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anniemac
1st February 2012, 11:21 PM
I took Elton for consult today and dr. Brofman thought his neck was sensitive, something with paws, I showed him video of what I felt was fly catchers and he is unsure and said could be a seizure. He asked if I was able to distract him. I thought he seemed not very bothered in video.

Anyway, he would like to have MRI. I have insurance and I'm going to go Friday. Giving the odds of CM and SM, I would be surprised if clear. This way we will know if he has PSOM or something else. He's been very snappy and scratching until he yelps.

I knew going into getting a rescue I might have this happen. I just hope he can be in less pain.

Sydneys Mom
1st February 2012, 11:49 PM
Sorry you have to go through this with Elton. We'll keep our fingers and paws crossed and hope for the best possible outcome. Keep us informed.

sins
2nd February 2012, 12:23 AM
Goodness,that was the last thing I expected to see...
Will you know the results on Friday?
Sins

BrooklynMom
2nd February 2012, 12:31 AM
Big hugs to you Anne, let us know if we can do anything for you or Elton...in the mean time, I will be sending thoughts and prayers.

mommytoClaire
2nd February 2012, 02:07 AM
Oh Anne, aim so sorry to hear this. I will br praying it's not what you are thinking, and maybe something simple like allergies, which are so hard to tie down.

Just think positive okay? Be strong, and know that people care and I will be saying many prayers for you and Elton!

anniemac
2nd February 2012, 01:16 PM
Goodness,that was the last thing I expected to see...
Will you know the results on Friday?
Sins

Thanks Sins. I drop him off that morning and should get the results that day

lovecavaliers
2nd February 2012, 04:08 PM
Hi Anne, I don't log on too much anymore. I am so sorry to hear that there are concerns about Elton. I will be praying and sending positive thoughts his way on Friday. Either way he is in great hands with a wonderful mommy like you.

pippa
2nd February 2012, 04:54 PM
Fingers crossed the results of the mri will be ok xx

Karlin
2nd February 2012, 05:17 PM
So sorry you have concerns -- hope all goes OK. :(

meljoy
2nd February 2012, 07:20 PM
Anne,
So sorry you are having these fears again, I pray you dont have to go through the heartache of SM again but if you do I know Elton will be so lucky to have you by his side.
I'll have everything crossed tomorrow for a good result.
Mel XX

Pat
2nd February 2012, 09:38 PM
dr. Brofman thought his neck was sensitive, something with paws,

"Something with paws" - are you talking about proprioception deficits? - when the vet turns a foot over so that the dog is standing on the top of his foot and they watch to see how quickly the dog corrects the improper foot position? Proprioception deficits can also be the result of disk disease and other things.

Pat

Sabby
2nd February 2012, 10:37 PM
I am so sad to hear about Elton. You already had to deal with so much last year.

Yes Ebony had what Pat is talking about and when they MRI Scanned they found 3 degenerated disks and CM/SM.

Praying for a good out come tomorrow.

anniemac
3rd February 2012, 06:14 PM
Wow! Dr. Brofman said Elton does NOT have any malformation at all! He said he is in the 1-2%. He is putting him on anti seizure medication because he feels the video I took is him having a seizure. He is sending his MRI to a radiologist to have another look to make sure because it is so rare.

Karlin, would his DNA or MRI be useful for research? I don't have a pedigree or anything but didn't know since he has NO CM! (or SM)

sins
3rd February 2012, 06:49 PM
Wow,Isn't that just the best news !
So pleased that he had a great scan and that you don't have to deal with this again.
Sins

Sydneys Mom
3rd February 2012, 06:50 PM
That's wonderful news. So happy for you and Elton!

Karlin
3rd February 2012, 06:56 PM
I think maybe Clare might want to check the MRI regardless. There are either a surprising number of dogs without the malformation in the US at the moment, or the neurologists there, who are not as familiar with the malformation as some of the original researchers, are misdiagnosing either due to head position or whatever (and I have to say that radiolof=gists are actually LESS skillful than neurologists familiar with dog MRIs for this condition, in my experience -- I know several radiologists who have misread scans and missed the malformation when even I could see it on one or two of those scans -- dog MRIs read completely differently than human MRIs for the malformation, according to Clare). It is becoming a bit of a concern as a lot of breeders in the US -- actually just about all of them -- self grade their dogs (as there's no equivalent grading programme in the US -- the clubs really need to push for one!) and are not likely to submit scans to the UK grading programme. Hence a lot of misinformation about clear dogs and clear lines is likely going about. The dogs are too closely connected to UK dogs for there to be any reason for there to be these clusters of clear dogs in the US so I a sure there would be interest by researchers to read MRIs and see if they too would grade these dogs as malformation-clear.

If he doesn't have the malformation the DNA may be useful but as there's no pedigree that may not be the case -- you will need to ask Clare directly.

I am sorry he is having seizures but hopefully that is something more easy to control. Kind of wonder why they didn't try medication for seizures though as MRIs are so costly? It would have seemed one of the things to eliminate first. But on the other hand you have more information now.

This issue of whether a malformation is there could be important as there's a mistaken assumption that only dogs with severe malformations have pain when actually, a lot of the dogs with CM pain have been dogs with quite mild malformations.

This isn;t to question the skills of individual neurologists, but as with any illness, not everyone around the world is always on the same level of familiarity with diagnosing aspects and the malformation is far more complex and can be extremely subtle and even head psoition on a scan can make a difference in visibility. Interpreting the malformation is more a skill than syrinxes, which are easier to see.

anniemac
3rd February 2012, 07:25 PM
He also did a spinal tap. He does have a little bit of hydrocephalus and I asked if he had dialated ventricles and he does. He showed me the MRI and I could see the cloudiness.

So he is waiting for the spinal tap to see what's going on if anything. Thank you for your responses. There looks like fluid in his brain and that maybe what's causing some issues. They will know more from spinal tap.

On a plus side, the cardiologist said his heart sounded good.

mommytoClaire
3rd February 2012, 07:59 PM
Anne, that is fabulous news. I am going to keep a positive attitude, and continue to pray that they find out exactly what is going on with Elton. But the fact that he doesn't have SM is major.

Keep us up to date.

anniemac
3rd February 2012, 11:08 PM
I would bet he has mild CM especially since he has fluid in his brain and dialated ventricles (I asked thinking of Kate H). I just don't like how he scratches himself until he yelps. I just hope they figure out what is causing him discomfort.

He wants to treat the seizure activity first then look at the hydrocephalus?

RodRussell
3rd February 2012, 11:54 PM
Congratulations to Elton. That is a real relief!

anniemac
4th February 2012, 12:52 AM
Congratulations to Elton. That is a real relief!

Yes and no. I still don't know what's wrong with him. He's acting VERY strange right now.

lovecavaliers
4th February 2012, 01:12 AM
Hi Anne

I am happy to hear Elton does not have SM. However I feel your frustration to figure out what is going on. Perhaps they did miss some mild CM as you mentioned in one of your posts? When will you know the results of the spinal tap?
I will continue to be sending positive thoughts your way.

ashleighelizabeth
4th February 2012, 01:27 AM
So glad to hear that Elton does not have SM! Sending lots of positive thoughts your way as you guys try to determine what is causing his discomfort. :hug:

pippa
4th February 2012, 10:46 AM
Glad he does not have sm and fingers crossed you will know more about what is wrong with him soon xx

Kate H
4th February 2012, 01:42 PM
Annie wrote: He's acting VERY strange right now.

In what way? Glad about the SM - but it still leaves you in the dark!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

anniemac
4th February 2012, 02:14 PM
Annie wrote: He's acting VERY strange right now.

In what way? Glad about the SM - but it still leaves you in the dark!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

It's probably from anesthesia. The MRI seemed to cause more distress which increased his symptoms.

RodRussell
4th February 2012, 04:58 PM
It's probably from anesthesia. The MRI seemed to cause more distress which increased his symptoms.

This could be. One of our cavaliers had surgery last year and (we discovered much later) tried to lift his very heavy head (typical big-headed cavalier) while coming out of anesthesia and was so groggy that he could not keep it lifted and ended up slamming his head back down on the metal table, causing some internal damage that he only recently overcame.

pippa
4th February 2012, 06:20 PM
This could be. One of our cavaliers had surgery last year and (we discovered much later) tried to lift his very heavy head (typical big-headed cavalier) while coming out of anesthesia and was so groggy that he could not keep it lifted and ended up slamming his head back down on the metal table, causing some internal damage that he only recently overcame.

Oh no that's terrible poor dog!

anniemac
5th February 2012, 02:36 PM
Radiologist report says Elton DOES have CM (mild) but I feel it is causing him discomfort.

sins
5th February 2012, 03:00 PM
Anne,
Can you be absolutely specific about what the symptoms he's showing?
Why do you feel it's the CM that's the source of the discomfort?
Sins

anniemac
5th February 2012, 03:05 PM
The spinal fluid was normal but he did in fact have some mild CM. I see him face rubbing, yelping, scratching his ears and it is worse than Ella. Pain is pain and I just hope to give him some relief.

anniemac
5th February 2012, 03:07 PM
I have videos he is head shaking, extreme face rubbing, scratching until he yelps with no PSOM or ear infections, and of course fly catchers (but that might be seperate)

Karlin
5th February 2012, 03:07 PM
Hydrocephalus could cause seizures. I didn't know from your first posts that he had hydrocephalus as well -- I'd guess that's more likely the issue than mild CM.

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/hydrocephalus-in-dogs/page1.aspx


Symptoms of hydrocephalus vary with the cause, the age at presentation, the brain tissue being compromised, and the degree of tissue damage.

What to Watch For

Altered mental status
Crying out
Hyperexcitability
Extreme dullness
Coma
Seizures
Visual or auditory impairment
Spastic or clumsy walking
Circling
Head pressing
Head tilt
Abnormal eye movements

anniemac
5th February 2012, 03:09 PM
I'm not 100% sure but the symptom the neurologist is focused on is his head shaking and body shaking.

anniemac
5th February 2012, 03:10 PM
Hydrocephalus could cause seizures. I didn't know from your first posts that he had hydrocephalus as well -- I'd guess that's more likely the issue than mild CM.

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/hydrocephalus-in-dogs/page1.aspx

Wow! Thanks Karlin.

Kate H
5th February 2012, 10:57 PM
What does your vet mean by hydrocephalus - a condition of dilated ventricles? Or does he mean the specific disease of Hydrocephalus? The condition of hydrocephalus (literally 'water in the head') is a common symptom of CM, due to slowing down the circulation of the spinal fluid, which then accumulates in the ventricles. This can cause bad headaches, eye problems and quite a lot of other symptoms (including, for Oliver, interference with the nerves in one front leg, and possibly - several years ago - a slight seizure affecting his back legs). The disease of Hydrocephalus, as Karlin's links show, has much wider and in many respects much more serious symptoms (though headaches are also serious for the dog that's got them!).

Kate, Oliver and Aled

anniemac
5th February 2012, 11:31 PM
I want to get the report back and talk specifically about the MRI images and his symptoms.

Karlin
6th February 2012, 08:38 AM
Kate, I am not sure they are considered to be different (it's the first time I have ever heard this as a neurologist wouldn't I think confuse terms). All the neurologists I am familiar with would not list hydrocephalus as being an aspect of dilated ventricles but would mean the specific condition, and if it were listed as a diagnosis it would mean there is specifically, hydrocephalus in addition to whatever else showed on the MRI.

I do know dilated ventricles definitely are not the same as hydrocephalus.

Definitely worth a clarification from the neurologist.

Kate H
6th February 2012, 10:56 AM
Actually, Karlin, it was you who insisted on the difference when I posted something about hydrocephalus a couple of years ago!:) And I have known vets differentiate and use hydrocephalus with a small 'h' to describe the dilated ventricles resulting from CM - whether this is an accurate description or not is a different matter. Hydrocephalus the disease (capital 'H') is far more than the pressure on the skull from dilated ventricles (I've had a Cavalier that I'm almost sure in retrospect had the disease and many of its accompanying symptoms, and I now have a Cavalier with dilated ventricles), but they stem from the same problem - interference with the flow of CSF (or literally 'fluid on the brain') - so the wider, and slightly different, use of the term is perhaps understandable.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Karlin
6th February 2012, 11:32 AM
:lol: I think I would probably have been asking if the diagnosis was actually hydrocephalus or dilated ventricles -- whether this was clearly stated. Or it was at a point when I was confused about the difference myself! (especially if it was a long time ago) I think vets would be more likely to talk about something like extra water in the brain to refer to dilated ventricles and then that could be confusing. :| But hydrocephalus should definitely be a separate diagnosis from all that I have ever seen reported on individual dogs by a neurologist (and not very helpful if vets are using the term as a catch-all). Lots of cavaliers (such as all of mine with SM) have dilated ventricles but do not have hydrocephalus, which is generally far more serious and causes more problems. It still isn't actually known if dilated ventricles mean anything or cause anything or do anything, and some breeds have really large dilated ventricles as the norm with no problems from them. Because it seems a frequent associated finding with CM/SM in this breed, neurologists generally note it. Clare Rusbridge and Geoff Skerrit both told me they noted it in case it became clear there was a relevance at some later point and to have it on record. But hydrocephalus would be/should be a different diagnosis and the fluid would be more general (and dilated ventricles would be part of it).

Karlin
6th February 2012, 11:46 AM
Also: maybe you remembered my reply as the other way around? (eg my explanation in the past). I see back in 2009 I said basically the same thing on a similar discussion :) But at the same time it IS a bit ambiguous -- I quoted Clare's FAQ which says hydrocephalus is an extreme form of dilated ventricles.

http://www.cavaliertalk.com/forums/showthread.php?32401-Shelby-s-MRI/page3

Although dilated ventricles are related to hydrocephalus I would think (or hope) they wouldn't be used interchangeably as so many would be then far more alarmed by having dilated ventricles noted on their scans -- it is so common! Real hydrocephalus is much rarer.

I agree that it is important to have a clarification and the area is very confusing! I will see if I can find out more on how neurologists view the two things too.

Pat
6th February 2012, 04:02 PM
It still isn't actually known if dilated ventricles mean anything or cause anything or do anything, and some breeds have really large dilated ventricles as the norm with no problems from them.

I'm very interested in this statement since there has been a lot of self-reporting on the forum about pretty serious symptoms attributed to dilated ventricles. And many (most?) Cavaliers with mild to moderate CM and no SM on MRI have mildly dilated ventricles. (My own boy falls into this category.) I've been carefully monitoring some behaviors and evaluating whether I want to start a trial on medication so this is an important point for me.

Can anyone point me to specifics in the veterinary literature that address dilated ventricles? I'll start looking myself also, but any guidance will certainly save some time!

Thanks,

Pat

anniemac
21st February 2012, 09:11 PM
I am not sure but Elton has very mild CM but he is on gabapentin

anniemac
21st February 2012, 09:12 PM
Karlin you maybe right about some missing at first

RodRussell
21st February 2012, 10:20 PM
... Can anyone point me to specifics in the veterinary literature that address dilated ventricles? I'll start looking myself also, but any guidance will certainly save some time!

I think so. http://cavalierhealth.org/syringomyelia.htm#What_SM_is