knows it. lol

Wagtails
30th July 2009, 03:07 PM
Oh Margaret, thank goodness we have you on this forum with your long experience, wise words, and happy knack of saying just the right thing to those of us who are anxious about our beloved SM dogs :thmbsup:

My Megan was diagnosed with SM and terrible hydrocephalus in 2007 at the age of 9 years. She has also been totally deaf since she was 5 years old. After a few months on Gabapentin we were able to wean her off that and she now manages quite well with just frusemide and an anti-inflammatory, so that has been a huge relief.

Her state of health and interest in life does vary from day to day, especially with certain atmospheric conditions, but I have got to recognise the signs now and just "go with the flow". She hardly ever wants to interact with my other three dogs, but they have learned to leave her be and I have learned how to give her that extra special time when she is my extra special girl, without the others getting too jealous!

So "every cloud has a silver lining" and I'm sure your Ruby and all our SM dogs bring us joy in ways we never expected and that we, in our turn, are there for them when they most need us, thanks in large part to all the help and support we can give and receive on CT.

Warm thoughts to all SM dogs everywhere, Marie-Anne :lotsaluv:

Karlin
30th July 2009, 03:36 PM
Hi Marie-Anne:

Just wondering whether it might be a good time to discuss gabapentin again with your neurologist? The kind of difficulties she is experiencing are exactly the ones where gabapentin helps. It isn't like steroids where there's any significant concern about keeping a dog on it long term -- it is very well tolerated. You might find she is far more comfortable and again engages with the other dogs if given something more than frusemide and an anti-inflammatory. That is a very minimal treatment level and doesn't actually address pain for many dogs -- frusemide just tends to relieve a degree of the pressure they seem to feel, which may in turn help some with pain -- but frusemide doesn't tend to work very long for most dogs on its own. It does nothing at all that is noticeable for either of mine but I use it because there are indications it helps keep the condition from advancing as rapidly and gives some relief. It might be worth consideration -- at any rate I think most dogs with the condition do need at least an annual check-in with their neurologist because this is a progressive condition and often the dogs may be tolerating far higher levels of pain that we notice (eg they learn to simply tolerate it though they have declined further, while we don't notice because the decline is gradual and we don't see it).

Wagtails
30th July 2009, 04:01 PM
Hello Karlin and thanks for your concern and suggestions.

It was actually Martin Deutschland at Chestergates who said we should try to get Megan off the gabapentin, which I think was because he considered many of her more severe neurological problems (tilting gait, eye-rolling, lip-licking etc) were actually being caused more by the hydrocephalus than anything else. She hasn't experienced any of these problems for over a year now, so I've assumed that the frusemide has indeed helped reduce the hydrocephalus.

Megan still enjoys her walks (most days) and has always been an "independent" spirit, so I haven't been over- concerned that she doesn't interact with the others, especially the pesky younger ones.

However, I take your point and will see if I can get a follow-up appointment in the near future, just to be on the safe side.

Cheers, Marie-Anne

Redkite
30th July 2009, 06:56 PM
:cry*ing:Just had to to say, your dogs are all very lucky to have such wonderful caring owners.

Karen and Ruby
30th July 2009, 10:35 PM
Ruby and I went to agility as usual this evening and she has been on the gabapentin now since yesterday morning and lets just say i am sooo happy I could cry.
Everyone at training said that they thought I had replaced Ruby with a different dog- but NO- its like I have got my puppy back again.
Now yes I hear you all saying its too soon to be making these assumptions but you should have seen her go!!
She has always struggled with the jumps and we have only been going a few months. To the point where I was thinkng about stopping. She never seemed to enjoy herself but today... well what can I say. I am the proudest mum in the world and she truly was flying round with not a care in the world and she was LOVING it!!!
And the best thing was that she didnt scratch or rub her head once when we were there!
Now I may be jumping the gun and we shall see how she does at obedience training in the morning as the heal work soes involve keeping her head elevated which has been a struggle for her lately but so far so good.
i finally have a good day to share with you all and I hope it warms your hearts as it has mine.

Best wishes to you all and your angels xxxxx

Karen and Ruby:wggle:

dizzy
4th August 2009, 04:03 PM
Hi Karen,

I have followed your thread and have finished reading it with a big smile on my face. It's lovely to hear about Ruby and her 'leaping' in her agility classes. I also fully understand and share your concern about her condition and how she may be feeling on a day to day basis ie is she in pain, discomfort etc. As usual Margaret and Pauline ( and others!) offer very wise words and come to this condition with a lot of true understanding and experience. Thank you for that ladies x

My Ruby had an appointment on Friday with Martin Deutschland and she has been put on Gaberpentin alongside her frusmide. Ruby's SM presents mainly as a hyper sensitivity to touch on her left side of her neck. It kicks off her air scratching. Walking is no problem since we bought a harness that doesn't touch her sensitive spot! Martin gave her his usual thorough examination and she responded well on all counts including the neck mobility check.

To try to dampen her senstivity he suggested Gaberpentin - which thanks to this site I knew all about! She has been on it since Friday and so far so good! Like yourself I know it's early days but it is remarkable how she can be stroked etc without kicking off the air guitar! As the medication wears off her sensitivity comes back noticibly!
We were advised she may be drowsy but we haven't noted that yet !
She does seem to be drinking a lot more though - I have called Chestergates to check if this could be the Gaberpentin.

Anyway Karen, I will sign off now (as usual I always seem to hi-jack posts!)

I pray that your Ruby will continue to do well on her meds - keep us posted on here.
Dawn x :p

Margaret C
5th August 2009, 06:46 PM
It is so good to know that Ruby, and Ruby, are having some good days. Thank you for sharing with us.

Our SM cavaliers are very special little dogs.

chloe92us
5th August 2009, 07:45 PM
Linda- That guest book entry on your blog was amazing...brought tears to my eyes. And to think that HUMAN sufferers are indebted to CAVALIER RESEARCH...

There are many more benefits to submitting MRI scans than just the obvious benefit (or future benefit) to Cavaliers. ;)

Karen and Ruby
31st August 2009, 10:20 PM
Its all started to go downhill recently again and have been emailing Clare for her advice and she said that it sounds as though damage is being done to Rubys spinal chord as she seems to be loosing control of her front legs recently.
She fell flat on her face last week (literally) and has been tripping up far more often than usual. She is also walking with a head tilt which is deffinatly new.
Ive come to the conclusion that the Cimetidine isnt doing the job that we had hoped it would and that it is time to try something else.
Clare suggested either Steroids (which i have my reservations with) or Surgery (which I have great reservations about)
Surely there is something else??????

Dont get me wrong the gabapentin is still doing wonders and she isnt in pain but I can see the SM progressing and feel sooooo helpless with it.
We will be arranging an appointment with Clare for when she is back in the Surgery as she is on annual leave at the moment but in the mean time I need to think long and hard.
One of my main problems is that my partner still doesnt want to accept that she is a very poorly dog and doesnt get involved in making the desisions and I feel soooo much pressure on my shoulders. To top it all of I found out that my mum has a tumor on her spine and now there is that to worry about also.

I feel so lost and dont know what to do x

Karen and my angel Rubes :(

Love my Cavaliers
31st August 2009, 11:14 PM
oh Karen, I feel your pain. For what it's worth, I would probably try Ruby on steroids. Riley is on 5 mg prednisone a day (and probably will be forever) and I up it to 7.5 mg for 3-4 days if she seems to be having a harder time. For her, the benefits of steroids far outweighs any long-term side effects she may have. Her quality of life is so much better with them than without them. Interestingly though, the steroids did not work for her before her surgery. They made absolutely no difference. Like Ruby, she has a lot of weakness and a very pronounced head tilt. She still gets off balance and has to lean against a wall for support, but nowhere near what it was like before surgery. Please PM me if you want to talk about the surgery. I am so happy I did it. It didn't solve all her problems, but it made them more manageable and I hope it stopped the progression of her SM.

I'm so sorry about your mom. I hope it is benign and doesn't cause her (and you) too much worry. Good luck. PM me if you want some support.

Margaret C
1st September 2009, 12:10 AM
I am so sorry that Ruby is deteriorating. You must feel as if you are being faced with more than you can cope with at the moment.

I do understand your worries about steroids, especially with a young dog, but I have found that prednisolone works well for Matthew, and I do know of SM dogs that have been kept comfortable for over four years on steroids.

Stop feeling lost. Make a decision, even if it is to put Rubes on steroids while you take a bit of time to check out & think about surgery.

I know it is hard to accept there are not more options, but that is the reality of the SM situation at the moment. This is a really hateful condition.

You are not alone. There will be many people here sending positive vibes your way.

Tania
1st September 2009, 08:42 AM
Hello Karen,

I feel so sorry for you, I have sent you a pm.

Karen and Ruby
1st September 2009, 07:57 PM
I dont really know what steroids do - I presume they dont do the same job as the diuretics do?
Are they a painkiller or will they do something for the disease?

Im so angry that I cant help her she deserves so much more that this :(
I dont know what to do.........

Love my Cavaliers
1st September 2009, 10:01 PM
For Riley, steroids help with her imbalance and weakness issues. They work on the fluid balance and shifts that occur in the brain. I assume that they work on pain also, but Riley luckily has never overtly demonstrated signs of pain. Karen, please don't be afraid of steroids. They certainly have a bad reputation, but if they will help Ruby be more comfortable and have a better quality of life, then I say go for it.

Karen and Ruby
1st September 2009, 11:34 PM
Ive just been reading through the Rusbridge website about treatment options and it states that corticosteroids can increase lethagy,weakness and intolerance to heat.
Ruby is already tired. weak and certainly hates the heat? Will it not just make her alot worse.
Also may it be worth trying a different type of diuretic eg Omeprazole or Furosomide before moving on or are we running out of time for trial and error as we have only tried the Cimetidine and a few people that I spoke to said that the Cime. didnt seem to work but others they tried did?
I know I should be asking Clare all these questions but we cant get an appointment for a couple of weeks as she is off at the momment.

Karen and Rubes (snoozing as always zzzzzzzzzzzz)

Nastya
2nd September 2009, 01:48 AM
I am so sorry, I know exactly how you feel. I wish I could say something helpful, but I don't think I can.

What you are describing is something that I live with every day and I would imagine so does everyone else with a symptomatic cavalier, however well the medication seems to be working.

Owning a dog with SM does spoil the uncomplicated joy that you feel in your pet ( although in other ways it makes them a lot more precious to you ) and I really don't know how you can ever lose that worry.

For me it is the not knowing how much pain they may be experiencing.

I think you do become slightly paranoid, you do spend time wondering if you are imagining symptoms or, on the other hand, whether you are being cruel because you are not acting on your vague worries.

I cannot say that I feel my anxiety about my three affects their behaviour, although their behaviour ( when I wonder if they are having a 'bad' day ) can cause me to feel even more anxious about them and whether I should be looking again at their medication.

I have lived with the situation long enough to appreciate every day I have with them, and to enjoy them when they are obviously having fun.

Scaring pet owners is one of the accusations directed at the Pedigree Dogs Exposed film, and at Carol Fowler and myself when we appeared in the film in an attempt to bring the problem of SM to the cavalier owning public.

I know that has happened, & I am sorry for those that have been scared for no reason, but better a concerned and well informed owner checking for something that may not be present, than a dog in pain and the owner oblivious to the signs of extreme discomfort.

Ruby has an owner who cares, an owner who knows her problems and will not let her be in pain if she can help it.
You are a great Mum to her & she is so lucky to be with you.


Ms. Margaret C. I just realized who you are and wanted to express my gratitude for all that you have done for the cavaliers. I am a relatively new owner and did not do enough research before purchasing my first cavalier. He does not have any SM symptoms however he does have severe hip dysplasia. I have learned so much after watching the documentary. Asking the right questions and understanding the importance of health testing in cavaliers as well as being informed about common symtpoms of SM in cavaliers. I must say that the documentary scared me; however I would rather be informed than ignorant about the issues facing this wonderful breed. With Lou's hip dysplasia I am always worried about how much pain he feels; however all I can do is manage his condition to the best of my and our vets abilities and try to make him as happy as possible and that means: cuddling until noon on Saturday mornings; going for off leash walks on nearby trails, giving him ice cubes everytime I get ice for my ice tea and letting him sniff every mailbox during our on-leash walks in the neighborhood. Again Ms. C I want to let you know how important I found your comments in the documentary. We don't have many breeders of cavaliers in Alaska but the few that I have seen don't do any health testing even for the mitral valve disease. One breeder is actively breeding her two dogs with heart murmurs. Therefore it is wonderful to know that there are people out there like you who care about these dogs enough to speak out for their future. Thank you

Margaret C
2nd September 2009, 02:11 PM
Thank you for your kind words.
I am proud to have been part of the film. It has made such a difference to the way that pedigree dog breeding is being viewed.

It is not only pet owners that did not know about cavalier health issues, many breeders had not fully appreciated the problems in the breed either, especially those who do not belong to a cavalier club, or, belong to a breed club that does not inform their members of emerging health problems.

Disappointingly there are still too many clubs that do not have any health information, not even about mitral valve disease, on their websites.
I do wonder why they think the club exists if not to inform & educate their members?

I have two Japanese Chins with hip dysplasia, they manage a short walk every day with the help of a daily dose of metacam.
Chins are another breed with many health problems, MVD, Brachycephalic Airways Syndrome, slipping patella, atlantoataxia subluxation, cataracts, that have been ignored for years. The UK Chin Club website states that they have no recognised health problems

I do hope that Lou continues to enjoy his cuddles, his walks, & his ice cubes for many years with you.
Some of our dogs are so lucky to be with owners that love them so much and who are prepared to give them the best quality of life possible.
It is what happens to those that are not so lucky that haunts me sometimes.

Margaret C
2nd September 2009, 02:44 PM
Ive just been reading through the Rusbridge website about treatment options and it states that corticosteroids can increase lethagy,weakness and intolerance to heat.
Ruby is already tired. weak and certainly hates the heat? Will it not just make her alot worse.
Also may it be worth trying a different type of diuretic eg Omeprazole or Furosomide before moving on or are we running out of time for trial and error as we have only tried the Cimetidine and a few people that I spoke to said that the Cime. didnt seem to work but others they tried did?
I know I should be asking Clare all these questions but we cant get an appointment for a couple of weeks as she is off at the momment.

Karen and Rubes (snoozing as always zzzzzzzzzzzz)

Hello Karen,

I so wish there was something I could suggest that would help.

Matthew's pain symptoms and weakness improved when he was given steroids. I have not noticed any increased intolerance to heat, although he has always been inclined to take himself outside to lie on the paving stones in the evening.

I know that Matthew is now eleven and it is easier for me to decide that he will have whatever it takes to keep him comfortable, even though there may side effects that will shorten what remains of his life.

Vets routinely prescribe a short course of steroids for canine health problems, so I would not think that there would be any long term effect if Ruby took them until you see Clare and can ask her about other diuretics.

Have you spoken to your own vet, what does he suggest?

Love my Cavaliers
2nd September 2009, 02:59 PM
Like Matthew, Riley's weakness is helped by steroids and she shows no heat intolerance. She will still lie in the sun on our deck. I havene't noticed any lethargy with her either. She can tolerate walks every day. I agree with Margaret - it certainly wouldn't hurt Ruby to try a course of steroids while you evaluate your options. You'll know realloy soon after starting them how whe will tolerate them. Riley was a different dog within a day or two of starting steroids. She had life back in her and didn't fall down when she shook her body. It was truly amazing to see the difference. She was acting almost like a normal dog for the first time since I got her when she was 11 months old. (She is 7 years old now). If this is what it takes to keep her comfortable, I will do it.

Karen and Ruby
2nd September 2009, 03:33 PM
Hello Karen,

I so wish there was something I could suggest that would help.

Matthew's pain symptoms and weakness improved when he was given steroids. I have not noticed any increased intolerance to heat, although he has always been inclined to take himself outside to lie on the paving stones in the evening.

I know that Matthew is now eleven and it is easier for me to decide that he will have whatever it takes to keep him comfortable, even though there may side effects that will shorten what remains of his life.

Vets routinely prescribe a short course of steroids for canine health problems, so I would not think that there would be any long term effect if Ruby took them until you see Clare and can ask her about other diuretics.

Have you spoken to your own vet, what does he suggest?


We have been to the vet this morning and she doesnt like to suggest things that she hasnt got alot of experience in until we have seen Clare.
She said the weakness in the front legs is probably being made worse by the fact that her right rear leg is weaker due to the Lux Patella. She has given us some Metacam to see us through to our Appointment with Clare and we will continue with the Gab and Cimetidine until then.

I supose I will just keep on with the reading until then and that way I will have the right questions and know exactly what Clare is suggesting!
Thanks for all your support xx Its so much appreciated

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Karen and an all swum out Ruby!!