View Full Version : Murphy has early SM

murphy's mum
10th September 2012, 06:33 PM
We had our appointment at Glasgow SAH today with Murphy. We had to be there for 9am, so it was an early start to beat the traffic.

We saw a different Neurologist with Murphy, called Kate Stalin, she has been working with Claire Rusbridge in Wimbledon, and has only been at Glasgow two months. Murphy has had a consultation, full bloodwork and an MRI scan done today, so the poor guys currently out for the count. He was still groggy when we picked him up, and walked like a drunken sailor.

His MRI shows a "moderate chiari-malformation, with central canal dilation, and evidence of a pre-syrinx within the the cervical and thoracolumbar cord". Looking at his images he has a small grey patch at his neck, and a pencil thin line along his lower back, the cross sectional scan shows it's not very wide either. Compared with Misty's, who's whole spin is broken into three large syrinxes, that show up as stark white patches on the MRI, with a wide cross sectional area, it's like night and day.

She's prescribed him Cimetidine, which Misty is on anyway, and she'll speak to us in a couple of weeks to see how he's doing. It's not the best news, but it's far from the worst we could have been given. The only other thing that concerned her is that he's lost quite a bit of weight lately, hence she ordered the bloods, which we'll get the results of tomorrow.

Kate H
10th September 2012, 08:09 PM
Hi Paula

A sympathetic welcome to the elite club of owners with two CM/SM Cavaliers! At least with Murphy (get the name right this time!) you'll know what you're doing, having learnt the hard way on Misty. But I'm sorry you've got two of them to worry about now and work to keep comfortable, and do hope that Murphy's weight loss doesn't signify anything else. Keep us posted...

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Brian M
10th September 2012, 08:24 PM
Hi Paula

And sorry from me and the girls and hope you sort his weight problem out soon ,so big hugs to Murphy .

10th September 2012, 08:50 PM
Sorry to read about Murphy, but at least you know what you are dealing with now. Hopefully the meds will help him feel better soon :xfngr:

murphy's mum
10th September 2012, 09:05 PM
Thanks everyone :)

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the weight loss isn't anything major. He's always been nice and thin, despite weighing 11kg, but he's now down to 10.1kg, and looks too thin imo. We haven't increased his excersise or decreased his food, in fact we've just upped his food this week, after getting him clipped, and thinking he looked too skinny. Kate did say weight loss on it's own shouldn't be anything to worry about as he seems in perfect health, apart the SM discovery obviously. It's just in case some of his odd behaviors lately are not only down to the SM.

I was relieved to hear that he doesn't have D.D.D as I was starting to think he had a back problem that hadn't shown up on the x-ray he previously had. Hopefully as he's six and a half the SM wont progress too rapidly, but then you never know with SM.

Sydneys Mom
10th September 2012, 09:47 PM
Sorry you got this diagnosis, but as the others have stated, at least you now know what is going on and how to treat it. Hopefully the blood tests won't show anything more to deal with.

10th September 2012, 09:49 PM
Well, at least you know now and can treat it. Its not good news but it could be worst. I hope you can now get him straightened out and feeling better as quickly as possible. I would only guess he might start putting on weight once the meds are working after all I don't feel much like eating when I'm not feeling well.

murphy's mum
11th September 2012, 09:57 PM
His blood tests all came back fine :D

He's up to date with his wormer, and we've increased his food intake this week, so hopefully he'll start putting weight on again. He's had a great day today, he's been full of beans and dragged his wee Rattie out(his favorite toy) to play with. Hopefully his good days will become the normal again too :)

Love my Cavaliers
11th September 2012, 10:46 PM
It's always such a Catch-22 when lab results come back normal. You're relieved, but then you also don't know why he's not eating. Hopefully, he'll start to gobble up those extra calories. All four of mine would love to come over and give his bowl an extra lick just to make sure he didn't leave anything!!

I'm sorry about the SM diagnosis. I hope the cimetidine works for him. Pills run our lives don't they?

Kate H
11th September 2012, 10:56 PM
Paula wrote: Hopefully as he's six and a half the SM wont progress too rapidly.

Oliver was diagnosed with SM at six, although I think his CM had been causing him some discomfort for most of his life. His condition hasn't worsened dramatically at all (luckily his syrinx seems to have stayed narrow), we've simply adjusted his medication over the years to find the best way of dealing with his headaches. He's now 11 and I would say his CM/SM is better controlled than it's ever been and doesn't really interfere with his life at all - except that I don't let him jump or climb stairs and he can't do a 10 mile walk anymore (but then neither can I - we're growing old together!). So I hope Murphy will be just as good, and glad that his blood results were OK.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Kate, Oliver and Aled

11th September 2012, 11:08 PM
It's good that this diagnosis actually isn't SM, it's a kind of indication that he could eventually develop a syrinx and SM (hence being on cimetidine which can halt progression at this stage in some dogs). But if that's all he has at this age, you probably don't have any major worry that it would become a highly symptomatic level of SM and may never go beyond where it is now. :) Perhaps it is CM that is bothering him a bit in which case the cimetidine could also help. I have herd some great reports about Kate, the new neurologist there. :) Glad Murphy's bloods came back OK!

murphy's mum
13th September 2012, 01:01 PM
Yea, we're quite positive about the results, having seen Misty's, we know Murphy's got off lightly.

The poor boy looks as though he's suffered neglect though. We went a nice long walk around the Dalbeattie woods yesterday, as Misty was really feeling good. We got home, checked for ticks, and discovered Murphy's collar has rubbed where he was shaved on his neck, giving him a small wound. It just reminds me of people not checking puppy collars, and them digging in. Not that it's deep, it's about the size of one pence piece, and only a skin abrasion, but not nice to see on my boy :(