View Full Version : Pain struggles

7th November 2009, 08:06 PM
I'm new to the forum. My cavalier, Ben, was diagnosed with SM about three weeks ago. We went to a neurologist after our regular veterinarian felt overwhelmed with his symptoms which have gotten worse over the last few months. Ben has full facial paralysis on the right side, partial on the left, he has a head tilt to the left and when he walks he angles himself to the left. He tries to scratch and rub his neck area frequently especially at night. He doesn't sleep much anymore. He just lies there with his eyes open. He stares into corners, cant eat without his bowl raised off the floor, and has been whining all the time.

Ben is on or has tried all the pain medications recommended for SM. We tried putting him on lasix but he was to sensitive to it. We're trying pred now. I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm a veterinary technician and I see people every day letting their pets suffer because they don't want to let go. SM is so difficult to deal with...I don't know how much suffering/pain is to much.

I'm so happy to have found other people dealing with SM in their cavaliers. I was hoping someone might have some advise for me.


8th November 2009, 06:46 AM
I have nothing to say constructive, other that there are lots of us how share your anguish. You are a little desensitied to other peoples pets, it comes with the job, but it is so hard with your own. All I can do is offer you a 'ear' and an 'shoulder', as I have found that helpfully whilst I worry over my Todo. Hang in there

8th November 2009, 09:19 AM
Hi Ashlee, welcome to the forum and I am sorry poor little Ben is suffering, it must be heartbreaking to watch this. I am not experienced enough to offer you advice. I am at a much earlier stage of dealing with sm. You will find a lot of help and support here. My thoughts and prayers are with Ben.

8th November 2009, 10:13 AM
Hi Ashlee. So sorry that you and Ben are going through this heartbreaking situation. I've no experience with SM, but wanted to say am thinking of you both and sending gentle hugs. :hug:.

8th November 2009, 12:48 PM
Hi Ashlee, so sorry you're going through this, you are obvously exploring every avenue to improve Ben's quality of life.

Does Ben have much quality of life? reason I ask is you mention "He doesn't sleep much anymore" and he is "whining all the time".

Best wishes,


8th November 2009, 12:48 PM
Ben, was your boy diagnosed by MRI scan? It's just that I have just lost a cavalier with very similar symptoms to what you describe.
Last year we went through a facial paralysis, then in the spring of this year he began stumbling to one side when walking - he would fall on his face, he couldn't cope with heat and he scratched too. Suspecting SM or at the very least some kind of brain problem we scheduled for an MRI scan. This had to brought forward as an emergency when he suffered a very bad seizure when we were on holiday (very similar to vestibular syndrome which I had seen before). He was hospitalized for four days and with meds recovered enough to go for an MRI scan where very sadly he was found to have a huge brain tumour. He was only 5 years old.

8th November 2009, 12:53 PM
Just read your other post on this, I have to agree with Karlin, Gem and Sins, set him free, so very sorry.

8th November 2009, 12:54 PM
I know many people think that veterinary professionals are " desensitized" because of our work but we are not. Veterinarians and veterinary technicians cry after euthanasia, we don't like to see animals in pain anymore than the owners, but we have to be strong and put our emotions to the side so we can function and help the animal. What would you do if your veterinarians was a blubbering ball of emotions...could she help you? At the end of the day all we see makes us sad or happy depending on the out come. We grieve and we rejoice but it is our job to do so after we have done what we can for the patient. We cant cry during surgery or while talking to owners.

8th November 2009, 01:06 PM
Ashlee ,

As the others have said ,maybe it's time to bite the bullett and let Ben go.

This one thing we can't do for Human's ,but for our Cherished Pets ,we can.

8th November 2009, 05:34 PM
No he wasn't diagnosied with a MRI but I thought it could be a tumor as well. Either way I'm screwed.

8th November 2009, 07:46 PM
hello, I apologies if you miss understood my meaning of my posting, I probably didn't put it across too well. What I really mean't to say is because you deal with this horrible situation through your normal day at work, you should not feel obligated to act differently when you are faced with the same problems all pet owners have to face one day. You will know when you know what you have to do, be honest with yourself, thoughts and good wishes to you all

8th November 2009, 08:22 PM
No he wasn't diagnosied with a MRI but I thought it could be a tumor as well. Either way I'm screwed.

I am desperately sorry, it's such a hard call for you.