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Thread: Wanted to introduce myself/SM

  1. #21
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    My experience with disc problems is that when it got very bad, it was treated agressively. My choices were surgery or IV steroid therapy, hospitalized 3 days with steroids and liquid tagamet or pepsid, I forget which, to avoid the stomach problems such therapy brings. I opted not to do surgery because she had JUST had patella surgery, this was my Lhasa. She recovered so beautifully. So I'm wondering if they should start the steroid treatment, since he does not seem to be getting better and if you should be having that discussion with your surgeon.

  2. #22
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    I didn't actually mean surgery for the bulging discs but for the malformation/small syrinx. Before that starts to affect him one day.

    But I will at least ask her about steroids for his back/neck bulging discs.

    However, he is IS getting better. He's already almost back to where he was before my stupid ball/sofa move - and he was definitely getting better before that. But today - no more yelping, begged me for a walk (I escorted him to the backyard), is bringing me toys (I pet him and say good boy - that's IT.) And lots of rest.

  3. #23
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    Our little rescue cavalier, Charlie (now at rainbow bridge), was a patient of Dr. Sammut when he lived in California.

    He didn't have disc problems in his back, but Charlie had early onset SM - he was only 5 months old when his symptoms became severe. Charlie had been having SM pain episodes and had neurological damage for many months before we adopted him, and Dr. Sammut prescribed Gabapentin, Metacam, and Lasix. Metacam is a similar drug to Rimadyl.

    After his decompression surgery here in Ohio, Charlie was still taking Gabapentin, but his other medicines were changed (Omeprazole and Amantadine); our neurologist didn't prescribe Metacam or Lasix after his surgery, but Charlie did have two short courses of Prednisone.

    Later, as Charlie needed more pain medicine, our neurologist added Tramadol with Gabapentin and his other medicines. Tramadol can cause constipation, so we gave him a fish oil capsule daily with one of his meals.
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

  4. #24
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    So the short answer is - no, he never took Gabapentin, Tramadol, and Metacam all at the same time!
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

  5. #25
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    It seems there isn't really disc "thread", so forgive me for asking here. Just wanted some of your opinions before I see the neurologist Tuesday:

    1. Is bathing to be avoided while a dog's recovering from bulging discs? Watson has has seasonal itching, and his epi-soothe baths really help him stop scratching. His hydroxyzine is helping a little, but not enough. Just my luck this had to coincide with his "itchy" season.

    2. Are heat or cold helpful? I've seen pads for dogs to rest on that do both, but I'm not sure if they're helpful, and/or which is better for healing disc pain. We live in relatively moderate climate in California.

    3. I'm looking at crating him for part of the day when the house is too "active". He's never been crated (is fully housebroken), so it may be hard for him. He's a large 23 lb cavalier (should weigh around 20, and is now on a diet). What size crate for this purpose? Watson likes to stretch out on his side while sleeping.

    Thanks in advance. Don't worry - I'll get the docs thoughts as well.

  6. #26
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    Some of those questions are probably good for the vet or doctor.

    Just be aware if he has the surgery for SM, he will require crating for many weeks, all the time. This is far more involved to manage than disk problems. So overall it would be a good idea to start crate training him regardless -- it is very useful to have a place he can happily go for quiet time. I recommend an xpen as well.

    I'd get a large wire crate -- maybe two feet by three, so he has lots of room to move around and stretch out. You can cover it with a towel to make it more enclosed and private for him. Get a crate, get a soft crate liner, and start feeding him in the crate and putting toys and nice things like treats in there. He will probably start using it by choice as a retreat (you can prop the door open or tie it back). Then you will want to try closing the door and increasing the time. My dogs are all quite happy to be crated for naps or at night when they are boarding. There's lots of info on crate training in the Library section.

    I'd want to be sure the SM surgery was actually needed if you are also dealing with back pain. I also would wait til the back is fully healed before considering the surgery.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  7. #27
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    I'm not talking about having SM surgery right now! He doesn't even have SM symptoms. I'm just talking about crating him to help heal his disc problems. I understand you know a lot about SM, but I don't believe there's any reason to jump the gun with so much to think about. Right now the neurologist, based on her exam and his MRI, does not believe he is suffering from SM currently. At least not yet, and possibly, hopefully, never.

    If there was a disc thread I would've posted there.
    Last edited by boymom; 4th August 2008 at 07:51 AM.

  8. #28
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    Sorry, but if you reread, you'll see I was explaining *crate training*, regardless of what it is used for. And no one is recommending SM surgery -- again, if you take a moment reread my last reply, I specifically say that *I would not consider surgery for SM* unless you are clear the symptoms you see are due to SM. I think maybe your own posts are what is confusing for those trying to help, if several of us have misunderstood the point of your queries... Nancy assumed you were talking about disk surgery but then you said no, you were talking about SM surgery:

    Your own words:

    I didn't actually mean surgery for the bulging discs but for the malformation/small syrinx. Before that starts to affect him one day.
    So I simply explained if this was what you were considering, it's a good idea to have a dog already trained to be crated to ease anxiety with SM surgery -- but you are now saying you are talking about disks, and complaining about receiving advice for SM surgery? Crating for one or the other isn't a different process.

    Um... OK. So let me start again with the same point: your vet and neurologist and orthopedist will certainly tell you, for EITHER disk or SM surgery you will need to crate rest your dog for best results, and that you run a high risk of re-injury or failure of these invasive, serious surgeries if you choose to take the same approach you have been up to now -- which clearly caused re-injury, even for a dog that hadn't had surgery. I had thought this was one key reason why you posted in the first place -- to ask for better management strategies as you confessed that the one you had used had caused further pain for your dog? And learn more about potentially managing SM and disk problems? That why I suggested crate rest even now, and/or use of an xpen.

    I cannot see how anyone is 'jumping the gun' to recommend generally, what most vets and neurologists see as normal care for disk problems OR surgery for any condition -- crate rest. Dr Marino for example recommends nearly three months of primarily crate rest post-op for SM surgery. My vets just recommended two weeks' crate rest for one of my dogs that has been in nowhere near the level of pain of your own with a minor back problem. Obviously it helps to have a dog already crate trained, if you have never done this before as it lowers anxiety and frustration for the dog (and hence the owner).

    I am sorry you feel people offering supportive replies to your own questions is 'too much to think about'. Please remember that if you ask for public response to a range of questions, you may not get the replies you wanted, and people can only reply to what your questions seem to be -- and either way, many people are taking time to reply! I'm closing this thread, as I think it would be a good idea for you to direct your further questions to your neurologist and your vet, as talking face to face would no doubt avoid misinterpretation of replies or intent. I know Dr Sammut is very supportive and would be willing to discuss the implications of either kind of surgery. I hope you find the only issue you face is some minor disk problems and not SM pain, as none of us with SM dogs would ever like to see another dog with that. You need to keep in mind that your dog definitely IS suffering from SM now regardless of whether he is symptomatic, and that it is generally a progressive condition, so do keep an eye on that (as I said, Dr Sammut is already treating him for SM by prescribing Lasix, so she obviously thinks he does need some medication for SM -- I'd talk further with her on that). Good luck with solving his difficulties.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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