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Thread: Brooklyn off to the Neurologist tomorrow...

  1. #21
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    Glad you and Brooklyn got through the day OK! The dose of gabapentin she's on is the basic starting dose recommended by Clare Rusbridge. If her problem is neurological, the gabapentin should make some difference to her pain level/episodes quite quickly, even if that small dose doesn't deal with it entirely - as has often been said on this forum, finding the right meds and the right dose is often a case of trial and error for a few weeks. Great that your neurologist is so clued up about SM, and especially that she's working with the Griffon people, some of whom are getting good results by sticking to the breeding protocol. I know a month seems a long time to wait, but if it gives you time to sort out insurance, you'll be able to take Brooklyn for her MRI with some major worries dealt with.

    When you've caught up on sleep, take Brooklyn for your favourite walk and just enjoy her!

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  2. #22
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    She sounds very knowledgeable indeed, which must be a huge comfort to you.

    Hopefully the insurance will pay up and you can scan her. At least the Neuro is not jumping straight in and saying it's definatley SM and wants to investigate the food allergies too. I hope everything works out
    Paula - mum to Murphy(6) & Misty(7), and Jerry our cat.

  3. #23
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    On my way out the door, but will jump on later. Just wanted to say I am glad you have someone who cares so deeply about you and Brooklyn.

    I'll jump on later.
    Cindy and Claire
    Claire was born on Feb7, 2010

  4. #24
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    It seems to me that you have been extremely lucky to find such a sensible, knowledgeable, and thoughtful neurologist.

    It certainly sounds as if you and Brooklyn are in good hands.
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

  5. #25
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    Now you can breathe a sigh of relief that this first step is over. Your neuro sounds like a good fit for you. I like that she isn't jumping in head first with treatment and just taking things slowly. You and Brooklys seem to be in good hands.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

  6. #26
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    Comforting news indeed that you have someone who is actually being helpful and whom you can trust. Thinking of you both and hoping for the best.
    Desrae, guardian of two tri-coloured cavaliers, Belle 3 years old and Bobby 1 year/8 months.

  7. #27
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    I think it sounds like you have a really good neurologist, who was taking a sensible approach. I think it's a good idea to try some things and see how they go, while waiting to do an MRI. It is important to eliminate any other possibilities, and although your vet did try the usual approach with allergies, it might be that she needs an elimination diet. Trying gabapentin will probably give you some idea of what might be going on, because if allergies are causing her symptoms, the gabapentin is not going to help. This condition, with symptoms that match many other common problems, can be so difficult to diagnose as so many vets will insist that SM is unlikely, because either they are unaware of how prominent it is in the breed, or just willfully obtuse (and there are plenty of vets that are, that think that incidence is “overestimated” simply because they fail to have the skills to recognize likely symptoms, and no doubt because dogs will initially respond to many of the medications given for other problems, such as allergies. This type of vet really drives me crazy).

    I find it very significant that this neurologist -- who has worked extensively with the Griffon club in Australia (which has done a lot of MRI screening, thanks to the efforts of one of the clubs leading breeders, Lee Pieterse) and some of the Australian CKCS breeders who are scanning-- said this to you:

    Also, Brooklyn's parents have been MRI cleared, which does not mean that she doesn't have SM, but Dr. Child's says it does play into her equation on how fast to move and how likely (i.e. if she came from a pet store, Dr. Child's said she would have assumed right away with these symptoms and pushed an MRI sooner).
    This is a very strong validation that the neurologists who actually do the scans for and work closely with breeders see a significant improvement in scans of offspring from parents that have good scans. in other words–it is yet another quite strong validation for following the SM breeding guidelines and a confirmation of ongoing research, and uses results from a completely different geography than the already existing very strong evidence coming back from the Dutch breeders and UK breeders who are using the guidelines (pathetically, many of the UK club breeders who huff and puff publicly about how the UK CKCS Club and 'most' breeders are all doing so much for research -- are precisely the people who are doing nothing of the kind, and know those who do are a small minority of UK breeders, to whom they show little support, in public or private).

    Given how many cases of SM Dr Childs has seen, and how many breeders she has worked with, I hope that message is being heard with open ears by breeders of all affected breeds in Australia and elsewhere. I am sure she is familiar with the results back from Lee Pieterse in which she demonstrates from personal experience and an actual sequence of lItters, how quickly a breeder can move to producing A litters from a D ancestor!
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  8. #28
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    Hiya,

    Just catching up on whats been happening around here. You are very lucky to have such a knowledgable Neuro so close to you.

    She is obviously doing what she thinks is best and yes you are going in with the best odds being that Brooklyn is from Scanned parents.

    Am I right in thinkig that Brooklyn is still just a baby??? I had Charlie scanned at a very young age (1 years) and although he was clear of SM at the time and had CM 'only' Dr Rusbridge was very quick to mention that I would need to scan him at around 2-3 years again as it could still progress on. He still has symptoms and is treated for that but just saving upp some moneys at the Mo to get him back in for another MRI.

    Hopefully the Gabapentin will bring some releif to the symptoms she has shown!

    Karen

    Ruby - my stunning soul mate who defies the odds every day
    Charlie- my angel at heart and devil at play


  9. #29
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    Just wondering how you are feeling now that you've had a chance to digest everything, and 'sleep on it'?

    I think your neurologist sounds like a keeper. Hugs to sweet Brooklyn from me.
    Cindy and Claire
    Claire was born on Feb7, 2010

  10. #30
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    Hey all,
    Thank you so much for your responses! I was up and down all day yesterday, not knowing if we are doing the right thing, following the right path...but it really helps to hear all of your feedback. I do actually feel really lucky about having Dr. Child's so close and able to be on this journey with Brooklyn and I. At first I was nervous, because Australia does not really have all of the options that the UK and the US do in terms of small animal neurologists and this subject in general, and considering she was the only small animal specialist neuro in Australia, I was either worried that I had no choice if the appointment went bad, or happy because she is only 30 minutes from me. Well, I am please to say that I got the happy end of it, thank goodness. I don't know where I would turn otherwise. And yes, her work with the Griffon breed is really what makes me so happy and comfortable in just trusting her on where we go from here. She said the Griffons have made remarkable strides, and she hopes more than anything that she can do that for the cavalier. Like you said Karlin, it was the way she said things and her acknowledgement and endless research of this disease that made me the most at ease.

    She let me ask a lot of general SM questions and she said that they have now started discounted breeder days for the MRI scans, but that it is still hard to get the cavalier breeders to come in (costs are still high and most breeders don't live in Sydney proper, they are rural or out of the city/state entirely). She does see a lot of cavaliers, but not enough to trust the breeding pool is changing in an organized way (and she loves cavaliers so much, she said that is the most heartbreaking part of it all, the nature of these dogs could be lost forever if we don't fix it). She said breeders here will usually only MRI a male because he will produce the most offspring, and she just laughed that somehow they forget that 50% of an equation does not equal totality.
    She also stated when I asked her "if we could get all breeders to scan, would this really help our breed? Is there really hope?" she said absolutely. Scanning would change this breed and turn its life around, but it is getting the breeders to do so. She also acknowledged how expensive it was to scan, even on discount day, here in Australia, and that is what puts them all off. She said they are trying to figure out how to make it cheaper still (this specialist hospital is only 3 years old...and I think it will lead the pack in Australia).

    Anyway, so I feel in good hands, but it is always hard not to wonder. To give control to someone else. I am feeling good, anxious and then good again It will be a road to travel on for us I think vs. a quick diagnosis, but I think I am beginning to be okay with that and happy to follow it for now, knowing that if she thought Brooklyn was in serious condition she would move forward a lot faster (she also told me if I see things change in Brooklyn in anyway in the next month, we are doing an MRI asap). I am one to usually wants answers fast, but I do appreciate her taking one thing at a time. Again...I've just got to put my trust in her and move forward! Brooklyn took to her like a new best friend (she even let out a whimper when she left to fill out her prescription! ha), and Brooklyn is an amazing judge of character, I have seen her react to my old first vet and it never made me comfortable...now the way she reacts with my new vet and with this neuro just assures me she is okay with all of this, and so am I.

    So the road continues! Watching how she goes on Gabapentin will tell a lot. Thank you all for your thoughts and support! I don't know what I would ever do without you all. xx

    P.S. Kate, I took your advice and took Brooky for an evening drive to go on our favorite beach walk The air was fresh and it revived us both:

    IMG_1347 by kelseykakes5, on Flickr

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