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Thread: Madison diagnosed through MRI with SM

  1. #91
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    Madison is still doing fine. Her itching is still pretty bad, however. So, we put her on Gabapentin 100mg twice a day. The gabapentin seems to help a lot. She itches for less when she's on it and also seems to sleep more when she's on it (could be relief from the itching). It's just a shame that it wears off so fast--so we can never prevent the itching all the time. I wonder if she'll grow an immunity to the drug over time.

  2. #92
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    Congratulations on your new baby boy!!!

    Gabapentin usually lasts 8 hours, so she may need 3 doses per day.
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cathy Moon View Post
    Congratulations on your new baby boy!!!

    Gabapentin usually lasts 8 hours, so she may need 3 doses per day.

    Thank you. He's a handful. Have you experienced any immunity to gabapentin over time? By the way, I paid $.50 a pill. I'll shop around for the next round.

  4. #94
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    Glad to hear Madison is doing so well. And congratulations on your new baby!

    We just upped Spencer's gabapentin dose and he now takes it three times per day. I certainly can't speak from a scientific point of view but I do think he's developed some immunity to it. His disease is also progressing somewhat so it may be a combination of that and the fact that I don't feel the gabapentin provides as much relief as it did in the beginning.
    Spencer and his mom, Whitney

  5. #95
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    Default Will symptoms always worsen?

    Hi all,
    I'm probably in denial, but do symptoms necessarily lead to pain and illness?

    My 11-month-old redhead does the scratching thing at night, and has done it since she was an infant. She has other occasional symptoms: tail chasing, slightly weak back legs, every once in a while a yelp when picked up. But she is otherwise healthy, happy, and super active.

    Do I need to do anything? Is it possible she'll just have these symptoms the rest of her life, but otherwise be fine? Or is it necessarily going to get worse?

    And if so, any recommendations for vets in Vermont?

    Thanks for any advice,
    Rachel
    Burlington, Vermont

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Morton View Post
    Hi all,
    I'm probably in denial, but do symptoms necessarily lead to pain and illness?

    My 11-month-old redhead does the scratching thing at night, and has done it since she was an infant. She has other occasional symptoms: tail chasing, slightly weak back legs, every once in a while a yelp when picked up. But she is otherwise healthy, happy, and super active.

    Do I need to do anything? Is it possible she'll just have these symptoms the rest of her life, but otherwise be fine? Or is it necessarily going to get worse?

    And if so, any recommendations for vets in Vermont?

    Thanks for any advice,
    Rachel
    Burlington, Vermont
    Based on my own experience having cavaliers with SM, I would at the very least take her to a neurologist to get a neurology examination and to evaluate her for pain. I would try to find a neurologist experienced with SM. Here are two links for neurologists:
    http://cavalierhealth.org/neurologists.htm

    http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/diagnosin...ng/neuros.html

    If you cannot go out of state for a neurologist, it may be helpful to print documents from these links and take them to your vet. Perhaps your vet could follow the step by step approach: http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

  7. #97
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    I just found this thread and I have to say I am so happy to find someone this brave and willing to help their cavalier. A big thank you for sharing Madison's treatment step-by-step. I wish all the best to your family (congratulations on the baby!) and of course Madison - I certainly look forward to keeping in check with how she is doing.
    Sara & cavalier Pammy and charlies Buffy, Coffy & Orly

  8. #98
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    Do I need to do anything? Is it possible she'll just have these symptoms the rest of her life, but otherwise be fine? Or is it necessarily going to get worse?
    In order: yes; not very likely; and yes, almost certainly given her age.

    So, please: you do very urgently need to see someone as the things you are seeing indicate that if your dog does have SM she is already experiencing pain (and these are very suspicious symptoms and even if this isn;t SM, really MUST be addressed as they do indiocate some serious problems). Limb weakness in particular is considered a sign of rapidly progressing SM and is *a very serious symptom* -- Dr Clare Rusbridge feels that surgery is probably indicated -- or palliative care -- once limb weakness is there because it indicates a more severe form of the disease. At this point it is urgent to take some decision on the dog's future if you care for her wellbeing and do not want her to suffer unnecessarily, which I am sure is the case -- eg whether to consider surgery or to at least relieve her pain, expressed by these symptoms -- because anything not addressed right away will probably not be alleviated by surgery in the future as damage is generally irreversible.

    Dogs under three or so that are symptomatic are generally the most severely affected and should at the very least be assessed and put onto adequate pain relief medication (as noted, scratching, yelping and limb weakness are all signs that the dog is suffering and trying to live with ongoing, already-existing pain. This out of kindness should be addressed).

    I urge anyone who wonders whether to do anything because their dog doesn't seem to be showing very many symptoms, to please read some of the human SM sites to get a sense of the severe daily pain most symptomatic sufferers must live with (and how vague their expressed symtpoms are -- how does a dog tell you it has a massive headache?). All the researchers working in this area feel that by the time a dog is showing symptoms, even mild symptoms, it is already experiencing compromising pain. At the very least, there are many medications that could bring a better quality of life, even if only in the short term, to any dog with this condition -- a symptomatic dog IS SUFFERING.

    The condition is almost always progressive and any dog showing symptoms under age 3 definitely needs to be assessed.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    In order: yes; not very likely; and yes, almost certainly given her age.

    So, please: you do very urgently need to see someone as the things you are seeing indicate that if your dog does have SM she is already experiencing pain (and these are very suspicious symptoms and even if this isn;t SM, really MUST be addressed as they do indiocate some serious problems). Limb weakness in particular is considered a sign of rapidly progressing SM and is *a very serious symptom* -- Dr Clare Rusbridge feels that surgery is probably indicated -- or palliative care -- once limb weakness is there because it indicates a more severe form of the disease. At this point it is urgent to take some decision on the dog's future if you care for her wellbeing and do not want her to suffer unnecessarily, which I am sure is the case -- eg whether to consider surgery or to at least relieve her pain, expressed by these symptoms -- because anything not addressed right away will probably not be alleviated by surgery in the future as damage is generally irreversible.

    Dogs under three or so that are symptomatic are generally the most severely affected and should at the very least be assessed and put onto adequate pain relief medication (as noted, scratching, yelping and limb weakness are all signs that the dog is suffering and trying to live with ongoing, already-existing pain. This out of kindness should be addressed).

    I urge anyone who wonders whether to do anything because their dog doesn't seem to be showing very many symptoms, to please read some of the human SM sites to get a sense of the severe daily pain most symptomatic sufferers must live with (and how vague their expressed symtpoms are -- how does a dog tell you it has a massive headache?). All the researchers working in this area feel that by the time a dog is showing symptoms, even mild symptoms, it is already experiencing compromising pain. At the very least, there are many medications that could bring a better quality of life, even if only in the short term, to any dog with this condition -- a symptomatic dog IS SUFFERING.

    The condition is almost always progressive and any dog showing symptoms under age 3 definitely needs to be assessed.
    You always make me cringe because I start to think that our ignorance and our veternarian's dismissal of this disease for two years meant that our Madison progressed and went untreated in pain for three years and now has irreversible damage. Knowing what I know now, I would go to a neurologist upon any signs. It's quite surprising how cheap a visit to one is. After that, you can make decisions about the much more expensive MRI.

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