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Thread: Help I think my dog has SM

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    Default Help I think my dog has SM

    Hi I'm new to this and this is my first post

    My nearly two year old blenhiem girl Kizzy is showing many symptoms (except scratching) of syringomyilea, I can tell she is in pain and often yelps and screams especially when jumping up- this devastates me. She can no longer bend down properly for her food and struggles getting onto my lap. She is my first dog and i never knew how much i could love an animal before i had her shes such an amazing dog.

    I have taken her to the vet and they gave her Rimadyl for 5 days - she was quite a bit better whilst on it but now shes off it shes suffereing again. I will be going back to the vet tomorrow but sadly had to delay going to the vet as we have only just got insurance sorted out and as I know I don't have the money to treat the condition I wanted to wait for the insurance as it's my only hope for getting her properly treated.

    The symptoms seemed to come on so rapidly and got so much worse within two weeks, she was so lovley and still acted like a young puppy she has an amazing livley caring and playful temperament but now she rarley plays and isn't excitable about walks and is off her food which she used to love(even biscuits)

    I am in such a state about this and don't know what is the best thing to do. Hopfully insurance (petplan) will cover MRI scan and surgery if needed.

    Is there any chance this isn't SM as she dosn't really scratch and isn't to bothered about us touching her neck although she's often in pain.

    Also i hear there are some quite good drugs in helping dogs cope with Sm, I was wondering how long they can stay on medication for and which are the most effective.

    Sorry to write so much and sorry about spelling and Gramma! if anyone can help me that would be great.

    Thank you Hannah

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    North Scotland - east coast
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    Hi Hannah so sorry to hear about Kizzy's symptoms. With regard to SM - only about 50% of affected dogs do scratch, so that is not always a reliable indicator.

    http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/ have a look at this site, it has lots of relevant information, also some video clips of affected dogs. It also has documents you can print out and take to your vet, which may be helpful, especially if they are not up to date iwth the condition.

    As many as 90% of all Cavaliers {in studies} have the malformation, about 50% show symptoms of varying degrees, so this is something EVERY Cavalier owner needs to be aware of, as you will most likely face it at some point.

    Insurance will not usually cover pre existing conditions, so if you already highlighted the symptoms to the vet - or mentioned that they started before you took out the insurance, then unfortunately you will probably not be covered. We ALWAYS recommend that Cavaliers are insured, and that you obtain lifetime cover for them - not just an annual policy.

    There are various medications available to manage the condition, it is usually progressive and you may need a combination of meds. The other option is surgery, but you would need to research that thoroughly and decide for yourself - together with your vet and neurologist - if it was the appropriate course of action for you.

    There are other conditions to rule out first, such as disc injuries, but really an MRI is the definitive tool for diagnosis.

    Have a read through this section too, there are stories of lots of affected dogs - many of whom are enjoying a good quality of life and manage well.

    Keep us posted as to how Kizzy is doing - it does sound like she needs to be on pain relief and you need to get her to a neurologist asap.


    There are some simple management techniques that may help you - raise the food and water bowls, you can buy stands or even just put them on a telephone directory. Try a harness if the collar seems to make things worse, or perhaps try resting her for a week or so to see if that helps.

    It is not fair for a dog to be in pain and not receiving treatment - you would not want to be in that position yourself...


    Please also contact the breeder of your dog - if they are responsible breeders they would want to know and will hopefully support you through this difficult time.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Wiltshire. U.K.
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    Have sent you a private mail.

    Alison.

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