View Full Version : Vets still uninformed re SM

18th March 2010, 04:01 PM
I was at a dog groomers today with my three to get their nails clipped and there was a cavalier in a cage who had just been groomed (horrible completely shaved but I guess that was requested). I was talking to the groomer about the dog and telling her about Chaos. She knew about SM and said she had told the owner previously that this dog had symptoms when grooming it. Just then the owner came in to collect it, in a bit of a rush, but I did manage a quick conversation with her. She said she knew about SM but her vet had told her that the disease was not progressive and that there was no need to do anything about it. I told her that it was and that the sooner she had her scanned and got treatment the better. She replied that she also thought it was getting worse and she would change her vet. As the dog was insured, I told her to ask for a referral to Clare Rusbridge and/or change her vet and also to read up on the internet about SM. It really amazes me that vets can be so ignorant even now about SM and wonder whether a poster or something in every vet surgery would make any difference.

Kate H
18th March 2010, 07:00 PM
Or at least admit that they are ignorant! Some vets have never met SM before, but rather than pronounce on it from ignorance, they could check out the Rusbridge website and if in doubt, refer to a specialist. I'm lucky - one of our group of vets did her internship with Clare Rusbridge - but even she tells me to check out with our neurologist if some treatment for something else could possibly affect Oliver's syrinx. Perhaps this is something the Cavalier Club could do - send a tactful circular to all vets on the lines of 'You may be well acquainted with SM, but if you are meeting cases for the first time, you will find useful information at...'

Kate, Oliver and Aled

18th March 2010, 07:55 PM
on the lines of 'You may be well acquainted with SM, but if you are meeting cases for the first time, you will find useful information at...'

That's a nice way of phrasing something.

Dog Training Ireland here mailed out a flyer I did for them on SM as an inclusion in a packet of info on dog training classes a while back. It was easy for them to do, and they approached me about doing it. They have actually spotted a few suspect cases in class (cavaliers scratching on the lead or very sensitive on the body or with what owners think are 'quirks'...) and referred them to my vets where they after got a positive diagnosis by MRI. My own vets say once you see symptomatic dogs a few times you can usually have a pretty good idea a dog is symptomatic with SM in minutes from observing behaviour. Of course there are also many who aren't as easy to spot.

The problem is the vast majority of vets have never knowingly seen a dog with this condition and don't keep up with journal articles and so on. Some might be informed enough to suspect, or might fortunately refer the dog to a specialist who spots the actual problem, but a lot encounter the type of vet above... even some otherwise excellent vets. I no longer use a vet as I found out his personal opinion was that there's no big problem with this condition and he was dismissive of owner worries. Dogs I might add that later were diagnosed after a referral to my usual vets.

18th March 2010, 08:39 PM
My vet had never heard of sm until he met me. I have written an article for the Veterinary Times (Nurses).
I am hoping this will help raise awareness. I am also negotiating for a mailing list for all the Vets hopefully in the UK so I can send an A5 poster for their notice boards. If anyone would like any input with regard to content I would be pleased to receive suggestions. The money being paid for the article will be donated straight to Ruperts Fund. I don't know how much yet!