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Thread: Are you more alert now after having a symptomatic SM cavalier?

  1. #1
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    Default Are you more alert now after having a symptomatic SM cavalier?

    Those who have had a cavalier with SM, do you find yourself more aware with your second cavalier or others? What I'm trying to say is all dogs scratch but I don't want to immediately jump to a conclusion. I am bringing this up for a couple of reasons. I asked someone their thoughts on selling a puppy to someone like me. She is not breeding but what she thought since she has cavaliers with sm etc. She said it wouldn't concern her, but she has heard of owners being over reactive like if they scratch from stepping on a bee.

    So I was around a cavalier who is older and I know doesn't have sm or if he does is not symptomatic and I caught myself thinking when he scratched. It was obviously not due to sm but dogs scratch occasionally. I kept a blog so I know ella did scratch but that was not major later on and some may not even show this.

    I'm not getting a cavalier anytime soon but it makes me wonder. You want to catch SM early on especially if they are young, but did you find yourself over analyzing or being more receptive on putting the symptoms together (hoping you don't have two) or figuring it is something else?

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    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    I can't honestly say that I'm more alert in spite of having a symptomatic cavalier.
    Once I got my second cavalier I made a decision.
    That was to enjoy every second of her and not to analyse her behaviour or allow myself to obsess over her health.Once no 3 arrived I made the same pact with myself.
    I will have them both Mri scanned in the UK at 2.5 years of age and what will be will be!
    If two cavaliers who are graded A and free from SM and central canal dilation produce an affected puppy,then it's down to bad luck and not bad breeding practice.
    I can deal with that.We are all still learning more and more about the condition as we share information and experiences.
    I think it's possible that a breeder will take into account your previous experience with an SM dog.It can go either way...
    they may say it's less problematic as they don't have to explain as much to you.
    or
    they may say that you have been traumatised too much and feel that they could not cope with the thought that they might possibly place a burden of a second affected dog on your shoulders,especially when there may be young children involved with an
    ill family pet.
    It's important that you discuss the "what if" situation with a breeder you intend to buy from.
    It's always cruel when the first cavalier you've ever owned is diagnosed.
    Sins

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    I have no personal experience with SM. But we are 0 for 2 right now on healthy cavaliers. We lost Dillon to MVD last August, and Clancy has had epilepsy since age 3. Now we have baby Oliver, and I am hypervigilant. I saw him scratching the other day and got anxious. Then the vet told me has a barely audible innocent heart murmur, that should disappear by the time he is 6 months, and my own heart sank a bit. But we already love him to bits, and you can't go through life afraid of what might happen. And we love cavaliers too much to give up having them.
    ~Denise and Clancy, Dillon (gone to The Bridge), and baby Oliver

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    Those who have had a cavalier with SM, do you find yourself more aware with your second cavalier or others?
    I don't worry about Jake at all. At almost 9 years old he is completely symptom free. I am much more aware of Micah at 17 months and was very aware of his behaviors his 1st year. I do find myself picking up on the behaviors on other people's Cavaliers. In fact, saw one a couple of weeks ago that I was sure was symptomatic for SM. Told the owner about SM (she didn't know anything about it) and she has since seen a neurologist and spoken with the breeder and is now discussing an MRI.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

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    Sins,

    Very well said. You sort of echo what another friend said. I'm not planning on buying a puppy now at all. I really think what you said about making a pact to enjoy each moment is nice.

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    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    I am not getting a third dog right now, but can say I have been a little more, um, alert...
    Ruby has always happily "washed" her face after a meal or in the morning to get the "Ru goo" (eye boogies!) off her face. This morning she did it, and I caught myself saying "Oh, Ru, are you ok?" With her tapering off Prednisone I worried it was an SM symptom. Well, she wagged afterwards, looked at me happily and went to find her bone! It also only lasted 5 seconds total!
    Yes, I definitely know what you mean!
    I hope you are doing well, Anne. Good post!

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    Jessie, mama of:
    Ruby, tri-color, born 3/17/2009 Otis, lab-hound mix
    You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

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    After having the 3 I'm not sure that I can ever look at a Cavalier and NOT worry.

    I find myself analyzing every cavalier or cavalier cross that I meet. But I do it so much at home it is almost like a habit.

    Maybe one day when I own a SM free cavalier it will change. But right now with a household where every long scratch and every face rub could mean the start of an SM flare up I definitely over analyze. Especially when we are debating on the right timing for future surgeries. I watch every possible SM symptom very closely at home. Doesn't mean we don't enjoy every moment and make the most of every day. Just that I'm super aware of everything the dogs do.

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    I think there's a balance and agree very much with Sins -- I have learned, with three with this condition, where the first dog I worried and wept over, turned out NOT to have SM and was still MRI clear at 5 -- that it is much better to save your worries for the dogs that you KNOW need it.

    I do know many people with one or multiple dogs with serious levels of SM though, and that is much much harder and I fully understand how it can be too much to consider owning another cavalier or to feel quite paranoid. I have been very lucky that my three with SM have all been fairly easily managed, even my worst-affected dog who has done very well on gabapentin for 5 years plus now. It is one reason I strongly disagree with some places that advise owners of dogs diagnosed with SM to almost always have surgery done because very clearly thousands of dogs with SM either show no symptoms or are managed for a lifetime on medications with a good quality of life for much or all a normal lifespan.

    I think once you have had one dog with SM you become far more aware and perceptive of other dogs that may have it. I think most of us in that situation are probably better than the vast majority of vets at spotting likely symptoms.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Yes. I even feel angry at all the vets who told me Luka's itching was a food allergy because had it been caught earlier it may have been contained and he wouldn't have cysts down his entire spinal cord.

    I am super alert now. I can't help beating myself up about not recognizing it sooner but Luka is my first pure bred cavalier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    I think once you have had one dog with SM you become far more aware and perceptive of other dogs that may have it. I think most of us in that situation are probably better than the vast majority of vets at spotting likely symptoms.
    I could not agree more! Wouldn't it be nice if more vets could recognize it promptly? I keep thinking about a way to better educate vets in my local area. Wish more vets would take the time to listen. At least I know I have much better educated 4 who have never heard of such condition.

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