When Daisy went to see GS for her mri in August he made the comment she has no
clinical sign of pain and to me after observing her really all the time ,like most of us ,Daisy
is still the same Daisy she was last year and even the year before .She is no on Zitac but
as I said before she acts exactly the same as when she wasnt on it .So the only suspicious
indication of SM is her occasional scratching which is really not that often .I noticed Murphys
vet pescibed pred to lessen the scratching so my question is,is scratching anything to worry
about provided theres no sign of pain or any other problems ,it doesnt seem to bother Daisy
or me and I certainly dont want her on any further medication until really needed. So
if she just has the odd scratch without any sign of pain or other discomfort shall I just
leave her to it or even have a scratch myself,
Scratching with SM is a sign of discomfort (and can be a sign of intermittent pain -- many neurologists do not view scratching as a benign activity that doesn't need to be a concern). More serious signs of pain can come and go -- if she has had them in the past then you do really need to assume there's something going on and keep an eye on her. I would leave her on a CSF inhibitor and if scratching becomes any more frequent, consider something like gabapentin. SM tends to be progressive and things can change very quickly in dogs that are showing some signs. It is always best to take signs seriously and maybe to keep a diary of symptoms, as it is very easy to not notice if signs begin to gradually increase over time. I find it is easy to do quickly forget what was 'normal' in the past.
For a lot of us with cavaliers with SM, scratching is actually pretty distressing to manage and not taken casually at all. The dogs are clearly in distress with excessive scratching and it can tip into an action to address pain, not just a mild activity. It worries me sometimes that some specialists and vets seem to think it is 'just' a mild sign. It isn't with Leo for example. Lily has mild symptoms generally but when she is in real discomfort she scratches.
Thanks for your reply and will do .I asked Dawn a few weeks ago to start making notes for me when Daisy scratches during the
day when I am at work and when I think there is a higher frequency I will resort to gabapentin for her but for now she is on
50 mg of Zitac wrapped in a little bit of cheese three times daily .Do you think I should take her back to her Neuro when her
scratching does increase or just start her on gabapentin as per C.R. alogarithm ,? as if I do go back this early we will probaly fall out as they advised frusemide which of course her Cardiologist was not happy about and why Daisy is now on her CSF inhibitor Zitac ,so I hope when we do go back next August ( ? poss before if needed ) maybe views may have changed or science may have progressed a bit .