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murphy's mum
31st August 2011, 07:13 PM
Seeing as Misty is being referred to a Neurologist I thought I would start a fresh thread in this forum.

We went tonight to see our new vet for a second opinion. I was very impressed with him I have to be honest. He asked me about why I was concerned, I described her symptoms, and then he performed a very thorough exam. In the two and a half years that Misty has been with our previous vet, she has never had an exam like it, not even when we first took her in after getting her.

He twisted and turned her head and limbs all different ways, ran his hands all over her, and tested her reflexes. His hands running up either side of her spine set off a serious of spasms like I have never seen before, but then we don't put any pressure on her spine at home. The reflex test has shown up some unexpected and worrying results. He says she has very poor reflex reactions in her hindquarter, the back right(as you are looking face to face with her) is the worst. She is painfully slow to flip her feet over, and shows little reaction when he whacked her knees. He said that if he wasn't going to refer her to a Neurologist he would be doing spinal x-rays on her, however he says the Neuro will check that out as he will list his concerns in a covering letter to them. I asked what could cause these poor reflexes and he said there was a number of thing. It could be related to SM, nerve damage(unrelated to SM) or even an old injury which was left untreated.

While I am relieved that he doesn't think I'm crazy, like my old vet, I am equally disappointed that he thinks it's SM, not to mention the lack of reflexes in her hindquarters. I'm sure anyone who has been in the position to be getting a referral can understand the mix of emotions that I'm feeling. And obviously I'm struggling with guilt that I never made the decision to get a second opinion earlier. I've got to stay strong for my little stinky princess though, so will try and remain positive. After all she's still my furbaby no matter what we find out.

I've already contacted AXA to get the pre-authorization form from them, so we just need to wait on the call from Glasgow now.

Sydneys Mom
31st August 2011, 09:01 PM
So glad you like the new vet, it seems like he covered all the bases and that he wants to work with the neruo to help Misty. Hopefully the pre-authorization won't take too long and you can get into the neurologist soon.

Love my Cavaliers
31st August 2011, 09:16 PM
For years, I talked to the vet about what I thought were little seizures Riley was having. I described them as best I could and also descibed her lack of balance and her her cute little head tilt and her rear limb weakness, but I guess I downplayed the severity of everything. Several times my vet asked me if I wanted a referral to a neurologist for her seizures but I said that they weren't severe enough for medication and she didn't push it. Finally she began to have then almost every day and I did ask for the referral but it was years after she began having them. The neurologist diagnosed her with SM just from his physical exam alone and from looking at her for 30 seconds. He also did do an MRI and found severe and advanced SM. I could have kicked myself for waiting years for getting her in to see a specialist. I just thought all of her behavior was just "quirky" or related to oxygen deprivation at birth (the breeder told me she had a very difficult birth and almost didn't make it).

The upshot of it all is that she finally got the treatment she deserved all those long years before and she is a happy dog now. She still has her health issues, but she enjoys life and that's all I ask for. She has lived for three years since her diagnosis and I certainly have looked at every one of those days as a blessing and as a gift that I never thought I would have once she was diagnosed. Don't blame yourself for not getting Misty in to a neurologist sooner or for even getting her a proper exam earlier. Guilt won't get you anywhere now. I know it's hard to let go of, but we've all been there in any number of situations. At least you're on the right track now. And like you said, she is still your little "stinky princess furbaby" no matter what!

Sabby
1st September 2011, 10:04 AM
I am glad you have found a good vet. He sounds a LOT better than your old vet.
Well I had exactly the same with Ebony in regards to the reflex tests. At some point she didnít flip her right foot back over at all. She had an MRI and they discovered 3 degenerated discs. She has also CM/SM but she is not symptomatic. With a lot of rest and painkillers she is doing ok now. I thought it would be the end of the world but the vet said so long I donít let her jump or go up the stairs she could be fine without spinal surgery. And he also said that as she has now recovered not to wrap her up in cotton wool and let her be a dog. And at the moment she is enjoying life to the full.

Donít forget we are all here for you.

murphy's mum
1st September 2011, 12:03 PM
Sabby I've dropped you a quick PM.

It just makes me even more mad at the previous vet. Not only have my fears over SM been brushed aside, they've missed this too.

Misty's always walked and ran different from Murphy. When it snowed last year I noticed she did sometime drag her toe on the worst affected leg. When mentioned to the vet he "checked" her knees, but not reflexes. Looking back I have never needed to trim her nails on her hindlegs dispite not walking on pavements a lot.


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Karlin
1st September 2011, 12:21 PM
At some point she didn’t flip her right foot back over at all. She had an MRI and they discovered 3 degenerated discs. She has also CM/SM but she is not symptomatic.

Hi Sabby -- who said that she isn't symptomatic? The inability to flip a foot over is a classic symptom of degeneration due to CM/SM. I would think it would be impossible even for an expert to say this was due to disc degeneration and not SM -- and certainly is beyond the skill of a vet. Testing foot reflexes by flipping them like this is actually one of the main clinical tests that neurologists do to check for SM and neurological deficits. For a dog that has CM/SM to any significant degree, I would guess that this is far more likely to be a visible symptom of that than of disc degeneration. Painkillers and rest would also help a dog with SM. If those reactions are due to CM/SM, it would make a difference for selecting treatment and pain relief and perhaps attempting to slow progression (eg with frusemide, cimetidine etc)

Kate H
1st September 2011, 12:25 PM
So glad things are moving with Misty and you're happy with your new vet. The first symptom Oliver had after his SM diagnosis was lack of reflexes in his right front leg - he started stumbling when out walking, especially after a long walk. He hardly ever stumbles now, so presumably the gabapentin helps that as well. He also has spondylosis (osteoarthritis of the spine) in 3 vertebrae, but that causes him no problems at all.

Hindsight is a great thing! I think we can all look back and see pointers that we missed at the time. Oliver has always squinted in strong light, changed position several times during the night, paced rather than trotted when he wanted to hurry (he still paces fast rather than runs - unless a rabbit, pheasant or squirrel crosses his path, when he will run very fast!). But would any of us have recognised these at the time as symptoms of CM/SM? I (and my vet) still didn't recognise any symptoms when he was scanned and his SM was picked up - I simply had a mini-scan done because several of his forebears had had SM, so the chances of Oliver having it seemed high and I wanted to know what was happening.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

GinnyK
1st September 2011, 05:55 PM
I'm sorry to read what you are going through. My Rudger has walked funny since he was a pup. He had a broken back in transit from Ireland (a whole other story) & bad hips. So we knew down the road he was in for some trouble. Vets predicted by the age of 5 he would be in a doggy cart. He will be 11 in December & is still not in one. But we just had him to a an Otho specialist & a neurologist. They suspected SM at first but he only has the back leg weakness so settled on the Spinal injury. We could have had a MRI but they told me at his age & knowing about the back injury it really did not warrant the expense.

They give him another year or 2 before we have to face putting him in a cart. Meanwhile they want him a little underweight & to have 3 - 10 minute walks a day to keep his muscles toned (they were surprised how strong his muscles were). He is to walk as fast as possible because a slow walk causes him to drag one back paw. We have been doing it a week now & he is doing pretty good. It saddens me to know what we face down the road, but we have faced so much with him over his 11 years. He also had mega-esophagus when we got him. We just couldn't send him back even though the person we bought him from said he would replace him. I'm glad because we have had so many wonderful years with him.

So there is hope. And I hope Misty does better than expected.

Sabby
1st September 2011, 06:08 PM
Hi Sabby -- who said that she isn't symptomatic? The inability to flip a foot over is a classic symptom of degeneration due to CM/SM. I would think it would be impossible even for an expert to say this was due to disc degeneration and not SM -- and certainly is beyond the skill of a vet. Testing foot reflexes by flipping them like this is actually one of the main clinical tests that neurologists do to check for SM and neurological deficits. For a dog that has CM/SM to any significant degree, I would guess that this is far more likely to be a visible symptom of that than of disc degeneration. Painkillers and rest would also help a dog with SM. If those reactions are due to CM/SM, it would make a difference for selecting treatment and pain relief and perhaps attempting to slow progression (eg with frusemide, cimetidine etc)


The surgeon that operated on Ebony also dealt with her disc problem. When he done the test 2 month after rest and painkillers her reflexes were back to normal. Thatís why I think he would think that the lack of reflexes were more due to her discs rather than her SM.

He has send the scan to Clare Rusbridge to see what she thinks and if Ebony would benefit from medication.

murphy's mum
1st September 2011, 08:15 PM
We're not going to be treating Misty any different, and it's obvious she doesn't feel any different :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvT4nLiQTi0

This was taken a few minutes ago using my iphone, hope it comes up okay, it's the first time I've posted on YouTube:rolleyes:

GraciesMom
1st September 2011, 11:11 PM
Your new vet sounds awesome! Wish he was near me. It is a hard enough time to go through without second-guessing yourself. Very few people know all the subtle symptoms and even fewer Cavalier owners would be out there hunting down info on how to help their dog. You are doing a great job and have Misty on the right track. No reason for guilt here missy!

mommytoClaire
2nd September 2011, 12:03 AM
What a great video.....having fun, just being a dog.

Don't blame yourself, we do the best we can. Give yourself a hug from Claire and I.

BrooklynMom
2nd September 2011, 10:51 AM
I love that video of Misty...they are amazing aren't they. They don't worry 1/10 as much a we do. Such a testament to their huge hearts and willingness to keep going, sometimes just for the sake of us :l*v:

I am so glad you have found a new vet that makes you happy and will get you all the help you need. I am on this road with Brooklyn right now, so I know how hard all these "what if's" can be. It is so hard to wait, so hard to imagine what it will be, so hard to even get in the car and go to a neurologist. But like GraciesMom said, there are very few people who fight this hard for their dogs and most don't even know what is wrong. You should be so proud of yourself. Brooklyn and I are very proud of you!!

murphy's mum
2nd September 2011, 03:32 PM
Oh thanks everyone :)

It's a shame the video doesn't have sound, or you could hear how ferocious she sounds. She never used to make a sound when we first got her, or play for that matter. But now she loves her mad half hour with Murphy.


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Reptigirl
2nd September 2011, 04:28 PM
Oh thanks everyone :)

It's a shame the video doesn't have sound, or you could hear how ferocious she sounds. She never used to make a sound when we first got her, or play for that matter. But now she loves her mad half hour with Murphy.


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I hear sound! LOL Sounds about like Blitz & Flash. Mine play the same way :p Holly is very quiet about it...not making a peep. Now Flash & Blitz are a different story. LOL People who don't know them think they are really fighting. :lol:

mommytoClaire
2nd September 2011, 04:54 PM
I heard sound too! Maybe someone turned down the volume on your computer.

Sydneys Mom
2nd September 2011, 05:14 PM
That's adorable. It certainly looks and "sounds" like they're having fun!

murphy's mum
2nd September 2011, 07:13 PM
Lol I'm really not good with technology, turned my volume back up icon_whistling

mommytoClaire
3rd September 2011, 03:02 AM
I love that smilie!

MMM
6th September 2011, 06:45 AM
Hi Murphy and Misty's mum. Haven't been on her for a while, sorry you're having such an awful time. Have you heard from Glasgow yet?
They are great in there, we saw a few of their vets, including Maria, when we went there with my mum's dachshund - he ruptured a disc in his back causing paralysis. My mum's vet advised it could happen over and over, especially given his age (he is only 9 and the dachshund we had when I was a teen lived to 18 ), so she was phoning me, extremely upset, to say she was going to have him put to sleep. Long story short, I did not concur with this prognosis so I took the rest of the day off work, collected him from montrose and took him to glasgow where he was given a 70 per cent chance of full recovery. That was a few months back, he's walking again without his sling and is quite happy thank you very much Glasgow.
Hang in there. Misty looks like she is coping :luv:

murphy's mum
7th September 2011, 06:18 PM
Haven't heard anything yet, but I hope I hear word soon. It's good to know how good they are though :)

murphy's mum
16th September 2011, 10:38 AM
I'm feeling very stupid this morning icon_blshing

I still hadn't heard from Glasgow regarding our referral, so I spoke to the vet last night. We must have completely got our wired crossed:bang: He was waiting on me bringing in the pre authorization form before asking for the referral, but I can't fill out the form until I get the referral. All sorted out now, but I can't believe I've wasted a fortnight over us getting our wires crossed.

So I'm still playing the waiting game, but I'm now hopeful I'll hear something soon :thmbsup:

murphy's mum
16th September 2011, 05:19 PM
:updte:

Just had Glasgow on the phone, we have our appointment on Monday the 10th October at 11:30am. The consult and the MRI should all be done that day, unless there is an emergency. We've to leave the Tuesday clear as a back up to get the MRI done, but fingers crossed it's all done on the Monday :D

MMM
17th September 2011, 07:19 PM
Good to hear you've got a date, keeping our fingers and paws crossed xxxx :lotsaluv:

Sabby
17th September 2011, 08:42 PM
Glad you have a date now. I know the waiting is terrible.

Nicki
17th September 2011, 08:50 PM
Great that you have a date and not too long to wait. What a shame about the mix-up :( but at least it's sorted now.

murphy's mum
18th September 2011, 10:07 PM
Yes, I'm feeling very relieved. I've got Stuart to book both days off so I'm not having to go up myself.

I posted the pre-authorization form off to Glasgow yesterday too, so AXA will have plenty time to make a decision on the claim.