22nd October 2012, 02:49 PM
Hi all. I have 3 Cavaliers and Stella, who was my first and is the oldest at 11.5 (she'll be 12 in Feb.), has been diagnosed with SM. I adopted Stella at age 5. Stella and I did therapy dog work for about 5 years, and at about age 7 I did notice that she did a bunny hop on rare occasions on leash. I put it in the back of my mind, of course, and started at that point reading all about SM. I kept my eye on Stella (as well as on my other Cavs) and she would occasionally have a symptom but nothing continuous or seemingly painful at all, and they were pretty far apart. The vet I was seeing at the time just looked at me with a blank look when I mentioned the SM and my concerns. So I switched vets to my holistic vet, whom I love. At 10 years old, my holistic vet suspected an enlarged heart and a pretty severe murmur (around 4-5). No meds have been prescribed as yet for her heart because she has been asymptomatic. Recently, she started scratching a lot, air scratching and bunny hopping very noticable. I took her to my holistic vet and she told me that they do work with a neurologist as they also have some other patients with severe SM. Stella was looked at and they decided that just by looking at her symptoms she was presenting with SM. So they prescribed Gabapentin. She is now receiving 100mg 3xdaily which seems to have stopped the symptoms!! She is not getting any other meds atm, but the Gabapentin is working so far. Sometimes she will start scratching if I'm a little late with her pill, but it is working fine so far. I just wanted to say that I do hope we can give Stella some relief in her late years, as she's so very special to me!!!! Thanks for all the posts, they have really helped me by reading them. As for my other 2 girls, Laverne is fine....she's the ornery one lol! Hazel does have a murmur (that's the reason I have her) but it's still a mild one and no meds at all. I do give supplements that are supposed to be good for the heart, though. Please keep Stella in your thoughts. Thanks! Oh, and sorry for the weird title....somehow it got changed from "Stella has SM" lol.