I took Matthew and Tommy for scans when the first low cost breeders' schemes started in the UK. They had both been used at stud.
Originally Posted by anniemac
Tommy was a wimpy dog who very occasionally gave a yip for no reason but I really did not expect him to have a problem. I was convinced my sturdy Matthew was fine. ( It was only later that I realised that he had for years deftly avoided having the top of his head touched )
They both had a small syrinx in the same place.
My vet agreed I could give them a small dose of frusemide daily as a preventative. Who knows whether it helped or not?
For both of them symptoms came on slowly over the years, Matthew deteriorated more rapidly than Tommy and was PTS last year.
The scans were done in 2005, medication has controlled Tommy's symptoms fairly well for six years, although he is now on two gabapentin X 3 daily, metacam, & he still has the frusemide.
He is ten and a half but now appears older. He has a shambling gait, twisted neck, an inability to know where he places his weak quivering back legs so occasionally he falls sideways.
He always gets up wagging his tail & it breaks my heart.
He has started lying down suddenly with his head stretched between his paws, hard to explain but unmistakable when you see it. It is usually after his walk or excitement.
Matthew did it a lot, I think of it as the headache pose.
Despite all this I believe Tommy still has a reasonable quality of life. How do I know? Because what he does is paw continuously for attention if he was uncomfortable and at the moment my legs are not getting battered.
I have nobody to blame for Tommy's condition but myself. I bred him, but it was before I knew about SM or that his grandfather and father had it.
Tommy was from a half uncle to half niece mating , one of the classic breedings that was thought to double up on all the good genes that are in a breeding line. It seems so stupid now but none of us thought of the possibility that we may be doubling up on bad genes too.
I am not saying that all line bred puppies are bound to have inherited nasty genes, I am just saying that line breeding is the reason that inherited diseases become firmly established in breeds.
Cavaliers......Tommy Tuppence 2000-2012 and a half share of Faith.
Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.