Bitches with SM
Hi, My 2 yr old bitch Megan has SM. She has been on medication for the last 3 months and her symptoms had settled, apart from when the air pressure goes very high or very low.
The last 24hrs she has seemed to be more uncomfortable, just plodding round the park like she was before starting tablets( normally now she runs round like a 2yr old should), dislikes her head/neck touched etc.
She is due is season any day, could this be affecting her SM?
It could. Several neurologists have recommended neutering dogs with SM to lower stress and excitement levels. Female cavaliers are also at close to a 40% risk over their lifetime of the often fatal pyometra uterine infection -- in a Swedish study of insurance claims, one of the highest rates for any breed, and personally for this alone, I would never keep a female cavalier intact unless there was an important reason to do so. It is worth discussing both these points with your vet and/or neurologist.
Unfortunately medication rarely controls all symptoms and over time dosage tends to need to be increased, new meds introduced etc as well. She may need an adjustment in medications. Either way I'd recommend talking to her neurologist.
Welcome to CT Kizzy.
I am replying to your thread because I see that you asked for some advice just about 3 hours ago, but nobody else seems to have been on line to give you any
I am so sorry that Megan has SM at such a young age. This must be so distressing for you to cope with. I do know that SM is a progressive disease and yes, my boy who has it is also sensitive to changes in the weather and to changing air pressure. I usually try to head off the weather or pressure changes by watching the forecasts, giving him an extra 100 mgs of Gabapentin, with my vet's approval, whenever I am expecting problems. This does definitely help.
Having an elderly male dog with SM may not be quite the same as a young bitch having the same illness, i.e. for all I know the physiology may be quite different and affect the bitch's reactions to changes and/or changes in medication, so I am not attempting to advise you about Megan here. I can only share experiences and hope that I have said something helpful.
I think you should either check the situation out with your vet or wait around here a little while to see if somebody comes on line who is able to advise you better than I can.
I am no expert on this, but I do have one of my dogs with SM, so have read and learnt as much as I can about SM and CM so that I can try to help my boy as much as I can. I do know only too well that SM is a progressive disease
Sorry Karlin, I didn't see your post until I had finished typing up mine!
Hi, thanks for your replies.
I have discussed having Meg spayed with her vet but we decided to try and sort her medications first.
After a few changes in dosage etc I thought we had found the right combination for her. She was back to acting like a 2yr old, the horrible screaming had stopped and the other symptoms were almost gone too.
I know that it is degenerative but had hoped that she would have longer before needed to up her medications.
As it is at the moment her medications knock her out for a good few hours every day. Walkies have to be carefully planned, too early and she is still sleepy from her morning tablets , too late and the next dose is nearly due and she isnt as playful. If we need to up her tablets it will get even harder.
Her vet isnt available til Friday so will see him then if there is no improvement. Obviously if she gets worse will have to see a different vet, but prefer to see the one that has treated her from day one.
Sorry to hear about your poor lad ByFloSin. How old is he and how long has he had it?
Hi -- are you only working with a vet, or has she seen a neurologist? If you haven't been to a neurologist I would really advise doing so, especially for deciding on medications,. Vets really lack the expertise to be making these decisions as this is a specialist disease. Once you are seeing a neuro then your vet can consult with them going forward as adjustments need to be made or for advice -- but really, few of us with SM dogs would use a vet alone unless there was no other choice, as they really do not have much experience in complex neurology.
If you have seen a neuro, has she been MRId for diagnosis and did you also discuss the possibility of decompression surgery? This may be a better long term option for a young dog that is already having screaming sessions. I sure would be considering surgery in such a situation, if it were a viable option (it isn;t always -- and also there may be many reasons, personal or otherwise, not to do surgery -- but I have three SM dogs and if I had a screaming dog just age 2, I'd be looking at surgery).
I cannot stress enough that with this challenging condition, you do not want to see a different vet for advice, but see a neurologist for a proper professional assessment. Vets will only be just guessing their way around treatments.
There are medication combinations that should provide relief and not knock her out like this, as well. I do agree though that air pressure can bring on poor days.