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Karen and Ruby
19th September 2011, 09:48 PM
Hi All

My little man is off to see Clare again on the 6th October for a repeat MRI so we can see whether his CM has progressed any further.

As you all probably know by now Charlie is one of the unfortunate ones that suffer with CM. He was orginally scanned at 14 months and he is nearly 3 now and I would like to know what is happening and whether it has got any worse.

Of course I will be devastated if it has developed in to SM but it won't make any difference to him as he is already being treated for symptomatic CM.

Just got to wait and see :?

mommytoClaire
20th September 2011, 03:02 AM
I'll be saying a little prayer for him, that things havent progressed. You take such wonderful care of them Karen!

BrooklynMom
20th September 2011, 05:49 AM
Prayers here too. I hope everything goes okay...you are one good mama to keep everything in check and on top of what might be going on.

Can you tell me what "symptomatic CM" is? I am just learning the difference between asymptomatic and symptomatic SM, but I just don't know when it comes to CM what classifies symptomatic.
Sorry, so much to pack into my brain about this as my little Brooklyn travels down this road. There is endless stuff to learn!

Will be thinking of you on your appointment day!

Karen and Ruby
20th September 2011, 08:58 AM
Hi there, his symptoms are no different to that of my older SM dog. He scratches and claws at his face alot. He gets headaches and occasionally cries and groans. His ventricles were also very dialated on his first scan which to look at seems as though there are 2 giant black holes with in his head but the pressure from this must cause pain and he is quite light sensitive also and his eyes go bloodshot when he has a particularly bad day. At the time of his first scan there was no SM present and it is the syrinx that causes the damage with in the spine so he doesn't have the limping and other symptoms that attribute to nerve damage.

BrooklynMom
20th September 2011, 09:01 AM
Thanks for filling me in on that. Very interesting. It is all this information that I am adding to my mental Cav journal, so thank you for sharing :)

GraciesMom
20th September 2011, 03:29 PM
Very mysterious as to why, but it seems that dogs can have CM only and still show some major symptoms or none at all. Many symptoms can seem just like SM... I suppose the pressure caused by the malformation itself creates these.

I sure hope that Charlie's condition has not progressed. Keeping you in my prayers.

Kate H
20th September 2011, 06:59 PM
Oliver is much the same as Charlie - he does have a small syrinx but that seems to cause no problems. His very dilated ventricles (3 times the normal size) cause headaches and light phobia due to damage to or interference with the mechanism of his pupils - all symptoms caused by his CM.

Karen - does Charlie wear a sunhat when he squints in the sun? Charlie has a poplin baseball cap with a long brim and it really helps when he's sitting around in bright light (even sittng in shade but looking out at light) - when he's walking or running around his nose is always on the floor so his own eyelids protect him. He also has some doggles but so far hasn't needed to wear them.

Best of luck with the MRI,

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Sydneys Mom
20th September 2011, 07:20 PM
Already crossing fingers and toes hoping for good results. Sending prayers and good thoughts your way.

Sabby
20th September 2011, 07:32 PM
Hope that the results are good for your Charlie.
Once I meet Clare I knew my two were in good hands and that helped me put my mind at rest a little.

Karen and Ruby
20th September 2011, 08:02 PM
Oliver is much the same as Charlie - he does have a small syrinx but that seems to cause no problems. His very dilated ventricles (3 times the normal size) cause headaches and light phobia due to damage to or interference with the mechanism of his pupils - all symptoms caused by his CM.

Karen - does Charlie wear a sunhat when he squints in the sun? Charlie has a poplin baseball cap with a long brim and it really helps when he's sitting around in bright light (even sittng in shade but looking out at light) - when he's walking or running around his nose is always on the floor so his own eyelids protect him. He also has some doggles but so far hasn't needed to wear them.

Best of luck with the MRI,

Kate, Oliver and Aled


Hi Kate

I've never thought of a sun hat for him! He really doesn't like anything around his face or head though so not sure how he would take to that!!
I'll look in to it though so thanks!!

Karen and Ruby
20th September 2011, 08:04 PM
Oliver is much the same as Charlie - he does have a small syrinx but that seems to cause no problems. His very dilated ventricles (3 times the normal size) cause headaches and light phobia due to damage to or interference with the mechanism of his pupils - all symptoms caused by his CM.

Karen - does Charlie wear a sunhat when he squints in the sun? Charlie has a poplin baseball cap with a long brim and it really helps when he's sitting around in bright light (even sittng in shade but looking out at light) - when he's walking or running around his nose is always on the floor so his own eyelids protect him. He also has some doggles but so far hasn't needed to wear them.

Best of luck with the MRI,

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Hi Kate,

I didn't know caps for dogs exsisted but as Charlie hates anything around his head and face I doubt he would take to it!!

I'll look in to it though so thank you!!

Nicki
20th September 2011, 08:17 PM
Karen, wishing you the very best for Charlie's appt - so hope it hasn't progressed to a syrinx.





Can you tell me what "symptomatic CM" is? I am just learning the difference between asymptomatic and symptomatic SM, but I just don't know when it comes to CM what classifies symptomatic!

Sorry I'm hijacking Karen's thread here but thought this might help


Kayleigh was MRI scanned last month and we were very surprised that it showed "ONLY" CM. as she has at least as many symptoms and obviously pain as some of mine who did have syrinxes. I think it is so important to get this message across, that, like humans, they can suffer from "JUST" the malformation.

Symptoms:

History of turning around to look at her back end and sometimes chewing her thigh, or paws. Really unhappy at being groomed or having her nails cut [really distressed and crying when her nails were cut]. She didn't want to play nor chew her chewies.

On occasions she was obviously really uncomfortable, she was trying to get as nuzzled in to me as possible [her way of showing distress], couldn't settle, her tail was right down - she started vocalising a bit. She was started on Gabapentin [100mg] every 12 hours and once that kicked in she was much happier

On a walk, Kayleigh has always been the most active of the 3 littermates, she loves to run. She has always played really rough with her brother Tommy. She is now slower than the other two, not running very much, reluctant to get involved in play. She is very restless from the early hours of the morning until mid morning, I am aware of quite a few affected dogs who are restless overnight or in the early hours of the morning.

During the day she is sleeping or resting a lot, takes herself off into her bed or crate and lies quietly change in behaviour for her.


Anne [Anniemac] very kindly shared this blog http://embeecav.blogspot.com/2011/01...nd-chiari.html (http://embeecav.blogspot.com/2011/01/mylees-story-little-red-dog-and-chiari.html)


Mylee is a very loving little dog to those she knows, and is completely devoted to me.

She does not have the typical outgoing, friendly to all Cavalier personality. In fact she is incredibly reserved to those she doesn't know. She often shies away from a strangers touch, giving the impression she is not friendly or that she apprehensive. To strangers who know Cavaliers this always comes across as very strange. Is her temperament off? Was she not properly socialized? Why doesn't she want to say hi to me? Cavaliers should love everyone!

The truth is; Mylee is afraid that a strangers touch will hurt. She is afraid that you will touch her in the wrong spots. She doesn't trust that you know how to scratch her on her chest and back and leave her head and ears alone. She is afraid that you will hurt her.




That described Kayleigh - every word applies to her. We say that she goes up to people to show them how beautiful she is, but they're not allowed to touch her :( Just shows how much we are learning all the time...although my other affected Cavaliers were wary of touch, it was not to this extreme.




My affected dogs have generally hated things going over their heads - we just about manage a bib but that's fairly loose. Not sure how they would cope with a sun hat but it's good that it helps Oliver.

Karen and Ruby
20th September 2011, 08:37 PM
No apology nesesary Nicki,

I think it's so important that people realise that CM can be just as troublsome as SM. Many dogs are in pain because of it and the days of "oh just CM thats good news" should be dead and gone!!

On another note that statement you posted from Anniemac is almost as though it was written about Ruby. She will go up to people that speak to her but she gets with in a couple of inches then stops and goes in the opposite direction. Not because she is unfriendly as she is such a perfect Cavvie but because too many people don't understand that stroking her head hurts!

Tania
20th September 2011, 10:03 PM
I don't want to sound like a stuck record.

Dougall cm, Molly sm. Dougall has all sorts of problems and seems to suffer more pain than
Molly. We are finally managing it but I have to watch him like a hawk.

Will keep my fingers crossed for Charlie. If you want any company Karen, let me know.

Margaret C
20th September 2011, 10:15 PM
I hope there has not been any progression.

I will keep my fingers crossed for Charlie :xfngr:

Kate H
20th September 2011, 10:57 PM
Continuing the CM symptoms part of this thread, I had Oliver at a year old and he already squinted a little in strong sunlight or indoors under fluorescent light, changed position several times in the night, and has never played with other dogs - he'll go and say hello but that's it, perhaps because he is worried about being banged into. I would guess that he has always had some degree of headache; he never minds having his head or neck touched, but then he is a very laid back dog who takes life (and his sunhat!) in his stride and is also, I would say, pretty stoical - I only know when he's got a headache because he whimpers in his sleep, apart from closing his eyes and looking uncomfortable when facing strong light. He's getting sensitive to any strong light now, white cloud as well as sun.

I sometimes wonder whether CM is the primary disease, and a syrinx is just one among many possible symptoms of it, rather than a separate disease in its own right. Certainly there seems to be a growing recognition that CM alone can be just as much of a problem.

Having read an article by a woman who had surgery for SM, who said that she suffered greatly from tinnitus as the CSF sloshed around in her ventricles, I also wonder if some of the head scratching is not so much pain as irritation with a buzzing in the head, which must drive a dog mad (as it does humans). But how do you find out whether a dog has tinnitus?!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

anniemac
20th September 2011, 11:18 PM
Thanks nicki for sharing that post again. I think some may like to read about mylee.

Karen,

Mylee had other mris that did not show a change but mylee is still being well managed and treated like charlie. Whatever the mri results show, we all know charlie is in the best hands and with or without developing a syrinx, I think the most important thing is that you have been taking such great care of him and managing his symptoms.



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anniemac
20th September 2011, 11:30 PM
I keep writing and deleting what I want to say. I just want to say that if you watch the video, know that mylee is doing great now and well managed but it really shocked me because I thought, ella has severe sm and never had an episode like that.

In fact, its been bothering me a lot recently because I think back and I don't think she scratched much at all. I even started looking at her mri images but I do know that she had a wide syrinx that was asymetrical and not in a great place. I think the damage with the syrinx and possition did contribute somewhat to her mobility symptoms.

However, when kate describes cm and light sensitivity, that seems like her too.

In the end, I personally feel the most important thing is that the symptoms are being managed and treated. Whether cm only, cm/sm, etc.

Please correct me if I'm totally wrong about location and mobility

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GraciesMom
21st September 2011, 12:13 AM
Beautifully said Anne! And Gracie has a Grade F syrinx and is doing soooo well that no one who meets has any idea she has any health issues


Thanks nicki for sharing that post again. I think some may like to read about mylee.

Karen,

Mylee had other MRIs that did not show a change but mylee is still being well managed and treated like charlie. Whatever the mri results show, we all know charlie is in the best hands and with or without developing a syrinx, I think the most important thing is that you have been taking such great care of him and managing his symptoms.


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Karen and Ruby
22nd September 2011, 11:10 PM
It would be interesting to know whether the dialated ventricles are part of the problem with a CM symptomatic dog.

I know when Chalrlie was 1st scanned and Dr Rusbridge sentt through the write up she compared Charlies scan results to that of a dog with no pain but very similer scan pictures just with out Dialated Ventricles and as Kate has said with Oliver he has a similer issue and symptoms.

As Debra an AnnieMac have said about their girls and Ruby also - Ruby does so well on her Meds that people are shocked when I mention how severe her SM is. Like others she has a wide and short Syrinx (well it was over 2 years ago so who knows what state her spine is in now) and apart from the odd day where she has sensitivity in her back she is vvery well managed.

I'm hoping to get Charlie on some sort of pain releif as well as the diuretic as I truely beleive he needs it. He scratches a lot lot more than Rubes and get the headaches and sensitivity around the face. He has been on Zitac since his first scan and it did give releif for a while but I think now that he needs a bit of extra help!

Kate H
23rd September 2011, 10:54 AM
Just adding a bit on dilated ventricles from my experience with Oliver. From a scan, it looks as if the ventricles must be full of fluid pushing them out to bigger than they should be. In fact, of course, if they were completely full of fluid, the fluid wouldn't be able to move in and out, which it still does, only slower than it should. So you have a cavity in the brain partly full of CSF, which like all liquids finds its own level. I find that Oliver is more uncomfortable when he lies with his jaw flat on the floor (the Cavalier Prayer Position!) or on his bedding. In that position, the CSF is, so to speak, horizontal and exerting maximum pressure on the back of his eyes. This is also when he squints most in strong light, presumably because the CSF pressure is doing maximum interference with the mechanism of his pupils. If I either make him change position, or gently roll him over on his side, he stops whimpering, so presumably his headache is eased.

A lot of 'presumablys' here! I can only pass on what I have observed and so often we can only guess at our dogs' pain and experiment with what helps. But this definitely seems to help Oliver.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

anniemac
24th September 2011, 04:19 AM
I've been thinking of you. How did the appointment go?

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lovecavaliers
25th September 2011, 06:51 PM
Karen, I will be keeping my fingers crossed for Charlie on October 6th. I am very curious to find out if there is a difference in the scans.
Jack is somewhat similar to Charlie. He was MRI'd at a little over a year and found to have CM with "pre-syrinx" but I didn't get any feedback on ventricle size, nor did I think to ask at the time. I will def ask at my next neuro check up.
Jack is fairly symptomatic and is on about the same amount, if not more medications than many of the dogs with a large syrinx. THankfully thus far his symptoms have been managed fairly well with these medications. I have been contemplating getting another MRI to check if the "pre-syrinx" developed. However have decided to hold off until it has been 2 years from the first MRI (unless of course something dramatically changes with his symptoms) to get a better idea of any change.
Jack takes omeprazole so I am hoping it has limited any additional syrinx formation.
I do notice his eyes water and get red when he undergoes any exertion or in the heat. He doesn't however mind being pet on the head, he literally runs and jumps (to my dismay) on everyone and anyone who shows the slightest bit of interest.
As far as the lying down, he does tend to lie on his side on the cold floor after a particularly eventful day. However it is usually only for a few minutes and then he is back on the couch.
I will be thinking of you and Charlie on the 6th and eagerly awaiting your update.