View Full Version : UPDATE!! Kayleigh - screaming episode

12th August 2012, 07:57 PM
Kayleigh had a screaming episode on Friday :( [diagnosed by MRI with CM last August]. My husband took her to the woods for a walk with the others, he noticed she was sitting awkwardly and then she just started screaming :( he had to carry her back to the car, she was limp. By the time they got to the car she was moaning and whining. [Definitely not a seizure].

She wasn't so bad by the time they got home but I gave her some pain relief and arranged a vet appointment. I was pretty sure it was the CM but wanted to get her checked over just in case. The vet agreed and was worried about her, we had a discussion about quality of life if she has more screaming episodes - if we couldn't control them we would give her her wings as we wouldn't let her suffer. My vet said they have to be in tremendous pain to scream like that, as dogs hide pain.

Kayleigh has been quiet over the weekend, we are keeping her on restricted for a week. Obviously we are very worried about taking her out now :(

The weather pressure changes will not have helped - it is so unsettled, been really hot again today but the pressure has dropped quite dramatically over the weekend.

Hard to see her looking so miserable


12th August 2012, 07:59 PM
Some of you may know that Clare Rusbridge has been involved in editing a book on the human condition http://www.amazon.co.uk/Syringomyelia-Disorder-Circulation-Understanding-Perspectives/dp/3540724842/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1344697717&sr=8-1

Clare suggested perhaps trying Normast - this is from a chapter in the book

<<An open pilot trial in twelve Cavalier King Charles spaniels, with MRI-confirmed syringomyelia and behavioural signs of neuropathic pain, revealed that, after two months of 150 mg palmitoylethanolamide [Normast] once daily, the owners’ subjective impression was that improvement occurred in all dogs. This improvement was seen within eight days and lasted throughout the two month observation time. There was also a suggestion of a lasting positive effect when the drug was continued long term. In some cases, when owners stopped the drug, there was a recurrence of the dogs’ pain behaviour within a few days (Keppel Hesselink 2011).>>

12th August 2012, 09:15 PM
Poor Kayleigh. I love her sweet little face in the picture. Keeping you guys and Kayleigh in my thoughts and prayers.

Sydneys Mom
12th August 2012, 09:17 PM
Oh Nicki, I am so sorry to hear this. I sincerely hope that this is an isolated incident and that you can get Kayleigh's pain under control. I will certainly be sending good thoughts and wishes your way. :hug:

Let us know how she is getting on.

12th August 2012, 10:35 PM
Nicki, I understand only too well how alarming the screaming episodes are because my Rebel had them when he first became symptomatic for SM. It was so bad that I had to take him outside the surgery while we were waiting to see the vet because it was alarming the other dogs and cats and people kept asking what was wrong with him. He always went rigid with the pain though, but once the Frusemide started working a day or two later it all stopped.

Would it be a good idea for Kayleigh to see a neurologist, who might be able to prescribe effective pain control? I know you don't want her to suffer unnecessarily, but do you want to give up on her without taking expert advice? I feared the worst for Rebel a few weeks ago, but then tweaked his medication and turned it all around. Today he jumped almost high enough to almost land on the kitchen worktop and Rebel is almost 10 years old.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

12th August 2012, 11:30 PM
Poor baby, she is so cute. Its just not fair that you can't walk your dog without bring along pain meds just in case. Sounds like you were able to get her out of pain fairly quickly. I'm sure the screaming is distressing for the other dogs too.

Love my Cavaliers
12th August 2012, 11:52 PM
Oh Kayleigh, she's too young for this! I've said it before and I'll say it again, I HATE SM!

13th August 2012, 08:45 PM
Thanks everyone - don't worry Flo she is under the care of a neurologist and a fantastic vet, who has been learning all he can about how to manage the condition. She is on Zitac, Lyrica and an opioid...We won't give up on her until we run out of options, but we won't let her suffer either.

I'm so sorry that Rebel has had a bad time again but it's fantastic that he is so much better - really hard to hear all these stories about our beloved companions suffering :(

Kayleigh is doing a bit better, she had a short walk today [on lead] but again wasn't too bothered when Trevor took the others, she just cuddled up next to me. That is really not like her, she goes and sits by the door so you can't get out without her normally.

I'm sure the air pressure is really affecting them all - it was 1023 millibars on Sat night and 1003 today So quite a drop.

Clare Rusbridge has written back about Kayleigh, there is a rare complication with [human] CM/SM called drop attacks which is almost like a faint they seem aware of what is going on but can't respond. Found some stuff about it from sufferers:

<<the blockage of CSF keeps the signals from travelling down the spinal cord and back to the brain, so when it blocks off completely the brain doesn't send the signal to stand.>>

<<When you pass out you feel yourself going .....a distinct feeling and you feel woozy [and clammy and nauseous!] With a drop attack you feel fine and the next thing you know you are mid fall.>>

TThis worried me but I have NEVER heard of it happening. I think it could easily be confused with a seizure though. I have been dealing with CM/SM since 1998. I think with Kayleigh what happened was that the fluid got blocked hence the extreme pain, and then the drop attack.

I don't want to frighten people but think we need to be aware of these things so we can get help as soon as possible if something happens.

14th August 2012, 08:20 PM
poor kayleigh i feel so sorry for you all
i do hope she feeling better soon
sending kisses and cuddles to beautiful kayleigh

14th August 2012, 08:40 PM
I am so so sorry to hear about Kayleigh. It must have been terrible for Trevor to experience that too.
I do hope that she is doing a little better by now (I have only just seen your post), this is such a distressing condition with so many different problems!

Sending you all hugs and please let us know how Kayleigh is getting on.

Brian M
14th August 2012, 08:43 PM
Hi Nicki

Best wishes to you both and I am sure you will find some way of stabalising Kayleigh .At one time I used to buy a baromemter on
every holiday so must have ten dotted around and even found a shop in Cornwall that just sold them but thankfully have not noticed
any effect on daisy or rosie .I have asked the question you mentioned so will advise as soon as I know ,I am not the type to give in .

14th August 2012, 08:47 PM
Thank you - yes she is a bit better, not how she was before the episode unfortunately though.

Brian I bought a lovely old fashioned barometer but it doesn't work :( I have now gone digital!! . I have a wee clock with a barometer and weather forecast on it, it's pretty accurate actually and now is showing a rather nice picture of the sun coming up from behind the clouds - guess that means sunny spells :)

karen baker
14th August 2012, 09:58 PM
Dear nicki, so sorry to hear of kayleighs episode, lets hope she gets through this as quick as possible, Ruby was diagnosed in may, but at the moment is non symtomatic, but she does have other health issues, you mentioned about seizures in one of your posts, ruby had a couple last year, she was disorientated and went and hid under the table, she could,nt stand, and she had a rapid eye movement, but was not aware she had any pain, my vet thought it could have been petit mal seizure, it was good that you were around at the time, so you can reassure her, it upsets me so much to see this terrible condition, cause so much heartache, sending lots of love and hugs from us all karen,ruby and sadie :lotsaluv:

14th August 2012, 10:27 PM
:flwr: :xfngr:


murphy's mum
15th August 2012, 11:46 AM
Sorry to hear Kayleigh hasn't been doing so well. The changing pressures has had a negative effect on Misty too. She back to full doses of Tramadol to settle her down, but she's still quieter than normal.

Give Kayleigh a gentle hug, and I hope she's feeling better soon.

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Sydneys Mom
15th August 2012, 02:22 PM
Happy to see that Kayleigh is a bit better. Hoping for a steady improvement. Thinking of you both.

16th August 2012, 02:41 PM
Thinking of Kayleigh and hoping that she is improving.

16th August 2012, 05:42 PM
Oh no; that's so distressing :(. And very stressful for you. I hope she is much better now. :flwr:

18th August 2012, 12:12 AM
We really appreciate all the good wishes and kind posts, and I'm sorry to say that Kayleigh is not doing as well as we would like

She had a bad night Weds, was very restless, and panting. I put her on her back on a very soft pillow - sometimes this reduces the pressure. She also had extra pain medication but it didn't help.

We telephoned the vet first thing Thursday, and he agreed that we should try steroids. [Previously these were used more often as a treatment but obivously the side effects are a huge consideration. Ideally the dose is reduced and then given alternate days to help the body to cope.]

Methylprednisolone is shown on Clare Rusbridge's treatment algorithmhttp://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/syringomyelia/docs/treatalgo.pdf

We started it Thursday and haven't really seen any improvement yet. Unfortuantely Kayleigh is already drinking a considerable amount more water, and urinating more frequently [side effects], she went out three times in the night between 11pm and 6am :( Despite that she still wet the bed. I know she can't help it, we are now covering everything with incontinence pads.

We are keeping her quiet and really hoping that the steroids will help. . Surgery is not an option.

Please keep her in your thoughts, she's only 3 and it is so hard to see them suffering.

Sydneys Mom
18th August 2012, 12:23 AM
Oh Nicki, my heart is breaking for you. I know you are doing all possible to help Kayleigh and keep her from suffering. I am praying for you and hope the steroids will help.

murphy's mum
18th August 2012, 07:40 PM
Oh no Nicki, what a difficult time for you. If only this air pressure would settle down!

Hopefully the steroids will start to have a positive effect on her soon. It must be so hard to keep your chin up, but keep thinking positive thoughts, I'm sure Kayleigh will get through this and bounce back soon.

Both times Misty has started new steroid course she developed urine infections soon after, that needed treated(coincidence?).

18th August 2012, 07:50 PM
Thank you both - and for the lovely PM Joyce

Paula that is interesting - although poor Misty that's not very pleasant. - one of the side effects of the steroids as I said is the excessive thirst and urinating, which you would think would flush the bladder?

This afternoon she just wet on the sofa where she was lying :( had to wash her.

murphy's mum
18th August 2012, 09:28 PM
This afternoon she just wet on the sofa where she was lying :( had to wash her.

Aww, wee soul :(

18th August 2012, 10:53 PM
Big hugs to Trevor's special girl from us.

19th August 2012, 12:31 AM
Sending good thoughts to Kayleigh--hope she comes back to her old self very soon.

Margaret C
19th August 2012, 03:45 PM
Dear Nicki,

I do hope you can get Kayleigh really comfortable again soon. I'm thinking of all of you.

My Henry Boy
19th August 2012, 07:06 PM
I'm so sorry to hear she's not doing well. I will keep your girl in my thoughts and prayers. Henry sends her kisses!

Love my Cavaliers
20th August 2012, 01:43 PM
When Oz got sprayed by the skunk last week, he screamed in pain (he got sprayed in the eyes and face). I cannot imagine having an SM/CM dog who regularly screamed in pain. Luckily Riley, my SM dog, has never screamed in pain. I would be beside myself trying to figure out how to help her - like you are doing with Kayleigh now Nicki. Just hearing Oz's agonizing screams that day was enough to make me understand how that is no quality of life for a dog who feels that on a regular basis, or even on an irregular basis but is miserable in between. I do hope that Kayleigh bounces back and lives a long happier life with you.

21st August 2012, 08:46 PM
Update on Kayleigh, she's much the same, After grooming she has a panting episode [pain, doesn't want to be near anyone] for about 20 minutes, so only doing it alternate days and trying not to pull her around too much. If this continues then I will speak to the vet about sedating her and having her coat clipped off.

Defintely not too hot, we live in an old stone cottage and the highest indoor temperature has been 22C!

I have a call in to the vet to see if there is anything else we can try - she has been on the steroids for 6 days so I would have expected to see an improvement by now.

Thank you for your kind posts and for the lovely PMs - unforutnatley I have just started some new medication and it's making me feel a bit rough so sorry for not replying yet or being around very much.

22nd August 2012, 11:16 AM
im sorry to hear that kayleigh is sill havibg a hard time. sending hugs so that she is feeling better soon xx

23rd August 2012, 12:11 AM
Was just wondering if Kayleigh is feeling any better Nicki. Let us know when you feel up to it please.

Sydneys Mom
23rd August 2012, 12:24 AM
Hoping both you and Kayleigh are feeling better.

murphy's mum
23rd August 2012, 10:29 AM
Aww Nicki. What a bad time for the pair of you. Has she shown any improvement?

What's Glasgow saying about it?

I now get Misty clipped short so we don't groom. It was clearly uncomfortable for her. We leave her ears and her tail, with some feathers, but the body hair goes.

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23rd August 2012, 11:59 AM
Thank you. We think she is a bit brighter this morning, she is slightly more interested in what is going on, wags her tail when you go towards her etc.

we are speaking to the vet again today about trying something else.

If she is ok next week I will book her in to be clipped

24th August 2012, 02:42 PM

Today she is heaps better!! She is happy to sit with the other dogs [she was withdrawing from them] and although not happy to be picked up still, she isn't quite so tense.

She is approaching you wagging her tail when you enter the room which is a huge improvement.

Obviously it's impossible to say whether it is the Normast or the steroids that are helping her at the moment...

Thank you again for all the lovely posts and the support.

Nicki and a happier Kayleigh!

24th August 2012, 03:34 PM
Lovely news Nicki ! I hope this improvement continues each day. Sending lots of :hug:these to you all !

Sydneys Mom
24th August 2012, 03:42 PM
This is the best news and just made my day! What a relief this must be for you and Trevor. I hope you are feeling better too!

24th August 2012, 09:10 PM
Wonderful news!! xxx

24th August 2012, 10:12 PM
This is really good news. Time for you to relax and to pamper yourself a little after all you've been through.

24th August 2012, 10:58 PM
I am just now reading this. I am so sorry Nicki & cannot imagine. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I hope that she can begin to get comfortable soon. xx

24th August 2012, 11:35 PM
Thinking of little Kayleigh and you Nicki, hopefully she will keep on improving.

murphy's mum
25th August 2012, 01:48 PM
Oh great. I'm so happy to hear she's feeling better :)

murphy's mum
28th August 2012, 08:59 AM
How's she been Nicki? Hoping she's continuing to improve.

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28th August 2012, 04:10 PM
Thanks Paula - as you know Kayleigh had a good evening Thurs and great day Friday, but has not been good since. I never know when to post what, as it's such an emotional rollercoaster :( Last night we were saying that we didn't think she was having enough "good moments", complicated by 2 episodes of uncontrolled urinating when awake – within one hour of each other. Both times she stood up, looked surprised and moved away and started trying to clean herself. She has been lying on the lino floor a lot, on her side, so obviously she soaked her coat. I had to wash her [rear end only] and that set off another panting episode. We had another two accidents overnight so I was up the loft at midnight finding another duvet :(

I have always successfully treated incontinence with an homoeopathic remedy made from Propolin - both spay incontinence and two dogs with incontinence due to CM/SM, so I am dosing Kayleigh with that. today she has been dribbling still. Clare Rusbridge says the high dose steroids might be causing it so we should look to reduce them soon.

Kayleigh is booked in on Friday to be sedated and clipped.

We are increasing the Lyrica dose to see if that helps, unfortunately I have to go away on Sunday for a week leaving my husband in charge so that is going to be difficult.

Clare said she had three other dogs across the country who kept her anxious over the weekend - she is so wonderful, and really cares about all the dogs - and their people.

murphy's mum
28th August 2012, 04:28 PM
Aww no! A rollercoaster indeed. It must be difficult to stay on top of your emotions right now. I know you'll do the best for Kayleigh, but remember to look after yourself too.

We'll all keep up the positive thoughts, and don't feel you need to keep posting if your struggling. I do hope you can get her off the steroids soon, SM is bad enough without little accidents to worry about too. We're all rooting for you and Kayleigh *hug*

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28th August 2012, 04:39 PM
Nicki ...Sorry I haven't been on the forum much lately..but wanted to say it is good to know things are a little better now w/ your Kayleigh. Our pups mean so much to us...it would be soooo very hard watching them go through all this. Praying for things to continue to improve. ~hugs~

28th August 2012, 04:43 PM
Oh no; a big hug, Nicki. Please remember to be kind to yourself and look after yourself while away. :flwr:

Sydneys Mom
28th August 2012, 04:55 PM
Oh Nicki, I am so sorry that Kayleigh is still having these problems. You are trying so hard to keep her comfortable........she is lucky to have you. :hug:

28th August 2012, 05:55 PM
So sorry that Kayleigh is having problems Nicki. Poor you too, it must be so worrying for you as well as all the extra washing and drying involved. Perhaps it is the steroids causing the incontinence, in which case she will be much better once you can reduce the dose. Have a good week away and keep in touch as and when you can please. Meanwhile, you are in my thoughts and prayers.

karen baker
28th August 2012, 09:58 PM
Ahh nicki, so pleased kayleigh is a lot more comfortable, i really hope they get her pain under control, so she can continue getting back to her normal self. karen,ruby and sadie :lotsaluv:

1st September 2012, 11:03 PM
Sorry I posted an update a few days ago and it's gone missing :(

Well Kayleigh is much the same really, she has her bright times. She was sedated and clipped yesterday, she was having a lot of pain when I brushed her and especially when I tried to cut her nails so this will make life more comfortable for her for a bit. she looks like a wee Teddy bear - she is SO tiny, it was all coat!!

I'm away for a week so hubby is in charge - with an instruction manual!

Sydneys Mom
1st September 2012, 11:20 PM
Would love to see a picture of Kayleigh with her new "hair-do"!!!!!!

I won't tell you not to worry while away, know that wouldn't be possible, but do take care of yourself and maybe relax a bit.

Sending lots of gentle hugs to Kayleigh.