We visited Willows at the beginning of this year just before lost Megan. They were very good, and I wouldn't hesitate to go back again. Only thing we found was that you have to pay upfront for treatment and then claim afterwards from your insurance company.
Keep us posted, your vids were very interesting. I've seen Teddy display a few of those characteristics (the early vids), and I thought the were just him playing so I'll be keeping an eye on this thread.
Thank you Lynne!
Ziggy has finally had 2 nights of full sleep in a row which is excellent. His stools (I think) are back to normal. As a result wel be rebooking his MRI scan so we can get this all sorted!
Ziggs bowel has improved thanks to all the medication he has had! The past 2 days his SM has gotten quite bad. Has there been a pressure change?
I haven't checked the barometer but I would say yes, there has. Rebel is much better after several days of holding his head very low and being irritable and demanding. I increased his Gabapentin, which helped him a little, but he still looked stressed. Then, a couple of nights ago he started to look better and now he's back to his old self, even though I have now adjusted his dosage back to normal.
Originally Posted by ZigsBro
Ahh right, sounds about right then I suppose. As a result of ths pressure change I have nticed hes squinting his eyes... Could this be squinting in pain? I cant find too much info on this. Any ideas?
Yes I think it is. A while after Rebel started to show symptoms I realised that he was squinting with the one eye and keeping the other closed. I made an appointment with the view for review, but meanwhile looked through the many photos I have taken of him over recent years. I was shocked to find that he had been closing that eye in almost all of the pictures for at least a couple of years, so I checked on the dates each were taken and showed them to the vet. She immediately agreed it was neuropathic pain. She said she could also see from the muscles of his face that he was in serious pain.
It will help at The Willows if you list anything and everything that has happened that you think might have anything at all to do with SM, including any photos you may have. They would rather have too much information than too little.
Ahh I see. Yeah I have to admit he has been squinting one hell of a lot lately. Thank god our appointment will be soon so we can hopefully get the poor chap sorted for Xmas! :(
I do have one question.. (Full of them arent I?) Namely about the paw licking. Why do they lick their paws? I have read up that some humans with SM scratch their skin raw because of hallucinations of bugs crawling on their skin? Not sure though. Just curious as we arent sure if its something we should tell him to stop as sometimes it gets so out of hand.
Rebel does that sometimes. I think it might be that the licking helps to relieve the sense of pressure inside the skull. The neurologist might be able to tell you more about that.
Squinting is a common SM symptom and usually seems to mean a headache - often produced by the pressure within the skull resulting from dilated ventricles, where - because the free flow of cerebral-spinal fluid is prevented by the Chiari Malformation - the fluid backs up in the ventricles instead of changing direction to go back down the brain to the spinal cord. The squint is most obvious in bright sunlight, but can also be caused by fluorescent light and even the bright white light you get on a cloudy day. Oliver is particularly affected and wears a soft sun hat with a long brim on sunny days - he's less affected on walks because his nose is always on the ground and at that angle his eyelids keep the sun out. He used to get a lot of headaches, but is now on a new drug that really helps, although I still protect his eyes in sunlight. I regard squinting in sunlight as a sign that CM/SM may be present (it can, of course, simply be an eye problem); last year I was at a training class for small dogs on a sunny day and Aled, my other Cavalier who also has CM/SM, was squinting when he looked up at me, but when I looked around, none of the other dogs were squinting - pekingese, Lancashire heelers, Italian greyhounds, corgis, shelties, none of them were affected by the strong light, only my CM/SM Cavalier.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
Thank you all for the information given. We got back from The Willows 1 hour ago and they said they would give him an MRI! I was a little startled as they booked him in the same day and I left without him. They said his heart murmor was higher than the other vets said and that he should be ok to come home by about 5. I feel a little worried about that with his murmor but it needs to be done. She said it could be meningitis, slipped disk, CM or SM... So wel just have to see what comes of it I suppose.
Il keep you posted!