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emmaK11
15th June 2012, 02:51 AM
Hi everyone,
So i know Emma was diagnosed at an early age with CM, but does anyone else feel like they need some encouraging words from time to time? I just feel so discouraged sometimes and constantly stressed out about this.

Emma has been doing well since her diagnosis. Apart from the CM she is a healthy dog, she's still very playful and has a great appetite, and can play for hours with her friends. Im trying to take it each day at a time but in the back of my mind i know that she could progress one day and at some point the symptoms could be unbearable for her. Everyone says the earlier they are diagnosed the worse the clinical symptoms are and its like a knife into my heart every time i hear it.

Does anyone have any encouraging stories or thoughts? Is it true that these dogs can live a good quality of life with their symptoms controlled? Does anyone have an older cavalier that has SM/CM and has done well?

I know that SM/CM isn't a death sentence, but it really feels like one sometimes. I don't want to see Emma in pain one day. I want her to live a long happy life.

I know the facts and have read many things about CM and SM, I don't want to hear the negative possibilities, those are all too familiar to me at this point. My heart is aching from those thoughts. Im trying to stay positive but its so hard sometimes.


Thank you!
Emmas Mom

cavalover
15th June 2012, 03:30 AM
While it is a hard diagnosis to take in, I think it is great that you discovered early on the diagnosis and have helped her get the treatment she needs. Half the battle is sometimes just getting to the diagnosis. It sounds like you are doing a fabulous job and she is doing just great!! Make sure to give yourself some credit for that. If you had not been aware of the signs and symptoms, she might have been in pain now. Sometimes you have to take some time to give yourself a good pat on the back :)

Also, even for us with cavs not currently showing symptoms of SM/CM, the odds are against us that they will forever be free of the condition or symptoms. The fear of the negative consequences can consume you if you are not careful. The time we have with our healthy cavs is a blessing. Enjoy your time with her, because she is doing absolutely great! Try not to let the fear of the future get in the way of taking in the special moments.

DZee
15th June 2012, 06:24 AM
Emma's Mom...
Sending ya a cyber ~hug~
Any of us that love our dogs..never want to see them in pain. And the thought of losing them hurts as well. Try not to let your thoughts go there. I am sure you give your little Emma tons of love..and that is what she wants more than anything.
We have only had our Cavalier for 8 months..but I have 2 friends that own Cavaliers. One of my friends has also dealt w/ this..and although it has been hard at times..like Cavalover shared...just take one day at a time.
And no CM/SM...it is NOT a death sentence. I hope it is of some encouragement...my friend has a Cav. that is
( I think?) is 7 or 8 years old now. She is on med.'s but doing fine. Her symptoms are controlled..and she appears in no distress.
And my other friends has 2 younger Cav.'s..and they are quite healthy. So we just never know?

With life in general...none of us are guaranteed tomorrow...so sevor each moment and make it special.
Bless you....

Sabby
15th June 2012, 10:32 AM
You said that she was diagnosed with CM am I assuming right that it is symptomatic CM? As most Cavaliers have CM but not all are symptomatic. Is Emma on any medication? My Ebony is 5 and has symptomatic CM and is on gabapentin & Zitac. She is doing fine and you would never be able to tell that she has CM she is full of life. There are so many owners on here that have CM/SM affected dogs. On medication they can live a happy normal life depending how long depends on every individual dog. I know it is hard not to think about how long you have with them I do think about it when I feel down but the wonderful thing about dogs is that they live for today they don’t think about tomorrow.

MomObvious
15th June 2012, 10:56 AM
Hey, I got Fletcher knowing nothing about his parents, I mean nothing. So I can understand the "what if" game however your dog has been diagnosed with CM so there is added reason to worry. I think it is perfectly normal for you to feel this way, everyone needs encouragement sometimes. I'm sending you just that!!! I also think you have turned to the right place CT. I hope cavalier parents living with CM will share their thoughts with you.

I got Fletcher insurance, and will prey for the best. I will never miss any wellness visits to the vets, and will always drive him anywhere to see any specialist I need to.

Your being a good cavalier parent, don't discredit that. Just watch her and love her and caring for her. On earth none of know how long we're going to be here, so it's alright to think about that sometimes. Live for today is advice we should all take.

Melissa

Kate H
15th June 2012, 11:20 AM
My Oliver has both CM and SM and has just had his 11th birthday. His SM seems to cause few problems, his CM creates more problems (headaches and light phobia due to his brain ventricles being enlarged) but these are well controlled with medication - one CM-specific drug plus rimadyl. With hindsight, he's had these symptoms almost all his life, but he was only diagnosed when he was 6. Yesterday he trotted off-lead round the local park for an hour and his tail never stopped wagging. Every vet that sees him exclaims how fit he is for a Cavalier of his age. I watch his weight and keep an eye on him, but otherwise he leads a normal and busy life - country walking, travelling on trains and buses, going camping in a tent, doing PR for Pets as Therapy. I am cautious on his behalf (he's too adventurous for his own good!) - for example, we now holiday on the flat and easy beaches of Norfolk rather than the rocky, dune-backed sea coast of our beloved Northumberland - but I think it is important not to cosset them too much; quality of life is important.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Margaret C
15th June 2012, 06:23 PM
Hi everyone,
So i know Emma was diagnosed at an early age with CM, but does anyone else feel like they need some encouraging words from time to time? I just feel so discouraged sometimes and constantly stressed out about this.

Emma has been doing well since her diagnosis. Apart from the CM she is a healthy dog, she's still very playful and has a great appetite, and can play for hours with her friends. Im trying to take it each day at a time but in the back of my mind i know that she could progress one day and at some point the symptoms could be unbearable for her. Everyone says the earlier they are diagnosed the worse the clinical symptoms are and its like a knife into my heart every time i hear it.

Does anyone have any encouraging stories or thoughts? Is it true that these dogs can live a good quality of life with their symptoms controlled? Does anyone have an older cavalier that has SM/CM and has done well?

I know that SM/CM isn't a death sentence, but it really feels like one sometimes. I don't want to see Emma in pain one day. I want her to live a long happy life.

I know the facts and have read many things about CM and SM, I don't want to hear the negative possibilities, those are all too familiar to me at this point. My heart is aching from those thoughts. Im trying to stay positive but its so hard sometimes.


Thank you!
Emmas Mom

Tommy was diagnosed in 2005 when I took him to a low cost breeders MRI scheme. He was a 'wimp' who yelped occasionally for no reason & did not like having his ears brushed, but back then we did not know how common the condition was and I was dismayed to be told he had a syrinx.

He is still with me at eleven and a half years, though we have had some ups and down along the way. It is probably going to be MVD or kidney disease that will take him from me.

I would love to tell you that Emma will be alright but nobody can do that. When you have a dog with SM or symptomatic CM then you live with uncertainty all the time.
It is extremely worrying when you love your dog, but waiting and anticipating something that may not happen is a waste of time and energy that could be better channelled into raising money or awareness about CM/SM.

There is no words, no magic wand that will make you feel secure about Emma's future, but please don't let the happy days, when she is well, slip away. Make the most of the playful little dog you have now.