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Thread: Question About Possible Symptoms

  1. #1
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    Default Question About Possible Symptoms

    Hi Karlin,

    I have noticed a few things in my youngest Cavalier, Ruby, who is 1-1/2 years old, and wondered if you think this is enough to warrant an appointment with a neurologist, or if I am perhaps overreacting because of all the threads on SM lately...

    Ruby has yelped periodically for the last few months, with no one near her or touching her, and no cause we can determine. She has probably done so 3 times in the last 2 weeks. The last time, she then went and curled up in a corner that she has never sat in, and shivered for about 30 minutes. That was quite a shock, as I saw the shivering on your list of symptoms.

    Ruby will often move about restlessly in different positions, before settling down. And she will sometimes lay down on our marble fireplace surround, which our other dog never does.

    Last week, I opened the dishwasher to unload it. Ruby loves to play, and whenever I open the dishwasher, she runs to get a toy, then puts it on the open door so that I will throw it for her. She was sitting about 2 feet from the dishwasher, but never looked up once while I unloaded and then loaded it over a 10-minute period. She was busy chewing on her paw the whole time. I let her continue just to see how long she would chew, as I have never seen her ignore the opening of the dishwasher door.

    Most of this I dismissed as just things dogs do, until she had the shivering/hiding in the corner episode. I brought her to the vet today for a regular checkup, and the vet was not aware of SM - although I did bring her your printout and she was very interested. She suggested talking with the neurologist at the University of Minnesota vet school, Dr. McVey. The vet did check Ruby's paw carefully, and between each pad to see if there was something that would cause her to chew, but couldn't find anything.

    Do you think I should pursue this, or that this is not enough to cause concern? Your opinion is appreciated. Thanks very much!
    Barb, activity director for Star (tri-color girl) and Ruby (Blenheim girl)

  2. #2
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    I would check this out. Ilsa had other symptoms, scratching and yelping when being picked up, but I could justify them to myself a bit. It didn't help when my vet who knew nothing of SM told me I was paranoid and obsessive. When she began yelping in pain for no reason then shivering, I knew we had a problem, and unfortunately I was right.

    That is a major symptom, and if you're wrong, at least you'll know that too and stop worrying. It never hurts to be safe.

    Take care
    Jen and Ilsa

  3. #3
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    Hi Barb: If I were you, I would definitely talk to Dr McVey, given that 30 minute episode of shivering and crying out alone and curling up like that -- that is a classic severe pain response. Something is not right and if your vet can find nothing, looking at neurological pain is an obvious immediate step. She sounds like she is feeling some severe pain on and off. Dr McVey is very nice.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the feedback. I just made an appointment for Ruby with Dr. McVey for next week, so I'm glad that she is able to get in so soon.
    Barb, activity director for Star (tri-color girl) and Ruby (Blenheim girl)

  5. #5
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    I am sorry about these worrying symptoms. My first cavalier died of an accident at 11 months, but it was symptoms like you are describing that made me think something was wrong with her that started when she was about 3 or 4 months old. In fact, after joining this board and just reading and lurking for a week, I decided to buy her health insurance. While I didn't need it for something like SM, I was afraid I might. The insurance wound up being a godsend for her final vet stay, however, so it was money well spent.

    On the SM note, Pixie also would yelp when picked up. If you put your hands under her belly and lifted, even slowly and with 2 hands, she would yelp. I got to where I would pick her up under her chest and her hindquarters every time (probably a better way, anyway). I just thought she had a tender tummy. Pixie also would yelp for no reason like your dog sometimes quickly looking back over her shoulders while yelping(almost like something was biting her). She would look worried for a few minutes afterwards. She even woke from sleep doing that a few times. She seemed to have a lot of itches on her rear legs. She'd "flea-bite" along her lower legs (rear legs mostly). I don't know if Pixie had SM, but I did see worrying signs. Especially now that I have two cavaliers (7 months and 5 months) that at present NEVER do those things, I am even more suspicious.

    Do you have insurance? If not, you might want to secure that and make sure the coverage is active before getting further tests. It is expensive if they need surgery and scans, so unless money isn't an object with you, you might want to consider that.

    Good luck to you.

  6. #6
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    I agree, wish I had insurance before she was diagnosed. I'm kicking myself now!
    Jen

  7. #7
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    Don't be too hard on yourself... I've looked into the insurance thing and haven't found one yet that will cover things like SM and MVD. Seems like money wasted if you can't cover the two most likely conditions that will cost the most to diagnose. Of course, that's probably why insurance companies don't offer it!

    If anyone does know of a worthwhile insurance policy, please let me know!!!

    Melissa

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhiannasmom View Post
    Don't be too hard on yourself... I've looked into the insurance thing and haven't found one yet that will cover things like SM and MVD. Seems like money wasted if you can't cover the two most likely conditions that will cost the most to diagnose. Of course, that's probably why insurance companies don't offer it!

    If anyone does know of a worthwhile insurance policy, please let me know!!!

    Melissa
    Pet Plan is a great insurance company that will cover MRI's, SM surgery, PSOM, etc. In fact, the man that established the company has a Cavalier himself. The main thing to remember regarding insurance, is to purchase a policy well BEFORE you start visiting the vets for unusual symptoms that could lead to denial of a claim, as a pre-existing condition. Petplan has a 15 day waiting period after the policy is activated. Others can be as long as a month or more. Some plans don't cover congenital issues, so steer clear of those, such as VPI.
    Marianne
    Mom to Dottie, and our precious rescue, Claire-Bear

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rhiannasmom View Post
    Don't be too hard on yourself... I've looked into the insurance thing and haven't found one yet that will cover things like SM and MVD. Seems like money wasted if you can't cover the two most likely conditions that will cost the most to diagnose. Of course, that's probably why insurance companies don't offer it!

    If anyone does know of a worthwhile insurance policy, please let me know!!!

    Melissa
    You are in the U.S, so you can get a policy with
    Embrace Pet Insurance....www.embracepetinsurance.com
    They are wonderful. they cover congenital (SM and MVD and any of the others) and they offer continuing care (if you dog is diagnosed in one policy year, they will continue to cover that condition in later policy years), unlike many others. They are sensitive, compassionate people, and they have paid the claims I submitted to them without a hitch and in a timely manner. They made the terrible ordeal I went through when we lost Pixie much less traumatic by handling the paperwork for us directly with the vet hospital and the CEO of the company contacted me with her congratulations when we bought our policies for Bandit and then Lizzie since they remembered how awful it was for us when Pixie died. They wanted pictures of the puppies and told me they shared them all around the office, so happy for us. I can't say anything bad about them at this point. Just a great product and great, personal service. Their claims process is VERY simple, too. Not much the vet has to do.

  10. #10
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    You are in the U.S, so you can get a policy with
    Embrace Pet Insurance....www.embracepetinsurance.com
    They are wonderful.
    Wow. I just called Embrace to inquire about a policy for my boys. They are SO nice and helpful!!! I currently have PetCare and they are not responsive at all and more expensive than Embrace. My one concern is that Truman injured his back playing with Miles many months ago - he was put on Metacam and healed in a week. I want to make sure that if I switch to Embrace and he were to be diagnosed with SM at some point that MRIs, medication, possibly surgery, etc. would be covered. Since he had "back and neck pain" according to the vets charts I want to make sure this is considered completely separate from a hereditary condition such as SM. I am going to send my vet records to Embrace to have them reviewed and they will let me know if Truman would be covered if he were ever diagnosed with SM. Thanks for the recommendation!
    Carrie - Mom to my boys, Miles (a Ruby born 4/15/07) and Truman (a B&T born 11/28/07) and my girls, cats Hailey and Kayla (born @ 4/15/04 - they were found as strays )

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