View Full Version : New SM diagnosis

3rd October 2009, 06:22 PM
My sweet loving Riley was diagnosed on Thurs with SM. :( He was MRI'd that morning so we have a definite diagnosis. I had posted as late as Sept. 16th with a question about his scratching. I had a gut feeling but didn't want to hear that Riley really had the disease. We have found a great neurologist at a state of the art hospital. Riley has started treatment and we are going back next week for another visit to probably change medications as per the Dr.
I am going to try to keep a positive attitude and am actually relieved that now I know for sure and can get Riley the best possible care. Thanks for all of the info here, I have learned alot already.

3rd October 2009, 08:31 PM
Hi im sorry youve had your gut instinct confirmed but well done for being so positive & as you say you can get Riley on the right meds now.Good luck & keep us posted:)

7th October 2009, 12:27 AM
So sorry that you got a confirmation. What approach have you decided to take? What meds have you settled on? Have you seen any response?

7th October 2009, 02:31 AM
Riley's neuro, Dr. Eric Glass, advised that he was a candidate for surgery but also felt that we could try to medically manage him as well. For now I have decided to try the meds and see how he does. Riley was put on 5mg prednisone 2x/day, 50mg tramadol 2x/day and 1/2 pecid 2x/day. Today after being on the pred for 5 days, his dosage was cut in half to 1/2 5mg 2x/day. Riley has had a very positive results so far this early in his treatment and most of his symptoms have been all but eliminated. He is still very lethargic which is very sad to see.
We are going back on Fri 10/09 at which time Dr. Glass (his neuro) said he will probably place Riley on gabapentin. So we'll see. I hope none of his symptoms re-appear as we cut down on the prednisone. He is definitely in much less pain than he was 1 week ago.
It has been a very scary time but I am glad we know what we are dealing with and can now get Riley the help he needs.

7th October 2009, 03:33 PM
Just wanted to send big hugs to you and Riley:hug::hug::hug: And to let you know we're thinking of you.


7th October 2009, 03:36 PM
So sorry to read of Rileys diagnosis. At least now you can start to manage his pain. Sending lots of :hug: your way :)

Love my Cavaliers
7th October 2009, 04:07 PM
I'll join everyone else in saying I'm so sorry that you had to join the SM club. My Riley (also a black and tan) was diagnosed last May and had decompression surgery in June of 2008. She is on prednisone 5 mg/day and a medication to protect her liver. She is doing really well. All you can do is love these babies and try to ease their pain and suffering as best you can. There are a lot of us on this forum with SM dogs, so we will try to help you in any way we can.

7th October 2009, 04:23 PM
Just want to Thank You all for your encouraging words and support. It is not a group that I ever wanted to join, but I am so glad that you are here.
Hugs to all

heather r
7th October 2009, 09:18 PM
My thoughts are with you and hope meds help!

Heather R

7th October 2009, 11:23 PM
I'm sorry to hear your little Riley has SM. It's early days and I know you'll go through lots of different emotions and feelings over the next few weeks and months. With love you clearly show for Riley, you will make his life as good as possible and that's all you can do. I'm here if you need to talk, just PM me.

8th October 2009, 03:53 PM
Pat- So sorry to hear about Riley. How old is he, and what were his symptoms? Big hugs to you both.

8th October 2009, 09:56 PM
Hi Trisha,
Riley will turn 3 on Oct. 28th. His symptoms were excessive scratching, licking and lip licking, yelping when being picked up, hind leg weakness. He also is extremely lethargic, won't play with his toys, :(not sure if thise are related to the SM or not.

10th October 2009, 10:07 AM
All those things would be pretty typical SM symptoms. The lethargy is likely due to general pain/headaches. Often people who eventually see symptoms talk about how their dog always was a bit shy and withdrawn, didn't like to be cuddled etc and that people thought it was just the quirks of their dog. I think often these affected dogs are experiencing pain that they don't or can't react to and express to us, like the severe headaches common for humans with SM.

One woman with SM who also has an SM dog described the pain she experiences on another list being like having rats running up and down the inside of your legs, biting at them. :eek:

10th October 2009, 03:18 PM
It is much better to know and have the MRI confirmed diagnosis, than to keep wondering and questioning. Riley went back for his re-check yesterday and Dr. Glass exclaimed " He looks GREAT". :D Those words sounded so good to me. Riley has responded so well to the meds. He is now on 2.5mg pred. once/day and the tramadol if and when needed. We go back in another month for re-check. Dr. G said we could resume all normal activity including pet therapy and walks etc. As happy as I am I am very much aware of the progressive nature of the disease. For today though, extra hugs, belly rubs and a nice walk if it stops raining.