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  1. #1
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    Default A liitle advice please?

    Hi everyone, I wanted to ask how you all cope on a day to day basis with the worry of having a poorly dog?
    My Ruby struggled with anxiety as an adolecent and was a very fearful dog- of most things really.
    We have worked very hard to bring her out of it which we managed quite sucessfully- there were still a few issues but on the whole she was happy.
    Since the SM has propped up I worry on a day to day basis that she is happy and pain free and this worry is transferring to Ruby- which is the last thing she needs with the rest of her issues! She is slipping back to her old ways.
    I just wanted to know what you all do to cope with this and whether it affects your dogs happiness and state of mind.
    I do study dog behaviour and care (doing a degree) but it seems to all go out the window when it comes to my own dog?

    Thankyou all
    Karen and Ruby xx

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karen and Ruby View Post
    Hi everyone, I wanted to ask how you all cope on a day to day basis with the worry of having a poorly dog?
    My Ruby struggled with anxiety as an adolecent and was a very fearful dog- of most things really.
    We have worked very hard to bring her out of it which we managed quite sucessfully- there were still a few issues but on the whole she was happy.
    Since the SM has propped up I worry on a day to day basis that she is happy and pain free and this worry is transferring to Ruby- which is the last thing she needs with the rest of her issues! She is slipping back to her old ways.
    I just wanted to know what you all do to cope with this and whether it affects your dogs happiness and state of mind.
    I do study dog behaviour and care (doing a degree) but it seems to all go out the window when it comes to my own dog?

    Thankyou all
    Karen and Ruby xx

    I am so sorry, I know exactly how you feel. I wish I could say something helpful, but I don't think I can.

    What you are describing is something that I live with every day and I would imagine so does everyone else with a symptomatic cavalier, however well the medication seems to be working.

    Owning a dog with SM does spoil the uncomplicated joy that you feel in your pet ( although in other ways it makes them a lot more precious to you ) and I really don't know how you can ever lose that worry.

    For me it is the not knowing how much pain they may be experiencing.

    I think you do become slightly paranoid, you do spend time wondering if you are imagining symptoms or, on the other hand, whether you are being cruel because you are not acting on your vague worries.

    I cannot say that I feel my anxiety about my three affects their behaviour, although their behaviour ( when I wonder if they are having a 'bad' day ) can cause me to feel even more anxious about them and whether I should be looking again at their medication.

    I have lived with the situation long enough to appreciate every day I have with them, and to enjoy them when they are obviously having fun.

    Scaring pet owners is one of the accusations directed at the Pedigree Dogs Exposed film, and at Carol Fowler and myself when we appeared in the film in an attempt to bring the problem of SM to the cavalier owning public.

    I know that has happened, & I am sorry for those that have been scared for no reason, but better a concerned and well informed owner checking for something that may not be present, than a dog in pain and the owner oblivious to the signs of extreme discomfort.

    Ruby has an owner who cares, an owner who knows her problems and will not let her be in pain if she can help it.
    You are a great Mum to her & she is so lucky to be with you.
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

  3. #3
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    beautifully put Margaret
    I feel that i constantly struggle to find the middle ground between taking care of & or smothering my Rubes. For example i have a pushchair for her but try to get her to walk a little each day still for her fitness/weight, ive had to cut down on her treats as she's piling weight on since we got the pushchair but does it matter if she's overweight if the treats make her happy, yes for her heart health & so it goes round in my head! Some days she looks happy to have a walk, some days not so i try to gauge each walk at a time,its a hard line to find.
    A couple of friends have said she looks tired recently, ive tried putting ruby to bed in the bedroom but she comes poddling back thro in minutes!
    I guess im not helping much, what im trying to say is you are doing your best & you can only go on how your Ruby seems at the time, you know her best so try to enjoy her good days, come here for support on her bad days, good luck with finding the fine line
    Blessed by the love of a Cavalier!
    G & Ruby(ruby girl!)B:04? Ex PF rescue,she came to me in '08 & has SM/MVD & she's a special princess & Jelly Tots(B&T girl)B:20/3/09,a real cuddles cheeky chops & the baby of the family!

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    Smile

    That was beautifully put, I agree. That is how I feel, you nailed it.
    I will be interviewed soon as well here in Australia, (for a TV documentry on problems like this with dog breeds) I am now concerned that I must get the most important points about this dreadful condition across.

    Anybody that wishes to give me their ideas on the most important things I should say, would be welcomed.

    My Sopohie is about 3 1/2 and showed symtoms when she was only about 6 months old. She does not seem to be in pain lately, so for that I am grateful
    Regards

    Sharon (Sophie's Mother)
    In Sunny Australia

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    Margaret described it exactly how I feel. One thing that I think helps me is that I have a daughter with health problems and her two conditions are completely controlled with medication. I try to accept that the medication cancels out the illness and we have to live with the fact that it's there, but we don't have to see it. So I feel getting the medication right with our dogs is so important. I'm not sure anyone who has an SM dog medicated can eradicate symptoms completely but we do our best to make our dogs comfortable and that's all we can do.

    Talking about it will help. I think Margaret helped me most with this because she saw how distressed I was (she went with me for Dylan's scan) and she knew just how I felt having been through it herself. It does help to have people to talk to so you are doing the right thing coming on her and talking about it.
    ....
    Dylan, Poppy & Kipling's
    *''' ' "*Mummy`` "*'
    ,'*" "*'

  6. #6
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    I'm sure most people with SM dogs watch them a little more closely and warily than their other dogs. Most of Riley's symptoms are controlled by medication at this point, but I find I am always on the lookout for anything that might indicate that the meds aren't working as well as before. I admit that I do care about her and for her in a different manner than I care for my other three. I am more protective of her. Since she had her surgery I don't want the other dogs pulling on her ears or body slamming into her when playing. I adore all my "kids", but Riley has a special place in my heart. I try to take it one day at a time, but it's hard not to imagine that her lifespan will be cut shorter because of SM. She will be 7 years old in August and while I hope she lives to a ripe old age, I truthfully don't forsee that for her. Because of that, I sometimes look at her and get really sad about her future prospects and my life without her. I try to stop myself - she may live for a long time, but it's hard not to think about it. Like Margaret said, I don't feel that she senses my anxiety. She does however, look to me to rescue her when the other dogs are particularly rambunctious. So, I just try to love her a lot and appreciate what I have now. Even when I give her a little extra TLC, the others take note and come over for their extra TLC. Everyone's happy! And I love what Tupup said - enjoy her good days and come here for support on bad days. We're with you.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Margaret C View Post
    I am so sorry, I know exactly how you feel. I wish I could say something helpful, but I don't think I can.

    What you are describing is something that I live with every day and I would imagine so does everyone else with a symptomatic cavalier, however well the medication seems to be working.

    Owning a dog with SM does spoil the uncomplicated joy that you feel in your pet ( although in other ways it makes them a lot more precious to you ) and I really don't know how you can ever lose that worry.

    For me it is the not knowing how much pain they may be experiencing.

    I think you do become slightly paranoid, you do spend time wondering if you are imagining symptoms or, on the other hand, whether you are being cruel because you are not acting on your vague worries.

    I cannot say that I feel my anxiety about my three affects their behaviour, although their behaviour ( when I wonder if they are having a 'bad' day ) can cause me to feel even more anxious about them and whether I should be looking again at their medication.

    I have lived with the situation long enough to appreciate every day I have with them, and to enjoy them when they are obviously having fun.

    Scaring pet owners is one of the accusations directed at the Pedigree Dogs Exposed film, and at Carol Fowler and myself when we appeared in the film in an attempt to bring the problem of SM to the cavalier owning public.

    I know that has happened, & I am sorry for those that have been scared for no reason, but better a concerned and well informed owner checking for something that may not be present, than a dog in pain and the owner oblivious to the signs of extreme discomfort.

    Ruby has an owner who cares, an owner who knows her problems and will not let her be in pain if she can help it.
    You are a great Mum to her & she is so lucky to be with you.

    Ms. Margaret C. I just realized who you are and wanted to express my gratitude for all that you have done for the cavaliers. I am a relatively new owner and did not do enough research before purchasing my first cavalier. He does not have any SM symptoms however he does have severe hip dysplasia. I have learned so much after watching the documentary. Asking the right questions and understanding the importance of health testing in cavaliers as well as being informed about common symtpoms of SM in cavaliers. I must say that the documentary scared me; however I would rather be informed than ignorant about the issues facing this wonderful breed. With Lou's hip dysplasia I am always worried about how much pain he feels; however all I can do is manage his condition to the best of my and our vets abilities and try to make him as happy as possible and that means: cuddling until noon on Saturday mornings; going for off leash walks on nearby trails, giving him ice cubes everytime I get ice for my ice tea and letting him sniff every mailbox during our on-leash walks in the neighborhood. Again Ms. C I want to let you know how important I found your comments in the documentary. We don't have many breeders of cavaliers in Alaska but the few that I have seen don't do any health testing even for the mitral valve disease. One breeder is actively breeding her two dogs with heart murmurs. Therefore it is wonderful to know that there are people out there like you who care about these dogs enough to speak out for their future. Thank you
    Lou - CKCS - dob 11/21/2007; Sam - Shih-tzu - dob 11/28/2008; Beau - labrador - dob 8/13/2005; Toni - cat - dob fall 2004

  8. #8
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    Thank you for your kind words.
    I am proud to have been part of the film. It has made such a difference to the way that pedigree dog breeding is being viewed.

    It is not only pet owners that did not know about cavalier health issues, many breeders had not fully appreciated the problems in the breed either, especially those who do not belong to a cavalier club, or, belong to a breed club that does not inform their members of emerging health problems.

    Disappointingly there are still too many clubs that do not have any health information, not even about mitral valve disease, on their websites.
    I do wonder why they think the club exists if not to inform & educate their members?

    I have two Japanese Chins with hip dysplasia, they manage a short walk every day with the help of a daily dose of metacam.
    Chins are another breed with many health problems, MVD, Brachycephalic Airways Syndrome, slipping patella, atlantoataxia subluxation, cataracts, that have been ignored for years. The UK Chin Club website states that they have no recognised health problems

    I do hope that Lou continues to enjoy his cuddles, his walks, & his ice cubes for many years with you.
    Some of our dogs are so lucky to be with owners that love them so much and who are prepared to give them the best quality of life possible.
    It is what happens to those that are not so lucky that haunts me sometimes.
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

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