Anxiously awaiting word of Thistle. I keep thinking of her heartbreaking screams in the video and hoping that the neurologist will give her some pain relief. Within 30 seconds of Riley's appt, her neuro had diagnosed her with SM, but still confirmed it with an MRI so he could see the extent of the damage. Like Karlin said, it's better to know what you're up against.
UPDATE: saw the neurologist today. So before he saw her (she was in the carrier), we sat and talked. He basically said cavaliers have this disease, and it sounds like that. And I was like, yep.
So he did a work up on her. He said several of her motions were abnormal (not normal for a regular dog, or an SM dog). He said disk disease is almost certainly out of the question, those dogs are exactly as LoveMyCavs described, and Thistle is moving, and importantly not restricting movement in her neck. And basically, he suspects SM, but the MRI will reveal the answer.
The person who runs their MRI is out of town until tomorrow, so he'll book an appointment once they are back, aiming for January 17.
In the mean time, Thistle is really doing well, she's happy and cuddly, stealing and hiding Guinness' toys, and begging for cookies.
She does seem to be pretty sleepy, but that's not so bad.
I wonder if I dare to bathe her tomorrow. She likes to sleep by my head, so she usually is the one who gets noticed for being dirty and smelly.
Glad you were able to see the neuro so quickly. It's scary how her symptoms must came on suddenly. Lucky Thistle who has a Mom who is on top of the problems cavaliers are burdened with. Did you get any pain medications to help until the MRI can confirm diagnosis?
Jut what I was going to ask. Her pain levels may be quite low at the moment but who's to say when they will go back up again. I will be thinking of you, and Thistle too of course, on the 17th. Let us know when you know please.
Originally Posted by Sydneys Mom
Don't worry about short term steroids -- it's what will help her most swiftly and a treatment regime can be sorted out after. It takes months to years of prednisone use for it to become a possible risk, though there can be some frustrating side effects like appetite increase right away. But it should give her very fast relief, faster than anything else.
Until the MRI she being managed with prednisone (we have pills now). I asked for painkillers, but the neurologist said tramadol would knock her out (better sleeping than screaming is my feeling, but apparently I'm alone in that sentiment), but after the MRI I will be insisting on something else, steroids are not something I will put her on long-term when other options are available.
I'm still learning to navigate the differences between the US and Belgium. I don't take any drugs regularly and I'm pretty healthy so this trip for Thistle was my first pharmacist interaction. It seems the vets don't stock their own pills, so I'm not sure the human pharmacy would have something appropriate for Thistle's size as part of a normal stock. I asked for tramadol (I thought that's what I remembered Karlin recommending).
I actually work in the pharmacology and drug delivery department at my university so I will get the inside scoop on pharmacies in Belgium and what doses of what painkillers I can expect a pharmacy to stock, so I can try to find something I can ask for by name that would be appropriate for her.
My work recently banned all printing for personal reasons, so I'll have to print the treatment algorithm over a weekend.
I really do need at least a few pills of something on hand to give her in an emergency. Or Guinness.
My neurologist is not known for his bedside manner (the vet described him as unpredictable, and not very friendly- the neurologist she usually refers to is out of town till February). But we talked about parvovirus and HIV (and SM), so I think he and I will get along. He's an academic, which is basically the only kind of person I know how to interact with anymore.
My son sees a specialist regularly who people generally do not like. His bedside manner is not so friendly and he's just a "different" type of person. However, he is amazing at knowing his profession and I trust him 100% in treating my son.
I'm glad she is feeling better and you are on track to get her squared away so quickly. Hopefully, you can get her on a medication system and have her as pain free as possible soon.
Very glad to hear that she's got some medication and can wait till the MRI is done. I also have a vet whose bedside manner isn't swell--and she has a very loud voice. My daughter dislikes her, but I keep taking Tess to her because she is very knowledgable about Cavaliers, and about heart disease in dogs. I figure I don't have to have dinner with her! But I do trust her when she educates me about Tess and what is going on with her heart.
That's a very good point, thank you. Although the brain and spinal cords structures are static, the CSF is dynamic, and problems anywhere will cause problems throughout.
Originally Posted by Kate H