View Full Version : Harley - Bad News

25th August 2011, 01:30 PM
Just talked to the vets.
In regards to his MRI shoulder and leg he has to send it off and wait for the report.
But he can tell me that Harley has severe CM/SM. All he could tell me at this point is that his syrinxe goes all the way and it is the worst case he has seen so far. (Donít know how many cases he has seen) We have to wait until the report comes back and take it from there, but there is no doubt in my mind that Harleys limping is coursed by SM and I feel so guilty that maybe the agility made it worse or speed up the process. Next thing is going to see a neurologist. Really I am still in the dark as I donít really know how bad it is. But I know itís not good.
I am just numb.

Brian M
25th August 2011, 01:42 PM
Hi Sabby

So sorry for you two ,but the last thing you should be feeling is guilt so dont be daft get those thoughts out of your
head .You two are twinned and Harley could not be in any better place OK.
Its been a horrible week for the two of us so you strenghen me and I hope I help you and dont forget Harley now is still
the Harley he was this morning ,yesterday and before and my Rosie has CM and chases her tennis balls all over but
Daisy never did ,so what, they are all different apart from them all being beautiful loving Cavaliers .Chin Up Sabs


PS roll on September.

25th August 2011, 01:45 PM

I was dreading hearing this :(

Don't feel guilty about the agility - now you know the diagnosis , I personally would not carry on with agility. We can't wrap them in cotton wool, they still have to have a good quality of life.

A long thin syrinx is actually better than short, fat ones - and asymmetrical ones are the worst.

When do you see the neurologist?

For now, there are lots of tips and ideas on here for managing symptoms, such as only using harnesses, raising food and water bowls etc. I was advised with Kayleigh to do a month's room rest - no running, jumping etc. On lead short walks - 10 minutes or so 3 times daily - we are having hte odd in between potty break. She is sleeping a lot of the time anyway - and I'm also keeping her amused with one of the Nina Ottosson toys. We are hoping this might settle things down a bit.

Have a look on Tania's site for more help too http://cavaliermatters.org/

Some dogs manage very well for many years on a combination of pain killers and of course some people opt for surgery, but don't rush into a decision - there is a lot to think about and you need to come to terms with the diagnosis first.

Give Harley a very gentle hug from us

Karen and Ruby
25th August 2011, 01:46 PM
Oh Sabby what a rotten time for you and your little ones.

I'm so sorry you have had this result with Harley but it does make me angry when I hear that Vets say things like that to people!

Even if it is the worst he has seen he shouldn't have said that to you- its a bad enough result as it is!!

Please don't feel guilty about the agility- no one knows what the future holds and he enjoyed every minute of it, as did Ebony and it isn't your fault that he has this- its what history has given us!

The limping will probably get better once he is on some treatment and he will probably end up running about as he always has done too!

Our dogs live for now and wrapping them up in cotton wool would make them miserable- so keep going for their sake and let them be dogs as much as they can be.

If you need anything don't hesitate xxxx

25th August 2011, 02:02 PM
Nicki Ė I will have to wait for the report next week (this is done by a specialist) and then I will know exactly how bad it is and also if there is something going on with his shoulder. I would like to see Claire Rusbridge but I donít know if there is another neurologist closer. I know the medication can be trial and error so I donít know if Claire is to far away.

In my heart I knew the outcome but you always pray that you are the one that can escape this terrible disease.

Thank you all for you kind words and it means a lot to me, Makes me feel not so alone.

Love my Cavaliers
25th August 2011, 02:31 PM
Oh Sabby, I'm so sorry. I was really hoping that Harley's limping was caused by a disc problem (Not that that's really any better). Just to put it in perspective, Riley's syrinx covers almost her whole spinal column and she still races about the yard. She does have rear limb weakness and can't jump and has trouble making it up even one step into the house sometimes. Getting them on the right drug cocktail seems to make all the difference in the world. And you're right - it's trial and error too. What combo and dosage works for one dog is often not right for another dog as the symptoms vary so much.

Take heart in that you're not alone through all of this. You've got lots of shoulders to lean on and cry on and to learn from. Hugs. :hug:

25th August 2011, 02:49 PM
Just talked to the vets.
In regards to his MRI shoulder and leg he has to send it off and wait for the report.
But he can tell me that Harley has severe CM/SM. All he could tell me at this point is that his syrinxe goes all the way and it is the worst case he has seen so far. (Don’t know how many cases he has seen) We have to wait until the report comes back and take it from there, but there is no doubt in my mind that Harleys limping is coursed by SM and I feel so guilty that maybe the agility made it worse or speed up the process. Next thing is going to see a neurologist. Really I am still in the dark as I don’t really know how bad it is. But I know it’s not good.
I am just numb.

So sorry Sab.. But if it makes you feel any better: our scan showed syrinx all the way down the spine too. And i know you read my good news" post, so that should tell you it doesnt necessarily mean anything. My neuro told me he has patients that make it till 12 with bad scans, on medication alone and they are still running around!!! If limping is his only symptom, i would guess harley is clinically doing pretty well!!!! Lynn

- Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Sydneys Mom
25th August 2011, 04:18 PM
Sabby, I'm so sorry you have received this news. I have no advice to give but wanted you to know that I will keep you and Harley in my thoughts. Once you get the full report, you will be able to better understand what Harley is dealing with and hopefully medication will give him the comfortable life he so deserves. He is in the best possible place right now....with you. :hug:

Margaret C
25th August 2011, 04:19 PM
Dear Sabby,

So sorry that your beautiful boy has got SM. Too many of us know what it feels like to hear that diagnosis.

It makes you think what it is like for owners that get this news when they know nothing about the condition and do not have somewhere like this to turn for advice or support.

You, like Brian, have had more than your share of bad news this year.
All I can say is your cavaliers are so fortunate to be owned, loved, and cared for by you.

25th August 2011, 04:59 PM
Oh gosh this makes me so sad :( I am so very sorry that Harley has SM. Please don't feel guilty. Harley has been so happy doing agility (I can see that from your pictures), you gave him that smile! I hope there is some meds they can give to help the pain.
Many hugs:hug:

25th August 2011, 06:39 PM
Hi Sabby

Sorry to hear the diagnosis of your lovely boy :(
Wishing you all the best of luck.

Kate H
25th August 2011, 07:44 PM
Hi Sabby

Sorry to hear your news. Would Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, or Cambridge Vet School be nearer than London? Both of these have specialist SM researchers. Or Geoff Skerritt in Chestergates, just north of Chester?

Don't feel guilty about letting Harley enjoy himself doing agility - I doubt if even Clare Rusbridge herself knows all the possible symptoms of SM, so it is VERY easy to miss them - we've all done it. And you know my Oliver - 10 years old and still tearing around the place, so let's hope medication will help Harley to be the same.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

25th August 2011, 08:09 PM
I am so sorry to hear about harley. Don't you dare feel guilty at all. I started a post before I even read this about remembering last 4th of july when I got really upset because I did not protect ella and let her have fun. I woud not change it because she enjoyed every minute.

I feel for you and I'm thinking of you

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

25th August 2011, 08:27 PM
I thought you might want to read about Minnie-May who still does agility even with SM. Even if that may not happen in the future, that's up to you to talk about with the neurologist but at least I hope it does not make you feel any blame. You did EXACTLY what you should have.

Thinking of you!


25th August 2011, 09:56 PM
Gracie never did agility activities but she also had "the worst case of SM seen in such a young dog" by two neuros. One of them has seen a LOT of MRIs. Even before surgery, just taking meds helped her so much. I can't imagine that agility activities would have made it worse or better, but Harley did have FUN. That is soooo important. Gracie chased frogs, butterflies, rabbits, beetles, etc. and had fun... and once she recovers enough, she will again. She is raring to go now! We are having to hold her back.

I think any of us getting this diagnosis, no matter how severe, is numb or shattered. We do not want our beloved Cavaliers to have this dreaded condition. But... it is what it is. Gracie has a severe case and she is doing so well after surgery that the ONLY times she scratches is when she gets super excited. I see no signs of pain or discomfort at all. We can go on short walks of 15 minutes now and does not scratch once.

But do go ahead and have a good cry... or several of them like I did. I go outside and scream.... I did that too. Then sit down with the neuro and talk about the options for Harley. We are here... and you KNOW we have opinions by the dozens.

25th August 2011, 09:59 PM
I'm so sorry you guys are having such a time of it. Do not blame yourself at all, doing agility with Harley has been a wonderful thing! If you need to curb or postpone it for a while, then do what you must. Harley is so lucky to have you as his mum! We're thinking of you and praying things will improve, it can only be uphill from here- as my mom says!:hug:

26th August 2011, 03:42 AM
I'm sorry you've received the dreaded news. But I hope you will take everyone's advise and NOT blame yourself in any way.

I know you'll do good by Harley, and hope that he responds to the Meds quickly.

26th August 2011, 11:16 AM
Well I talked to the vet again last night and I mentioned gabapentin. He said he wants to wait until he receives back the report next week as they also MRIíd his shoulder, leg and neck and also taken fluid out of his shoulder/bone. He is not convinced that Harleys limping is coursed my SM. He wants to see the whole picture. So now I am waiting yet again to find out exactly whatís wrong. I donít really want them to find anything else as I am just getting my head around SM and it be terrible if Harley would have to cope with an injury on top of SM.

27th August 2011, 11:07 AM
I am so sorry about your news. However, do not let it stop you and Harley doing things that you enjoy. One of Minnie's main symptoms was lameness, but once she was settled on the right medication she has not had an episode since last November.

I spoke to Clare in great depth about continuing with agility - although we do not do competitive agility. She said to do whatever Minnie felt like doing and at the end of the day do not wrap her in cotton wool. So we still go to fun agility once a week and Minnie still enjoys doing a couple of rounds over the course. :-)

Jasper and Holly
28th August 2011, 02:42 AM
Sorry to hear about your beautiful boy Harley. I always love seeing your beautiful photos. Thinking of you and hope he feels better soon.

28th August 2011, 05:29 AM
Sorry to hear about Harley, but agree with everyone else do not blame yourself about his agility. He was having fun and that is the most important thing. Hopefully when you get the full results and he is started on medication he will be feeling better.


29th August 2011, 05:19 PM
So sorry to hear about Harley. Hoping they will sort out the right medication for him and he will be back to his usual self x