Thank you for the advice on the backward sneezing - I will tilt her head next time that happens. The medication I mentioned is prednisone for itching - the vet is trying to rule out allergies before my appointment next week with the neurologist. I certainly am willing to try everything even though I suspect SM.
Sometimes Prednisone is used to relieve SM symptoms. Charlie was on Prednisone a few times both before and after surgery.
The vet put Annie on Temaril (which has some prednisone in it) allergy medicine since last week and her scratching has been reduced almost 95% She has not air scratched at all since two days into the medicine. I am going to continue this for a couple of weeks and see how things go. I am torn whether or not to do the MRI at this time, unfortunately right now I am cash poor and could use a couple of weeks to get money together for an MRI. There are no low cost clinics anywhere in Texas that I could find.
Annie attended obedience class with a harness and didn't scratch one time the entire hour long class of healing and sitting. I know that ultimately I must do an MRI.
trip to neurologist
Hi, Annie went to Dr. Ducote today, and based on the symptoms as I described them and her exam she is certain that Annie has SM. They could not do an MRI today due to the holiday and based on symptoms and her age, Dr. Ducote put Annie on Gabapentin 50mg/ml 0.7ml 2x daily. We are to continue until symptoms change, become worse, or she starts showing signs of pain. If she worsens we need to do an MRI to see what exactly we are dealing with.
She did warn me that with the onset of sypmtoms before the age of 1 year usually those dogs deteriorate rapidly and can develop severe pain. We are not going to look down the road, but take it a day at a time. I really liked her, felt she would be a partner, rather than just a vet. I told her my main concern was that Annie had quality of life and if that was not possible I would let her go.
She also said now the mediciation is available in generic form so I will talk to my vet about getting that. It was very pricy !
I am feeling a little better after seeing the neurologist, and I am glad some of the things I was seeing in Annie was not nuerological. She truely is just clumsy ! Annie was a champ and asleep at my side. One thing Dr. Ducote and I agree on is that these wonderful, happy, caring dogs don't deserve this illness. I pray that something can be done to future generations to eliminate this diesease as much as possible.
Thanks for the kind words and prayers. Annie is my baby, and this has been so hard on my kids and I. We love her just as you all love yours. But Annie is a trooper and we will pull together !
I'm glad you had a consult and feel you now a bit more about where you stand right now tough I am sorry you have had the diagnosis you didn't want to hear :flwr:. As Cathy noted, the allergy meds with prednisalone would almost definitely have helped SM symptoms.
I'd consider whether you feel you will ever need to go with an MRI. What would you be doing it for? If you are not considering surgery and wish to stick with medications, an MRI really is not going to give much helpful information except reveal the extent of a syrinx etc. But seeing what is there isn't going to change your treatment approach. If your neurologist is pretty sure of the diagnosis, ad the meds are helping, then you can be pretty sure she has SM. It is a very expensive way of finding out information you will not be using, in other words. There are no other approaches that could be changed simply from knowing the result of an MRI -- the medications are pretty straightforward as there's only so many variations you might use and they really would not depend at all on an MRI.
My second dog with SM was being treated for SM without ever having an MRI -- the symptoms were pretty indicative of what was going on. I eventually had her MRId through one of the low cost programs in the UK but that was really only because I was doing three other dogs for research.