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View Full Version : pup had Sm since 8 weeks, what about other dogs????



suzanne 74
21st March 2013, 09:03 AM
Hi everyone, my pup was diagnosed at 3 months old with CM and SM. He yelped a lot, scratched and cried when we picked him up, this was happening since day 1 when we picked him up at 8 weeks, He is on Gabapentin 50mg 3 x a day. He still have painful times. He had the brain surgery in January. This has helped a lot with his symptoms though not as much as we would have liked. I t is a very difficult and painful times, but he us still ful of fun and cuddles.

My question is how many have had an SM dog and also have another dog? My specialist says that being around other dogs is a good idea for him as will help him forget the pain. We have always wanted 2 dogs and are getting another. We have had other dogs in the house and he loves them and wants to play. How did others find their dog reacted to the sm dog when they were in oain and did the sm dog go for the other one when in pain?

Many thanks

Love my Cavaliers
21st March 2013, 02:31 PM
I'm so sorry that your young pup has SM. I also have one dog with SM who had surgery 4+ years ago. My experience with Riley and my other dogs is that when she is in discomfort, she will remove herself from them. She will go someplace where their playing can't bother her. Most of the time I find her under a low table where they can't get to her. Sometimes it's just on a chair. If they're all outside and Oz, my youngest wants to play and comes running up to her, she will cower.

However, she has always been in a multi-dog household. She was my second dog. We got her at 11 months and we got her half-sister only 5 months later. She and Madison are like velcro. They sleep on top on each other and are always together unless Riley is in pain, and then she needs to be alone. Madison is almost totally deaf now and relies upon Riley particularly when they're outside to let her know when to come in. She sticks to her like glue outside and Riley is fine with that.

If I were you, I would probably look into getting an older more sedate dog, rather than a puppy, but I would wait until your pup has fully recovered from his surgery. I'm just afraid that a new pup might be too rambunctious for your dog who is still in recovery from surgery at this stage. It took Riley a good 6 months to settle down after surgery - for us to find the right combination of meds and for her recovery to be complete. I would still give it a bit more time and not rush it. Two months after surgery, Riley was just beginning to take normal walks. You may need to talk with your neurologist about trying different meds We tried so many different combinations before we found what worked best for Riley. Until then, I wouldn't even consider getting a new dog for a while. Let your pup recover fully. Then think about an older dog maybe. Just my two cents.

suzanne 74
21st March 2013, 02:51 PM
Thanks, i see your point. it was the neurologist who said we would be better going for a pup rather than an adult dog. I spoke to him about what different meds there were, he said there were different ones but he is doing well on these so might as well stick to these. It's interesting you say it took 2 months for Riley to go for a proper walk. He was in the vets for a week after the op, they said we could take him out on short walks but only on lead straight away for the first 3 weeks then increase the walks and after 3 weeks we can let him off. He was desperate to be let off and hated being on lead for 3 weeks. However since the 3 weeks were up he has had a good 30 min free run everyday and darts around like you wouldn't believe. The specialist was very pleased with this and said not to hold him back!!!! Also if I remember right he slept most of the time when he was a pup and they would be supervised when together 100% of the time.
I can't believe I have only just found this forum the amount of people who have had a dog with sm amazes me and sadens me.

Kate H
21st March 2013, 02:53 PM
I wouls agree with Bev. My Oliver wasn't diagnosed until he was 6, but in retrospect had symptoms long before that, one of which was being very careful not to be jumped on by other dogs playing roughly. He's very friendly, says hello and then just walks away. So probably with time your pup will develop similar strategies, but he needs time to grow up a bit, and as Bev says, recover fully from his surgery. I would also say an older dog rather than another puppy - SM can be a time-consuming disease, tweaking medication, and another puppy would in itself be a full-time job.

Hope your pup makes a good recovery,

Kate, Oliver and Aled (both with SM)

anniemac
21st March 2013, 03:15 PM
I also agree with Bev. Ella was my only dog but she would also hide when she was in pain. I particularly remember being at a friends house where 2 cavaliers were and some people. I will never forget the look she had hiding underneath the table. I scooped her up and we went home.

I also agree that if you decide to get another dog, to look into an older sedate one. Ella did very well with Kennedy who is so calm you have to move him to get up. Elvis (the other cavalier) was a puppy or in his younger years and is wild. They did not do well with each other.

I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this.

cavie3
21st March 2013, 03:31 PM
I too am very sorry to hear that your pup was diagnosed at only 3 months old. I am mum to a young pup who was recently diagnosed with symtomatic CM. We have 3 cavs in our household mine being the youngest at 10 months. When he is having good days he is pretty boisterous and very playful with the other dogs who are 3 and 2 years. He sticks to them like glue however as much as he loves them he has snapped at them a couple of times when he was in pain and we have had to keep them apart. The other dogs seem to understand now that if the little one takes himself to his crate in the other room when he is unwell they tend to leave him alone. Like the others have said if you were to introduce another dog then it may be better to get an older dog as a young puppy may prove to be too much for your little one to handle. I haven't any knowledge of recovery time from the surgery but as others have said it may be best to await a while.

Karlin
21st March 2013, 06:41 PM
I'm so sorry you are dealing with this in such a young dog.

I am a bit confused -- could you tell us more about what you mean by him still having painful times? What happens? Is it severe or moderate or mild...? If he is still having painful periods then it doesn't sound like he's doing very well on the meds he is currently on (maybe the dose...?). Or is it just very mild?

Also to be honest -- am a bit taken aback by the approach of the neurologist -- I do know some differ in how active they believe a dog can be post surgery, but this sounds.... incredibly active for three weeks after this surgery. I know a lot of people who found that their dogs overdid activity too early (and they would not have recommended the level of activity your neuro has okayed til months later...) and feel this led to the dog not doing very well post surgery. To let a dog run around as it pleases off lead only three weeks after this invasive surgery and tohave ben doing so many walks just seems... odd.

Also advising to get a puppy to help him forget he is in pain... :yikes Wouldn't it be better for the neurologist to work with his meds and try to find a combination that better addresses the actual pain? :( That's a very low dose of gabapentin for example... There are also many other meds most neurologists would add in as usually just one thing will not be adequate (many have said a 'cocktail' of two or three tends to work best at addressing pain). :( And if the neurologist thinks he still has pain... shouldn't he be working to address it more effectively?

A second dog can be a good companion but also can be way too much activity for a dog in pain. I cannot understand why a puppy would be recommended over an older, calmer dog. And agree that it is inappropriate to add a dog til your dog has had many more months to heal -- adding a dog can be very stressful and that is probably the last thing an SM dog still showing signs of pain needs...?

I guess I just am not agreeing with much of what you have been advised by this neurologist!! Goes very much against the recommended approaches of most that either I have dealt with or others have received advice from.

I would seriously wonder if the reason the recovery isn;t as you would like is simply that he has been far too overactive post-surgery and this may have caused setbacks?

Sorry to be that blunt but really am surprised at reading of this neurologist's approach and advice!

suzanne 74
21st March 2013, 07:36 PM
I am now really confused and don't know what to do for the best. His symptoms are as follows.... He shakes his head a lot,(didn't do this before the op), scratches, sometimes drops down crying and biting his paws, growly and can be snappy very occasionaly, his eyes can be glazed and half closed sometimes. He sneezes a lot. He does suffer with headaches sometimes, we can tell this as his eyes are half closed and and he won't let you touch his head. He can't settle in the evening and sorts out a cool place to lie.
We are one min sure yes a pup will help then the next not sure at all. I am very scared about losing him and we are very close. I have been in a bit of a state over all of it and so also another dog would helpm with this. H

Karlin
21st March 2013, 07:43 PM
Ok, those sounds like signs of significant pain. :( How old is he now?

I definitely would not consider adding a puppy when he is trying to cope with all this right now. Maybe in 6-12 months when you have had a better chance to assess his progress.

Personally I'd consider getting a second opinion from a different neurologist. No one should be leaving a dog with these signs without better medical management IMHO. especially as that dose of gabapentin is really the lowest initial recommended dose --unless he's still a small puppy? Then perhaps that is as high as can be given.

If he is showing all those signs I would think he very much needs better pain management and perhaps to have his activity levels more controlled and calmer. Especially as he seems to get headaches and doesn't want his head touched.

Does your neurologist work from Dr Clare Rusbridge's treatment algorithm?

http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/Syringomyelia/

suzanne 74
21st March 2013, 07:48 PM
Vet says he has a very mild case as only had one syrinx on his spine but his symptoms have been quite bad especially before the op. I went to one in Newmarket, Suffolk

Karlin
21st March 2013, 07:52 PM
Ok... generally though it is symptoms and not necessarily the syrinxes which would be used to evaluate whether a case is severe or not. Lopsided syrinxes are what cause more severe pain and it is the width rather than length that is more relevant.

He definitely has pain that needs to be better managed, going on your description.

suzanne 74
21st March 2013, 08:11 PM
I am going to the vets tomorrow and will ask for a second opionion.

anniemac
21st March 2013, 08:16 PM
I'm so sorry you are dealing with this in such a young dog.

I am a bit confused -- could you tell us more about what you mean by him still having painful times? What happens? Is it severe or moderate or mild...? If he is still having painful periods then it doesn't sound like he's doing very well on the meds he is currently on (maybe the dose...?). Or is it just very mild?

Also to be honest -- am a bit taken aback by the approach of the neurologist -- I do know some differ in how active they believe a dog can be post surgery, but this sounds.... incredibly active for three weeks after this surgery. I know a lot of people who found that their dogs overdid activity too early (and they would not have recommended the level of activity your neuro has okayed til months later...) and feel this led to the dog not doing very well post surgery. To let a dog run around as it pleases off lead only three weeks after this invasive surgery and tohave ben doing so many walks just seems... odd.

I am one of those people. I advise anyone to restrict activity as long as you can. Very restrictive in the beginning but gradually do more activity (longer walks) . Different neurologists have said different about timing but I just say the longer, the better.

I wrote earlier about Ella look hiding under the table. That was post surgery and I feel she over did it. After that I was very protective and didn't allow her to do anything for a very long time.

I hope you find the right medication to manage the pain. I know it's scary to lose them but maybe spend the time managing the symptoms and pain. It's very hard to manage a symptomatic cavalier (especially when you need medicine adjustments) that I can not imagine trying to train or handle a puppy.

suzanne 74
21st March 2013, 08:30 PM
Thankyou for all your advice, I am not arguing with any of you , but honestly feel that the 30 mins he has a day is doing him good. He is in more pain before a walk than after. He is a pup that will race around the house bashing into things doing himself more harm than he does in an open field on a walk.
I agree he is hard work and having another pup would be harder and of course having to supervise them both all the time would be very difficult though of course I would do it.

lindylou
21st March 2013, 08:46 PM
hi suzanne 74
so sorry to read about your puppy i wish him well

Karlin
21st March 2013, 10:14 PM
If you are going to the London area, you might consider seeing Clare Rusbridge at Stone Lion in Wimbledon. She is one of the leading people treating this condition and would be considered the leading expert worldwide in understanding it, and spends quite a lot of time with people helping to get the right medications mix for each dog. She is also very caring with the dogs.

On dogs running around -- I'd just be concerned a dog could enjoy this short term but it could be doing long term damage and preventing healing or aggravating the wound and causing scar tissue to form (this then causes a return of more severe symptoms). I'd just consider a second opinion on allowing that amount of activity.

Generally if there are still pain symptoms I don't think most neurologists would agree that a dog should have the freedom to do whatever level of activity it wants; but it may be that enough nerve damage was already done that some of what you see is going to be a permanent condition -- again, in that case I'd definitely want to get medications right. There are many, many more options than a low dose of gabapentin. You should be able to get your little guy a lot more comfortable that he is right now :flwr:

Kate H
21st March 2013, 10:51 PM
Any dog with SM will also have CM - Chiari Malformation. Increasingly, researchers (and owners) are finding that CM alone can cause as many problems and as much pain as a small syrinx. So to call a dog a mild case simply because he has a small syrinx is to ignore the other source of pain that is present, and is obviously causing your dog considerable discomfort. It can often take several months to find the right medication for a particular dog, and it may well need tweaking from time to time after that. So you need to work on it with someone who is really experienced with CM/SM, such as Clare Rusbridge. Who did the surgery?

Kate, Oliver and Aled

Rdituro
22nd March 2013, 02:43 AM
I assume the Neurologist did an MRI. I'm thinking did they notice if your pup had PSOM at all when they did the initial MRI? They found CM, SM & PSOM when they did the MRI for my baby. If he has ear plugs in addtion to the CM & SM that could be a problem also.

murphy's mum
22nd March 2013, 01:45 PM
Hmm, I'd definitely be looking for a second opinion I'm afraid, telling you it was "mild" based on the syrinx sounds as though they are very misinformed regarding CM/SM.

We have two Cav's, Misty with CM and SM, with three syrinxes, and Murphy with "just" CM, who is pre-syrix. With Misty it was easy for us to suspect CM/SM as she scratched a lot, especially when getting excited about going for walks, and she rubbed her head along the floor and furniture a lot too. Her Neuro was shocked at how active she is considering the size and width of the syrinx at her neck. Murphy on the other hand showed very little scratching, but in June last year he started having what we call panic attacks, we had our vet stumped by what was causing them, as they would happen so infequently, and without warning. They would reduce Murphy into a panting, drool soaked mess, who literally tried to climb inside of you to get some comfort. Our vet sent us to a Neuro just in case, and it turned out he has CM, and some degenerative disks in his neck.

Both are now on 100mg of Gabapentin x 3, Cemetidine x3, and Misty is also on Tramadol x 3 and 2.5mg of Pred 1. We also saw a pain specialist for Murphy, and she gave us some good advice about their exercise. She said that Cavaliers have so much serotonin that when they are excited, e.g going out for a walk, they "forget" how much pain they are in and act like nothing is wrong, and exert themselves way beyond the point they should. I've seen it many times with my two, they are mopping about the house sick, but the minute you lift the leads, they are up and tails wagging. I even saw this with Misty after I came home to find 20 plus piles of sick and bile in the house, after she'd eaten something she shouldn't. She rushed up to greet me, but then started staggering sideways as she was so dehydrated! And no matter how bad a day she is having if there are a lot of changes in air pressure, she'd still chase her tennis ball across the field until she dropped. But the point the pain specialist made was we need to make these decisions for them. If they are ill, we need to say "no" you can't do that, or they'll just go ahead and do it due to their excitement.

I'm not having a go at you, please believe me, but I worry that all this running and jumping about could be detrimental to his recovery from surgery, especially seeing how much pain he appears to be in. Any dog that's crying at anytime is in a lot of pain.

Love my Cavaliers
22nd March 2013, 02:07 PM
I'm sorry, I just saw your second post about your pup running around 3 weeks after surgery with your neurologists blessing. Riley's post-op instructions were 3 five minute leash walks for the first 2 months, no running, no jumping, and strict crate rest otherwise. My understanding of restricting their activity is that all that running and jumping increases their intracranial pressure - something you don't want after surgery - even if they seem ready for it. Like Paula said, you have to be the monitor and be able to restrict his activity to increase the chances of success from the surgery.

I know you mentioned you had an appt today. I hope all your concerns are taken seriously and you are able to get a second opinion. If not, you should take Karlin's advice and seek out Clare Rusbridge. Your little guy should not be running around free and his pain should definitely be better controlled. I mentioned though that it did take a good 6 months post-op for Riley to fully recover from the surgery and to get her the right meds. We want you to get the best care for your little guy and for him to be a happy dog.