View Full Version : Concern For Lily

Brian M
10th February 2012, 08:54 AM

My little black and tan baby "Lily" who is now 3 1/2 is giving me cause for
concern ,yesterday morning as I gave them all breakfast and she just as she settled
down to start she let out four little yelps in succession and backed away
from her bowl and straight away I start to fear the worst .Very occasionally on
walks when she is ambling along with the other three she will yelp and jump as
though somebody has jabbed a needle in her bum but this has occurred no more than
half a dozon times over the last two/three months but the episode this morning
was by far the worst .My wife Dawn is home all the time so she is keeping a
careful watch over her her as she does with all of them .
Any thoughts please .?

Kate H
10th February 2012, 10:11 AM
Perhaps think disk or back before SM? We all get paranoid about the darn disease!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

10th February 2012, 10:39 AM
I agree with Kate, maybe disks or her back. I am lucky that my vet is also an orthopaedic surgeon. When Ebony had her disk problems he knew straight away by looking at her and doing some simple tests, but we still had an MRI.

10th February 2012, 10:39 AM
Could be a disc issue, two of mine have had this on and off, maybe have a word with your vet, even just a phone call for advice may put your mind at ease.

I had a few issues with DJ recently yelping when picked up or if any of the other dogs sat to near(or on!) him. I just called my vet and explained, he gave me a small dose of mild painkiller, told me to keep a close eye on him and bring him in if it got worse, he was right as rain in a few days and the vet thinks it's discs.

Brian M
10th February 2012, 10:51 AM

And thank you for your replies . Its now 24 hours since the little pain episode and having watched Lily who also sleeps alongside my bed in her crate, she has just been Lily ,nothing unusual at all and she had her normal wrestle and tug of war with the other three last night as they all always do plus charging up and down the stairs and jumping on and off the bed like she always does . I dont think its a disc problem as Rosie had that which was confirmed by MRI with Martin D and Lily's normal mad behaviour is nothing like when Rosie had her disc problem ,with Rosie it was obvious as she wouldn't jump or climb stairs and overall was very subdued .Lily is neither like Daisy who has confirmed SM and has frequent bouts of air scratching but no pain nor any other SM symptoms ,but what Lily does do a lot is , if I can describe it as "rummaging in her undercarriage" which I control with just a squirt of Dermcaton but there is no pain involved just nosing and licking down there .I also thoroughly inspected her last night while grooming her and no lumps ,bumps or show of any pain or discomfort at all .

I have phoned my Vets and as its a large practice asked who is on today and Mr Marsden one of the partners is there this afternoon so we are seeing him at 2.55 pm,so fingers crossed we get it sorted and its something simple .

10th February 2012, 11:11 AM
Hopefully it is nothing to worry about :)

10th February 2012, 11:47 AM
Brian, With all due respect,I think if you have seen these frankly very disturbing recurring bouts of yelps on walks and then again, in this instance at feeding, you really need to look into a potential cause as it isn't happening for no reason–you probably do need an x-ray, and if that doesn't show anything (disk problems, hip dysplasia etc), an MRI. This just is not normal behavior. For what it is worth, I do have a dog with SM who constantly tries to scratch primarily her stomach and belly area and she also has discomfort around her tail. She is also a paw licker. I think different dogs displace their discomfort in different ways and licking paws can be comforting, just as this kind of behavior is often comforting for cats that are in discomfort.

It is also worth remembering that Dr. Marino has said before that he believes fewer than half of the dogs he sees with SM scratch at all. Those that do scratch are doing so because of discomfort and some pain– and most neurologists, with a very few exceptions, do not view scratching as a benign, pain-free behavior. And I do think it is very difficult for any of us with a dog that is not reaching the point where it shows very obvious signs of pain–like yelping in discomfort or shying away from touch–to say that we have a dog that is not experiencing pain from this condition. Many people live with chronic pain and perhaps the only outward sign you would see is discomfort in walking or in movement–not dissimilar to what many of our dogs do with SM. That doesn't mean there isn't considerable underlying pain. That's why there is a project at the moment to try to find better ways of assessing pain in dogs with this condition. You are seeing signs of a dog that has reached a point where the internal effects cause enough discomfort (and what is the borderline between discomfort and pain?). I have seen my most affected dog be so extraordinarily stoic when he is obviously in deep pain–as he has twice with a ruptured anal gland–that I no longer think we have any right to make assumptions about what they are feeling, but must take seriously any outward expression as a sign that the discomfort/pain is great enough that they have to react in some way. Of course there are much greater extremities of obvious pain, and those are the dogs that are especially tragic–because you know if most dogs are fairly good at tolerating high levels of pain, such dogs must be in true misery.

That is why I just do not think you can take any outward sign of discomfort or pain as a minor worry, unfortunately especially in this breed where syringomyelia is so widespread. I think you are right to go for a vet appointment, but please do take this very seriously–I have to say I find this description below, entirely separately from what you just saw around her food, just really alarming (not least because it has been recurring half a dozen times–which is a LOT! My most affected dog Leo, who has been on medication for years, has never shown this much pain, ever, on walks) and I would get Lily in immediately to a vet and probably a neurologist on the basis of these signs alone. If a child had been doing this, would anyone ignore it or dismiss it as just an oddity? hasn't Lily had recurring issues like this over the years, as well? I thought it was suggested that she should have an MRI a quite a while back due to other things you have seen over time? or maybe I am confusing that with one of your other girls.

Very occasionally on
walks when she is ambling along with the other three she will yelp and jump as
though somebody has jabbed a needle in her bum but this has occurred no more than
half a dozon times over the last two/three months

10th February 2012, 02:01 PM
I am on medication everyday for spinal pain, since I had an accident at the end of last year it is a lot worse and most days the medication doesn't work, but most people don't know as I seem fine, except to my husband who will know when I am in pain.

Dj was jumping up on chairs, climbing stairs etc, when I rang the vet that time, because he was yelping for some reason when touched.

Also every dog is different, DJ hides if he has a something wrong with him or is in pain, Gus will just go quiet, Pippin will act normally even if he has a lot of pain (this we found out when he had an anal gland abscess that ruptured before we knew it was bothering him!)

I am sure your vet will be able to put your mind at rest about Lily:), let's know how you get on.

10th February 2012, 03:34 PM
I think I would also get the vet to check she has not got a Luxating Patella which can also cause them to yelp.!

10th February 2012, 04:25 PM
Yes good point on patellas -- though probably a bit less likely, if it didn't show up before 1 and isn't causing signs like limping, but you never know and all that should be checked.

SM pain often comes and goes (it is generally the more severe cases that have constant discomfort/pain). One day Leo cannot stand to be touched on his sides - yet even then he will run around like mad and up and down sofas. The next or even a few hours later, the pain on his side may be totally gone. So you just cannot make assumptions on those patterns of behaviour -- every single dog is different with symptoms with SM though some are more common than others. If anything pain that comes and goes in my experience is MORE likely to be CM/SM rather than less, as disk pain tends to be pretty consistent. Lucy had disk problems for a while and she was quite affected every day til she had painkillers/crate rest to address it.

10th February 2012, 08:42 PM
I'm sorry to hear that you have concerns about Lily now - it's just tragic that our wonderful breed have all these problems and we have to expect that we are going to have to deal with many of these issues especially if we have multiple Cavaliers.

I think it's really helpful that people are posting their stories about their own experiences of chronic pain and how invisible it is to everyone else - we all try to hide pain, we don't want others around us to see us suffering - as you may remember this time last year I was suffering with a severe flare up of my Trigeminal Neuralgia, which is like having electric shocks applied to my face, it is described as the worst pain in the world. Only those really close to me could see it though.

In the wild, animals have to disguise pain and hide any weakness and that can't be bred out. It has been shown that people with a positive attitude cope better with pain and with chronic disease.

As you've read before in previous threads Dr. Oyama mentioned out of all the dogs The Cavaliers are the Happiest Dogs in the World! probably because of the high levels of Serotonin.

"Healthy CKCS dogs had significantly higher serum 5HT [which is serotonin] concentrations than other healthy dogs predisposed to DMVD." Serum Serotonin Concentrations in Dogs with Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease. Arndt JW, Reynolds CA, Singletary GE, Connolly JM, Levy RJ, Oyama MA. J Vet Intern Med. Nov/Dec 2009;23(6) 1208-1213.

"Interestingly, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, which are highly predisposed to DMVD as well as macrothrombocytosis, had significantly higher serum 5HT concentrations than did other breeds of dogs." Insights into Serotonin Signaling Mechanisms Associated with Canine Degenerative Mitral Valve Disease. M.A. Oyama and R.J. Levy. J Vet Intern Med Jan/Feb 2010;24:27–36.

ANY unexplained pain needs to be investigated - dogs do not yelp for no reason.

12th February 2012, 03:22 AM
Brian, so sorry to hear about your issues with Lily. We haven't heard back from you today, so I hope it just means you are busy. But, saying a little prayers for your sweet flower.

12th February 2012, 08:52 AM
What did the Vet say ?

12th February 2012, 11:05 AM
Sorry to hear about Lily Brian....do let us know how the vet goes!

12th February 2012, 06:24 PM
Hi Brian, just checking to see how Lily got on at the vets....?

Brian M
12th February 2012, 08:26 PM
Thanks for being concerned and showing support .
I was at my Vets at 2.55pm Friday and Lily was checked for everything Mr M could think of including eyes,ears ,discs,patella ,hips ,weight,heart,etc he also watched her walking and running and quizzed me for 25 minutes while also giving
her a very thorough physical examination. He checked and emptied her anal gland ( I wonder ??? if ) which were very full and then declared he could find nothing wrong with her ,hurrayyyyyyyy what a relief .So we continue to closely observe
as we all do with all of our beloved Cavaliers but "we must never ever forget to enjoy them for their companionship and company."

My Rosie had both patella and disc problems and was cared for by Martin D at Chestergates and Orthopedic Surgeon Ben K at N.W.Surgeons so nothing Lily did suggested to me it was these, but thankfully for Rosie no operation was needed just crate
rest. So my main concerns were either SM or CM and of course the dreaded unknown but thankfully Lily displayed no symptoms to Mr M
to indicate either of these and therefore currently no reason for a referral for an MRI ,so I abide by my Vets decision and
thankfully Lily has been "Just Lily" since Friday .

If I may quote a good trusted friend and member of C.T. who did some investigative work on Lily's parents for me .

Your Lily is the product of two MRI A parents,the sire being an older dog without central canal dilation.
I don't know what her dam's scan is other than it's an A.
This mating is one of the best that can even be done now with all the knowledge that exists.The odds are very much in her favour that it's NOT SM.

Dr. Rusbridge provided these interim statistics:
● Matings of Code A CKCS to Code A CKCS have produced 75.9% offspring with no SM

So fingers crossed for the future but who knows we can only do our best when buying and of course give them
every care that's available when things go wrong .

Sincerest thanks again ,its a horrible time when any little one gives you cause for concern.

And thanks to M.C. and Nicki for directing me to her breeder and Lily when I was searching for a B&T girl from two Grade A parents
as there was only Lily about about I was searching

12th February 2012, 08:41 PM
Really pleased to hear this news Brian - you tried so hard to find a puppy/adult from a health testing breeder and we were pleased to help you.

I know we all worry about CM/SM any time our dogs show any symptoms - but other things do have to be ruled out too.

It sounds like it might well have been her anal glands then - this is something that is extremely painful for the dog and actually if it develops into an anal gland abscess that is one of the true veterinary emergencies.

I would just monitor her and arrange to get her anal glands checked regularly if you are not checking them yourself.

I think Karlin was perhaps confusing Lily with Rosie? We have so many members now and it's very hard to keep track of everyone's dogs and we don't always have time to search through previous posts.

12th February 2012, 09:37 PM
[QUOTE=Brian M;412742]. "we must never ever forget to enjoy them for their companionship and company."

Totally agree! Glad lily is ok:) Maybe the anal glands were bothering her...

Brian M
12th February 2012, 09:45 PM
Hi Pippa

Could be ,thanks for your support really appreciated .



12th February 2012, 10:58 PM
So glad that you got good news at the vet and that Lily is feeling better.:)

12th February 2012, 11:11 PM
Brian: as you described yourself, you have a dog that has more than half a dozen times, yelped in pain for *no reason at all*. Yelped as if 'someone was ramming a needle into her bum'. :( I've never heard of anal glands causing issues for three months... or recurrent crying out over such a long period? It is just very strange. I have never had any dog do that -- including three with SM, one that had disk problems, and a couple of ruptured anal gland experiences, too.

I'd want a lot more investigation, starting with an xray and if nothing was found, a clinical neurological exam. But that's me.

What in the world does your vet think this was? Seriously, anal glands? -- six times in 2-3 months plus the episode when feeding (and if you remember PDE, walking and lowering the head to feed are typical times when SM pain appears).

If this happens one more time I hope you will seriously consider more investigation than just a vet general exam... (not even doing an xray... )? Vets are not great at picking up neurological issues -- that is why7 on average it takes two years for dogs to get a proper diagnosis when they do have SM. Vets are very poor at checking for signs as it isn't their area of expertise.

Meantime we will all hope with you that it is anal glands, and there will be no more issues.

PS aren't you giving them all sorts of fibre and oat bran etc?

Karen and Ruby
12th February 2012, 11:38 PM
Charlie's anal glands ruptured a couple of years ago, he was running around like his usual loony toon self all day at our local nature reserve. Only when I rinsed him off in the shower did I notice his entire back end was purple!! He didn't show any signs of pain until they actually burst and he helped once. I've not known a full anal gland to cause that much pain!

13th February 2012, 12:00 PM
I still think all dogs are different, what bothers one may not bother another, just my opinion:)

As an example - Pippin had a ruptured anal gland and abscess that we didn't even know he had until he came running to greet me as I returned from work one evening, and when I picked him up he was all wet over his rear end, we rushed him straight to the vets and it was quite serious needing a lot of care and treatment. I had been only a few hours in work that day and the rest of the family were at home and he was his usual playful self... On the other hand Gus was very bothered a few years ago by a full anal gland that showed no sign of infection and only needed to be emptied, just this morning he became very agitated biting at his back/side/rear end, I jumped up to him and he was going berserk! Turned out to be a seed from a doggie biscuit he had sat on that was bothering him! It was on his tail and he could feel it every time he sat down:)

13th February 2012, 12:21 PM
Glad Lily is ok

Brian M
13th February 2012, 01:52 PM

Thanks Sabby .:rolleyes: I get more stressed out and upset when there's a possible problem with ant of the girls than anything
else on earth ,the little monsters .She was there as normal at 5.30 am this morning lying on my chest and licking
the end of my nose trying to get me up ,I couldn't help but smile and give her a hug ,how could you possibly be
angry with any of them .:rolleyes:

13th February 2012, 02:22 PM

She was there as normal at 5.30 am this morning lying on my chest and licking
the end of my nose trying to get me up ,I couldn't help but smile and give her a hug ,how could you possibly be
angry with any of them .:rolleyes:

Sounds like my Pippin:)

13th February 2012, 03:04 PM

Thanks Sabby .:rolleyes: I get more stressed out and upset when there's a possible problem with ant of the girls than anything
else on earth ,the little monsters .She was there as normal at 5.30 am this morning lying on my chest and licking
the end of my nose trying to get me up ,I couldn't help but smile and give her a hug ,how could you possibly be
angry with any of them .:rolleyes:

Im the exact same Brian, i worry too much about my two & always think the worse unfortunately.
Glad to hear Lily is ok tho x

13th February 2012, 10:48 PM

Thanks Sabby .:rolleyes: I get more stressed out and upset when there's a possible problem with ant of the girls than anything
else on earth ,the little monsters .She was there as normal at 5.30 am this morning lying on my chest and licking
the end of my nose trying to get me up ,I couldn't help but smile and give her a hug ,how could you possibly be
angry with any of them .:rolleyes:

I know what you mean.
Most things in life I can cope with but when something is wrong with any of my three I feel so helpless. When any of them are sick I feel sick myself. Can’t believe I posted on here because I was worried that Ebony picked up a mouse.

PS i am sure you are watching Lily like a hawk