Brian I am sorry to say you are misreadiing that clause. The AXA policy definitely will NOT cover ANY pre-existing conditions AT ALL, OR conditions which appear in the first 14 days of cover.
The very best of luck on Izzie's visit, Amanda. I think unfrotunaely you are almost certainly looking at SM and probably will really want to get a referral to a neurologist and in the meantime, I hope you vet might get Dr Clare Rusbridge's treatment protocol and immediately get Izzie onto pain relief. There are links here on the board or you can download it and print it off her website.
Please let us know how things go.
Thank you so much guys, my vet was brillant
He first wanted to rule out everything so gave her a full work up, he checked her feet, knees, hips and back as we do agility he wanted to be certain it wasn't an injury. He couldn't find any evidence of fleas/mites/ticks etc but gave me a frontline course just to rule it out. He realised she was also having a phantom pregnancy as she's lactating so we were given a hormone to lower hers in order to make sure the yelping wasn't a pain in her uterus (thought he said this was extremely unlikely, just wanted this away to make her more comfortable and leave the option of a spay open when it's gone). He checked her ears and eyes, and also emptied her anal glands though there wasn't much in them just incase this is what was annoying her back end.
After the check he even said that in all his veterinary career he hadn't seen a healthier, fitter looking Cavalier (and he used to have his own). He sent me home with the frontline, liquid hormone and also pain relief. He said that he realises that if I was to ask what it was right now he would say it was 95% SM, but wants me to just bare with him to rule out anything else. But if she is no better on Saturday after her anal gland release, hormones lowered and flea treatment then I've to start the pain management. He made me an appointment next Thursday to see if any of this has improved and said that he's going to refer me to a neurologist at the same time.
I'm obviously quite upset, but he was so good and thorough I'm very happy the care he gave us today. What do you all think, does this seem like he's made all the correct decisions?
Thank you everyone
Yes,he's made the correct decisions!
If possible,discuss your worries over insurance with him too and you may be able to get a pre authorisation done from the company before spending money on tests and finding they won't pay.
Of course,it still may not be symptomatic SM. When we had Daisy fully checked by a specialist,we were surprised to find that she had along with SM,Hip Dysplasia and Spondylosis.
Which condition was causing the most pain is anyone's guess...
What truly matters is that your vet seems committed to finding the best solution for keeping your cavalier comfortable.
A good vet is worth their weight in gold and I'm sure your girl will be well looked after.
It sounds as if your vet has been very thorough and am pleased you have confidence in him, so important to trust your vet.
As long as Izzie has pain relief then I feel waiting and watching a good course of action.
Last year my 8 year old starting scratching and I immediately concluded that it was SM, after several doses of flea treatment
all was well.
I hope Izzie improves with the pain medication and she is back to her old self soon.
Yes, that is exactly the route to have gone; thanks for the extra detail!
The problem with this condition is that a dog can be fantastically healthy in every other way as the problem is neurological and not highly visible and can take time to become symptomatic and for a dog to start to suffer. I have three with SM and none has ever had any other need for vet care outside of minor and common issues -- an upset stomach for example.
Fingers crossed you find it is something else but if not, there are many here with affected dogs at all levels who can give support and answer questions.
Thank you everyone for your lovely words. When we got back from the vet on Thursday I gave Izzie her flea treatment and her hormone. It's now Saturday when we've to see if she's the same and whether or not she now needs to go on pain relief and I'm thinking that she does.
Don't get me wrong, after her hormone fluids she has been in a much better mood. She's been very playful - but the itching and the getting a fright/biting her back end is still there. One one hand I've been reluctant to start it just incase as I've only had 2 days to see for any other improvements, on the other hand this has been going on for longer than her lactating and I don't want her to be uncomfortable for longer than necessary. I realise that only I can make this decision because I know her and see her changes, it's just very difficult when I want to be certain we're doing the right thing.
I wouldn't rush things...
Unless you've ruled out allergies and other possibilities,I think you could monitor for a while longer.
You don't need to have her on antiinflammatories without good reason.Everything has a side effect and until you're 100% sure it's SM,you *might * be medicating unnecessarily.
Maybe try something like Deracton soap/shampoo to soothe itchy skin?
I'd offer a different perspective (and you will always get a variety of opinions!). If as you say, Izzie has had periods of crying out as if in pain for unidentified reasons as well as the long term scratching and flipping around -- before the lactation, and despite treating skin/allergies -- I'd try medications. All neurologists generally recommend two week trials which isn't a very long period of medication. I'd rather see if the issues ended with painkillers than keep a dog in discomfort/pain in that state for further days or weeks of pain. If painkillers help then that in itself helps with a diagnosis.
If the itching and biting is still there then I would start the pain treatment. I am sorry but nowadays, as you own vet has told you, there has to be a very good chances that this is SM.
Dogs cannot say they are hurting, we can only try and 'hear' them by interpreting the symptoms they display. Try the painkillers, see if it makes a difference to her level of comfort
Thank you everyone, and Karlin thanks for that perspective. She's asleep now but I plan on giving her them tomorrow and see if she's better.
We have ruled out quite a few things now - so another question, should the pain relief work, is this another step in the direction that it is SM? Or could the pain killers just be helping something else which is causing her pain? I realise we won't know anything until the MRI which is frustrating but would this also be another factor? It's very complicated when there are so many.