View Full Version : Two out of two

Kate H
3rd May 2012, 08:35 PM
I took Aled along to the Midland Cavalier Club mini scanning day at Chestergates on Tuesday, and yes, he's got SM. Mild so far, with moderately dilated ventricles and a smallish syrinx. The plus side is that he has no recognisable symptoms (which doesn't mean he doesn't have any at all, just that there's nothing to pick up at the moment!), and to all intents and purposes he is simply a healthy, happy dog who only sets foot in the vet's for his boosters. After 5 years of living with Oliver's SM, I automatically keep an eye on both of them anyway, and that's all I'll continue to do. Aled was always a risk as he is a puppy farm rescue of unknown background, so developing SM wasn't a great surprise, though it would have been a lovely bonus if he hadn't.

The husband of a well-known breeder recently wrote in a letter to Our Dogs that 'full blown SM with clinical symptoms is very rare' - Aled so far has no obvious discomfort, but he does have CM, herniation, dilated ventricles and a syrinx, which I reckon could be regarded as 'full blown SM', so perhaps I should invite this gentleman to visit my 100% CM/SM household?! :bang:

Oliver had a BAER hearing test while we were at Chestergates, and below 90 decibels (ie, me yelling at him to stop trying to get the chicken bones out of the kitchen bin!) he is virtually completely deaf. So a good day was had by all!:lol:

Kate, Oliver the Naughty Old Man, and Aled the Happy Rescue

3rd May 2012, 09:06 PM
I'm so sorry Kate

3rd May 2012, 09:15 PM
I'm sorry too about Aled Kate, wasn't he lucky that you rescued him, and already you are one step ahead of his SM. I hope he continues to keep well and also that his deafness doesn't get worse. Maybe the writer of that article also needs to have a hearing test - as he clearly isn't able to hear what we can :(
Take care.

3rd May 2012, 09:16 PM
Oops I've just realised that its Oliver with the hearing problem, sorry!

3rd May 2012, 09:28 PM
Hi Kate,

Sorry to hear Aled has SM. But at least he has you to keep an eye on him.

M&O x

3rd May 2012, 09:37 PM
So sad to read this news Kate :( yes I would love to show the MRI scans and the stories of my affected dogs to that person - and the effect it has had on our lives :(

Perhaps they would like to read the SM/MVD section on here and then they can get an idea of what it is like to live with these issues. They could also perhaps keep up to date with the research...

Oh and Glasgow vet school tell me that on average they diagnose one Cavalier EVERY DAY with SCM/SM and clinical symptoms...[I was told a few years ago by the now Scottish club health rep that it wasn't a problem in Scotland]

It is hard to hear that Oliver is deaf now, it seems to be quite common with older Cavaliers these days. At least you know for sure now and can manage it.

3rd May 2012, 11:10 PM
So sorry to hear about Aled having SM. Even if it wasn’t a great surprise to you it still leaves you sad. Also it is very sad that it seems nearly the norm not to be surprised anymore when we see our Cavaliers Scans and they have SM. I wasn’t shocked when mine were diagnosed and Harleys I thought that it was an agility injury. I was majorly upset but not shocked to see that he had SM.

I just hope that Aled stays pain free.

Sydneys Mom
4th May 2012, 12:11 AM
Even though you expected this, I'm sure it still wasn't easy to hear. I'm sorry you have to go through this.

4th May 2012, 12:23 AM
I'm sorry to read this news Kate.
I just hope he remains asymptomatic for you,poor little fella just doesn't deserve this.
None of them do..

4th May 2012, 12:26 AM
Kate, so sorry you got that result on Aled's scan -- it is sometimes hard to know whether to scan and I know well the nailbiting wait to be called in to go over a scan.

But this is a very variable condition. My two rescues with SM have always just had very mild symptoms and initially were not on anything at all; now one is on cimetidine. One is now 8+, one around 5 or 6. Most people would never recognise them as having symptoms -- but anyone familiar with SM would likely notice after some observation. Hopefully Aled will be fine, and get along without having any obvious difficulties. :flwr: It becomes a background worry, but I have had such different cases with my three with SM that it is very hard to predict and we enjoy each day as it comes. Only one of the three would have been a possible surgery case in my mind, and he continues to do pretty well on meds at over 8.

The letter you refer to really is extraordinary -- you wonder if some of these people have eyes in their heads (or scan...). I would wager they have never brought their dogs in for an actual, clinical assessment with a neurologist! And therefore have absolutely no ability to judge whether even their own dogs have 'clinical symptoms' -- when most vets miss them. :rolleyes: If their children had brains protruding into their spinal cords because their skulls were too small, but 'didn't have clinical symptoms', you wonder would they dismiss SM and the worry it brings on diagnosis REGARDLESS of overt and obvious symptoms, quite so readily. But then, they don't win awards by displaying their children, or sell their offspring, so not quite the same motivation to trivialise the problem I guess?

Margaret C
4th May 2012, 01:04 PM
Kate, I am sorry that you did not get better news. You and Aled deserve better.
Fingers crossed that he remains without symptoms of pain.

The husband of a well-known breeder recently wrote in a letter to Our Dogs that 'full blown SM with clinical symptoms is very rare' - Aled so far has no obvious discomfort, but he does have CM, herniation, dilated ventricles and a syrinx, which I reckon could be regarded as 'full blown SM', so perhaps I should invite this gentleman to visit my 100% CM/SM household?! :bang:

I would like to know what is the the writer's criteria for 'full blown SM with clinical symptoms'?
I sometimes think there are people who would deny their dog had SM even if it was scratching and screaming in front of them.

Anyone reading this forum or the facebook page of the Companion Cavalier Club will realise just how many pet owners are coping with cavaliers with 'clinical symptoms' and I am afraid with dinosaurs like this it is only going to get worse.

I wonder if this is the letter where the writer suggested that symptomatic and asymptomtic SM should be given different names? Why I wonder?
MVD is still MVD even if the dog is not coughing, slipping patella is still slipping patella even if the dog is not limping, or do we give those conditions other names and ignore their inherited status as well.

What really surprises me is that seemingly intelligent and educated people seem incapable of accepting that if a cavalier has SM, even if it does not show what they would recognise as pain symptoms, then it has those faulty genes to pass on to the next generation. Taking steps to try and prevent this happening, or at least happening when cavaliers are very young is surely what a responsible breeder would do?

4th May 2012, 03:59 PM
So sorry to hear this news. And poor little Oliver, not hearing you scolding him! Bet he likes that part ;).

I did have a blind and deaf dog and he coped well beyond what you would imagine. He was a brilliant dog, and responded to a foot stomp, and the blindness was never an issue once he learned to go by smell

Kate H
4th May 2012, 08:42 PM
Thank you for kind words. Fortunately, I have a very pragmatic mind, so Aled's SM really is simply another problem which may or may not need dealing with at some point, and on the whole I don't worry about things that haven't happened yet or can't be changed. I've been lucky with Oliver who, apart from his eye problem, has never had a great deal of pain or discomfort from his SM, so :xfngr: Aled will do as well or even better. And I know a lot more about it than when I started on Oliver's journey! Meanwhile I have two great little dogs, we have a lot of fun together - and we would all enjoy a country walk tomorrow if only it would STOP RAINING!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

5th May 2012, 10:45 AM
Oh Kate, I wish you had better news, but your outlook and approach is something we all could learn from. Hug to you Oliver and Aled. xx