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Thread: Confused!!

  1. #1
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    Default Confused!!

    Heidi has started to show symptoms of SM (she turned 3 today) she is having several scrathcing episodes a day, rubbing her face on the floor and air scratching now both on and off lead. I dont want to sound over dramatic but i am convinced she has it. We have a vet appointment tuesday morning - however she has never once yelped or cried in pain. when she is having an episode you can see it in her eyes as they glaze over and go bloodshot for a few minutes. I really like our vet however am a bit worried about how to approach this with him - im going to print off all the info on here but dont want to be fobed off - is there any advice anyone can give on how they approached their vet. I dont want to sound like i've already made the diagonsis but i would bet my last penny on it - I of course want to get it diagonised and her on treatment asap its just so confusing as there is so much info to understand. Thanks xx

  2. #2
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    The most important issue here is Heidi not your vet. Karlin has given out a link to a list several times of neurologists which specialise in sm. I would choose one, go to your vet and simply tell him (nicely) you want to be referred its not up for discussion. It is important Heidi is diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible as this disease is nasty and painful. My Molly has SM, I can tell by her expression in her eyes how she is feeling, I would follow your gut instinct which is probably right, if you don't you will regret it.
    Please let us know how you get on and I wish you all the best.
    Tania and The Three Cavaliers!
    Dotty!- A Sweet Little Tri
    Molly - Pretty Tri Dougall - Gorgeous Blenheim

  3. #3
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    I'm sorry to hear this. Leo almost never yelps nor does Lily and both have SM -- once in a while Leo is sensitive on his sides. But the scratching IS a sign of discomfort and potentially also of pain -- they scratch to try and relieve the discomfort. Clare Rusbridge and other neurologists believe the scratching is often a sign of neuropathic pain. Such pain can be extreme but not make you cry out (I know several people with neuropathic pain). Likewise it would not necessarily cause a specific area to be sensitive to the touch. This is a multi-symptom condition and with neuropathic pain, all sorts of add sensations, nausea, headaches and actual pain sensations can occur. Also keep in mind that human Chiari/SM patients say the single most common symptom is severe headaches -- not something that would necessarily make a dog cry out.

    If you are seeing a range of symptoms and your vet doesn't take them seriously then I'd contact a neurologist yourself -- not sure where you are based but you can ring the neurologists in the UK listed on www.smcavalier.com or the US/Canadian neurologists there or the more detailed list on www.cavalierhealth.org. Hopefully you will be able to get to the bottom of what is going on and see whether this is SM or not. It is very frustrating and challenging for owners (and vets!) that it is such a complex and confusing condition but as I note on the list of common symptoms on www.smcavalier.com, a dog can exhibit one or several symptoms. Many do not yelp.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  4. #4
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    Thanks Karlin, we are in west midlands uk so will see what the vet says next week, and then ring the neuroligists direclty if needed. obviously getting a diagnosis and the correct treatment for her is vital - just glad we've got insurance

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    I reffered myself to a neurologist. It was well worth it!

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    I told my vet I wanted Riley to see a neurologist. She complied without a problem and has still been very gracious to me whenever I go in with any of the dogs. She is also very aware of Riley's diagnosis and is cautious when recommending any treatments. She wants to get the o.k. from the neurologist first. So, I had no problems asking to be referred. By the way, Riley never yelped or appeared to be in pain either.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  7. #7
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    So sorry to hear about your concerns


    I'm afraid that over the years my attitude to vets changed - Your vet is your PARTNER in the care of your dogs - they are also providing a service which YOU pay for.

    I would go in and say that you would like a referral for an MRI scan as you are seeing symptoms, present them with the information, including where you would like to go and contact details and ask them to make an appt.

    Normally you won't be able to make an appointment directly, it needs to be a referral from your vet
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

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    I agree with Nicki, if you can work with your vet it will make life a lot easier in the future as you will still need his help. Good luck.
    Tania and The Three Cavaliers!
    Dotty!- A Sweet Little Tri
    Molly - Pretty Tri Dougall - Gorgeous Blenheim

  9. #9
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    took Heidi to the vet today - she was great and totally agreed with me. She advised that Heidi should see a neurologist and that there is a new animal hospital opened about 10 minutes away from me, however when I called them they advised they have an MRI scanner but no neurologist until after christmas! what use is that??
    tonight i've emailed a couple in London (thanks for the links Karlin) it will mean travelling about 3 1/2 hours each way but will be worth it to see someone who knows their stuff.

  10. #10
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    The leading authority would be Clare Rusbridge at Stone Lion in Wimbledon. There may be some others in the area too but I just am not familiar with them or who has a practice. That's great that there will be another MRi scanner nearby as right now they are rare. We only have one or two in all of Ireland! It probably takes some time to get a qualified neurologist as well; there are very few in the UK or even the US.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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