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murphy's mum
29th February 2012, 01:40 PM
I haven't posted in a while, to be honest I just couldn't face it. I find reading people's threads about health/SM really difficult now. I'm struggling to cope emotionally at the moment, I seem to do nothing but worry and have dreams that I'd sooner forget.

I'm having trouble with Murphy, which is unusual as he's always been the picture of health. He's just not been himself lately, he was treated for a sore back in November, which he seemed to get over pretty well, the vet thought he'd pulled a muscle as he was very quiet, off he food, and had spasms when you touched his back. Over the last week or so he's just been quieter, he's choosing to lay on the floor rather than with us on the furniture, his leg licking has increased(he's been a leg licker for a year or two). And he just seems a little "down", he was off his food a day last week, so we had him in to get his glands checked and a general check. At the time the vet ask if he normally sat so hunched, but we said no, we put it down to him being at the vets.

Yesterday though I noticed the spasms were back when you touched his middle back area, so back to the vets we go. He on Metacam and in for x-rays on Friday. The vet checked his reflexes, and reactions whilst we were in, and said they seem fine. However, he asked me if he had any other behaviour changes lately, and the one things that popped into my mind is he's grumpy with Misty. He's been growling at her more and more if she's trying to get up beside him or our lap, or the couch. I'm wondering if this has been because he's sore? I actually had to split them up earlier after they started fighting over a Kong, this has never happened in three years.

The vets said he could just have tweeked his back jumping off furniture, or it could be degenerative disk disease. I did mention SM, as he leg licks, and likes a good head rub in the mornings, but he wants to see if the x-rays show anything first. I'm trying not to worry, but of course I can't help myself.

I'm already stressed out over Misty as it is, as her scratching has increased a lot, she is especially sensitive down her right side of her neck, and she's lost some of her spark too. I called Glasgow about it, unfortunately Allison isn't there at the moment, but spoke to a lovely man called Jacques. I was really surprised when he mentioned Misty's MRI had showed a small amount of fluid on the brain, as this was never mentioned. He went on to say that the scratching is harder to manage that the pain at times, as Gabapentin doesn't decrease it. He did say it was possible the fluid had increased, and this was maybe causing her scratching to increase. He's put her on a course of steroids to see if they help and I've to call back and speak to Allison when she's back next week.

I can hand on heart say I will never, ever own another Cavalier. I love my two so much, but my heart breaks when I look at Misty, and I do nothing but worry over whether she is comfortable or not. I couldn't stand to go through it all again. I'm just hoping whatever this is with Murphy is nothing serious.

Sabby
29th February 2012, 02:48 PM
I really feel for you, I had a bad time nearly all last year with two off mine and of course SM is ongoing there is never a break from it. I don’t think I will ever own another Cavalier I am crying just writing this. I must say I am normally a strong person but all the health problems have left me an emotional wreck.
I am hoping that Murphy will be ok and that you can get Misty more comfortable.

murphy's mum
29th February 2012, 03:11 PM
Thanks Sabby. I've been crying on and off most of the day too. I seem to cope less each day. I know if I can get Misty comfortable again it will be less of a strain. But poor Murphy's pushed me over the edge. I was in floods after they fought earlier I just couldn't stop the tears.

I've just moved all the furniture around to keep Murphy off the window sill. It's his favourite spot to sit, but he does jump off it, so no more of that. The lounge looks very strange now though.


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pippa
29th February 2012, 04:30 PM
I feel for you and know how worrying it can be. Gus has back trouble at the moment and is on pain relief and Pippin has early MVD and other heart problems he also has epilepsy but is doing well on meds. DJ's back plays up now and again too. I sometimes find myself worrying about how long they will be with me, but most days just try not to worry and take each day as it comes.

Not sure if I would have another Cavalier though if I were to ever be without my three boys ...

Brian M
29th February 2012, 04:31 PM
Hi

We are with you girls ,chins up all three of you .That's why I ended up taking my four to the vets last week as you are
continually watching and worrying which sometimes makes me imagine I am seeing things with Daisy that arn't there .

Reptigirl
29th February 2012, 05:57 PM
Sending you lots of :hug:! I'm right there with ya! I love my Cavaliers so much but every day is such a struggle. Managing medications, dealing with SM & MVD. On top of that , although Flash is a wonderful dog, he has such sever guarding issues that I feel like I spend all day trying to keep him from going into overload. 24/7 I have to monitor him to see if he is going "snap". I've had to start putting him alone at night, which I absolutely hate because he has slept on the bed with us since he was 12 weeks old. I have to though because he snaps at the cats and other dogs. He is not mean at all but he gets these weird "triggers" where its like he becomes another dog. I was just talking to a friend yesterday and I said I could never own another Cavalier. Not only is it a huge financial drain but it is also an emotional roller coaster. I feel like I have to be on watch 24/7 for so many different issues.

Sydneys Mom
29th February 2012, 06:29 PM
It makes me sad to hear everyone saying they wouldn't get another cavalier because I know from reading all your posts how much you guys love and cherish your dogs. I also know the pain of watching your dog suffer from end stage heart disease, so I do understand where this is coming from. Many days I sit here and cry wondering how many more good days are left. Sydney is my heart and soul.

When I pray for Sydney's well being, I also say a prayer for all our cavaliers. Hugs to all.

Kate H
29th February 2012, 06:38 PM
Murphy's back could be something as straightforward as spondylosis, which will show up on an X-ray ('straightforward' only in terms of being a well-known condition that can respond to treatment - not belittling the pain it's causing both Murphy and you). Oliver had very similar symptoms when his was diagnosed 3 years ago, but it improved enormously after 4 weeks of crate rest. Dog steps for getting onto the bed and settee/chair are a great help, as they are shallow enough not to need any pressure on the spine to climb up and down.

Thinking of you :hug:


Kate, Oliver and Aled

Karlin
29th February 2012, 06:42 PM
Hi Murphysmum: I know how hard it can be. But please do come and post -- there's so much support here for you and I think a burden shared is a burden made lighter -- it is easy to forget how many care!

I also would say this: what you are doing right now is simply looking for a source of his discomfort which in all likelihood you can then address to make him MUCH happier and less painful. Either it is a back issue which can be addressed with painkillers and rest; or it may be moderate SM symptoms which can be addressed with pain relief as well. There are lots of options ahead :flwr:. Try not to overly worry about what it could be, but wait to see what it might be. If Metacam doesn't help, you might ask for something stronger. When Lucy had disk problems, crate rest and metacam did wonders after a couple of weeks and she never had the problem again (she was clear for SM).

Karlin
29th February 2012, 06:43 PM
Agree -- dog steps are great! Hyperdrug.co.uk have lightweight plastic based ones and Zooplus.co.uk have more sturdy, heavier wood based ones. I have both.

murphy's mum
29th February 2012, 06:56 PM
Thanks for all your kind words, I really appreciate them, especially with all you go through as well:hug:

I just feel so helpless at the moment. Murphy can't seem to settle, he's floating about, lying in one place, and then after five minutes, moving to another spot. I do hope it's something he'll get over easily, it's so easy to imagine the worst though. The vet never said to restrict his movement, or access to the furniture, but they way he is tonight, I'm going to try and keep him as quiet as possible. He's not crate trained, so don't know how he'll react if that's what the vets says he need.

Sydneys Mom
29th February 2012, 07:21 PM
Thanks for all your kind words, I really appreciate them, especially with all you go through as well:hug:

I just feel so helpless at the moment. Murphy can't seem to settle, he's floating about, lying in one place, and then after five minutes, moving to another spot. I do hope it's something he'll get over easily, it's so easy to imagine the worst though. The vet never said to restrict his movement, or access to the furniture, but they way he is tonight, I'm going to try and keep him as quiet as possible. He's not crate trained, so don't know how he'll react if that's what the vets says he need.

A few years ago, when Sydney hurt his back, diagnosed as spondolosis in the cervical disk, I was faced with the same problem. I had an X-pen and left in whatever room we were in and that wasn't good enough for him. He wanted OUT and kept smacking at the gate. I feared he would hurt himself even more. I spoke with his vet and we agreed that since I was home all day, we could keep him out. But, when he went outside to do his business, I kept him on a leash. Also, as the weather was very nice, if we just stayed outside in the yard, I put a lightweight cord attached to his harness and tied it to the patio. It gave him enough room to reach the grass when needed and to be in his favorite spot in the shade. The main objective was to keep him calm and safe.

At bedtime, he usually likes to walk around the house during the night, so we put a gate across our bedroom door which limited most of his movement.

He had trouble with the steps putting pressure on his neck and shoulder blade, so now, we have built a small ramp for him to go in and out of the yard so he doesn't have to use the steps. He isn't physically able to jump onto the couch, so we lift him up when he wants and also lift him when he wants down.

Margaret C
29th February 2012, 07:25 PM
Thanks for all your kind words, I really appreciate them, especially with all you go through as well:hug:

I just feel so helpless at the moment. Murphy can't seem to settle, he's floating about, lying in one place, and then after five minutes, moving to another spot. I do hope it's something he'll get over easily, it's so easy to imagine the worst though. The vet never said to restrict his movement, or access to the furniture, but they way he is tonight, I'm going to try and keep him as quiet as possible. He's not crate trained, so don't know how he'll react if that's what the vets says he need.

The inability to settle for any length of time is probably due to discomfort. It would seem that the metacam not enough to relieve his pain.

Perhaps your vet could suggest something else, like a steroid, while you wait?

I am keeping my fingers crossed for you.

murphy's mum
29th February 2012, 07:26 PM
I've just spoke to the vet, as Murphy seems so uncomfortable, he said to give him an extra dose of Metacam, and see how he does.

I found the steps on Zooplus, but couldn't find them on Hyperdrug. The one on Zooplus look okay though :)

lindylou
29th February 2012, 08:02 PM
hi
please get well soon murphy sending you kisses and cuddles from louie and his mum

cavalover
1st March 2012, 02:29 AM
I am sorry to hear about Murphy. The plastic steps sound like a great idea, especially to help him get to his favorite window sill spot. I hope the extra Metacam dose helps him get more comfortable.

BrooklynMom
1st March 2012, 04:24 AM
Just thinking of you, praying with you and sending you big hugs and and gentle kisses for Misty and Murphy. We are all here for you....all the time.

murphy's mum
1st March 2012, 07:46 AM
Managed to get him settle after the extra dose of Metacam, thank god. He snoozed the night away, and seems not too bad this morning. I've to give him the double dose at tea time tonight again, so hopefully it will do the trick tonight again :)

Nicki
1st March 2012, 09:16 PM
Sorry to hear that Murphy is having problems now, it's really hard when we have to deal with all these issues when we should just be enjoying our dogs...

I'm sure the grumpiness is probably due to the pain - we have this with Kayleigh sometimes :(

It's good that the extra dose of Metacam is working, and hopefully combined with the rest that will help.


You were lucky to speak to Jacques - that would be Jacques Penderis a very highly respected gentleman, if you search on here you will find more about him. He has done a considerable amount of research into Episodic Falling but also is very knowledgeable about SM.

murphy's mum
2nd March 2012, 05:34 PM
Jacques was excellent, it was a pleasure to talk to him :)

Murphy's x-rays were inconclusive. The vet thought the L5 and L6 vertebrae could be slightly compressed, but definitely no rupture, calcium deposits or arthritis. He recommends 6 weeks rest, and Metacam, but not the double dose as it would upset Murphy's stomach. We've to see how he reacts to the rest, and the normal dose of Metacam, and if he needs more pain meds we've to call him. We've to take him back in on Tuesday evening anyway.

I do hope he's just pulled a muscle, but only time will tell, as the amount of discomfort he was in on Wednesday definitely says somethings not right.

Nicki
2nd March 2012, 06:04 PM
Oh goodness - well at least it's ruled something out. The rest needs to be very strict, only out on the lead for toiletting etc - I know it's really hard. I don't think Murphy is crate trained?

You could try using a pen but sometimes they will jump up at the sides which obviously you do not want.

Otherwise if he is in a room where he can't jump then that is ok, if he can get to furniture or steps you need to keep him on a lead attached to you so that he can't jump.

I really hope it's nothing serious for you.

murphy's mum
2nd March 2012, 06:28 PM
Yes, he's not crate trained, we've got a baby gate on the kitchen, which is where he'll be if we can't watch him, and one on the bottom of the stairs too. I've lifted him onto the couch to be beside me, as he wouldn't settle on his bed, and will lift him down again when he wants down. If I one of us can't keep an eye on him, he'll be in the kitchen as there is nothing he can get up on in there.

The walking on a lead will be hard, but we need to do whats best. It wont be bad at the moment as he has lower energy levels but if he starts to recover them he's be climbing the walls. We're just hoping the rest does the trick, if not he'll need an MRI done.

Sabby
2nd March 2012, 10:49 PM
When Ebony was diagnosed with degenerated discs she had to have strict crate rest. Oh my god it was so hard after a few weeks especially when she could jump up again. Even now she is ok she is not allowed to jump up or do stairs. She is so used to us picking her up to lift onto the sofa she just stands there now looking at us like to say come on I want to be lifted up what’s keeping you. We found the pain killer Previcox really good but it’s the most expensive pain killer there is on the market I think. The vet never had given it before. But it really helped her.

murphy's mum
3rd March 2012, 12:10 PM
He seems really, really, good today, much better than he has been, a total turn around, which has me wondering.

Although this morning he was scratching for a bit, and he went into a head rub, which ended with him rolling about on his back. Not "being kept quiet" as the vet asked, but it was so similar to what Misty used to do before being treated for her SM, I didn't want to stop him. I'm keeping note of it all for the vet, just in case. He has said we can't automatically jump to SM, but all these little things make me wonder if he just has milder symptoms than our "Princess". And whether the pain he's been having this week was a flare up? He has leg licked for a couple of years, his front legs are a pinky brown at the joint where he licks, but he's never shown any other symptoms. Looking back we could easily see all Misty's "quirks" as we thought of them, but not with Murphy.

I don't know what to think, and if I'm honest, my Hubby's not much help on these things. He thought I was crazy when I kept saying I thought Misty had SM, don't get me wrong, he loves them both as much as what I do, but I do think he thinks I'm looking for things that aren't there. He hasn't read about SM though, he doesn't like to, I think it upsets him to think about. Maybe I've read too much about it.

Edit:
Speaking of reading too much, I've just read that scooting a lot can sometimes be a symptom too if there is a syrinx in the lumbar region of the spine. I wasn't aware of this to be honest, but Murphy scoots a lot, he get's his glads checked regularly because I take him in when he's been scooting lots, but the vets normally say that the gland aren't particularly full. We were in last week because he was scooting, and I thought this could have been what was wrong with him, but the vet said they were fine. Something else to think about or just me looking for something which isn't there?

Margaret C
3rd March 2012, 01:17 PM
but I do think he thinks I'm looking for things that aren't there. He hasn't read about SM though, he doesn't like to, I think it upsets him to think about. Maybe I've read too much about it. ?

This is the problem with a condition like SM, so many symptoms that could so easily be 'normal' dog behaviour. or signs of something a lot less worrying.

We spend a lot of time asking ourselves if we are being paranoid. Unfortunately, with SM becoming increasingly common in the breed, we are actually being realistic when we wonder if quirky signs are SM related.




Speaking of reading too much, I've just read that scooting a lot can sometimes be a symptom too if there is a syrinx in the lumbar region of the spine. I wasn't aware of this to be honest, but Murphy scoots a lot, he get's his glads checked regularly because I take him in when he's been scooting lots, but the vets normally say that the gland aren't particularly full. We were in last week because he was scooting, and I thought this could have been what was wrong with him, but the vet said they were fine. Something else to think about or just me looking for something which isn't there?

Sometimes a dog can have irritation caused by dried poo being stuck to their anus, in that case a smear of vaseline for a few days may help, but I'm afraid that scooting can also be a SM symptom.

With SM the owner lives with doubt and worry because we know that our dogs may be living with pain.

Sabby
3rd March 2012, 08:24 PM
He seems really, really, good today, much better than he has been, a total turn around, which has me wondering.

Although this morning he was scratching for a bit, and he went into a head rub, which ended with him rolling about on his back. Not "being kept quiet" as the vet asked, but it was so similar to what Misty used to do before being treated for her SM, I didn't want to stop him. I'm keeping note of it all for the vet, just in case. He has said we can't automatically jump to SM, but all these little things make me wonder if he just has milder symptoms than our "Princess". And whether the pain he's been having this week was a flare up? He has leg licked for a couple of years, his front legs are a pinky brown at the joint where he licks, but he's never shown any other symptoms. Looking back we could easily see all Misty's "quirks" as we thought of them, but not with Murphy.

I don't know what to think, and if I'm honest, my Hubby's not much help on these things. He thought I was crazy when I kept saying I thought Misty had SM, don't get me wrong, he loves them both as much as what I do, but I do think he thinks I'm looking for things that aren't there. He hasn't read about SM though, he doesn't like to, I think it upsets him to think about. Maybe I've read too much about it.

Edit:
Speaking of reading too much, I've just read that scooting a lot can sometimes be a symptom too if there is a syrinx in the lumbar region of the spine. I wasn't aware of this to be honest, but Murphy scoots a lot, he get's his glads checked regularly because I take him in when he's been scooting lots, but the vets normally say that the gland aren't particularly full. We were in last week because he was scooting, and I thought this could have been what was wrong with him, but the vet said they were fine. Something else to think about or just me looking for something which isn't there?

My Ebony has no SM but symptomatic CM. She used to scratch and roll about on her back in the morning and at night. She is on Gabapentin and if I don’t give her tablet early enough in the morning she will scratch and roll about on the floor and rub her face with her feet while rolling on the floor, that’s how she scratched her eye tree times with her dew claw.

This sounds a bit like us. When Rosie was about 3 I was always saying to my husband that she is face rubbing but only after a meal or toilet, and as our X Breed used to do it my husband said I am paranoid. As the time went on I was more and more convinced that Rosie was showing signs of SM and I think I was in denial. When my other two were MRI scanned because other reasons and they have CM & SM I felt really bad for Rosie as all my time and energy was taken up with the other two and to be honest I couldn’t take much more at that time. My husband is of no help he loves them very much but he is at work evenings/nights and he listens to what I read about SM but I am left to sort out absolutely everything what concerns the dogs. He wouldn’t even know what tablets when and what dog. He just says well go ahead and have Rosie scanned, I am so glad I got the Forum as I am emotionally drained. Rosie has problems with her ears, anal glands and skin problems so I have switched her to raw food to see if that will improve anything and if I still think she is showing signs of SM I will have her scanned and go from there.

murphy's mum
3rd March 2012, 10:34 PM
That's it isn't it Margaret, it's the fact that individually they are all "normal" dog behaviour. I checked his bum, and there's no sign of dried poo, but I will keep an eye on it. He's definitely scratching more today, which he doesn't really do, so I'll speak to the vet on Tuesday when we're back, just to make sure there isn't anything else he can think of.

Sabby, sorry to hear about your suspicions about Rosie, it sometimes feels like there's no end to it all doesn't it? Murphy has always head rubbed when he is wet, or after something special for tea, he's never done it as often as today. He's done it three times, each time was the same. He would scratch, then lean down and head rub, and then roll about on his back. I'm just keeping a note of it all, and speak to the vet about my fears. I know he's said not to leap to the SM conclusion, but I don't want him to dismiss it just because his symptoms are different from Misty's.

Sabby
4th March 2012, 10:49 AM
It sounds the same then what Ebony does, and this morning Ebony had me up at 5 am. Wonder if the air pressure has dropped that’s when Ebony and a lot of other dogs with CM/SM get worse. I would never had knows that Ebony has symptomatic CM if she wouldn’t had bad discs and had to have an MRI for the discs. Thinking back Ebony has rolled about on the floor for a while and I thought it was a quirky behaviour because other dogs do it. Since she has been on Gabapentin it all has stopped. I think if you are insured and it goes on much longer then have Murphy MRId otherwise I think you drive yourself crazy. At least you will know for sure. I think the guessing and not knowing is worse.

murphy's mum
5th March 2012, 01:29 PM
I had Allison call me this morning to catch up over Misty, now she on steroids. Misty is scratching more and more at the moment, but seems happier in herself. We've to keep a doggy diary, to see her good and bad days.

While I was on the phone I asked if I should get Murphy referred. I ran through the scooting, paw licking/chewing, the back discomfort, and now the head rubbing and rolling. Allison said the first two could be allergies, although he doesn't make the skin sore as he mostly does it after waking up. She did say that there could still be a disc problem a X-ray doesn't pick up the discs. She said if it would put my mind at rest then to get a referral, she'd happily see him. And if I have any problems getting an appointment to call her. An MRI will pick up any spinal or CM/SM.


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cavalover
5th March 2012, 01:43 PM
Do you have an idea what the allergies may be at this point? Both of my parents' dogs at ages 6 and 7 (different breeds, too, as one is a golden and the other is a brittany spaniel) were discovered to have poultry allergies after a very careful process of elimination. It actually is a pretty common source of allergies in dogs, which was a surprise to my family. For months, both had been scratching terribly and developing hot spots. Working with their vet, they changed the food to salmon and buffalo meat based products. This has completely fixed the problem.

murphy's mum
5th March 2012, 03:34 PM
No idea at all, he's done it for a couple of years now. His foods the same now as it was since he was young, and I never change washing powder or conditioner. The hole in the allergy theory is while he chews his rear feet, and licks the joint on his front legs he hasn't irritated the skin underneath. The fur has changed colour from white to a pink/brown. But there is no skin irritation at all. He normally only does it after waking up too.


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Pat
5th March 2012, 07:20 PM
She did say that there could still be a disc problem a X-ray doesn't pick up the discs.

This is correct - you can't rule disc disease in or out just with xrays alone, although x-rays can give some clues. An MRI, CT scan or myelogram is needed for definitive diagnosis. You can google "degenerative disc disease in dogs" and find a lot of info. You can treat with pain meds and strict rest based on a presumptive diagnosis of IVDD, esp. if you aren't considering surgery for IVDD (as most people do not in milder cases). I've cut and pasted some things below:

"The results of spinal radiographs can sometimes be misleading. The normal disc, and most degenerating discs, are invisible (as are the spinal cord and nerve roots) on plain x-rays. Only if the disc has calcified will it be evident on plain x-rays. Thus it is common for a disc to displace and produce no radiographic clue as to its precise location. Moreover, remember that disc calcification is common, even in degenerating discs that have not displaced (i.e. are asymptomatic). This combination can lead to an incorrect identification of the disc causing problems. It takes a practiced eye to read through the subtleties and artifacts on a spinal x-ray, and even then the exact diagnosis may be in doubt. Furthermore, obtaining good quality spinal x-rays requires the patient to be completely immobilized, and this usually means employing a general anesthetic."

"How is a slipped disc diagnosed?

A presumptive diagnosis of disc disease is made based on the dog's history of neck or back pain, uncoordinated walking, or paralysis when there is no history of trauma. The physical examination will indicate that the problem originates from the spinal cord, giving further evidence to disc disease. Another important factor is the breed. If the dog is one of the high incidence breeds, the diagnosis is even more likely.

In some cases, plain radiographs (x-rays) may assist the diagnosis, but they may also be normal since neither the disc nor the spinal cord is visible on an x-ray. If the diagnosis is in doubt or if surgery is to be performed, a myelogram may be done. This procedure involves injecting a special dye around the spinal cord while the dog is anesthetized. When radiographs are taken, the dye will be seen outlining the spinal cord. A break in the dye column means that there is pressure on the spinal cord at that point.

Most disc ruptures occur in the middle to lower part of the back. However, they may also occur in the neck. Back injuries often cause paralysis without severe pain while neck injuries usually cause severe pain without paralysis. If paralysis affects all four legs, the disc rupture must be in the neck. Due to the way nerve tracts are arranged in the spinal cord, disc ruptures in the neck may affect the rear legs first and may not involve the front limbs.

How fast do discs degenerate and rupture?

Disc degeneration usually occurs relatively slowly, usually over several days or weeks. The dog often experiences pain and becomes reluctant to move. It may lie around for a few days allowing the body to try to heal the injury, often without the owner being aware that a problem existed. However, discs may also rupture very acutely. Some dogs will go from normal walking to total paralysis in less than one hour."

http://animalhealthcare.com/handouts/dogs/disc.htm

My experience has been that a physical exam by a neurologist or an orthopedic specialist can be especially helpful - much more so than an exam by a GP vet. I have had several geriatric dogs that had degenerative IVDD but none of them required surgery.

Pat

Pat
5th March 2012, 07:41 PM
To add to my post above - one of the problems having Cavaliers is that symptoms for SM and symptoms for IVDD can be very similar, and both problems are not uncommon in the breed. If you had, for instance, a dachshund with symptoms of pain/limping/ataxia, you could be pretty sure you were dealing with IVDD, but with a Cavalier, it's a guessing game unless you have an MRI done. A specialist is likely able to make a more educated guess based on physical exam alone. My drugs of choice for IVDD pain are Robaxin and Tramadol - different from what I would use for pain for CM/SM (gabapentin or Lyrica and Tramadol added if needed). I personally won't use NSAIDS as I'm not willing to risk the side effects; and I strongly disagree (and can back up my experience with the literature) with much of what's been posted in this forum about Tramadol, FWIW. I will use steroids if absolutely necessary, but I like to try other drugs first and, if steroids are needed, then try to quickly move to every other day dosage of steroids with a goal to the shortest possible length of treatment.

Pat

Pat
5th March 2012, 07:47 PM
The hole in the allergy theory is while he chews his rear feet, and licks the joint on his front legs he hasn't irritated the skin underneath. The fur has changed colour from white to a pink/brown. But there is no skin irritation at all. He normally only does it after waking up too.

But that's really not a "hole in the allergy theory." Paw and leg licking is a classic sign of allergies - and the dog doesn't have to mutilate the skin for this to be allergies. My Tucker has seasonal allergies (spring and fall pollens), and he does a lot of paw licking and he'll do some chewing on his body too when pollen is high - but he never leaves a mark or damages his skin. I use hydroxyzine (prescription drug) for his seasonal allergies, and it does a very good job at stopping the symptoms. My shih tzu also has allergies and the fur on her feet and legs is also pink from saliva, and she doesn't irritate her skin either.

Pat

murphy's mum
5th March 2012, 08:00 PM
Thanks for your posts Pat, some very helpful information there. I know deep down I'd be happier with an MRI, but I think I need a good long chat with the vet tomorrow.

cavalover
5th March 2012, 10:24 PM
I agree with Pat's statement regarding paw and leg licking as the classic sign of allergies, and that you don't have to have a lot of skin damage. I have attached a picture of one of Molson, the golden retriever's, hot spot (sorry to post a non-cavalier picture on here). It is on the back leg, and all of his hot spots looked like this prior to being diagnosed with the chicken allergy.

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7051/6810991212_9b4bacb79a_z.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lsidari/6810991212/)
Molson (http://www.flickr.com/photos/lsidari/6810991212/) by LSidari (http://www.flickr.com/people/lsidari/), on Flickr

As the hot spot would develop, we could see the hair in the area become thinner and the skin underneath darker. The hair would eventually fall out from his licking and biting, but he never really got open, bloody skin like other dogs classically present with. These occurred primarily on his back legs. Missy, their brittany spaniel, also developed the allergy symptoms (6 months after Molson). Her hot spots actually appeared directly on the joints of her front and back feet, similar to Murphy's description. Her hot spots were worse, though, with sometimes getting bloody and open. Molson and Missy ate the same food everyday before developing the allergies (Cooked chicken and Iam's dry food). For this reason, and the fact that they developed the same allergies so close together, my parents did not think the food was the cause and it took a year of expensive testing and headaches to figure it out. They had to take them to a major U.S. veterinary hospital (Cornell University) to be diagnosed. The poultry certainly was the cause, because a year after being poultry and symptom free, those two mischief makers got into chicken trimmings in the trash and the itching started right up again! I am not saying it is necessarily the cause of Murphy's itching, but definitely worth ruling out as it is a very simple problem to treat!

Sabby
5th March 2012, 11:11 PM
My vet who is an orthopaedic surgeon believed that most of the pain with Ebony came from her 3 degenerated discs. When Clare Rusbridge looked at her scan she said that the pain Ebony has is mainly from her CM.

Before medication Ebony used to roll around and scratch in the morning and in the evening. Nothing during the day.

murphy's mum
6th March 2012, 06:39 PM
:updte:

Just back from the vets, and I'm bloody raging! I saw the head vet tonight, he is the same guy that referred Misty after we moved from our old vets. I explained Murphy's sudden onset of symptoms, and my worry over his intense scooting and paw licking over the weekend, coupled with the fact he'd started rolling on his back. I told him that by Saturday Murphy wasn't showing any back discomfort, and has been full of beans since, but the other symptom still had me confirmed.

The first thing he did was check his skin, especially around the points he licks. He said he believes Murphy is licking due to a develpoed habit, rather than allergies, especially as he has done it for so many years. There is no hair loss or irritation, and Murphy only does if after waking up in the morning or after sleeping for a while.

Now to why I'm mad. He said he'd just double check his glands, and low and behold, they were fit to burst! :-X

I said they had been checked last Tuesday by his colleague, as this was my first concern because of his symptoms, and I was told then they were fine. I know my old vet always said Murphy's glads were difficult to empty, but still how could he have missed them being so full. I got an apology for it being missed, but no offer of the £99 for his spinal x-rays being refunded of course :(

From now on I think I'll be asking for Richard, unless of course it's an emergency.

pippa
6th March 2012, 07:11 PM
This is so annoying, they should have offered you some small refund or not charged you today. There are four vets in the practice I use. There was only one years back when we first went:) I am with them years, even before I had cavaliers.

I always ask for either the head vet or another girl, that we seen today as the head man is on holiday. Of course in an emergency we can't always choose but then I never feel happy....

Bet Murphy feels better now with those glands empty.

How is his back?

murphy's mum
6th March 2012, 08:38 PM
His backs fine, Richard had him by the back legs pulling them straight out at the same time, Murphy looked like a wheelbarrow, and he was manipulating his head in a full range of movement too. Murphy never even twitched.

He has seemed much better since Saturday though, I've been trying to rest him and keep him quiet and all he's done is bark at me wanting to play:roll: He's been bursting at the seams, he's normally really active, and loves his long walks. I've to start returning him to normal exercise see how he responds. Richard wants to see him again next week to see how things are.

Karlin
6th March 2012, 09:27 PM
That all sounds good. A shame they missed his anal glands -- FWIW even when mine have very full anal glands it has never caused additional behaviours. Other dogs get really bothered! So can be hard to know if it;s significant or not. Good to get them emptied before infection or rupture.

murphy's mum
7th March 2012, 06:56 PM
That all sounds good. A shame they missed his anal glands -- FWIW even when mine have very full anal glands it has never caused additional behaviours. Other dogs get really bothered! So can be hard to know if it;s significant or not. Good to get them emptied before infection or rupture.

Misty is like that, she never scoots, but we normally get hers done at the same time as Murphy's and they are normally quite full.

Murphy hasn't scooted today, but has been rolling still, but I'll see how he goes over the next few days. He got an injection to try and soothe his glands as they were so full, so I'm hoping everything settles back to normal :)