13th December 2009, 02:42 AM
The reason she is worse after exercise is that the spinal fluid flows faster and with SM they usually have sphrnix either in the cervical or dorsal region of the spinal cord, hence the feeling of discomfort as the fluid flows "rapids" as my neurologist called it through the spine. I can only say what I now believe and that is to allow your dog the freedom of play and exercise. They will do what they can do and quit when they are uncomfortable. Hug them when they are scratching, it usually helps them stop, and then they will rest. But....knowing that they choose to play should let you know that our fur friends know best and life, even for them, should be their choice. I don't regret allowing Ollie to play even in his last few months. I'm so glad I video'd him playing as I know, in spite of the pain, there were moments when he was able to forget he was uncomfortable. My heart aches for you. Let him be the best he can be. I can't speak much about winter since I live in Southern Florida but...maybe a heated pad for him to lay on might help. just a thought. Some SM dogs like the cold tile floor. It's just like usl Some aches feel better with heat, some cold.
14th December 2009, 01:35 AM
You did your best
To be honest, even if a vet had said he might have SM with the heart problem they probably would not have put him under and anesthetic anyway for the MRI. You treated the heart and it did not enlarge from the SM. it enlarged because he had MVD, even though the first diagnosis said mild. They had not done an x ray at that time and from what you said, the falling over, sounds more like MVD than SM. And as far as the sudden death, well from what I know the dogs do not die suddenly from SM. They suffer and usually when it get really bad they have to be put down.
You treated him properly. Most vets that are not neurologists and expecially those who have no access to an MRI don't know much about SM. As for the predisone that is being used. Well it acts like a miracle drug for awhile but you just can't keep them on the doses of predisone as it destroys their organs, heart, liver, kidneys etc. It also destroys muscle just like in humans. My Ollie was put on it by the neurologist five times in seven months. It worked wonderfully the first few times but didn't do much the last few.
Life isn't fair and this disease isn't fair. We can only do so much and eventually we will loose are beloved fur babies from one thing or another. Don't blame yourself or the vet. They are no different than human doctors. Try going into one of them with info from the internet and you will get the same reaction. Don't believe what you read.
Hopefully the information and awareness will spread but we need owners and breeders to talk talk talk and write about this . We need breeders to admit to the problme. We need low cost MRI's at least a few times a year for breeders to get the bitch and studs MRI'd for a reduced fee and stop breeding those who show positive signs of SM. Maybe they will loose their breeding stock but if they care about the breed they will purchase another stud and bitch from a breeder who can prove her dogs have been scanned and are clear and supply certification of MVD clearance and eye clearance. The little dogs may cost even more but the healt screenig will be worth it. And we will weed out the breders just looking to make a buck with no regard for the little cavaliers they are selling to unsuspecting buyers.
It's all so painful but lets work together to get things changed. then our little ones will not have died and suffered in vain.