View Full Version : Our introduction to SM

26th August 2005, 03:11 PM
Three weeks ago, our 15 month old CKCS, Lady, yelped repeatedly. A visit to the vet began our education about SM. The next day she demonstrated similar behavior, but since then nothing. Have other owners experienced this manifestation? If so, can anyone tell me the frequency of recurrent symptoms? I would appreciate any information you wish to share. Thank you. Also, thank you Karlin, for the creation of this site which I found serindipotously (sic?)

26th August 2005, 03:53 PM
Hi Lillian, and welcome. I deleted the duplicate thread and left this one BTW if you are wondering where the other one went!

I'm sorry that you are suspecting SM in Lady. Is she *only* yelping, or doing any of the other suspiccious behaviours? I'm not sure if you came here through my SM site or directly to this board, but you can get lots of general info including a symptoms list and what to do if you suspect SM here: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com

If she is only yelping, then there could be many, many reasons ranging from an injury that perhaps you didn't see happen to her, to a back problem, to luxating patellas, to impacted or infected anal glands. Your vet will want to look at all those options (these points are noted in the "Help! Is this SM?" section of the site above.

As to whether she could have SM and show symptoms one day and then not a few days later -- yes, that is common. Oddly even a weather change can make them uncomfortable probably because the shift in atmospheric pressure increases the pressure of the CSF fluid in their spine/head.

Tell us a bit more about Lady, and about why you suspect SM.

26th August 2005, 04:04 PM
Hi Lillian and welcome :)

As Karlin has said, there are a number of reasons that Lady could be yelping. The only 'real' way of telling if they have SM or not is by MRI scan. Are you going to get Lady scanned?

26th August 2005, 04:18 PM
Hi Lillian,
Welcome to the board. I'm sorry to hear you suspect SM in Lady, but yes, as Karlin said, tell us a bit more about her and possibly other behaviors you've noticed.
We suspect SM in our 3-yr old tri, Abbey. As Karlin mentioned, symptoms pop up randomly. Once you notice them, they due tend to have a pattern--in terms of they keep reoccuring, but as far as when/time-wise, it's hard to pin point. I'd suggest keeping a journal, we've been doing this and it has helped us paint a clearer picture. It's been rainy and damp here the past few days, and Abbey has been itchy and rubbing her face more than usual. I looked through our journal, and she was doing the same thing last month when we had a few rainy days in a row.

26th August 2005, 06:25 PM
Jen, that's exactly what Maxx is like - in fact between my spinal probs and his SM we always know when we are going to have storms :shock:

It's quite amusing in one way if you get my meaning :roll:

27th August 2005, 02:24 PM
Thank you for your replies and encouragement. She scratches her shoulder areas occasionally and I have noticed when she arises from a prone position she moves more like an aging animal for a brief time. Our vet is quite familiar with the syndrome (he recently purchased a Cavalier from the same breeder as did we) and was quick to hypothesize her behaviors as possible symptomatic of the disorder. The next time she has an episode, we intend to do an MRI. It is our good fortune that the vet. practice we use is very comprehensive. One member, Dr. Glass, is a canine neurologist.
Naturally, if our Lady needs an operation, she shall have it.
I truly appreciate the rapid and knowledgeable reponses. My husband, Steve, has also joined the web site. I look forward to reading your contributions. Thank you again.

27th August 2005, 04:55 PM
It sounds like you are in reallly good hands. And we're all really glad to have you and Steve here.

In general, the advice is to consider surgery at the point where the dog is experiencing pain and/or weakness. My Leo has a medium-grade syrinx but is almost completely asymtpomatic, outside of some daily scratching. Your vet might consider frusemide (Lasix) if on MRI you see SM or the skull malformation but Lady is not yet far enough along to need surgery. A couple of us have dogs on this and it is supposed to reduce the pressure of the fluid in their head/spine and therefore can help with the discomfort. It has been claimed that syrinxes also sometimes begin to shrink using it. There are no studies on its effectiveness however.

27th August 2005, 10:29 PM
Maxx is on Frusemide too Lillian and to be perfectly frank, he is a completely different dog :D The Neurologist Mr Skerritt said that he wouldn't recommend surgery on Maxx and to try the Frusemide. I'm very glad he did because the difference is amazing !

Maxx was naughty last night and about 25 minutes after he'd had his tablet he ate a bit of hot food that I dropped whilst serving up our dinner. I yelled at him to leave it but he of course played on his deafness :roll: , as he always does when he's being naughty and ate it.

The result was that he then regurgitated all of his dinner all over the kitchen floor and the lounge rug :(. I didn't give his medication another thought as I was rushing round trying to do 101 things. He must have 'lost' some of the medication though as today he has been really down and just 'not himself'.

About an hour after he had today's medication he was back on top form again - even my hubby noticed the difference in him LOL

28th August 2005, 03:23 PM
Thank you for the encouraging messages about Lasix (in the States that term, but spelled differently, is used to refer to the eye operation people have to correct vision). Nice to know that there may be a medication intervention rather than surgery. This site is really wonderful.

28th August 2005, 03:26 PM
I did not realize that we were logged on with Steve's name. Can you tell our involvement with CKCS is equal?
Lillian :lol

28th August 2005, 05:25 PM
:lol: If you checked for the site to automatically recognise you when you come to the site it is using a cookie to identify whoever did this, which looks like Steve. You can log out and then unclick the option to be recognised automaatically when coming to the site. Then you just need to enter your user name and password each time.

You can see who you are logged in as at the top right of the screen, where it will say Log out [username]. So Lillian you'd just log out then relog in as Lillian rather than Steve, or vice versa.

There's mixed responses to furosemide (called frusemide over here). Some dogs it apparently helps, some it helps for a while, and some it doesn't help much at all. I figure any time I can gain without needing to make surgery decisions is good -- I've already had an MRI and know where I stand with Leo from that standpoint.