View Full Version : Update on Abbey

9th May 2011, 07:24 PM
As many of you know, my dear Abbey had surgery approximately 2 years ago--was 2 years in March. She has been on omeprazole, gabapentin and prednison since her surgery and doing relatively well. She of course still shows symptoms and has permanent neuro damage from being misdiagnosed for so long. We recently noticed that her back legs are shaky. Unfortunately, the neuro that did her surgery from Auburn U in Alabama is no longer there--he is now at Mississippi U which is 400 miles from here. I have a call in to my vet and have also emailed Dr. Shores at Mississippi and I think they will probably do a phone consultation. So in case she has really gone downhill fast I want to prepare myself as its going to literally kill me to hear that she has gotten bad. I want to be positive as she's still a happy dog but I'm getting nervous and I've always said I will never let her be in pain.

So feedback?

Kate H
9th May 2011, 08:31 PM
There is a possibility that Abbey's shaky back legs are not related to her SM - Cavaliers seem fairly prone to other spinal and disk problems. My Oliver, for example, has spondylosis (osteo-arthritis of the spine) which produced wobbly back legs - and complicated the issue! - just at the time he was diagnosed with SM. He copes very well with it but still walks a little stiffly with his hind legs a bit far apart to balance himself. Doesn't stop him running across rough grass, climbing over ditches, jumping onto furniture or doing anything else he wants to do!

Hope your vet and neurologist can get it sorted.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

9th May 2011, 10:33 PM
My advise is not to assume the worse. Like kate said, it could be a number of things which to me seems hard to diagnose through a phone consultation. I don't know exacty where you are located and I hate dr. Shores moved but I would either look up the board certified neurologists on www.cavalierhealth.org at the ones in red. I'm not sure who is now at auburn but imo, I would see a specialists even if not dr. Shores to get accurate diagnosis.

I'm so so sorry but hopefully you will get some answers

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

9th May 2011, 11:04 PM
Dr. Sorjonen is there now and did Maggie's surgery. We really liked him. He's also listed on the SM infosite.

Jasper and Holly
10th May 2011, 04:27 AM
Hope Abbey is ok. Fingers crossed for you.

10th May 2011, 09:27 AM
Good to hear from you again, Linderbelle, and so glad that Abbey has been leading a good life after her surgery 2 years ago.

I'm another one with an SM-affected Cavalier with weak hindlegs, but who also has degenerated disks, so we just can't know what is causing what. Megan was diagnosed in 2007 and is now 12 years old and still leading a contented (though obviously less active) life, so please don't despair too soon.

Let us know what the consultant says and good luck hugs to you and Abbey.

10th May 2011, 11:22 AM
Hi Linda,
Its great to hear from you again. I'm glad to hear that Abbey is hanging on in there - hopefully her shaky legs can be sorted out easily and that it's not a sign that her sm is progressing.
Will you let us know how you got on with the neuro?
Best wishes....

10th May 2011, 12:51 PM
I contacted Dr. Shores in Mississippi yesterday by e-mail and we agreed that a good starting point is to take her to my vet today and then the two of them do a phone consultation to go from there. Yes I know there are other neurologists at Auburn and her records are there etc. but if I have to take her somewhere I'm really leaning towards Dr. Shores but unfortunately he is now 400 miles from me. I feel he knows her as he has seen her numerous times and wouldn't just be working from her records. He did her surgery etc. I know it can be numerous things and she does have neurological damage from being misdiagnosed for 5 years--one of which is scoliosis which maybe this has something to do with. I will try to post tonight from home and if not will certainly tomorrow morning. It is so hard to get in here these days as I'm still working for my husband part time and hold another full time job--just not enough hours in a day anymore. Thanks for the advice all. It helped ALOT.

Love my Cavaliers
10th May 2011, 09:00 PM
Well Linda I wondered what had happened to you. I was hoping that Abbey was OK. If it's not one thing, it's another with these dogs! I hope you get some answers today. Hopefully it's not related to a downward spiral of her SM. Please let us know what the specialists say. We're all anxious to hear. Riley's doing great by the way.

11th May 2011, 02:47 PM
Bev I'm certainly busy but I love it--had way too much time on my hands before--the reason why I was on here so much--lol.

Anyways, took Abbey to vet late yesterday afternoon. He x-rayed her and ruled out any disc problems etc. and said he would call Dr. Shores last night and would give his cell # so I imagine they will hook up today and my vet will call me as soon as he talks to him. My vet did say she looked happier than she did before and she is happy and I don't feel she's in any more pain than before but just concerned about the shaky leg deal. I know Dr. Shores would love to mri her again but we shall see what happens. I will post as soon as I know more.

Margaret C
12th May 2011, 12:04 AM
So nice to hear from you again and know that Abbey is still relatively okay. She has been such a little Wonder Dog.

My one and only Tommy has very weak and shaky back legs. I have always presumed that it is due to his SM.

12th May 2011, 02:51 PM
Gentle hugs to Abbey :hug: Lovely to hear from you and hope Abbey will be ok.

12th May 2011, 04:26 PM
I still haven't heard anything from my vet. I know him and know that he called neuro right away although there is the possibility that something has prevented that. I will call this afternoon to see why no call.

Margaret--how long has yours been like that?

Margaret C
12th May 2011, 04:59 PM
I still haven't heard anything from my vet. I know him and know that he called neuro right away although there is the possibility that something has prevented that. I will call this afternoon to see why no call.

Margaret--how long has yours been like that?

Tommy ( age ten ) has had shaky legs for well over a year. Sometimes they appear dreadfully weak, other times the shake is almost non-existent. He also gets very twitchy sometimes, a real noddy dog, but Clare Rusbridge did not think that was SM, but another peculiarity of aging cavaliers.l

Matthew ( age 11 ) and William ( age 14 ) also had SM and both developed very shaky legs.

I suppose that one should be careful drawing too many conclusions as all three developed severe MVD murmurs, so perhaps the weakness in the hind quarters could also relate to general weakness caused by heart problems.

I hope you get some answers soon.

12th May 2011, 08:42 PM
Heart problems can definitely be associated with weak legs; have seen that listed a few places. My Lucy is noticeably wobbly on her hindquarters now, with an advanced grade murmur.

Leo is a bit wobbly from SM -- has never had great hind leg strength and easily loses his balance if say he jumps up on a lap (so I always have to be ready to stabilise him!).

So I would guess that if she is doing well otherwise, the problem is probably minor and associated with the SM over time, or another cause.

16th May 2011, 06:27 PM
Hi everybody. My vet and her neuro have been playing tag for days and they finally connected this weekend. I heard by e-mail from Dr. Shore this a.m. requesting what meds she's on. He did also say from speaking with her vet that he's not overly alarmed and wants to help us find a solution. Stay tuned. With luck I may not have to go to Mississippi--not sure I would at this point with all the flooding going on. I will post as soon as I hear the plan. Thanks!!!

23rd May 2011, 01:26 AM
My vet called on thursday and told me that Dr. Shores wanted an x-ray of her stomach so hubby took her in. I imagine my vet mailed the x-rays to Dr. Shores on friday so hopefully soon we will hear something of the plan that Dr. Shores has.

14th June 2011, 07:45 PM
I still know nothing.

I need to get with regular vet to figure out what to do.

[edited by admin to remove personal comments about an individual. If people wish to PM or email you privately for an update, that is fine. :thmbsup: -- Karlin]

19th June 2011, 04:42 PM
Ok all I have heard from Dr. Shores and we're trying to come up with a plan as I'm having surgery in 9 days and will be down for awhile--knee replacement. Yesterday I was able to get a great video of what we are dealing with and I know I will get some great feedback from ya'll.

Go to:


This is more prevalent with her when she is excited and as you can hear from the background all dogs were barking demanding breakfast. This was the first thing yesterday morning.

19th June 2011, 05:37 PM
To be honest? I think part of the problem is very likely that she looks quite obese, coupled with her SM and existing neurological damage pre-surgery -- her hind legs may simply now not be able to manage the weight she is carrying in any coordinated way, if she already has neurological deficits.

I know a heavy westie who nearly had to be put down because he was carrying a lot of extra weight which had caused spinal damage that was making his hind legs very wobbly in a similar way -- you could see the effect in an xray and it was very serious: the vet was not even sure he would not need to be euthenised; his one chance was to take the weight off and see if he would recover some ability to move around (he couldn't by then even raise his leg to pee). He is still around and lost about a third of his overall weight, but has permanent disability from the issues the extra weight caused.

Have you talked to an orthopedist about what may be going on? I just wonder whether this anything at all to do with her SM and may be her weight; or if there's a cause and affect with the weight maikng it hard for her to manage to walk if she already had existing damage.

Also she seems unable to get any kind of grip on the smooth wood floor which won;t be helping the situation -- I'd be sure to clip out all the hair from between her foot pads etc or have a groomer do this so that she isn;t sliding on her fur, and also then get something on the floor like those plastic walkway strips you can place on carpets, or area rugs/runners. My friend did this for her elderly labs when they found it difficult to get any grip on a wood floor and she was afraid they would fall and hurst themselves. Is Abbey finding it this hard to get to her feet when on carpet as well?

If it turns out she cannot recover the use of her legs there are small carts you can get for them but this would be very hard for her if she is hauling extra weight -- you'd want to get her quite fit and lean. :)

For her health overall and to help give her every chance to recover some ability to walk normally, I would really focus on getting about a third of her weight off gradually. Especially if she isn't getting much exercise given her disability, I'd maybe halve her food -- she cannot burn off the calories she would have had as a norm in the past.

19th June 2011, 06:12 PM
Hi Karlin:

The vet of course has mentioned her weight and for some reason she has gained alot of weight this past year. Probably because she's lazy. We are working on it. She gets a very small treat in the a.m. and a very small one at night and have decreased her food. It's going to take awhile to get it off of her. Very interesting that you say this. Has me deep thinking here. We don't have any carpet in this house so don't know on that one. In regards to her feet I do groom her myself so will make sure as she's overdue as I've been delaying it as want to get it done right before my surgery but I don't think that's the problem as she's bee doing this for awhile but it IS getting worse so maybe that is why. Wouldn't I feel dumb if it was that. In regards to her weight we used to feed 1/3 cup in the a.m. and 1/3 at night and hubby is the one on the treats scene so I have no idea why he has been giving her. Its hard to knock into his head that these guys are just like approximately 15 pounds or Abbey 20 and its not like giving something to a 150 pound person. He's taken her to the vet lately because its easier for him than me regarding work.

In order to get weight off her as quickly as possible what would you give. I don't want to starve her and with her on steroids she is hungry.

Thanks for replying Karlin--sure has my head thinking.

19th June 2011, 06:38 PM
I'm sorry you are having these problems but i have to agree with Karlin that I think the weight is at the very least exacerbating the issues. :( If you look back to your own videos of her after her op, she is considerably smaller then but looks like she was already carrying a bit of weight?

It is hard when they are on steroids, they are going to be constantly hungry unfortunately. I don't know that it is laziness to be honest, with her health issues and weight it will be hard for her to get around.

What are you feeding right now? I think you feed dry food? If you want to feed a dry food, maybe find something high in oats that will help fill her up. YOu can also give lots of veg, search on the board for suggestions, but carrot is good,also green beans, frozen sweetcorn [never give the cooked cobs as these can cause a blockage]

Alternatively go for a raw diet so avoiding unnecessary carbohydrate.

You could also try feeding her food in a kong or some kind of food dispenser, so she has to work at it - will keep her occupied for longer - you can feed some of the raw in a kong too!

There is something you can apply to floors to stop them being so slippery, will look it up

Also it does look like her paws need trimming - I do mine every month - the extra fur will make it hard for her to gain traction. You can also use paw wax on her paws - Karlin has made some good suggestions too.

Could you put them outside when you are getting meals ready, so she is not getting quite so excited and having some of these problems?

If she is having problems standing like this, maybe help her by passing a towel under her belly and gently raise her to her feet, she will hurt herself even more by doing what she is doing right now :(

19th June 2011, 06:45 PM
PS scroll down on here on Laura Lang's site for a photo guide to ideal weight


Love my Cavaliers
19th June 2011, 06:51 PM
Poor little Abbey. She has just the sweetest face. To be honest, she gets twice as much food as my biggest boy Oliver, who weighs in at 25 pounds. He gets 1/3 cup once a day. Any more and he would be Mr. Tubbo. I also give him green beans in his food as a filler. Sure, he's always asking for food, but he only gets a biscuit treat around 5 p.m. and he knows how to tell time!!! During the day, I will give him some fresh fruits and vegies if I'm in the kitchen. Riley is also on steroids and I was aware of the tendency to put on weight with them, so i had to just ignore her big brown pleading eyes - she weighs basically the same as when she had her surgery 3 years ago. Good luck and keep us updated.

19th June 2011, 07:16 PM

This is very tough to say without sounding unkind and insensitive (and I've been accused of that recently!).

Abbey is morbidly obese, and that extra weight will take roughly three years off of her life even if she were healthy in every other way and SM was not a factor. The combination of weight, hardwood floors and her disability from SM pretty much makes it impossible for her to safely walk - she just can't get the traction she needs. When she slides around as she does in the video, she is much more likely to suffer additional damage to her spine and joints. She may also be coming to the age where general arthritis and degenerative disk disease are also playing a part in her rear weakness.

You are FAR from the only member here in this situation. I often cringe when I look at photos and videos of many (most?) Cavaliers here and I never say anything because it would be seen as being "mean." Weight is something totally in control of the owner, and the answer is to simply find a good quality food and feed less of it until you see a steady and gradual weight loss. There is no magic food or anything else - simply a good quality of food (not a "diet" food) and the right amount. Abbey is not "lazy" - she is eating too much. The prednisone is a huge problem in your situation because of the appetite increase - you have a tough situation because of the steroids and the inability to do much exercise. The "right" amount of food is the amount at which you see results. You will feel as if you are "starving" her and she will act as if you are - it's obvious that she (like most) loves her food! So you've got a difficult decision, and you need all members in your home to get on board.

Hardwood floors are a curse to dogs everywhere - since they are in vogue in US homes, I've seen more and more and more problems for dogs. Any dog other than a young, very fit dog has problems walking on slick floors. Even young dogs slide when running on hardwood floors, and owners think it is amusing. It is not as they can hurt themselves. Are there any surfaces in nature other than ice that mimic a slick floor? I always seem to have geriatric dogs in my house, which is why I have resisted changing the (old-fashioned, out of style) carpeted rooms in my home to hardwood. I can do that when the dogs are gone and I'm ready to sell the house. Even my kitchen has rugs - I buy inexpensive room sized rugs at Garden Ridge or Home Depot and cover the kitchen. Dogs with any disability at all or past middle age simply shouldn't have to walk on slick floors. People keep senior dogs on slick floors for easy clean up and it just isn't fair. When I have older dogs on diuretics or with continence problems, I train them to use pooch pads (washable very sturdy reusable pads that also control urine odor very well). I've never had a senior dog that didn't quickly learn about pooch pads - even a blind dog. I would recommend that you purchase some inexpensive room sized area rugs and try them in the room where she spends most of her time. You might be amazed at how much better she will do.

Best wishes and good thoughts - esp. as you face your surgery,


19th June 2011, 07:26 PM
Obesity/overweight is a really big (no pun intended! :) ) issue with cavaliers. This breed is always hungry or will eat even if not, so a willingness to eat can never be used as a measure of whether the dog needs to be fed -- with very rare exceptions amongst individual dogs (in my experience only the rare adult has any self control, and most puppies will til about age 1).

Cavaliers will eat themselves to death -- literally. Like labs and some other breeds, they seem genetically to not have any internal 'switch off' for when they are full (which I have read somewhere as being the actual cause of this issue -- and no surprise a cavalier is on the bag for Royal Canin's low calorie food... :rolleyes: -- they are so well known for being overweight/obese; my vet says he rarely ever sees them in correct healthy weight :( ). I walk other dogs for other people and have friends with other breeds and absolutely none are as greedy and as constantly begging for food as cavaliers. That is why free feeding should never be done (it sets bad habits anyway -- the expectation of constantly available food) and many good breeders actually have an obesity exclusion in their puppy contracts -- as the breed is so prone to MVD, and any extra weight hurries on the condition, makes it worse and leads to an earlier death.

Laura Lang's site is excellent on correct weight. She has noted many times herself that vets can be the worst at advising owners on weight of their dogs -- many owners take it very personally if told their dogs are overweight so vets often tend to only say something when the dogs are seriously obese.

The most I feed any one dog is Jaspar (17lbs) -- who has a very high metabolism and is very active. He gets about 2/3rds cup of food a day. He runs like mad and gets a couple of very active playtimes every week. But as Laura says -- all dogs are different; some much larger dogs need less than that. Some smaller ones need more. I watch all their waistlines and lower/raise their food depending on how they are doing.

One thing for any dog owner -- never use the recommended amounts on the tin/bag as a standard. Almost always, they are way too high, and this is especially true of treats! The number of dog biscuits typically 'recommended' per day as ADDITIONS to a cavalier's regular meal would alone be 1.5 times the amount of calories I feed many of them as their ENTIRE caloric intake for the day. So that's like eating another meal and a half a day! Many treats are really really high in calories -- a whole pig's ear for example is equal to about 2 full meals. :yikes Most dental treats are very high in calories too -- a single Dentastix for a cavalier is nearly the calories of a full normal meal.

19th June 2011, 07:41 PM
I forgot she is on prednisone as well -- one common side affect is potential weight gain as it changes their ability to metabolise food well. That means even less food than normal and as much exercise as possible.

It might be worth discussing prednisone and whether something else might be used, with Dr Shores.

Dogs are definitely not naturally 'lazy'. Generally if they are reluctant to move about and be active it is because something hurts (likely with Abbey as she has a painful disease), they have not enjoyed outings for some reason (maybe a dog having attacked them etc or walks being too long/difficult), they have gained wright to the point where they are not interested in moving/they struggle to move and are uncomfortable because they are too fat already...

Eevery dog with SM is going to be different. If an individual cannot do much exercise because of pain and disability, we must respect that and therefore cut back on food to address the fact that they get too many calories for what their bodies can burn off.

Obesity is an absolute killer. A recent study on labs estimated an overweight dog loses four years of life. :(

19th June 2011, 07:54 PM
Recent pet health information (http://www.askavetaboutpetcare.com/) data in various animal species provides new insites into the genetic basis of obesity. Certain breeds are significantly predisposed to obesity. Some examples: Cairn terriers, West Highland white terriers, Scottish terriers, Shetland sheepdogs, bassett hounds, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, daschunds, beagles, cocker spaniels, and Labrador retrievers. On the other hand, certain breeds like the various sight hounds appear to be resistant to developing obesity. Have your dogs health care or Wellness exam done at least once annually and catch problems early.
In summary, take care of your petís preventative health care with body weight control, moderate exercise and use of Nutraceuticals (http://www.askavetaboutpetcare.com/nutrimax.html)like chondroitin/glucosamines as in Dasuquin, Omega 3 FA like Welactin Omega 3 FA, superoxide dismutase like Oxstrin and SAMe as in Denosyl for long term help in all organ functions.


A couple of handy charts:




Karen and Ruby
19th June 2011, 08:47 PM

The drugs these little ones have to endure do take a toll and I remember Ruby pilling on the pounds. I was completely oblivious to how chunky she was getting until our Obedience trainer called her a Pudding and said she was tubby.
Yes I was taken aback and really offended but I weighed her and realsied she had pilled on 2 kg in about 9 months.

I am lucky that I live alone and I'm the only person in charge of her feeding but she is an absolute glutten around food and she gets very very demanding about her food as well.

I put her on Burns High Oats which is for over weight dogs and she only got 75grams a day split in to 2 meals. I also weaned her on to raw vegetables (something that she absolutely refused to eat for quite a while) by buying the frozen Natures Menu Veggie Nuggets. They also do a mix nugget which includes a meat of some kind (your choice) which also helps to get them on the veggies. Slowly but surely she started to really enjoy the raw veg which is a blessing as she now has them as snacks.

Green Beans, Brocoli, Sweet Potato (cooked though) carrots, fruit aswell.

I maintain her on 70% ish of the recommended allowance and bulk it up with lots of veg and boiled chicken as a treat a few times a week so as she doesn't feel too hard done by.

I have managed over two years or so got her from 12.2 kg at her heaviest to just under 10kg, I'd still like to get her down a little bit more but all the time she is active Im happy with that and the Vet has said he is very happy with her weight.

She is pretty fluffy at the mo but she could still use a few more grams off of her!

http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/260124_10150215614548671_684988670_7442832_1599203 _n.jpg

On the days where she is feeling un well and doesn't really get up I just feed her half the amount she would normally have.

The only treats she has are rawhide chews and treats I use for training is homemade liver cake so I know exactly whats in it!

I hope this helps she is such a beautiful little lady and good luck with the surgery and hope the vets come up with an answer for you both!!!!

19th June 2011, 11:28 PM
Dang it just spent 20 minutes typing and network went down. grrrr.

Thank you all for your honesty and I expect honesty. Ok they are on Taste of the Wild and the recommended feeding is:

10 to 20 lb.: 2-1/3 to 3-3/4 cups per day at 6 to 12 weeks, 2 to 3 cups per day at 3 to 4 months, 1-1/3 to 2-1/3 cups per day at 5 to 7 months, 1 to 1-3/4 cups per day at 8 to 12 months, 3/4 to 1-1/3 cups per day for adult dogs

Obviously the problem is treats and somebody mentioned dental treats.. Hmmm we started this year giving them greenies so I bet that has contributed to the problem ALOT.

I want to keep the routine of twice a day feeding as they expect that and it will be a nightmare to change it as these guys know how to tell time. We are going to give carrots and we have treats that are probably a fifth of the size of what they are getting now so will give two of them a day.

Now how much do you all recommend to feed them per feeding? 1/4 cup?????

In regards to hardwood floors we actually put them in because of the dogs. We don't have carpet anywhere.

In regards to throw rugs I gave up on them as some here think they are pee pads.

Yes she is bigger than pre-surgery. Its been the last year. We can't get her off prednisone--we tried and it was a nightmare.

Thanks all--I'm sick right now--got a cold yesterday and feeling pretty rough right now and praying I get better in a week as surgery is 9 days away.

You guys rock!!!!

20th June 2011, 09:45 AM
I feel strongly that the posts on this thread concerning diet, weight, and hardwood/laminated floors are SO important that they should be repeated in some of the other sections so that as many people as possible can read them.

Forgive me if you have already done it, Karlin/Nicki, but if not, would you consider doing so - even making them stickies perhaps?

20th June 2011, 12:29 PM
I'm home sick from work today so rereading everything. In regards to hardwood floors I'm in a pickle as we spent 15 thousand putting these floors in 2 1/2 years ago and did it just because of the dogs. I love hardwood floors but I would have only done the kitchen and dining areas. My dogs are of course potty trained but the accidents on carpet because of not wanting to go outside when raining was a pain. I know if I put scatter rugs about they will be peed on. Two of my dogs were older when I got them and they are the problems. One was a year and the other was 2 or 3. Bare with me as I'm pretty sick right now and my head is foggy. Hubby is on-board now lets say and is scared. By chance does anybody know if there are any kind of socks or shoes we could get her to make it easier and where she couldn't get them off easily. I have so much junk going on in my life wih surgery coming up in a week. Don't ever be afraid of hurting feelings. I do believe in telling the truth but I feel there is a right and nice way to talk about obesity etc. and there is a cold-heart way to deal with it. You all did not hurt my feelings at all. I guess I knew she was fat but I didn't realize she was obese and her health was at danger because of the way we are feeding her and we are the ones that are giving her the food.

Thanks all. I still don't know quite what to feed her. This am I used the 1/3 measuring cup but it was probably 2/3 full. Last night at bedtime gave her more or less a bit over a crumb which I sure got the look on that one.

20th June 2011, 01:00 PM
H Linda,
Sorry to hear that you are sick and I hope that your surgery goes well for you next week.
It's always the same - everything seems to happen at once doesn't it, you poor thing. :hug:

I had a quick look online and found this website that sells disposable dog boots, they might be worth having a look at:

With regard to getting Abbey's weight down, it will be hard for her because of the steroids. It's so unfair, they make hungry dogs even hungrier. Adding fruit and veg to her food will help, I also give my guys unsalted rice cakes, I'm not sure if you get them in the US? I can buy them here in the supermarket and also in health food shops. I personally hate the things, but they are very low calorie and add a bit more variety to the food too, adding rice cakes, fruit and veg to the bowl of food means she still has things to eat, even if her kibble has been reduced.

I hope everything gets back on track and wish you well with your surgery

20th June 2011, 01:08 PM
I don't know if you can get something like this - Paw safe http://www.floorsafedirect.co.uk/paw-safe-60-p.asp

It's a coating you apply to the floor

The high gloss clear anti slip polish works by encapsulating a minute, barely visible polymer bead. Once dry this bead creates friction under your petís paws that will reduce the chance of your pet slipping...
Suitable for: Wood, Laminate, Vinyl and Stone.

I haven't tried it yet, it was advertised in Dogs Today and is the first time I've seen anything like that. It's supposed to last up to a year so that is really good. There's only one review but he seems pretty pleased with it!

I'm sorry you are feeling so poorly and do hope you get over it quickly, last thing you want is to have your surgery postponed :( Good luck with the surgery.

For now, get her hair trimmed underneath as soon as possible, get some paw wax from the pet shop or online, the boots look good but I'm a bit concerned about something on their feet all the time, especially with Syringomyelia as many of them obviously have strange sensations in their paws and this may aggravate them - again your pet shop might have something similar?

20th June 2011, 02:13 PM
I just thought of something. Abbeys rear legs are weak. They shake so I think there is more to this than just the weight issue.

20th June 2011, 06:49 PM
I feel strongly that the posts on this thread concerning diet, weight, and hardwood/laminated floors are SO important that they should be repeated in some of the other sections so that as many people as possible can read them.

Forgive me if you have already done it, Karlin/Nicki, but if not, would you consider doing so - even making them stickies perhaps?

not yet Marie-Anne - will put it on my "to do" list - please feel free to kick me in a few weeks if nothing appears!

20th June 2011, 09:03 PM
Dr. Shores wrote today after seeing that video and this is what he wrote:

Thanks for the recent video -- it gives me a lot clearer picture of what
are dealing with. First impression ("gut reaction") is that this is
neuromuscular problem -- obviously I cannot say that with any
without an examination and especially in knowing what her reflexes
doing. Many (most) of the neuromuscular diseases (polymyositis,
related myopathies, polyneuropathies) are immune mediated. Again,
speculation on my part based on what I see in the video. I hope
helps some.

20th June 2011, 10:37 PM
That's pretty much what I think most of us were suggesting -- not that weight alone is likely to be the sole problem in her case, because these are so likely to be problems connected to SM and she already has had to remain on meds post surgery plus had damage already done prior to sugery. But weight alone can cause a hind leg collapse and will certainly be making all this far harder for her, as will slippery floors -- she is quite obese (in human terms, imagine having very bad knees or hips and having to carry around, say, a 25 lb bag of dogfood on your back and what that would do to the already poor joints). My guess is she likely needs to lose about a fourth to third of her body weight. I'd want to see whether some other approach than steroids might work but she also needs a considerable cutback in food as she cannot exercise much.

20th June 2011, 11:05 PM
I just thought of something. Abbeys rear legs are weak. They shake so I think there is more to this than just the weight issue.

It is likely a COMBINATION issue - combination of deficits from SM, possible degenerative/age issues related to arthritis, neurological disease and/or disk disease, carrying the extra weight which esp. makes it harder for her to get up, and lack of traction from being on slick floors. The combination of problems is causing her to lose her footing and go down as we saw in the video. If she only had to deal with one or perhaps even two of the issues she would be able to navigate better - i.e., if she were just overweight but had no SM deficits and had a different floor to walk on.

I've had multiple dogs with age related degenerative problems that simply could not walk on slick floors. They did fine on carpet.

I would recommend that you go to Home Depot and get a short pile bound piece of indoor/outdoor carpet or something cheap in a room size - like 10 by 12 feet and put it down in one of the rooms where Abbey spends a lot of time just to see if it makes a difference. These bound carpet pieces are really cheap - like $50. I'm not talking about scatter rugs which generally slip anyway and aren't going to be big enough to make a difference. You can also get cheap runners at HD which are low pile or berber or indoor/outdoor and run them into the kitchen. If the dogs pee on them you can trash them after a couple of months but at least you'll know if this is part of the problem. Scatter rugs are pee magnets but a 10 x 12 very flat pile or indoor/outdoor carpet might not be so attractive. If it's the boys that mark, you can put belly bands on them. I've had to make these kinds of modifications for teenaged dogs and the house doesn't look great with the kitchen floor covered by cheap rugs but it made a huge difference in quality of life for the oldies. Right now my house looks nice with no handicapped accommodations but it will change again when necessary. My Susie had DM (degenerative myelopathy) and couldn't walk at all (complete inability of rear end to hold her weight) for the last year or so of her life, but we made accommodations that worked for her and her quality of life was good until cancer took her when she was 15 last spring. I had two large dogs in the past with DM, and it was so much easier to deal with Susie at 15 lbs with this neurological disease than with the large dogs. I understand now that DM is much more common in small breeds than I ever suspected.


21st June 2011, 02:15 AM
I think you guys have nailed this. George picked up at Petsmart today some leather booties for her and we've had them on her back feet and I haven't seen her fall once. She of course thinks they are ackward and have seen her kick her feet backwards but I think we have found the culprit. We will be working on getting weight off of her etc. You guys rock so much and always there when I need you. Hugs to you all. I feel bad as I can't give this site the time that I used to but those days are gone with working full time and still doing hubby's bookeeping. I never had any idea that hardwood floors were so hard on dogs. Another thing learned from Cavalier Talk.


24th June 2011, 01:30 AM
One other thing: with hardwood floors, make sure the nails are kept quite short. Sammy is also on prednisone (am trying to phase him off it onto Lyrica at the moment), and this might sound crazy, but it seems to make his nails grow double speed. One day I noticed him slipping around on the hardwood and realized that his nails were too long to grip properly. I need to trim quite a bit more off his nails per session than I used to.

Sammy also gained weight due to prednisone - about 5 pounds, despite a decrease in kibble portions. Changing his diet to wet canned food brought him right back down. Kibble is very calorie-intensive. The wet food isn't great for his stool though :eek:

24th June 2011, 05:09 PM
I'm taking a couple days off work to prepare for surgery and today on the agenda is bathe 4 dogs and groom them. I just finished bathing Abbey and I almost cried in there. I had a heck of a time. She didn't even want to stand and at times I literally had to hold her up with one hand and the nozzle in the other hand. As I looked at her I looked at her in a way I never had and I want to call my husband and tell him what I'm feeling right now but I know he would lose it. As I looked at her with her tongue hang out from damage pre surgery and unable to stand I said "omg and now I am crying"--is it time. Is she living any more? now i have completely lost it. I want to call my vet but he's out of town. I can't even see the screen right now.