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Thread: A liitle advice please?

  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

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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`` "*'
    ,'*" "*'

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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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    Thankyou Margaret

    You always find the right thing to say. Ruby has started on Gabapentin today and Ive been told to give 100mg 3 times a day for the pain. Does this sound right to you? It seems alot!

    I live for the good days when she is runnng about like a proper dog chasing geese or playing with her friends! Unfortunatly excitement is one of the things that flares her symptoms and she pays the price for the brief momments of joy!

    We will see how she goes as I hope it brings her some releif! Its true what you say about thinking everything they do is due to the SM, like the fact that she keeps nibbling her front paws and tripping up curbs!
    I know deep down that what will be will be and she has been bought to me for a reason- she is my angel and for however long she is with me for is a life long blessing and I need to take a page out of Rubys booka and live for today not tomorrow!!

    Karen and Ruby xxxxx

  8. #8
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    That is the amount of gabapentin that Tommy is given and seems to be the usual amount that most SM dogs are prescribed.
    It really does help Tom, although gabapentin did not work for Matthew, and he has now been put on to prednisolone.

    It will be interesting to see if the foot nibbling and tripping over curbs stops when Ruby is on it.
    Let us know how she gets on.

    Pauline is right, it does help to share & we are all here to help each other through the bad times
    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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    I haven't hardly been on here for the past 2 months because of breaking my arm but many know who I am. My Abbey is my world. I love her so much --I just can't express into words what she means to me. She had decompression surgery the first part of March so we're almost at the 4 month mark. This year has been a year from hayull literally. One thing after another--I'd say its the second worst year of my life actually. The first being 7 years ago was losing a dog one month, the next month losing mother in law and 3 months after that losing my own mom and all 3 were shocks. Abbey was advanced and I know literally there were days that I couldn't hardly breathe from all the worrying. I do worry about her and there are days when she scratches and even tonight she acted like she had a cramp and I hate it horribly when she shows symptoms as I'd never want her to suffer. I've never had to put down a dog but if I truly felt she was miserable I would. I don't believe that. I do believe she is a very happy dog with a "handicap" lets say. She's my special needs angel.

    Tell you what as I am rambling.

    Go to my blog on Abbey and go to my guestbook and read I believe it is the latest entry or maybe the second to last one and its actually from a woman who has it. I've even put a sentence on my page hoping she will come back as I would love to talk to her.

    As time goes on it does get better--at least for me it has but I still do worry but its not the same kind of worry as I had when this nightmare started.

    Abbey is unable to really play with my other 3 dogs. Bentley just loves her and comes at her and I know she wants to play but he goes to jump on her neck and thats the end of it.

    Abbey also is on 100 mg 3 times a day. She does wonderful at night and actually goes longer than 8 hrs. Before her surgery nightime was horrible.

    Hang in there I understand what you are feeling and again read what that S. Rogers said as she has SM and it came with Chiari Malformation
    (CM)and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome(EDS). It was very comforting for me to read what she wrote and feels. I'd copy and paste her post but I can't without her permission and since I have no way of getting her I can't. Read her last paragraph and this is coming from a woman or man that has the disease.

    My blog is at:

    http://abbeygeorgelinda.blogspot.com/

    LIke Bev said I'm also more protective of Abbey and I treat her more babyish than I used to and let me tell you she knows it. lol
    Last edited by linderbelle; 30th July 2009 at 12:20 AM.
    Linda, Georgia, USA
    Winston--shih tzu-male, Darby female tri, Bentley male blenheim and Chelsea, black-tan
    Abbey my beloved tri who is so embedded in my heart--RIP Sweet Princess

  10. #10
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    Oh Margaret, thank goodness we have you on this forum with your long experience, wise words, and happy knack of saying just the right thing to those of us who are anxious about our beloved SM dogs

    My Megan was diagnosed with SM and terrible hydrocephalus in 2007 at the age of 9 years. She has also been totally deaf since she was 5 years old. After a few months on Gabapentin we were able to wean her off that and she now manages quite well with just frusemide and an anti-inflammatory, so that has been a huge relief.

    Her state of health and interest in life does vary from day to day, especially with certain atmospheric conditions, but I have got to recognise the signs now and just "go with the flow". She hardly ever wants to interact with my other three dogs, but they have learned to leave her be and I have learned how to give her that extra special time when she is my extra special girl, without the others getting too jealous!

    So "every cloud has a silver lining" and I'm sure your Ruby and all our SM dogs bring us joy in ways we never expected and that we, in our turn, are there for them when they most need us, thanks in large part to all the help and support we can give and receive on CT.

    Warm thoughts to all SM dogs everywhere, Marie-Anne

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