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Dublin
15th January 2013, 10:04 AM
Im absolutely gutted, ive been fearing the worst for a little while now so armed with videos of Lucy we went to the vets last night.

Sadly my vet agreed with me & thinks Lucy does have SM. we have to go back next week for blood tests & then possibly an MRI.

I asked what the blood test was for & he said it probably wouldn't show anything & was to see if Lucy would be able for steroids, I asked whether it would be better for Lucy to have the MRI first as if (& only if) she dosnt have SM then she wouldn't need the steroids anyway. His answer was 'MRIs are not the be a & end all' which wasnt really the answer I was looking for to be honest.

So we're going back next week for the blood test & go from there.

The reason we have to wait a week is because Lucy was given her kennel
Cough vaccine last night.

Soushiruiuma
15th January 2013, 10:53 AM
Very sorry you are in this position. My little girl was just MRI'd this morning, and confirmed with SM.

I don't know if it matters, but it seems as though "probable SM" is basically a definitive yes (at least for us).

Can you try to get her on some kind of treatment regimen? Clare Rusbridge's treatment algorithm is on this site. http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/

Edit: is this a GP vet, or a specialist (neurologist or internist)? I would recommend getting a referral to a specialist if you haven't done so already.

Karlin
15th January 2013, 11:22 AM
I'm so sorry to hear this. :(

It makes sense for them to check for other possible causes and do blood tests, but I'd dig heels in on steroids.

I spoke recently to a neurologist who noted that giving steroids in advance of an MRI can mask some conditions and make it more difficult to get a true MRI of the condition. And I'd emphasise to any treating vet or neurologist that Clare's algorithm suggest steroids ONLY after everything else has been tried. It is the medication with the most potential side effects.

If you go for an MRI choose UCD or the place doing them down near Cork (Sins has more info in them) -- I'd avoid the other MRI facility in Dublin.

Please stay in touch to let us know how things go.

sins
15th January 2013, 12:40 PM
So sorry to hear this news..
Definitely,don't agree to any medication until she's had the Mri scan.
I would go for UCD or Gilabbey in Cork.
The neurology dept in Gilabbey is headed by Jacques Penderis and Shane Guerin and you really couldn't be in safer hands.
The Quality of their Mris is excellent and the standard of care for the dogs is superb.The reporting is also done by a top UK radiologist so you know exactly what you're dealing with.
Sadly if you feel Lucy has a problem,an mri is pretty much the be all and end all..
If you need anything,just get in touch.
Sins

Sydneys Mom
15th January 2013, 04:15 PM
So sorry another cavalier has to go through this. Let us know how the tests go.

Margaret C
15th January 2013, 05:51 PM
I think many of us have gone through a period of fearing the worse and trying to convince ourselves we are imagining things.

I will keep my fingers crossed for you and Lucy.

Charlifarley
16th January 2013, 04:45 PM
Hi Sonia,
I'm so sorry to read about Lucy. I hope you manage to get the MRI done sooner rather than later so that you can start her on the appropriate meds asap. Best of luck

ByFloSin
16th January 2013, 05:06 PM
I am sorry to read about Lucy too, but what I want you to know is that even if SM is found it really isn't a doom and gloom scenario that it once was. Many of us have SM dogs who are receiving the treatment regime that suits them and their symptoms. My 10 year old boy is acting more like 5 or 6, despite having a very large syrinx.

Of course I truly hope that SM is not the problem, but if it is I know that a suitable treatment is likely to be found.

Dublin
16th January 2013, 10:38 PM
Thanks guys xxxxx

Lucy is booked in for bloodwork on wednesday so will ask again to be referred for an MRI.

Even if her vet is sure she has SM I want an MRI done as I want to know the extent of her illness..... So I may have to change vets.

I wasnt happy with my vet on Monday as he tried to give her the KC vac with a needle in her neck untill I pulled her away from him & he told me Sparky is obese as I walked in the room - Sparky weighs 10.35kgs & has a very heavy/fluffy coat - after he put his hands on Sparky he did apologise & say that he's not overweight.

Soushiruiuma
16th January 2013, 11:04 PM
Thanks guys xxxxx

Lucy is booked in for bloodwork on wednesday so will ask again to be referred for an MRI.

Even if her vet is sure she has SM I want an MRI done as I want to know the extent of her illness..... So I may have to change vets.

I wasnt happy with my vet on Monday as he tried to give her the KC vac with a needle in her neck untill I pulled her away from him & he told me Sparky is obese as I walked in the room - Sparky weighs 10.35kgs & has a very heavy/fluffy coat - after he put his hands on Sparky he did apologise & say that he's not overweight.

Honestly, with the breed, wanting to have an MRI just to see what's there is not unreasonable. With symptoms it's basically necessary. There's really no reason why your vet should stand in the way if you want an MRI done (the only reasons not to would be your personal financial situation, or medical conditions that would make Lucy a bad candidate for anaesthesia/sedation).

Dublin
23rd January 2013, 09:43 AM
Off to the vets (again!) for Lucy's blood test armed with lots of info! Going to ask for a UCD referral before my vet tries to give her steroids!

Karlin
23rd January 2013, 11:46 AM
PM me if you want to talk about it later on. :thmbsup: I really liked the people I dealt with at UCD when Jaspar had his ears syringed, and a very kind vet prof there did Lucy's postmortem for Margaret's tissue project. Best of luck today. You could ask to trial some gabapentin and see if that helps.

duseskiz
23rd January 2013, 12:12 PM
I am very sorry about Lucy! I hope everything goes better for you all...By the way can i ask what UCD is?

Karlin
23rd January 2013, 12:16 PM
University College Dublin, which has a vet school here in Ireland. :)

duseskiz
23rd January 2013, 12:20 PM
Thank you Karlin, i thought it was something like MRI :rolleyes:

Pat
23rd January 2013, 04:14 PM
University College Dublin, which has a vet school here in Ireland. :)

In the US, UCD would be the University of California - Davis. This is a very elite teaching vet school/hospital which is commonly referred to as UCD.

http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/index.cfm

Pat

Karlin
23rd January 2013, 04:24 PM
True! Pat, I went to high school in Davis (my father was a Prof of Medicine at the med school) and I took some classes as well as UCD (and worked there for a bit too) -- so the UCD/UCD thing always makes family laugh. Friends in Davis love it when I tell them James Joyce attended UCD. He did! But in Dublin. :D

The vet school at Davis is one of the best in the world.

Dublin
24th January 2013, 08:37 PM
Sorry Karlin, I couldnt get online last night!
So.... Yesterday Lucy had bloods done & I won my battle against my vet!! I was referred to UCD & went today (giving out made the ball roll quicker!!!).
The vet I saw today agrees & is 99.9% sure Lucy does have SM 😥.
She wants to do an MRI to be 100% so approval has been sent to my insurance holders & the MRI has been booked for Feb 13th.
She also started Lucy on 100mg gabapentin x2 daily which will be reviewed when we go for the MRI.

I feel much better & much more in control now after everything, obviously Im not happy that my baby has SM but we're well on the road to helping her cope with it.

Thank you so much everyone for all your support, I hope that I can do the same if anyone needs it xxxxxxxxxxx

Soushiruiuma
24th January 2013, 09:16 PM
Sorry Karlin, I couldnt get online last night!
So.... Yesterday Lucy had bloods done & I won my battle against my vet!! I was referred to UCD & went today (giving out made the ball roll quicker!!!).
The vet I saw today agrees & is 99.9% sure Lucy does have SM .
She wants to do an MRI to be 100% so approval has been sent to my insurance holders & the MRI has been booked for Feb 13th.
She also started Lucy on 100mg gabapentin x2 daily which will be reviewed when we go for the MRI.

I feel much better & much more in control now after everything, obviously Im not happy that my baby has SM but we're well on the road to helping her cope with it.

Thank you so much everyone for all your support, I hope that I can do the same if anyone needs it xxxxxxxxxxx

That's great. The MRI and diagnosis do not change the dog, if Lucy has CM/SM it was already there. So even though getting a CM?SM diagnosis is bad, it's better than just letting her suffer.

Good luck, keep us updated.

Chelle & Rex
24th January 2013, 09:54 PM
I'm only seeing this now Sonia :( Poor Lucy -but at least you have the MRI date and the knowledge from everyone on here to help. Give her a big hug from us (and of course Rex sends Sparky a special hug :rolleyes: ) xx

Dublin
25th January 2013, 02:59 PM
Sparky loved his hug Chelle! Although he was a total brat at UCD yesterday & barked at me the whole time we were there collecting Lucy as he was tired & wanted to go home!!

pippa
25th January 2013, 06:47 PM
Only seeing this now Sonia, sorry to hear about Lucy xx

Pat
27th January 2013, 06:05 PM
Yes, I remember that your remarkable father was in the medical dept at UCD! I was really addressing that to the US members!

Pat

Dublin
9th February 2013, 11:36 AM
So, Lucy's MRI is coming up on Wednesday, shes been on the Gabapentin 100mg x2 for just over 2 weeks now & im pleased to say she hasnt had one pain episode, only a couple of very short fly-catching incidents which Im delighted with

Margaret C
9th February 2013, 03:41 PM
Good luck. I'll be thinking of you on Wednesday.

Sydneys Mom
9th February 2013, 04:18 PM
Sending good luck wishes your way.

karen baker
9th February 2013, 05:31 PM
At last you will have piece of mind sonia, i know myself i found immense relief, once the mri had been done, then you can get on with finding suitable treatment, thinking of you and your dear lucy, sending lots of licks and cuddles Karen.Ruby and Sadie :hug:

pippa
9th February 2013, 08:55 PM
Hope it goes well on weds Sonia xx

Charlifarley
10th February 2013, 08:40 PM
Good luck on Wednesday Sonia. It might be a good idea to check to see if UCD intend to keep her overnight after the MRI. When Bosco had his done they kept him which I wasn't expecting.

Love my Cavaliers
10th February 2013, 10:09 PM
Good luck on Wednesday. Sometimes the wating is the hardest part, especially when you fear you already know the answer. We're all waiting with you though, so be sure to tell us the results.

Dublin
13th February 2013, 10:35 AM
Lucy spent the night in UCD for her MRI this morning, I miss her so much. They have a few MRI's to do today & told me they do the small dogs first so I'm hoping it wont be too long before she's back in my arms.
Sparkys loving the extra cuddles though!

Kate H
13th February 2013, 12:26 PM
Whatever the result, at least you'll know what is happening and can start working to make Lucy more comfortable. But waiting's no fun - is the weather good enough to take Sparky and Cass for a good walk?

:hug:

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Dublin
13th February 2013, 07:53 PM
Thanks for your support everyone xxxxx

I have Lucy home (fast asleep on my lap!).

SM has been confirmed but shes not too bad, she has a syrinx at the base of her neck. I didnt get to see the MRI - apparently this isnt possible??? I asked to see images from it & the vet looked at me like I had 3 heads, she did say she might be able to email me some. I dont think seeing the MRI is unreasonable, I've spent over 1500 so far at UCD so I think the least they could do is show me what I've paid for. Maybe everyone isnt ad interested as me but I like to know everything!

We've agreed to keep Lucy on 100mg gapapentin x2 as she has responded well to this so far. Then I just have to monitor Lucy & go from there

Kate H
13th February 2013, 08:08 PM
Nag them! They should give you a disk with the full scan on it (all the different angles) so that you can show it to your vet and also take it with you if you consult a neurologist at any point. Your vet may be able to twist their arm, but it shouldn't need twisting - this is normal practice.

Sorry that Lucy has CM/SM but glad her syrinx isn't too bad. My Oliver's been living happily with a small syrinx for 5 years (though he has other symptoms from his CM), and it's only now, at age 11, that the syrinx is beginning to cause problems.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Charlifarley
13th February 2013, 08:21 PM
When I had Bosco scanned I asked my vet for a copy of the report -which he gave me but was surprised that I asked for it. You're right -you've paid for the MRI and I don't think it's at all unreasonable to ask. Maybe they're not used to having educated pet owners!!

Karlin
13th February 2013, 10:54 PM
Agree: would politely ask for a CD of images. :) Sorry you got a confirmation of SM, but glad you are finding this moderate level of gabapentin is so helpful. :)

Soushiruiuma
14th February 2013, 09:08 AM
As the owner of the dog, and the funder of the scan you actually own the MRI data, and it should be provided to you if you want it in a format a normal computer can read, no questions asked.

Dublin
18th February 2013, 09:07 PM
I just received an email from the vets at UCD containing an image of Lucy's MRI.
According to the report with it Lucy has a small syrinx between C2&C3 vertebrae
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/02/19/betyrute.jpg

Dublin
18th February 2013, 09:37 PM
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/13/02/19/2eqegu8a.jpg

sins
19th February 2013, 01:01 AM
So sorry to read about Lucy,
No matter how prepared you are,it still comes as a bit of a shock.
It's good news that she's responding well to the medication.It's important to be able to see her scan,so you can visualise the situation and I'm a bit surprised you weren't shown this at your follow up appointment.I know she means the world you and she's been so lucky to find her home with you.
Give her a little hug from me,she's had a tough few weeks and must be fed up of vets.
Sins

amanda L
19th February 2013, 01:48 PM
They should give you a disk with the full scan on it (all the different angles) so that you can show it to your vet and also take it with you if you consult a neurologist at any point.

Yes, we asked UCD for the full scan on disc as we were sending it to Clare Rusbridge for consult. I do remember we did have to wait a while to get the cd from UCD.

Dublin
19th February 2013, 01:53 PM
Amanda L, did you pay extra for the dvd?
Sins, Lucy loves the vets (thankfully!!) but I'm very sick of them now!!!!!

amanda L
20th February 2013, 11:25 AM
As far as I remember we didn't pay any extra for the disc.