View Full Version : Still worrying over Murphy

murphy's mum
25th September 2012, 03:33 PM
Murphy's still acting strangely. He keeps having these strange little sessions where he becomes frantic for either me or my husband, he wants to climb on us and press as close as he can, leaning right into us. He acts as though he's scared of something, and his heart really starts to go. It's very scary just how fast his heart seems to get.

He hasn't done it in a a few weeks, definitely not since he was MRI'd, and started on Cimetidine, but he did it yesterday about lunch time, last night at bed time he freaked out, and about half an hour ago. The Neurologist wasn't sure if the behavior had anything to do with his early stages of SM or not, and if I'm honest I don't know what to think either. I did at one point brush is behavior off as his misbehaving, but after the third time it happened I didn't think it was. It's now happened about 11 times, with 7 or 8 of them being at night when he goes to bed.

The thing is it's very windy here right now, and I tried to get him outside for a pee, Misty went straight out, but Murphy turned around and ran for the living room. The letter box keeps rattling now, and this is really upsetting him(off to stuff it closed) but both of these behaviors are so different to what he's normally like. I'm waiting for the vet to call me back, but he's now sitting panting as well. Something is obviously wrong with him, and I feel so frustrated not knowing what! Hoping the vets calls soon.

murphy's mum
25th September 2012, 05:36 PM
Well, after I posted the vet called, and asked me to take him in again. Apart from his heart still beating a little fast, they couldn't find anything wrong. Since the first one in June, he's had x-rays, an MRI and full bloods done, and nothing abnormal has came back. They've sent us home with Zylkene to give to him, as it's like he's have a panic attack or suffering some sort of anxiety. The strange thing that yesterday morning and this afternoon these "attacks" started with him lying next to me on the couch.

I just don't know what to do, or to think really.

murphy's mum
25th September 2012, 07:19 PM
The plot thickens. Glasgow just called me back, I called them first, but Kate isn't in today, so they sent an e-mail to Neuro for me. I totally missed the name of the person I spoke to, she was American, but it wasn't Allison(Misty's Neuro), she wants us to start him on Gabapentin three times a day. She said that it could be his CM, presenting like anxiety, so we've not to give him anymore Zylkene.

I'll admit, I'm so confused right now. One part of me thinks it could be anxiety, but then why would he suddenly develop that at 6 and a half years old. Nothing has changed in our routine, and I'm almost positive nothing has scared him, or made him feel threatened. On the other hand, after his MRI I felt relieved that he was pre-syrinx and hoped that the Cimetidine was enough for him, but then if it is CM that's doing this it can hopefully be treated and these episodes will stop.

GEEZ! I'm so stressed right now, I could be sick. Mum's been ill, and I''m not sure I'll still be employed at the end of the year. Everyone keeps telling me not to worry about things, but that's just easier said than done :(

Brian M
25th September 2012, 07:31 PM
Hello Paula

Please dont be stressed or sad I know things will all work for you all in some why ,the good and kind people in life like
you and Murphy and Misty will have all these horrible things soon fade away ,pls believe and have strength the good
always win .
Kindest Wishes
brian and lots of wet and sloppy licks from
Poppy,Daisy,Rosie and Lily

25th September 2012, 07:53 PM
I'm really sorry you are having all these problems Paula it's horrid [Sorry for not replying to your kind message, I'm not very well at the moment]

Personally I would try and take him to see Samantha Lindley at the vet school, she manages the pain clinic but is also a behaviourist so I think she would be very helpful Sam's e-mail is samanthalindley@btinternet.com but you can book an appointment through the vet school.

I saw her at the vet school recently, and was really impressed with her. I think she may be able to give you a better idea of what is happening.

i'm sorry you have so much going on right now, and do wish your Mum well too. It's very hard to use the computer for me as I am having visual disturbances from one of my meds and so I will try to get on when I can, but please know I am keeping you in my thoughts.

Margaret C
25th September 2012, 07:56 PM

My advice to you would be to take all this as a sign he is in some degree of discomfort, even if you have not yet pinpointed what it is.

Tommy was forever pawing at me for attention. Now we have got his various ailments sorted out and he is on medication and the right diet it just does not happen any more. I now know for certain that it is the only way he has of asking for help.

Kate H
25th September 2012, 08:22 PM
I would agree with Margaret - sounds to me as if Murphy is having pain, possibly headaches (which may be related to the haywire air pressure we've been having lately - ours went down 27 millibars yesterday!), which in themselves can be produced by CM alone. When we have a headache, noises that we usually don't even notice can make the pain seem worse, doing routine jobs can take enormous effort and sometimes we just don't have the energy, so perhaps dogs feel the same but aren't able to say so. When Oliver has a headache, he sometimes comes and lays his head on my lap and gently stroking him seems to help, so I would second Margaret, Murphy is asking for comfort and help. Did his MRI show dilated ventricles - which are the source of Oliver's headaches?

I do hope Murphy can be helped soon,

Kate, Oliver and Aled

murphy's mum
25th September 2012, 10:24 PM
Thanks everyone for your kind words, and support, and sloppy kisses(Flower Girls)

Nicki, don't worry about it, I saw your other post, so do take care of yourself. I'll keep a hold of the email, I've to call Glasgow back in a couple of days with an update anyways.

Margret and Kate, I think I maybe tried to kid myself after he got his MRI, it was so clear compared to Misty's and the last two weeks he's been super, really like his old self. He's played, bounced about, and just seemed happy overall. Kate, I can't remember for the life of me if they mentioned dilated ventricles, I don't think so. I might just need to adjust my thinking now, I had thought he was okay, but I know realise he isn't. I'm so used to Misty's symptoms, and I'm all over them like a rash, and can up her Tramadol when I see the signs. Murphy's symptoms are so different, and seem to strike with no warning, I am praying the Gabapentin will do the trick, as I was so scared this afternoon, his heart was beating so fast and hard I thought it would burst. He'll get his first one tonight, the only problem is with his episodes being so few and far between(until this week) I might not know if it's done the trick, as I had thought the last two weeks of Cimetidine had done it.

27th September 2012, 12:43 AM
So sorry you are going through this, it is so hard when they can't talk and tell us what is wrong. I agree he is in pain from something, I hope the medicine will help.

27th September 2012, 02:26 AM
Not sure if this will help you or not...but I remember seeing some pictures on Rod Russell's website about cavaliers that have been very helpful to me in trying to figure out if Tess or my other dog is in pain. There are two, a before and after. The first picture shows the dog's face when in pain, and the second shows its face after pain medication. The difference is quite striking. Now that I know what to look for, I find myself checking my dog's faces every now and again, even when I have no reason to think something might be wrong. It really is hard when something is wrong and they can't tell us what it is.

murphy's mum
27th September 2012, 10:10 AM
I've seen those photo's before when we suspected Misty had SM, Murphy's face looks more scared when he's having these episodes though.

He slept most of the day yesterday, but seemed a lot more relaxed than the two previous days. It's just a waiting game now I guess, as it was two weeks since his last episode, so it could be a while before we know for definite if the Gabapentin is working or not.

Kate H
27th September 2012, 10:31 AM
Paula wrote: I can't remember for the life of me if they mentioned dilated ventricles, I don't think so.

When you next go to Glasgow, I would ask. Dilated ventricles are a common symptom of CM, because when the passage of the cerebro-spinal fluid round the brain is slowed down, it tends to accumulate in the ventricles, the 'open space' at the front of the brain where the fluid normally just turns around to start back to the spinal cord. Because of the constriction caused by CM it can back up in the ventricles and force the space to expand to hold it. This in turn compresses the brain around the ventricles. This is what causes the headaches, and is - I think - one of the reasons why external air pressure can make the situation worse - think what would happen to our brains if we went up high in an unpressurised plane, though of course the air pressure experienced on the ground is very much less than that.

I wonder if Murphy's rapid heart rate was caused by not knowing what was happening to him with pain apparently coming from nowhere. Dogs may react instinctively to pain (hiding away and so on), but I don't see why they shouldn't also be puzzled when they don't understand what is happening to them. My Aled, who has mildly dilated ventricles (x 2, compared to Oliver's x 3) occasionally scratches his head in a slow almost reflective way and looks a bit puzzled/worried, as if to say 'Something odd's happening in my head but I'm not sure what!' Oliver, who gets quite bad headaches from his dilated ventricles, used to have moments when he would jump up from sitting quietly beside me and rub his head violently against something hard like the edge of a table, as if he had a sudden jag of pain. This seems to have stopped since he changed to his new medication - gabapentin was not completely effective at controlling his headaches, so the RVC clinical trial that put him onto his new drug was a godsend.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

28th September 2012, 09:08 AM
Just reading this. My Ebony has CM no SM but like Kate says when the weather/air pressure changes she gets very very clingy (she is normally nothing like it) she wants to sit on my lap and she is forever pawing me for attention. Ebony is on 100mg gabapentin x 3 a day and Zitac. Sometimes when the weather is really bad I have to give her a fourth Gabapentin as it only lasts 5 hours and on top of that a Previcox.

28th September 2012, 12:47 PM
Its funny I can sorta understand why cavaliers get clingy when then are not feeling well. Last week I had a super bad headache, I had not had one that bad in years. It lasted hours and hours with pain meds light, sound was adding to the pain. So I crawled into bed as soon as my husband got home from work. He got the children in order and came to sit with me. My head still hurt but just having him there made me feel better. He stayed with me until I fell asleep then managed to get the kids off to bed without waking me up :) Then he slept on the sofa with Fletcher so not to bother me. I have a good one but its amazing how comforting it is. So the next time your dog is clingy because of pain just remember you are being a big help by giving them the attention they ask for at least until the extra meds kick in.

murphy's mum
28th September 2012, 07:27 PM
He's back to normal at the moment. He's either sleeping quietly and relaxed, or bounding about on our walks. He's happier to snooze on his own bed or my lap. Here's hoping the Gabapentin has done the trick and he doesn't suffer anymore episodes.

A snap shot from my phone, with his rattie

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Sydneys Mom
28th September 2012, 07:37 PM
So glad he's better

28th September 2012, 09:35 PM
Ahh bless what a sweet photo.

4th October 2012, 04:33 PM
Glad he seems better.

murphy's mum
4th October 2012, 06:36 PM
Thanks :) He's been doing great, he's playing loads again which is great to see :D