Hello to all. I'm new to the board but I wanted to talk a little about SM. I just lost my sweet B&T cav Ollie to SM after a long and hard fought battle. Ollie exhibited sign of SM, although my vets didn't know what it was and misdiagnosed it for six months until I did the research and discovered what I though might be his problem. I contacted the Long Island Vet Hospital in Plainview NY ( I live in South Florida) and they agreed to take Ollie in to their grant program. We flew to NY and he had MRI, CT, Baer, tomography, sonogram and other tests. Unfortunately it came back that Ollie had SM with Sphrinx in the cervical and dorsal area of his spine. I elected to give him the best chance possible and left him there for the newest type of surgery, cranioplasty, where they removed a section of his skull, replaced it with a titanium mesh screen and secured it with titanium screws. Two weeks later I returned to pick up my boy and bring him home. He was on Gabaphentin 3X a day, Tramadol 2X a day and predisone. For two months he seemed to be somewhat the little cav I remembered but slowely he started showing more and more new symptoms and the symptoms were more severe. Face rubbing, head shaking, seizure like activity where his back feet scratched and thumped on the floor as he went in semi circles, yelping, air licking, biting his foot and hiding after attacks. After seven months of medication changes, additions and five rounds of predisone ( at first it seemed like a miracle drug as Ollie seemed back to his old self ) but with each additional dose the effect was less and less effective. After seven months of watching Ollie in obvious pain I decided I had to release him from his pain and put him down. It was the worst day of my life and the tears have not stopped. I am working with breeders around the country who have called me, vets who I am informing about SM and the girl, Sandy Smith, who wrote the book "For the Love of Ollie" to promote awareness of SM within the vet world and trying to get a low cost screening MRI etc in every state for breeders as well as owners. If we can get breeders to get their bitches and studs MRI'd and removed from the breeding gene pool we might have a chanc at saving this beloved breed. if we don't we are going to loose them to this terrible genetic illness that is stricking more than 50% of all cavaliers today. If you are interested in finding out what you can do to spread the word and help to get the low cost screening available throughout the country please let me know. I'm not asking for money just that you would want to get the information and pass it along and write letters to the vet hospitals, especially the ones affiliated with Universities to say you would be intersted in low cost screening of cavaliers. If enough people let them know they would use the service then maybe we have a chance of getting a program going that everyone could use. I don't want my beloved 3 1/2 year old Ollie to have died in vain. Thanks for reading this.
Karen 239-454-4854. South West Florida