View Full Version : Dog has CM - bit of advice needed

2nd April 2013, 04:39 PM

One of my dogs, Maddie is 3 & half years old (she's a blenheim cavi) and she was diagnosed with CM a couple of years ago by MRI. They put her on steroids (Prednicare), she had to come off these when she had an operation for a luxating patella 18 months ago, she didn't go back on them as she didn't appear to be showing any symptoms.

Over the last year we've noticed her scratching a lot, rubbing her face on the floor etc. we mentioned it to the vets a couple of times and nobody told us it was a symptom of CM, they just suggested changing her diet, our cleaning products etc. It was only by chance that I came across a video showing dogs acting the same way she does and I realised what it was.

So we took her back to the vets and after some delay because she was also diagnosed with hip displaysia, she's now been put back on Prednicare 5mg a day but it's making her crazy hungry, I feel so bad for her because she seems to be hungry all the time, I think she'd just eat and eat all day long if I let her.

I want her to continue taking medication for the CM because I think it's also helping her hip problems, she actually ran on a field for 5 minutes yesterday and hasn't been lay down all day today feeling sorry for herself, which is a big improvement. I just want her to be more comfortable though, it can't be nice being hungry all the time.

She also takes Serequin I think it's called daily and has metacam when she needs it.

Sorry i'm totally waffling here, my question is, is there maybe another medication I can ask the vets about that doesn't make them so hungry? Sorry, I go on a bit when I get going lol.


2nd April 2013, 05:44 PM
Unfortunately now she may also have Syringomyelia due to the CM. Those symptoms you mentioned are symptoms of Syringomyelia. My dog was experiencing the same symptoms and after the MRI diagnosed with CM & SM. You should see a neurologist to make sure she gets on the best medications. Usually they will put the dog on Gabapentin, omeprazole & a NSAID, mine is on Tramadol also. The best thing I can tell you is go to a neurologist. They know this condition extremely well.

2nd April 2013, 05:50 PM
Prednisone is not the first choice drug. Look up all the many times Clare Rusbridge's treatment algorithm has been referenced here.

There's a lot to say, but it's been said and resaid here enough. Go back through the SM section, there's tons of information and explanations.

Then you'll need to convince your get to do the regimen and get a referral to a neurologist.

2nd April 2013, 07:27 PM
Sorry to hear that; it can be tough to try and manage several things at once like this. Here's the link to Clare's website which will have helpful info for you, and also has a link to information for vets that you can give your vet practice -- sounds like they really need to be educated about this condition (most vets really know very little and it ends up being pet owners who direct them towards the right resources :) ).


You def want to get her off steroids and on to something more appropriate such as gabapentin and a CSF inhibitor and maybe continue the metacam -- it is wise to see a neurologist rather than a vet. Nearly every cavalier has CM so if she is increasingly symptomatic and wasn't before it is very possible this has developed into SM but either way she is symptomatic for one or both conditions and needs the right mix of meds, or the option of surgery. Clare's site explains options as does www.smcavaliers.com and www.cavalierhealth.org amongst other places. Hope those will help.

Hip dysplasia will likely be improved at least in symptoms by steroids so that is likely what you are seeing. It may be that there's enough discomfort from the HD that she ends up needing to be on steroids but they have many potentially serious side effects and also as you have seen, greatly increases appetite sometimes to the point of the dog being truly frantic all the time for food, and shouldn't be given lightly.

If you still have contact with the breeder I would send a registered letter informing them of these diagnoses as 1) a good breeder will be hugely thankful for this info for the health of their breeding programme and alternatively 2) so many continue to say they have not seen any of these issues in the dogs they have bred and pet owners have a great role to play in making sure they know, take the conditions seriously and work to address them through proper health testing and use of breeding protocols. :thmbsup:

2nd April 2013, 07:49 PM
Thanks for the replies, i'll look at those other websites and read back through everything on here.

We contacted the breeder when she was first diagnosed and they're weren't interested, completely fobbed my mum off, I wasn't all that involved in it (they lived the other side of the country) and I wish I had been because I would've contacted the Kennel Club or something but my mum is too easily put off by people and doesn't follow things up.

The vet has said to try and reduce the steroids so she's going on one every other day now to see how she goes on with them. I'll have a good look at those other sites and see about seeing a nuerologist. I wonder if he's only giving her the steroids because the previous vet did and they seemed to help but the hunger is getting to be an issue, which is why he's reduced the dosage.

Thanks again for your help.

Hayley x

Sydneys Mom
2nd April 2013, 10:57 PM
I'm so sorry that Maddie has had so many problems for such a young age. Sometimes, things just aren't fair. I have no advice to give you, I just wanted to let you know that your are doing a great job in trying to help Maddie be as comfortable as possible. There are many people here with dogs that have several different medical problems and have to find the right medications to treat all the symptoms at the same time and I am sure they will post some helpful advice for you too. Good luck and let us know how Maddie is doing.

3rd April 2013, 06:00 PM
Sorry to hear about Maddie's problems, I too had a problem with our local vets in regards to initial treatment for Kookie who has symptomatic CM. Following diagnosis Kookie was also prescribed prednisone and was going to be prescribed an NSAID as well from our local vet, like you I was concerned about the side effects and long term damage so I sought advice on here. I asked the vet to refer Kookie to Clare Rusbridge and she wrote a report with her recommendations, Kookie is now on gabapentin 300mg daily, cimitidine and loxocom and the vets now seem very happy to work with Clare's treatment algorithm.