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Blondiemonster
18th March 2011, 06:22 PM
I was walking on the Santa Monica pier and saw a lady with a cav and ofcourse wanted to say hi. her baby was 5 and deaf she told me. Somehow the conversation led to PSOM and SM> she said she had seen a "specialist" in California who said that she didn't think he had either. As we were speaking the dog was doing air guitar and scratching his ears while crying out little yelps. She knew they were symptoms but said he "usually doesn't do that" or just started doing it this week and doesnt do it all he time.. etc.. She also said his skin is sensitive and dry hence the scratching etc.. Also "SM didnt run in the family" according to her breeder. After I asked her of that breeder MRI'd the answer was ofcourse "NO".
I told her she should ask that "specialist" about putting her dog on a fluid reducer at least. Lord only knows how many cavaliers out their affected with SM have owners who react this way...

Margaret C
18th March 2011, 06:42 PM
I was walking on the Santa Monica pier and saw a lady with a cav and ofcourse wanted to say hi. her baby was 5 and deaf she told me. Somehow the conversation led to PSOM and SM> she said she had seen a "specialist" in California who said that she didn't think he had either. As we were speaking the dog was doing air guitar and scratching his ears while crying out little yelps. She knew they were symptoms but said he "usually doesn't do that" or just started doing it this week and doesnt do it all he time.. etc.. She also said his skin is sensitive and dry hence the scratching etc.. Also "SM didnt run in the family" according to her breeder. After I asked her of that breeder MRI'd the answer was ofcourse "NO".
I told her she should ask that "specialist" about putting her dog on a fluid reducer at least. Lord only knows how many cavaliers out their affected with SM have owners who react this way...

Isn't this so depressing?
All those poor dogs and so many people that should be caring for them denying they are in pain

Blondiemonster
18th March 2011, 07:50 PM
Whats even more depressing is that of the 1 cavalier i saw during my stay in california, it seemed to show severe symptoms. Scary.

Charlifarley
18th March 2011, 08:10 PM
Hopefully that is a bad representation of the cavaliers in Californina and you were just unlucky in your timing.It's really scary when we see a cavalier behaving like that, but just think of all the cavaliers that we meet out and about that aren't showing symptoms.

I know if anyone with knowledge of SM met me with Bosco they would/should recognise his air guitar scratching straight away. (We are trying to adjust his meds for it at the moment). So far, no one has ever commented on it - neither to say that they know what is going on, nor 'why is he doing that' out of a lack of knowledge.

I scrutinise every cavalier that I come across to see if there are any obvious tell tale signs and I have never yet seen a cavalier scratch while walking. And any time I meet someone I ask them the usual questions. Maybe this is unusual, because cavaliers are very popular where I live.
My vet says she has only come across a few with diagnosed SM. She admits though, that she would have seen cavaliers in the past that more than likely had undiagnosed SM - before scanning was available here.

Having said all that, I believe there are a lot on undiagnosed cavaliers around. The members of this board are all aware of what the signs and symptoms are, but for every knowledgeable member here, there must be many many more out there that aren't and are putting the various symptoms down to quirkiness or other reasons. And, I think, that includes a number of vets too.

Blondiemonster
18th March 2011, 08:27 PM
Hey Charliefarley. My neuro says that most of the cavaliers he sees on the street in NYC are affected. (doesn't have to be severe, but "affected" is a broad term...) Apparently, he can see it in the way they walk, their spine etc.. He told me he walks up to cavi owners all the time and recommends a fluid reducer. Which is much more pessimistic of a statistic than what you write.
So hopefully, there's a happy medium there! I'd much rather believe in what you wrote!! :p

anniemac
18th March 2011, 08:48 PM
Hey Charliefarley. My neuro says that most of the cavaliers he sees on the street in NYC are affected. (doesn't have to be severe, but "affected" is a broad term...) Apparently, he can see it in the way they walk, their spine etc.. He told me he walks up to cavi owners all the time and recommends a fluid reducer. Which is much more pessimistic of a statistic than what you write.
So hopefully, there's a happy medium there! I'd much rather believe in what you wrote!! :p

Hey Lynn,

I don't know if you are talking about Dr. Marino or Dr. West but what was interesting was what Dr. Marino said,

"Results of a recent study indicate that although greater than 50% of dogs examined were reported to be “free of any clinical signs” by their owners, 97% were found to have clinical signs on examination. What this tells us is there needs to be greater education as to what to look for in dogs with Chiari like malformation and syringomyelia. Remember, in people some of the signs like migraines or neck sensitivity are difficult for owners to recognize."

What shocks me about your story is that she said she was familiar with SM and saw a specialist and obviously knew symptoms if she said he never does this when scractching. It seems to me like she was making excuses and in denial. :confused:

Everytime I see a cavalier on the street and talk, I tell them Ella has SM and hardly ANYONE has ever heard of it. Actually I don't think I have met anyone that has on the street. What is sad is last night I was looking at Cavalier videos and there was one laughing at a Cavalier dancing which it seemed like symptoms of SM. His back leg was scratching etc. It was very upsetting. It is hard because I don't want to constantly look at each dog scratching or exhibiting a behavior but I do because I know how important and glad I knew about SM before waiting for her vet to refer her.

I know of 2 people recently that have had Cavaliers diagnosed (one just had surgery) due to SM awareness. One was pretty severe. The vets did not know and they had to inform them. Ella's neurologist gave me some tips about vets and that they may not know about SM but should be able to tell if it is something they can't diagnose and seems neuro related.

I just want people to start treatment early because like Dr. Marino said, it is hard to show what a migraine looks like.

Charlifarley
18th March 2011, 08:57 PM
Hey Charliefarley. My neuro says that most of the cavaliers he sees on the street in NYC are affected. (doesn't have to be severe, but "affected" is a broad term...) Apparently, he can see it in the way they walk, their spine etc.. He told me he walks up to cavi owners all the time and recommends a fluid reducer. Which is much more pessimistic of a statistic than what you write.
So hopefully, there's a happy medium there! I'd much rather believe in what you wrote!! :p
I hope there is a happy medium but somehow I doubt it. :( I think I would go by what your neurologist says than my observations to be honest. I suppose I am just trying to put a positive spin on what you saw in California. There are so many cavaliers out there with the condition and not showing enough symptoms to warrant investigation - if every cavalier owner knew what to look out for and got treatment for their dog in the early stage of SM I know they could save a lot of unnecessary pain.

Blondiemonster
18th March 2011, 10:34 PM
Hey Lynn,



I just want people to start treatment early because like Dr. Marino said, it is hard to show what a migraine looks like.

Hey Annie! It was Dr. West... I do have some info from Dr. marino about the tubes and PSOM I have to post soon!!! About the migraines.. what medication can u give against it though? With people nothing helps.. Does gabapentin help against migraines???

Pat
18th March 2011, 10:42 PM
Some thoughts on this subject:

I've mentioned before that my very first Cavalier, born in 1982, displayed air scratching whenever she was walked on a lead. I just thought it was a quirk and I stopped walking her on a lead. Other than that, there weren't any other symptoms that I would now recognize as SM. She lived to be 14.

I was quite gratified that the recent neurological exam on my current boy, Tucker, was completely normal. After years of worrying whether I was failing to recognize signs of SM, it was good to know that I was looking realistically.

This also helps me to have some confidence in my observational abilities when I try to realistically evaluate my young (2-3) girl that I adopted off the street last year. I've described her before - she is the weedy little 8 lb girl with the awful conformation and tiny little head. If there was ever a Cavalier that should be unhealthy, she would be an obvious choice. Nevertheless, she has the perfect outgoing, playful, fearless Cavalier temperament.

To my surprise, she has thus far been the "indestructo" dog. She plays like a maniac - all day, every day. She and the cat run and chase and jump onto and off of furniture. They roll around on the floor wrestling, and the cat regularly "disembowels" her - you know how cats "play fight" by grabbing their opponents with their front legs and repeatedly kicking their back legs and clawed feet into the soft underbelly of their opponents. Seems to me that if a dog had a headache or spinal nerve pain that they just wouldn't tolerate this kind of punishment and certainly wouldn't seek it out. I've also done Dr. Dewey's "Beezer Squeezer" technique on her (of course I'm sure that I'm not doing it correctly) and she gives no pain reaction.

At any rate, would most of you agree that a Cavalier that shows none of the classic SM symptoms and that can play this rough and hard daily likely does not have SM? Is a daily "cat disembowelment" a good and cheap diagnostic tool? I'm only halfway kidding here........

On the other hand, my neighbor is a dog walker by profession, and she tells me about a young Cavalier that she walks (on a harness) that can't go more than a few feet without air scratching. We are going to print some material for her to leave for the owners to read.

Pat

Pat
18th March 2011, 10:48 PM
About the migraines.. what medication can u give against it though? With people nothing helps..

Actually, there are several medications that are very effective for people with classic migraines. But those classic migraines are not caused by Chiari malformation. I remember when Zomig came onto the market and it was like a miracle for many migraine sufferers.

What drugs do people with Chiari malformation take for pain? Don't they also take gabapentin and Lyrica?

Pat

anniemac
18th March 2011, 11:18 PM
Hey lynn,

I think dr. Marino was discribing what it feels like and not actual (I believe) how hard it is to show outwardly. A person with a migraine would have sensitivity to light etc and feel aweful but no fever etc. I don't know if that makes sense but I think humans describe it like a migraine. I'm not sure how migraine drugs work or any of that but who knows. I know one drug is used for treatment is really for air sickness.

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anniemac
18th March 2011, 11:57 PM
Pat,

You make a good point. With cm/sm being diagnosed only with mri which has not been around that long (10 years is not that long relatively) at least in the general public, there was no way of knowing. Looking back on your cavalier in 1982, you can put things together like the scratching, but lived a long life. Now you can't see pain but you are very wise with health and I'm sure you would have noticed if there was cause for alarm.

That's what sucks about this is I feel there is so much we still need to understand (meaning researchers). But mris are expensive which is why ruperts fund that helps pay for mris is so crucial.

When I asked dr. Marino if an owner should be alarmed if they find out from an mri being done for another issue, their is cm or sm should they be alarmed if there are no symptoms. Ellas neurologist said that's the majority of times he sees it and with knowing the statistics, I was scared everyone would be alarmed and I did not expect him to say that statistic of dogs not showing signs which really do.

What I'm trying to say is if 50% have SM and not to mention around 90 % CM, at what point is it harmful for every cavalier diagnosed to be on csf reducers, surgery, etc. If there are no symptoms or if there is it is so mild only a neurologist like dr. West would see walking on the street? I know karlin, rod, etc. Or you can see if prilosec and other csf reducers have long term problems. Personally I feel taking any drug unnecessary could be not good. So if your 14 yr old cavalier was on medication, would that have improved his/her quality of life?

Then I think, you can't see pain it causes. I can tell things with ella and others I'm sure with symptomatic severe SM but what about the others? Then there are the symptomatic cavaliers with CM.

This is my opinion, but we know statistics of cavaliers with sm but how many actually get so severe they have to be euthanized or live a life of pain like I'm praying for strength when it comes to that with ella. I would be interested to know if we had technology 20 or so years ago, if that number would be different. We have ways to communicate with each other, diagnosis technology that was not there. Were these symptoms not put together just thought of a scratch or has it become more common?

I just don't know but I think this is so hard to understand. However, I understand if something is off with ella. I can only try to understand how to help her and pray people support and help research.
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lovecavaliers
19th March 2011, 12:00 AM
I remember Dr. Marino telling me on the phone after Jack's MRI that people with CM/SM describe some of the symptoms like wearing a really itchy wool sweater and not being able to take it off:(
I know what you mean about checking out every cavalier. Whenever we pass one walking around the city, I am always looking for "signs" I even went to a recent NYC cavalier meet up and noticed a lot of scratching going on...

anniemac
19th March 2011, 12:03 AM
Rod,

Trying to read cavalier health but I saw you said the number has drastically increased since 2000. Do you know what this is based on? It seems hard without a large sample which people can not do unless the scan and submit results

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Pat
19th March 2011, 01:12 AM
My own belief (and I discussed this with Dr. Platt at Tucker's MRI and with Drs. Dewey and Shores at their AVMA sessions and it is my interpretation that they also believe this) is that something has happened in recent years to produce more Cavaliers (and young ones) that are obviously symptomatic from SM and that obviously have a poor quality of life without medications or surgical intervention.

I am 100% certain that my girl born in 1982 was not in terrible pain; if she had any problems they were extremely subtle. No yelping, face rubbing, hiding, scratching other than on lead, reclusive behavior, no sensitivity to touch, no proprioception abnormalities, no ataxia or limb weakness, nada.

No one understands what has happened and whether this is genetic (doubling up on genes over many generations) or if there is also an environmental factor. This has been debated a good deal. The statement that SM has increased can be made because of the extensive anecdotal evidence of a significant number of obviously symptomatic dogs. Even though we didn't have MRIs available before about 2000, we would have recognized a large number of obviously symptomatic, painful Cavaliers, just as we are recognizing them now.

Pat

anniemac
19th March 2011, 01:51 AM
I didn't think this was something people had been aware of for several years (back in 90s 80s etc) but I know there is a problem and now we know. I do think more people are aware thank goodness from awareness to know to talk to vet and recognize symptoms that there is more information due to pde, forums, websites etc. that have more information now but still many vets misdiagnose.

I think what concerned me was the number of dogs he stated said had clinical symptoms upon further examination. Also lynns comment on how dr. West can see by their walking. Guess different neurologists will say what to do as far as treatment for cavaliers that don't show obvious symptoms as far as medication.



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Blondiemonster
19th March 2011, 03:19 AM
Hey Annie I think a fluid reducer like prilosec does more good than harm when is SM is suspected. It's indeed so hard when to know what to do, and it's so hard because som cavalier with severe MRI's show mild symptoms, sometimes temporary sometimes forever and cm has bad symptoms so there is no rule I guess. My girl is a perfect example. I have to just take it day by day.

Reptigirl
19th March 2011, 04:18 AM
Had to jump in on this topic....

As far as medicating dogs that don't show symptoms or only very minor symptoms. I'm not 100% sure how I feel on it because I'm not lucky enough to own a Cavalier who doesn't show any symptoms. BUT don't most people (and vets) agree that not all dogs in pain will show it? Animals can't tell you if they have a head ache, tummy ache or anything else. It has to be sever enough for them to really be down and out to see it. Just because they are not yelping or scratching doesn't mean that somewhere in their body they are feeling pain and they have just "adjusted" to live with it? I think this goes with the survivable of the fittest thing. If an animal shows a weakness or injury it get's picked on in nature so they hide it really well.

I too have met several Cavalier owners out and about (2 just this week and I don't go out THAT much). More so since I almost always have a Cavalier with me when I go out. Eery one of them has never heard of SM. I am actually looking at getting vests for my Cavaliers to promote SM awareness. Everyone who makes over Flash get's to hear about his neurological condition. It is VERY scary how few people have ever heard of SM. (Only 1 of the dozens of Cavalier owns I have met). To make it worse my vet (who I have talked to about SM/CM MANY times. I have even taken print outs. She STILL doesn't believe Blitz & Holly have it. AND she has seen the symptoms for her self. She instantly said "allergies, ear infections AND possibly a slipped disk since Blitz has hingleg weakness. This is the 3rd vet I have seen with the Cavaliers this year. None of them had heard of it. She was nice enough to give me a referal ONLY because I asked. She says she has seen many Cavaliers when she worked in Chicago but has never seen SM.)

anniemac
19th March 2011, 05:26 AM
Wow. I can't believe your vet still doesn't believe you. I agree with what you said b/c its hard to show pain. I made shirts but sm cavaliers don't like how that feels to help with awareness. Vest seems like a good idea. I know I do the same thing and basically jump on any opportunity to tell someone. Brian gives tanias flyers etc. People sometimes look at me like I'm crazy but I don't care. If one person looks it up and gets help then great.

http://184.72.239.143/mu/aefc93f3-3068-80bb.jpg


Ps. Lynn I am so glad you got info for psom. I want to hear more on another thread.

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RodRussell
19th March 2011, 05:42 AM
Rod,

Trying to read cavalier health but I saw you said the number has drastically increased since 2000. Do you know what this is based on? It seems hard without a large sample which people can not do unless the scan and submit results.

That just refers to the more widespread availability of MRIs to veterinarians. I had seen SM-affected cavaliers prior to 2000, and I even met one that had had surgery for CM before then, but because MRIs back then were almost exclusively dedicated to human medicine, the body count of CM/SM cavaliers was quite low.

Reptigirl
19th March 2011, 06:54 AM
Wow. I can't believe your vet still doesn't believe you. I agree with what you said b/c its hard to show pain. I made shirts but sm cavaliers don't like how that feels to help with awareness. Vest seems like a good idea. I know I do the same thing and basically jump on any opportunity to tell someone. Brian gives tanias flyers etc. People sometimes look at me like I'm crazy but I don't care. If one person looks it up and gets help then great.

Yeah, my vet saw the scratching and swears it an ear infection and saw the rubbing and swears that is allergies. Oh well the MRI will prove her wrong and maybe open her eyes.


Ha, yeah some people look at me like I'm crazy.... I don't care either. If I can save 1 dog from suffering then that is 1 dog that will be better off and maybe the owner will continue to pass on the knowledge. Even better 1 more vet MIGHT become educated. Etc....

Suvi and Mira
22nd March 2011, 05:40 PM
I have a question(s): where is this quoted from? And has Dr. Marino done some research work or where are those results based on? Any links to original source?

"Results of a recent study indicate that although greater than 50% of dogs examined were reported to be “free of any clinical signs” by their owners, 97% were found to have clinical signs on examination. What this tells us is there needs to be greater education as to what to look for in dogs with Chiari like malformation and syringomyelia. Remember, in people some of the signs like migraines or neck sensitivity are difficult for owners to recognize."

Thank you :confused:

anniemac
22nd March 2011, 06:38 PM
I have a question(s): where is this quoted from? And has Dr. Marino done some research work or where are those results based on? Any links to original source?

"Results of a recent study indicate that although greater than 50% of dogs examined were reported to be “free of any clinical signs” by their owners, 97% were found to have clinical signs on examination. What this tells us is there needs to be greater education as to what to look for in dogs with Chiari like malformation and syringomyelia. Remember, in people some of the signs like migraines or neck sensitivity are difficult for owners to recognize."

Thank you :confused:

I actually did an interview for this event. The information is found here http://www.twolittlecavaliers.com/2011/01/syringomyelia-awareness-dr-marino.html

I am not sure what study he was referring to but will do a follow up email. These are the things he sited in the email. I had sent the email to Rod prior so he might know more of what actual study he was referring to or if it is something that has not been published yet

Thermographic Imaging in Dogs with Intervertebral Disc Disease
Grossbard BP, Loughin CA, Marino DJ
Thermographic imaging is a non-invasive method used to screen animals for multiple medical problems. This study documents the use of thermal imaging to screen small breed dogs for possible herniated disc disease. Dogs with confirmed herniation based on MRI results are compared to dogs that have no evidence of a herniated disc. We also look at the usefulness of thermography to predict the site of herniation.


Treatment of Dogs with Primary Secretory Otitis Media
Grossbard BP, Loughin CA, Marino DJ
Primary secretory otitis media, also known as PSOM, is a disease of the inner ear. A mucous plug collects behind the ear drum, and can cause pain and scratching. Reported treatments have had variable success, and the mucous plug tends to recur. This study explores initial treatment with myringotomy followed by clavamox for 2 weeks.


Comparison between CT and MR for the Diagnosis of Primary Secretory Otitis Media in Dogs
Govier S, Loughin CA, Marino DJ
Primary secretory otitis media, also known as PSOM, is a disease of the inner ear. A mucous plug collects behind the ear drum, and can cause pain and scratching. Diagnosis has primarily depended on visualization of a pink swollen ear drum on examination of the ear canal. This type of examination can lead to missed diagnosis of PSOM since it is difficult to visualize this change. Recent studies have found that PSOM can easily be seen on a MRI, but MRIs are expensive and not widely available. This study looks at the accuracy of CT to diagnose PSOM.


The Prevalence of Primary Secretory Otitis Media in a Population of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels diagnosed with chiari-like malformation
Lugones M, Loughin CA, Marino DJ
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels constitute a breed that has a predisposition for PSOM and CLM, but “can these dogs have both diseases at the same time?” This study looks at a population of dogs being evaluated for CLM, and determines how prevalent PSOM is in this group of dogs.


Morphometric Features of the Craniocervical Junction Region in Dogs with Suspected Chiari-like Malformation Based on Combined MR and CT Imaging: 274 Cases (2007-2010)
Marino DJ, Loughin CA, Dewey CW, Marino LJ, Sackman J, Lesser M, Ackerman M
Evaluation of MRIs for CLM have mainly been based on the doctor’s opinion on how compressed and herniated the cerebellum may be. This kind of evaluation leads to considerable variability, resulting in disagreement among doctors. In order to make MRI evaluations more consistent, measurements made in the region of the skull and vertebrae of the neck have been developed. This paper reports the consistency of these new measurements.



The Effect of Foramen Magnum Decompression and Cranioplasty on Syrinx Volume in Dogs with Chiari-like Malformation
Loughin CA, Marino DJ, Dewey CW
Syringomyelia, also called SM or syrinx, has been documented as a secondary occurrence to CLM. Based on multiple theories and the results of research in humans, we suspect that the syrinx will slowly regress after decompressive surgery. This paper looks at a group of dogs diagnosed with CLM and SM, and follows them for one year after surgery to see what happens to the length and volume of the syrinx over time.



Syrinx Location in Dogs with Chiari-like Malformation having Brain and Whole Spine MRI
Dewey CW, Loughin CA, Marino DJ
MRI studies of dogs thought to have CLM have included mainly the skull and neck, but does the syrinx exists further down the spinal cord? This study looks at a group of dogs with CLM and SM to see how far the syrinx can extend.


Histologic Findings on Dural Biopsies in Dogs with Foramen Magnum Decompression and Cranioplasty for Chiari-like Malformation
Loughin CA, Marino DJ, Peters R
Dural biopsies performed in humans with chiari-like malformation have shown thickening of the dura mater. Some of this thickening has even been described as “bone-like”. Do dogs with CLM exhibit the same changes of the dura mater at the site of compression? This paper evaluates the biopsy reports of a group of dogs that have undergone surgery for CLM to determine if the dura develops “bone-like” qualities.

Suvi and Mira
22nd March 2011, 08:13 PM
Thank you annie :)

anniemac
23rd March 2011, 04:48 AM
I did not email him but the information is published on an ebook on the canine chari institute website. It is from a study based at livs of 227. It has a lot of information and you can make a donation to keep information up to date for any amount or read it anyway for free

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Ddavis
25th March 2011, 12:34 PM
It was Dr. West... I do have some info from Dr. marino about the tubes and PSOM I have to post soon!!!

Hi Blondiemonster ..... please could you post the info you have from Dr Marino regarding PSOM ..... pretty please.

Chamberlain
25th March 2011, 12:48 PM
Hey Charliefarley. My neuro says that most of the cavaliers he sees on the street in NYC are affected. (doesn't have to be severe, but "affected" is a broad term...) Apparently, he can see it in the way they walk, their spine etc.. He told me he walks up to cavi owners all the time and recommends a fluid reducer. Which is much more pessimistic of a statistic than what you write.
So hopefully, there's a happy medium there! I'd much rather believe in what you wrote!! :p

Strange, when I brought Chamberlain to get a check-up before I bought him the vet I saw worked in New York City and said that 80% of the Cavaliers she saw had heart problems and she did not see a lot of SM

waldor
25th March 2011, 01:58 PM
I didn't think this was something people had been aware of for several years (back in 90s 80s etc) but I know there is a problem and now we know.

The Internet has a lot to do with increased knowledge, education and awareness. If it weren't for the Internet, I would have bought a CKCS and never even known to ask for the screening certs on the parent dogs, and which types. Even with the Internet, some people are research geeks (self included) while others are not (the clueless re: health issues for the breed).

So, it may be there are more actual cases of SM and CM in dogs, due to breeding practices, but the owners are more knowledgeable, as well. CavalierTalk forum has been very educational to me on the topic, unlike a Yahoo Group I joined for this breed, that seems to never want to discuss health issues. (Thank you Karlin, for this forum!)

Blondiemonster
25th March 2011, 08:54 PM
Strange, when I brought Chamberlain to get a check-up before I bought him the vet I saw worked in New York City and said that 80% of the Cavaliers she saw had heart problems and she did not see a lot of SM



Is it a neurologists or a vet? Vets arent good at picking up SM symptoms. I guarantee you that most normal vets would not be able to tell there is something wrong with Blondie, normal people cant either.

Blondiemonster
25th March 2011, 08:54 PM
Hi Blondiemonster ..... please could you post the info you have from Dr Marino regarding PSOM ..... pretty please.

check email! :)

mommytoClaire
28th March 2011, 07:10 PM
So, what is the answer? Should all Cavaliers have MRI's even if they are only exhibiting symptoms that are extremely mild, like scratching, etc? Would the fluid reducers help in cases like this?

I remember after I got Claire my Vet telling me about some of the issues with Cavaliers that I might not be aware of (as I had mentioned MVD), as she knew Claire had a history we couldn't trace. She mentioned the issue with platelets, and the SM. In fact she mentioned a family that had 2 or 3 Cav's, of which one had SM and had just undergone surgery to help with. It was something my Vets had suspected, and sent the family on to a specialist.

Since I'll never know Claire's heritage, I do worry about things like SM/CM. I watch her like a hawk. And though she is like Pat's little one (her and the cat are constantly up to antics of all sorts) and has never appeared in pain, I don't want to be over zealous about every little scratch she makes.

The sad part for many of us, is that we have adopted dogs that we'll never know 'the whole story on'. And these dogs still needed homes.

I do wonder if people having the information, on SM/CM, will change things. I think many think their dog will never have it. And others are put off with the costs of MRI's and whatnot. Obviously, if the breeders don't have 'buyers' because people become aware, it could/would change things. But, I think unfortunately, this is a long, long process. And yes, awareness is the first step. But, there are still those that won't listen, and just buy the breed because they are so cute.

Of course, in the US, if we can get rid of the stores that sell puppies, it will no longer give the puppy mills a place to sell their dogs. And I hope that most legtimate breeders care more about the long term health of the breed, and will take the necessary steps to stamp out this horrible disorder!