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Thread: Could Vet be wrong about this? does this sound like SM?

  1. #11
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    It does sound like SM related problems, get to a neurologist and get an MRI done, at least that way you will know whats gong on.

    The only problem though with a mini scan is the area being covered is only the head and top neck.

    Although unusual 1 Cavalier has gone through an MRI scan in Swindon (on M4 junction 15, at the Great Western Referrals, the scanner calls in evey Monday, neurologist on site but scans can also be sent to Geoff or Clare for written report, although one given with results) with a very low syrinx only. This would have been missed with a mini scan.

    The dog went for a disc problem and SM was picked up then.
    Although uncommon, it's worth noting. If you can get a full scan then it's preferable.

    Alison.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison_Leighfield View Post
    Although unusual 1 Cavalier has gone through an MRI scan in Swindon (on M4 junction 15, at the Great Western Referrals, the scanner calls in evey Monday, neurologist on site but scans can also be sent to Geoff or Clare for written report, although one given with results) with a very low syrinx only. This would have been missed with a mini scan.
    I know of a cavalier in the US who has only one syrinx low on the spine. This cavalier has no SM symptoms.
    Cathy Moon
    India(tri-F) Geordie(blen-M)Chocolate(b&t-F)Charlie(at the bridge)

  3. #13
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    Yes I know of some cases too, though they seem to be very rare. You have to keep in mind the purpose of the low cost scans is to balance cost of a service against giving breeders some tools to work with for their breeding programmes -- very few dogs would be scanned and graded if breeders had to pay €1200 per dog. A symptomatic dog should probably have a full scan (depending on what is desired from the scan); for grading, neurologists say they almost never see lower spine-only syrinxes in any dogs with symptomatic SM, having seen hundreds of MRIs. So neck area MRIs for the low cost scans are a good balance I think.

    For that matter Leo was diagnosed with a mini scan and that has been perfectly fine for the way in which I decided to approach treating him. If you don't wish to do surgery (and in many cases, even if you do) there may not be any reason to get a full body scan. Seeing whether there are syrinxes in the spine doesn't alter the way the decompression surgery is done either. But it is useful for a whole picture view of what is going on and to see whether syrinxes reduce (but with the normal decompression surgery they do not tend to reduce at all).

    The problem with assuming pain has gone away simply because the dog stops showing pain is that with SM dogs do tend to start to adapt and *tolerate* vicious amounts of pain without showing it, after time passes. Neurologists regularly remark upon this. Vets do not have the training to spot the neurological deficits and signs of neurological pain that a neurologist can pick up even without an MRI. So for any dog that seems to suffer recurring or ongoing bouts of pain in this breed, and when an orthopedic problem cannot be identified, I think an owner should always see a neurologist even if you know you will not opt for an MRI. A lot can be determined from a basic exam by a neurologist.

    Or to put it another way: I just had my vets check leo, my SM dog, for outward signs of pain. He showed none on a routine exam. Yet I know Leo regularly has bouts of SM pain when I can hardly touch him on his right side without him yelping. He showed none of this when at the vet. And as my vet noted, Leo has always showed a very high pain threshold and is also a very gentle sweet natured dog who does not react to people even when they cause him pain (seen during his anal gland problem). This makes it very easy for vets to miss an SM diagnosis. As is noted in the current thread in the main discussion section, cavaliers because of their gentle nature can hide considerable levels of pain.

    My vets now are very aware of SM and if treatment for disk pain doesn't work and nothing can be seen on xrays or basic scans they always refer a dog to the university now to neurology because of the high chance of SM. Numerous cavaliers have been identified as SM dogs because of this, which other vets would likely continuously miss.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  4. #14
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    Yesterday I noticed a huge truck outside the local Vet practice; it read Burgess Diagnostics MRI mobile scanner. Anybody dealt with them ???
    I had a look at their website and they do low cost scans. I would be very interested in having both my girls scanned, for peace of mind.
    Claire
    Once owned by Rudeepoohs
    then rescued by CaraMia and Minnie Moo.
    Missing all my girls every day....

  5. #15
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    They are the same company that supply the scanner in our town and various other places.

    Claire try to find out if a neurologist visits with the scanner or ask where the scans go and to whom for the write up/report afterwards.
    How often does it come to that area? keep a note incase anyone else on here needs a scanner for an MRI in your area. The vet should have contact numbers and information.

    Alison.

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