Mild SM symptoms?
Just wanted some information - I've felt for some time that my 8 year old Sasha has mild symptoms of SM. She scratches madly especially after walking (harness only) and recently has yelped on occasion when I reach to pet her head or pick her up. She definitely has a smaller cranium than my other cavalier.
I know all the treatments for SM - but being Sasha is 8 1/2 years don't know if any treatment is warrented esp. if she is still having pretty mild symptoms. We use steps on the bed, but she still seems able (most of the time) to jump on the couch.
I'd talk to your vet to rule out other potential problems like a back problem, arthritis, neck problems. If nothing else seems to account for this then I'd ask your vet to let you try Lasix, rimadyl or one of the first treatments on Dr Clare Rusbridge's treatment protocol. There's no reason for a dog that is yelping -- which is a sign of definite neurological damage and pain, if it is SM -- to live with that discomfort when the pain can be eased. :)
General info sheet: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/infosheet.html
It can still progress even in an older dog and lasix is believed to help stop progression or limit it and often is enough on its own to help the dog. So yes, there are steps to take that could help an older dog and I certainly think they are worth doing, starting from the beginning with Clare's protocol and trying each suggested approach. Just a mild painkiller may be enough to get rid of the discomfort but if needed, Neurontin is not that expensive and is very effective for pain.
Thanx Karlin - my other cav is on Lasix for her heart, so possibly just putting Sasha on that might be an option as you said. And my daughter use to take Neurotin for seizures. Strange that it works for SM as well.
I will definitely look into it -