Oh Debra, I'm at a loss to know what to say. I know this has come as a shock, and I know you have shed many tears already. But remember, you have time to think these things through. You have time to do your own research, and ask questions. You've started on a regime, but it can be changed as you go down this path. Even a decision about surgery doesn't have to be made right this minute. Take your time, breath, love on Gracie, and I know that you and hubby will come to some decisions that will be best for you all.I just want you to know I'll be praying for you all. I just keep remembering all the folks on here whose dogs have beat the odds and gone on to live fairly normal and full life's. As has already been mentioned, she is the same beautiful girl today that you love and adore, and she doesn't know of the situation. Take your time, and know there are many here who care deeply about you and Grace. Big hugs.
Cindy and Claire
Claire was born on Feb7, 2010
Oh Debra...when I saw the title of this post, I knew that it was you posting it and my heart sank.
I am SO sorry for you and Gracie. Through all the pain you must be feeling right now, also take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back for paying attention, knowing the signs and getting her the help she needed as soon as possible. She is so lucky to have you and I know you will do everything to help her. I have no experience with this, but Brooklyn will be off to the neurologist in the next month because her video looks just like yours and many others. I have just been waiting for the insurance to kick in. So I don't know what you are going through right now, but I can only imagine and it must be so hard. We are here for you, however you need us. There are more experianced ones on here than me, but I just wanted to send my hugs
I'm so sorry that you have had this result, unfortunately its one of those clubs that no one wants to be in.
As others have said i'm sure that you have shed many tears already and there will be many more to come, I know how you are feeling right now but believe me it does get easier.
What actions to take can only be your desision for Gracie and as much information and advice as we give you it can only be your desision that you are comfortable with.
Don't let her age influence you too much, I think that over the last couple of years SM has become far more well known and for that reason dogs are being diagnosed far earlier in life and I don't think that should be the deciding factor in your choices.
My little one was diagnosed nearly 3 years ago and she has done remarkably well on medication management, thats not to say that the first few months post diagnosis was plain sailing as it wasn't. We changed her meds a few times before we found a combination that worked for her and she has been on that ever since with only the odd bit extra for a bad day.
I didn't know what SM was in the beginning and Ruby actually first showed symtoms at around 9 months of age when she screamed in the middle of the night for 'no reason' and then again at around one years when she couldn't play tug of war any more as it was painful and she would yelp out loud. If I had known about SM then, she would've been off to the Neuro then and diagnosed at a year old I'm sure!!
But she wasn't and it wasn't until PDE and her turning 2 years that she was diagnosed! I had the same arguements in my head as you and settled for Medication and the only reasons for that were my own selfish reasons. If I had put her through surgery and she had died at 2 years old then I would have failed her, I also had a full time job and wouldn't have been able to get time off for her recovery which is extensive ( I take a few days off when they are anaethetised for any reason) and also cost.
I figured that if she was comfortable and pain free on Meds and there was less risk involved then that was my choice and I do feel happy to this day with that desision- she lives a very full life and does 90% of things that any other dog does nad even if her life is slightly shorter due to that choice I'm at peace with that because she has lived a full life.
All SM dogs will have a bad day once in a while.
I hope you are OK and just remember that what ever you chose for Gracie, hse won't judge you and neither will anyone else!
Ruby - my stunning soul mate who defies the odds every day
Charlie- my angel at heart and devil at play
Debra - I've got some thoughts and responses on meds (and I talked with Holly on the phone about them and we were pretty much aligned!) but I've got a tight schedule today and won't have time to post until late tonight. I did a good bit of reading last night in Plumb's on drugs and effects, etc.
Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)
Pat ....I always look forward to your insights because you know so much already, especially short-term treatment to help her be more comfortable. Just post when you can. I know you are so busy and we rely on you a great deal here.
I think not doing surgery would be a better option if Gracie did not have severe malformation and a large syrinx. Her scratching is already notably worse this week than 3 weeks ago. Everyone notices it is worse, even those who have been in denial before. So the question is if we do surgery, what procedure? What are pros and cons of swine duraplasty versus titanium mesh? Or no implant at all?
We do have insurance that should pay 80% but we also have to cover travel and hotel if we leave the area. Not a small cost. And know that she would have a long recovery period at home too. I can take the time off but will be a challenge.
Just gotta make sure this is the best thing for Gracie.... so hard to know what to do.
Well, so hard to know which one is best. Either way we go, long drive. There is a neuro, Dr. Narak, in Knoxville TN who does the duraplasty with swine tissue. Dr. Shores pioneered this but is much further from us in Mississippi. A few neuros in New York use the titanium cranioplasty... and then Dr. Schubert in Florida (Gainesville) uses the absorbable mesh called LactoSorb SE. Augh! The closest to me is probably Gainesville or Knoxville. Dr. Marino in New York appears to be the go-to person for using the titantium mesh, but that is the longest distance and likely to be much higher cost due to NYC area. No easy direction here....