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Thread: SM Surgery

  1. #11
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    I have no idea either way, all is can say is the neurologist at the animal health trust in newmarket, said surgery was next to useless, is about 20 dogs he had operated on abut 4 were improved and the rest were the same or worse after surgery. Those were his exact words, if a simple proceedure could be found to correct the cm in the brain hense stopping the fluid from entering the spinal cord i would have it done in a second. di
    What's the difference between a new husband and a new dog? After a year, the dog is still excited to see you.

  2. #12
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    Thumbs up no offense

    I'm so glad I found this board as, believe it or not, it has been the biggest help to me since Ollie's death. I've gotten to listen, learn and start to heal. I have a new nine month old Ruby coming December 30. I've done as much research as possible and think I've chosen wisely for health screening etc. I know I'm taking a chance but it's something I really want to do and I know Ollie is approving of me getting another little fur sister for him. He will watch us from above and hopefully teach her to be as kind, loving and obedient as he was. I think about all of you who are taking care of a special need child and all of you who are enjoying your healthy cavaliers. I have to think that for all the sick cavaliers out there , there are thousands of healthy ones playing and living long and healthy lives. As for trying again. well there's an old saying. " A ship is safe in the harbor but that's not what ships were meant for". Life is about chances and I've decided to take another chance on the most wonderful breed of dog I have ever had the pleasure of loving. Thanks guys. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kloey View Post
    As for trying again. well there's an old saying. " A ship is safe in the harbor but that's not what ships were meant for". Life is about chances and I've decided to take another chance on the most wonderful breed of dog I have ever had the pleasure of loving.
    That is the most beautiful statement Kloey. I wish you luck with your new cavalier. I know you will be in love and will be a phenomenal mom to your new fur baby no matter what happens in her life. Have fun with her and treasure her life.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  4. #14
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    With all due respect,I think maybe the animal health trust neurologist should then be talking to others about technique and approach if his results have been poor -- those figires would be considerably below the norm, which is 80% improvement post-op with over time about 50% having some return of symptoms, but a return of some symptoms is not the same as a return to the original status. Some dogs do worsen, but this is a smaller percentage. Generally over time there's indeed more improvement with surgery than medications all things considered -- this is the indication from all neurologists so far that have written up for publication or presented at conferences. But there are several ways to approach the surgery in technique! Most dogs will improve or at least will have progression of SM halted. I would look always for the most experienced surgeon possible with speciality in neurology.

    That said, there are many, many reasons why it may be better in any given case to opt for medications. These include personal finance, personal beliefs and philosophy, degree of symtpoms, width of syrinx on scan, and so on. For many dogs many neurologists feel surgery would not be the right option, for many reasons, too. And as Clare Rusbridge emphasises, these are very personal decisions with many variables and no certainties.

    Medications can have life-affecting side affects and often people do not top them up as needed, leaving the dog to deal with unnecessary pain.

    This is why you simply cannot just put the dog on medications without regular testing for potential damage caused by side effects (recommended tests are on Clare Rusbridge's treatment diagram on my site and on hers) and without checking in regularly with a neurologist to assess the comfort level of the dog on the current medication regime. MOST dogs seem to need increases in dosage level over time.

    On the other side, medications can manage the situation very well for many dogs. Many do not wish to take as invasive approach as surgery. All are 'right' choices for different people and different dogs.

    Sadly there are no straightforward or easy choices in treating this disease. I question my own choices *all the time*. I think that is pretty normal as there is absolutely no right answer that suits all.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  5. #15
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    there's an old saying. " A ship is safe in the harbor but that's not what ships were meant for". Life is about chances and I've decided to take another chance on the most wonderful breed of dog I have ever had the pleasure of loving.
    What a great attitude,I love that saying.....
    I think surgery is an individual choice and considered on a case by case basis.I think like every ailment, one treatment does not fit all.
    As Daisy has just been diagnosed I'm taking it one step at a time and considering whether or not to go down the route of medication but personally I don't feel that surgery would be an option,even if there was a significant deterioration.I'm not convinced that the surgical expertise exists in Ireland to consider it seriously.
    Also the gain would have to outweigh the pain and trauma both to the dog and to my family.I think personally when all non surgical treatments have failed there's nothing wrong in letting a dog go peacefully and with dignity.
    Whatever choices we make I think we should support each other through it all, and respect the choices we make as individuals.
    Sins

  6. #16
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    I like that saying too.

    Of my SM dogs -- I have been happy with the choices I have made so far. I have remained in touch with both Geoff Skerritt and Clare Rusbridge on those choices. Lily will probably never be in a situation where I would need to consider surgery -- she has a tiny syrinx and very minor symptoms. Leo is an ongoing consideration. He's done very well on medications but is fortunate to have a very centrally located syrinx which though large, is not (yet?) touching the sides of his spinal cord, which would be likely to cause more pain. But he is very stoic and is definitely more uncomfortable than he was a year ago or especially three years ago.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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