View Full Version : SM or Cauda Equina? Sorry, very long post

Love my Cavaliers
13th May 2011, 06:36 PM
Well my fourth cavalier is now going to be seeing our friendly neighborhood neurologist. i thought I could escape having him see all of my dogs, but no such luck. Madison is 7.5 years old and is Riley's half sister. Riley is my severly affected SM dog. Up until this time I thought Madison was fine, but she had an incident two days ago and then when I looked over her history I realized things weren't adding up.

Two days ago on her walk, half way home, she suddenly started walking sideways and then twice her rear end collapsed. She was very distressed about it and whimpered and cried, so I carried her the rest of the way home. Of course at home, she was walking very normally and acting normally. i did take her to the vet right away, who found nothing wrong, of course, but said if it happened again to take her to the neurologist.

Well, I started thinking about her history. About 6 months ago, she was having trouble jumping, which the vet assumed was arthritis so put her on Rimadyl which did help. I took her off Rimadyl in January since she seemd much better. She uses the stairs I got for Riley to get on and off the bed, which at first I thought was cute, but maybe there's another reason for it. Maybe it hurts her to do too much jumping.

Another piece of the puzzle is that when she pees on a walk she always whimpers. I thought it was because she didn't want to slow down and let the other dogs get ahead of her, but she does it consistently when she is on a walk by herself also. She also pees at night pretty consistently and wears a diaper. She was spayed before her first heat at around 8 months old. The peeing did not start for several years after (can't tell you how many) and she has been checked out thoroughly by an internist. Everything is in the right place anatomically and is in good working order and no medication helped and we tried many. She also is incontinent during the day sometimes, which I've just started to realize. There is a bed that all the dogs lie on in the family room and I've had to start washing it at least once a week. Can't be sure it's her, but I would bet money on it.

So my question - a doggie know-it-all friend of mine said it sounds like cauda equina vs. SM. Does anyone know anything about cauda equina? She displays no SM symptoms except the rear leg weakness, no scratching (but Riley never scratched either), and just the pain symptoms I described above. She has an appointment with the neurologist next Thursday, but I just thought I throw out her symptoms and see what people thought. Thanks for any input. Four dogs seeing the neurologist - unfair!!!!

13th May 2011, 09:09 PM
I was going to guess it might be back pain/spinal condition rather than SM, but it clearly needs a specialist to eliminate possible options. I haven't really heard of hind leg collapse like that with SM at all.

For people wanting to know more on caudal equine symptom: http://petsurgery.com/caudaequinasyndrome.html

It sounds like this would be the better option of the two, though it does sound as if a vet should have been able to initiate a pain response pretty easily if it were this? Sounds like an MRI would be needed to differentiate.

13th May 2011, 11:01 PM
I'm so sorry. Thinking of you

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14th May 2011, 03:10 AM
Thinking of and praying for you both.