View Full Version : Could this be connected to SM?

1st March 2012, 09:01 AM
Bosco has had SM for the last 4 years and we treat him with Lyrica which has kept things under control. I have been out of the country on holidays for the last 10 days, and when we were on a stopover on the way home in Dubai we got a frantic call from our son to tell us Bosco was very sick. Not the news we wanted to hear. Anyway, the upshot is that my son had found Bosco hiding in the understairs cupboard, unable to move, lying on his side, with his head tilted at an unusual angle. He picked him up and managed to get him on his feet, but Bosco needed to support his left side when he tried to walk, and the left side of his head was lowered, with the right eye bulging. He got him straight to the vet, who said it sounded like Bosco had had something similar to a stroke, and called it a vestibular episode. Bosco stayed in the vets for 2 nights, was treated with steroids, had nothing show up in his bloods apart from raised white blood count and is home now, eating, drinking as normal. He is quieter than usual, and is spending a lot of time in his crate.
Do you think that this could be connected to his SM, or could it be something else? It might have been an epileptic fit, but he wasn't observed fitting, I'm not sure what questions I need to ask, or what to do next, if anything. Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

Kate H
2nd March 2012, 10:49 AM
To be honest I'm beginning to think that ANYTHING could be connected to their SM!! It's like a many-headed Hydra: you get one head chopped off - one symptom under control - and seven more appear! About 7 years ago, when he was about 4, Oliver suddenly lost the use of his back legs, wobbled for a bit and then lay down and didn't move for about 2 hours. By the time the vet could see us, he was fine again and the vet could find nothing wrong. However, when I had occasion to look at his medical notes recently, the vet had put down ?mild stroke (he hadn't told me that!). Was it connected to his then undiagnosed SM? Or just something that happened? Anyone's guess! It's never happened exactly like that again, though Oliver does now, at nearly 11, have wobbly back legs again, whcih is almost certainly caused by his CM/SM.

There is a lot of information about vestibular episodes in dogs on the internet; it comes up regularly on my obedience forum (it seems quite common in Border Collies) and dogs usually seem to make a good recovery from an episode, but do need a quiet time to recover - which is what sensible Bosco seems to be giving himself.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

2nd March 2012, 11:16 AM
Doesn't sound to me like it's SM related.
Lyrica is an anti epileptic drug anyway?
Had he missed any doses of the Lyrica while you were away?

3rd March 2012, 01:34 PM
Hi Kate and Sins, thanks for your replies.
Sins, good point about the Lyrica, but to be honest, that's not a question I want to ask my son, as he would be devastated if he thought he was to blame for Bosco's symptoms. Somehow, I don't think a dose was missed, because my other dog Trapper is on a ton of meds for his heart, and the doling out of meds is ingrained in both dogs lives - they know when they are due to get them and wait for their turn. Of course, to their minds, all they are getting is a nice tasty treat. :p
Bosco is more or less back to himself now, we have an appointment for a check up with UCD vet hospital next week. This is where he was mri'd and diagnosed originally.

3rd March 2012, 04:05 PM
To me it does sound more like a vestibular episode/stroke (from what little I have heard about these conditions -- some here are far more familiar with vestibular episodes -- I think Nicki knows more about these? Also perhaps Pat?).

On the occasional times I've asked Clare Rusbridge about odd episodes that are neurological but are quite different from a kind of known range of things people tend to see with SM, she has always replied with the belief that it is some other neuromuscular or neurological issue. One thing that comes to mind too is whether he has accompanying hydrocephalus as that can cause different kinds of neurological problems.

Sounds like your son did all the right things. :flwr: