View Full Version : my cavy having a mri scan tomorrow for sm

24th January 2011, 10:26 PM
Hi everyone,

I am taking my cavalier for a mri scan tomorrow at my vets as sunday evening she had some sort of seizure. She was sat and just starting shaking all over i went over to her and she fell to the side and was shaking for 2 or 3 minutes.
She remained conscious throughout but i was terrified i thought she was dying in front of me.
I was surprised how quickly she recovered though as 10 mins later she was back to her normal self playing with her toys.
This is the first time this had happened and ever since learning of sm i have always looked out for any signs to which i have never seen.
However i took her to my vets today who is very clued up on sm and said she suspects it could be so tomorrow i am taking her for a mri scan.
I am praying that it isnt but if it turns out to be i will try and learn everything i can to make her life more comfortable.
Thanks sally

24th January 2011, 10:50 PM
So sorry to hear this Sally but I think you are doing the right thing.

It's great that your vet is so aware of SM - sadly this is becoming a very common problem with Cavaliers.

It's brilliant that they were able to arrange a scan so quickly for you - we have everything crossed for good news.

They will also check for possible causes of epilepsy too but I'm sure your vet will have discussed that with you.

Hopefully you will also get the results tomorrow, don't forget that the majority of Cavaliers have the malformation and a percentage [25%] have symptoms from that.

It's worth also looking at this site to consider Episodic Falling http://www.episodicfalling.com/

We will be thinking of you tomorrow :flwr::flwr:

25th January 2011, 01:56 AM
Thinking of you

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25th January 2011, 04:16 AM
Will be thinking of you. We are all here for you.

25th January 2011, 01:16 PM
I'm thinking of you too. How old is your dog? I agree with Nicki that you and your vet should perhaps consider Episodic Falling too, especially if she is young. One characteristic of that is that the dog stays conscious throughout the event (unlike epilepsy, as I understand it).

Good luck and do let us know how you get on

25th January 2011, 01:28 PM
aww i'm so sorry, i hope it goes well. We'll be thinking of you <3

25th January 2011, 02:27 PM
So sorry to read your post. Good luck today. Let us know the outcome.
Fingers crossed for you.

theresa d
25th January 2011, 07:23 PM
fingers crossed for good results!

25th January 2011, 08:19 PM
Fingies and toes crossed!!!!

25th January 2011, 10:45 PM
Hi thanks everyone for your responses,
Well i took my little one to my vets today and got the results this evening.
I am saddened to say that yes my vet confirmed she has sm when she told me i burst into tears.
I had tried to remain positive all day and think well she only had a seizure and she has never shown any other signs of sm and was starting to think that maybe my vet was being hasty.
However no she does have it, although my vet has tried to reassure me that she only has it very mild and has seen alot worse cases and been able to help them manage the condition.
My cavy is 7 years old and like i have said she has never shown any other signs however since she was 2 years old she has been on a low dose of steroids for a tummy problem and my vet thinks that may have prevented showing signs of any other symptoms.
Anyway thought i would let you all know the results of todays mri and i was wondering if there are any things i can do to help my cavy things that i should know.
Tonight she is exhausted i think partly due to the aesthetic but mainly due to being at the vets all day she really gets stressed there and she keeps falling asleep then waking up and panicking were i am.
Anyway thanks for the advice so far if it wasnt for the site i wouldnt of even been aware of the condition and that there are others with the same problem.
I really hope in time that this horrible condition will be eradicated from these lovely furry babys.
Thanks sally

Margaret C
25th January 2011, 11:48 PM
I am so sorry you have had this news.

There is lots of advice on SM here and a lot of other owners of affected dogs to support you.

Best wishes,

26th January 2011, 02:30 AM
I am so sorry Sally. As Margaret said there is lots of info and people on this forum to support you. Remember it is not a death sentence. You will find many owners on here with dogs that are much younger and with worse SM, who once they get the right combination of meds continue to live quality lives. Despite all the reassurances I am sure you are devastated as I was when I heard the news about my boy. It does get better, hang in there :) We are all here for you.
Hope you and your little girl get some much needed rest tonight.

26th January 2011, 11:00 AM
:hug:So sorry you didnt get the news we all hoped for. Like others have said there are many members here with affected dogs and the support and info you'll get will really help.

26th January 2011, 11:11 AM
So very sorry Sally - it's good that she is 7 and only mildly affected though - the younger, severely affected ones are far harder to manage and sadly do not have such a good prognosis :(

It may well be that the steroids have been helping the problem, but that is good as it will have kept her comfortable.

Hopefully they will have given you a treatment program?

Have a look at http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/ also http://cavaliermatters.org/ and the posts on here for management advice too.

Take care, we are so sorry this was not the news you wanted to hear, but it sounds like things will be manageable and please feel free to post any questions and ask for help.

First things are to raise her food and water bowls, and also switch to a harness rather than a collar, if she is more comfortable like that, you don't really want to put any strain on the neck at all. even if she doesn't scratch, you can usually see if they are more comfortable.

26th January 2011, 01:18 PM
I am so sorry about your sad news. :hug: We are all here for you!

26th January 2011, 05:27 PM
I am so sorry about your sad news. :hug: We are all here for you!

Sally ,

I was so sorry to read your News, but youre on a Great Site here ,and will get so much Good Advice about how to Cope with your 4 Legged Friend.


26th January 2011, 11:06 PM
Thanks everyone again, for all your support.
I have felt a little more hopeful today about my cavys diagnosis i think i am starting to accept it.
Initially i felt it was a death sentence, however i am learning that there is hope that it can be managed.
I feel very fortunate that my vet has knowledge of sm and yesterday she informed me she has treated others with the condition who also had it far worse and so far been able to treat them.
As my cavy is already on prednisolone for a tummy problem, which she has every other day she recommends we up that from half a tablet to a full one every other day.
And also to take frusemide twice daily.
So i was wondering if anyone else uses that combination ? and if so how it has worked in managing the sm.
Today my cavy is very very tired think she must of been really stressed being at the vets.
Also i noticed today she went to go upstairs and she couldnt manage the front step her back leg was all wobbly.
I understand this is a symptom of sm, which i first noticed a couple of weeks ago with her front paw.
At the time i just thought she may of sprained it, however when i took her to the vets on monday and told her of her seizure and the limping that is when she suggested the mri scan.
I was wondering if the medication works well does it help with the limping and wobbly legs?

27th January 2011, 12:04 PM
I'm also sorry that you are having to face this, but please do not get too upset. As others have said, there are many of us on this Forum who are coping with similarly affected dogs - mine was diagnosed at aged 9 and is now 12. She also has wobbly back legs, but we keep her going with medication and lots of TLC. The suggestions about raising the food/water bowls and using a harness are really useful.

Don't forget that the MRI scan involves an anaesthetic, so that does take a few days to get over sometimes. It's not surprising that she was tired and a bit wobbly.

What is her name, by the way? Would love to see a photo of her if you can manage it. Instructions are at http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/showthread.php?17567-Posting-pictures

Do let us know how you get on with the new medication etc. Good luck :flwr:

5th February 2011, 01:44 AM
Just thought i would give you all an update to how Pumpkin thats my cavy is doing.
Over the last 3 or 4 days she seems like her old self again, ive hardly noticed her wobbly legs and she seems to be jumping about like she always has been.
She seemed to have abit more energy and is back to playing with her toys and enjoying her walks.
Although her appetite has increased but figure this is due to the steroids.
One thing i was wondering though from what ive read that a common sign of sm is pain and scratching.
However i have never seen her with eather pain or the scratching which of cause i am happy about.
Ive read that some dogs with sm dont like there heads,necks touch but again i know with her that is not the case.
So i was wondering if some with sm not experience pain my vet did say she had a mild case so was wondering if that may be why and the more severe the problem the more pain.
I have learnt alot about this condition over the last few weeks and will continue to.

Also i will try and get some pics of her and post them once i figured out how to do it.

Love my Cavaliers
5th February 2011, 04:24 AM
Dogs with SM seem to display a variety of symptoms. My Riley has never had what I would describe as a pain episode, nor has she ever scratched. She doesn't mind having her head or neck touched either. And she was diagnosed with a severe and very advanced case of SM. Her main problem has always been a lack of balance and muscle weakness. She had surgery 2+ years ago and is managed now on daily prednisone. When I read of other's experiences with their dogs who do have pain, it just breaks my heart and I am thankful that while Riley's symptoms at times can be extreme, she still seems to enjoy life.

I'm glad Pumkin has perked back up and is back to playing and enjoying her walks again. Anesthesia can take a lot out of a little dog.