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Thread: Reality Check

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by goda View Post
    They are mailing me the MRI photos which I am hoping to post, from what I remember the first one is wide and long, the next one is long, and the rest are wide.
    I wouldn't post here because if you want other opinions on the mri its best to show a neurologist. It will just confuse you and you may get several "opinions". You have a lot to absorb and since the diagnosis was so recent, I'm sure you have a lot going through your head right now.

    I know the mri can be very helpful and there is some truth to what pat said about location and width contributing to different symptoms or severity, but right now I would concentrate on noticing improvements with medication and getting information on types of surgery and others experiences. I spent several hours, months, analyzing ellas mri and figuring out her syrinx comparing it to others and it gave me a headache. I made the mistake of posting her mri somewhere and I had people contact me saying their cavaliers was worse concerned she was not on right medication etc. Karlin warned me and I wish I hadn't. You can have two similar mri images but there is more than just an image and I would not do it on a forum. Maybe send it to dr. Rusbridge or a specialist but not here.



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    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

  2. #12
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    I'm so sorry about the diagnosis. However, I would follow Anne's advice and seek other opinions via neurologists experienced with SM. Definitely getting feedback from others on here dealing with this horrible disease is helpful, but for interpreting MRI scans I would stick with the docs

    I think you will find many on here who have had the surgery and many who manage with medication. It is a very personal choice, that only you can make. I wish you all the best and please let us know how things go whichever path your choose for you baby.
    Irene-
    Jack and Penny's Mom, NYC

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by anniemac View Post
    I wouldn't post here because if you want other opinions on the mri its best to show a neurologist. It will just confuse you and you may get several "opinions". You have a lot to absorb and since the diagnosis was so recent, I'm sure you have a lot going through your head right now.

    I know the mri can be very helpful and there is some truth to what pat said about location and width contributing to different symptoms or severity, but right now I would concentrate on noticing improvements with medication and getting information on types of surgery and others experiences. I spent several hours, months, analyzing ellas mri and figuring out her syrinx comparing it to others and it gave me a headache. I made the mistake of posting her mri somewhere and I had people contact me saying their cavaliers was worse concerned she was not on right medication etc. Karlin warned me and I wish I hadn't. You can have two similar mri images but there is more than just an image and I would not do it on a forum. Maybe send it to dr. Rusbridge or a specialist but not here.



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    I wasn't going to post the pictures to get a second opinion. I am a nursing student whose taken anatomy and physiology, I understand what I am looking at. I just know it's something that would help me to be able to visualize what is going and might have helped someone else. Thank you for the suggestion though I won't post them here.

    I know when I found out I googled for the image of other dogs afflicted. It helped me. Oh well.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lovecavaliers View Post
    I'm so sorry about the diagnosis. However, I would follow Anne's advice and seek other opinions via neurologists experienced with SM. Definitely getting feedback from others on here dealing with this horrible disease is helpful, but for interpreting MRI scans I would stick with the docs

    I think you will find many on here who have had the surgery and many who manage with medication. It is a very personal choice, that only you can make. I wish you all the best and please let us know how things go whichever path your choose for you baby.
    I don't want/need a second opinion. Thanks though. My intention wasn't for feedback on the MRI, it was so people could visualize what I was describing, as I am a person who is visual and most people don't understand what "spans the entire cervical curvature" means. *sighs*

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    I definately don't understand a lot but I do understand how hard this can be. I shed many tears, wanted help, answers, anything but I found a group of people that were there for me. I do know that there are several people on here that can offer support, tell you there experience, help with advice and some know more than others. This is a frustrating condition and I can only tell you my experience and choices which is different than others.

    when ella was diagnosed, the toughest part was trying to decide the right treatment. Should I do surgery, what is her prognosis, am I doing the right thing? I wished I had a wand that could tell me what to do and it was very hard for me personally. I'm sure many others will agree. I had to make several adjustments over time and prayed things would help. no one could see what I could, the pain in her eyes, how one day was different, how she would be happy and run but the next day not wanting to walk. They only knew what I told them including her neurologist. So I am extremely sorry.


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    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

  6. #16
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    Ask your neurologist about his/her opinion directly. Make a list (or send an email) so that you can't get caught up forget something important.

    So a list might look like:
    Is surgery recommended?
    What are the surgery options: shunt, decrompressiom, etc. ?
    What is the prognosis for life expectancy and quality of life without surgery? With surgery?
    Might surgery be an option later if/when medication is no longer controlling symptoms?
    And so on.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by goda View Post
    I wasn't going to post the pictures to get a second opinion. I am a nursing student whose taken anatomy and physiology, I understand what I am looking at. I just know it's something that would help me to be able to visualize what is going and might have helped someone else. Thank you for the suggestion though I won't post them here.

    I know when I found out I googled for the image of other dogs afflicted. It helped me. Oh well.
    Pat is extremely knowledgeable and probably would understand what you are talking about. Karlin I hope will chime in since she has several years of knowledge and knows a whole bunch about this from researchers as well as treating her own. I just don't know enough about images and sometimes when a neurologist that is known for being very *pro* surgery talks about the mri instead of the actual dog as the basis of surgery, it makes me uncomfortable.


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    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soushiruiuma View Post
    Ask your neurologist about his/her opinion directly. Make a list (or send an email) so that you can't get caught up forget something important.

    So a list might look like:
    Is surgery recommended?
    What are the surgery options: shunt, decrompressiom, etc. ?
    What is the prognosis for life expectancy and quality of life without surgery? With surgery?
    Might surgery be an option later if/when medication is no longer controlling symptoms?
    And so on.

    I sent her an email today because every time I try to talk to her I start crying like an infant.

  9. #19
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    Just my two cents again, but when Riley was diagnosed, both neurologists diagnosed her SM as advanced and severe. As I mentioned before, her syrinxes were wide and covered her entire spinal cord as well as being complicated by a large cerebellar cyst (which one of the neurologists would not touch - he wanted the other one to do it because it was a very complicated surgery). She had foramen magnum decompression surgery with a titanium mesh impant to reduce the incidence of scar tissue. Medication given to her before surgery had no effect on her symptoms, but the prednisone she takes now (post-operatively) controls her symptoms very well.

    Unfortunately there's no guarantee with surgery. Maybe Riley was one of the lucky ones. If so, I am very thankful and consider her my miracle dog. She could barely walk before surgery because her balance was so bad and she had weakness in her rear legs. She still has imbalance and some weakness issues, but she is managing much better post-operatively than I ever thought she would or could.

    I still wouldn't discount the idea of a second opinion. It's very easy to get a disc of the MRI and take it or send it to another neurologist. It was very helpful for me to hear both neurologists have the exact same opinion about Riley's diagnosis and prognosis and made the decision to proceed with surgery that much easier. At least it might give you more information about the pros and cons of surgery for Luka and what you could realistically expect it to do for Luka. And yes he would almost for sure be on meds post-op also. I don't think I've ever heard of a dog not on post-op meds. Once the damage is done, it's done. The surgery is done to hopefully stop the progression and make it worse.

    Lots to think about. And you just want the best for Luka - we all know that. There's no right or wrong. You just have to get the best information you can and then follow what your heart says is best for your dog. Good luck.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love my Cavaliers View Post
    Just my two cents again, but when Riley was diagnosed, both neurologists diagnosed her SM as advanced and severe. As I mentioned before, her syrinxes were wide and covered her entire spinal cord as well as being complicated by a large cerebellar cyst (which one of the neurologists would not touch - he wanted the other one to do it because it was a very complicated surgery). She had foramen magnum decompression surgery with a titanium mesh impant to reduce the incidence of scar tissue. Medication given to her before surgery had no effect on her symptoms, but the prednisone she takes now (post-operatively) controls her symptoms very well.

    Unfortunately there's no guarantee with surgery. Maybe Riley was one of the lucky ones. If so, I am very thankful and consider her my miracle dog. She could barely walk before surgery because her balance was so bad and she had weakness in her rear legs. She still has imbalance and some weakness issues, but she is managing much better post-operatively than I ever thought she would or could.

    I still wouldn't discount the idea of a second opinion. It's very easy to get a disc of the MRI and take it or send it to another neurologist. It was very helpful for me to hear both neurologists have the exact same opinion about Riley's diagnosis and prognosis and made the decision to proceed with surgery that much easier. At least it might give you more information about the pros and cons of surgery for Luka and what you could realistically expect it to do for Luka. And yes he would almost for sure be on meds post-op also. I don't think I've ever heard of a dog not on post-op meds. Once the damage is done, it's done. The surgery is done to hopefully stop the progression and make it worse.

    Lots to think about. And you just want the best for Luka - we all know that. There's no right or wrong. You just have to get the best information you can and then follow what your heart says is best for your dog. Good luck.
    How old was Riley at the time of surgery and how is Riley now? Thanks for sharing, this helps.

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