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Thread: Border Collie with Hydrosyringomyelia

  1. #1
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    Default Border Collie with Hydrosyringomyelia

    Hi everyone, I'm new to this forum....but we are here because my 2 year old border collie has been diagnosed with severe Hydrosyringomyelia. We had an MRI two weeks ago & before that he was being treated for a slipped disc for a week, unfortunately the meds for that made his condition worse. We have been on steroids, gabapentin, frusemide & antibiotics for 10 days. I see you mention CSF inhibitors....what are they? he has typical cav symptoms, scratching, loss of front leg use, sensitivity to noise, scoliosis in his neck....my vet can't believe he is seeing all this in a collie! He has dilated ventricles, and a severe syrinx which tracks all down his cervical spine, it takes up the most of his cord in places, plus a hydrocephalus....

    I can see this forum being INVALUABLE as a source of information & help, its great to be able to read other peoples stories of this horrible condition.
    sarah

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    Hi Sarah
    Welcome to the Forum, though I'm sorry for the reason you have joined. As vets and owners become more aware of SM symptoms, cases seem to be coming to light in more and more breeds, though so far most of the dogs with the disease have been in smaller toy breeds. Your collie sounds as if he is in a lot of pain, so I do hope his meds will help. It does sometimes take several months and some trial and error to get the balance of meds right. Frusemide is actually a CSF inhibitor - CSF stands for cerebro-spinal fluid, and an inhibitor or diuretic decreases the general level of fluids in the body and so relieves the pressure in the brain, as the fluid moves more slowly than it should and accumulates in the brain ventricles - which is why your dog has dilated ventricles, which in turn can force the skull outwards and cause hydrocephalus. You will find a lot of information on Clare Rusbridge's website (www.Veterinary.neurologist.co.uk), and she has a treatment algorithm (suggestions for treatment in different situations) that you can print off and take to your vet - he might find it interesting and useful if he doesn't already know it.

    I was particularly interested (and concerned) to hear that a border collie could have SM. I do competition obedience with my two Cavaliers and so meet many, many border collies. Neck problems are very common - hardly surprising considering the ridiculous angle at which some of them hold their heads doing heelwork! - but I have heard of very few - if any - having MRI scans rather than X-rays to diagnose the problems. So pain in the neck and spine may be more than just misalignment or inflamed discs. Did your vet have any idea how your dog's SM was caused? With Cavaliers SM stems from a malformation at the base of the skull (CM) which blocks the flow of CSF and leads to all the subsequent problems (some of which can occur without the presence of a syrinx), and seems to have a genetic and hereditary basis.

    I hope the meds make a real difference - and let us know how your collie gets on.

    Kate, and Cavaliers Oliver (with SM) and Aled

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    Hi and welcome to the forum. It's a devastating diagnosis but at least now you know what has been causing all the different symptoms. You are right, this is a great resource for information and where owners can share their many varied experiences of the disease and what does and doesn't work for their dogs. I hope you will see an improvement in your collies' symptoms soon.
    Shirley
    A comfy lap for
    Trapper - tri boy Feb 2004, Bosco - ruby boy Jan 2008

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    Hello and you're very welcome to Cavaliertalk. This is indeed an invaluable place for information, education... and support. I hope you can find some relief for your collie and that the symptoms improve.
    Desrae, guardian of two tri-coloured cavaliers, Belle 3 years old and Bobby 1 year/8 months.

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    Welcome to the forum. Sorry your dog has beeb diagnosed with this horrible disease. This is a good place to gather lots of information.
    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

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    Welcome to the club that nobody wants to belong to.

    Many of us know what it is like to live with SM dogs, watching how they can suffer and trying to find the best cocktail of medication to keep them comfortable. There is a lot of support here.

    As you may have realised we are very keen to help SM research on this forum, and I wonder whether you would be willing to email UK researcher Penny Knowler and let her know about your young Collie?

    Her email address is penny.knowler@ntlworld.com

    Many thanks,
    Margaret C

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

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    Welcome to the forum and sorry to hear about your fur baby. You will find some great help here. Did you happen to post about your border collie on a sm facebook group? The reason I ask is because someone posted recently asking if bordie collies have been known to have SM.

    Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    Welcome and ask any questions you'd like.

    Penny Knowler would be very interested in hearing from you, if you will email her.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    Welcome and ask any questions you'd like.

    Penny Knowler would be very interested in hearing from you, if you will email her.

    I beleive you have Emailed Dr Rusbrudge already- she mentioned an Email from someone with a Collie with SM and Hydrocephelus when I was with her yesterday. There can't be many of those about!!

    The drugs you have been given are pretty normal for SM treatment- as Kate said Frusomide is a CSF inhibiter, Gabapentin is the pain killer.

    What drugs were you given that made it worse?

    Karen

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


  10. #10
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    What drugs were you given that made it worse?[/QUOTE]

    Hi everyone...thanks for your replies....i saw a deterioration of his condiotion when he was put on Tramadol & Diazepam when he was initially thought to have a slipped disc, plus the GA for the scan really knocked him off his feet for 2-3 days. Poor Blue.
    Once we started omeprazole, steroids & gabapentin & frusemide there was such a dramatic improvement! he was able to attend training class & go for a walk & run again. Then we stopped the omeprazole & 2 days later there was a gradual decline back to wobbly Blue with dragging of his front legs. I went back to the vet today & he has put us back on the omepraziole so fingers crossed we see an improvement again. Initially we were on it as a drug to protect his tummy, but now i see it has beneficial "side" effects.
    I will definitely email penny, and yes I did send Clare Rusbridge an email yesterday....i will leave no stone unturned in an effort to help my lad. I also had a really helpful email from a lady in Memphis!!
    I think a friend of mine asked on a facebook page if anyone knew of a collie with SM....i didn't know there was a page...i will look!

    Thankfully he doesn't seem to be in too much discomfort, he doesn't yelp out in pain like i have seen some dogs do, and he loves play time...lay on a bed settee just in case he tumbles....its amazing to see how he has adapted. the vets seem to think it has been a gradual onset since he was born, an embyological defect, although i don't suppose they know for sure. looking back over this year, i can now see things that have been happening over the last few months that are indicative of what has been going on. We went for the scan because he had a massive tumble in the garden & screeched in pain, at the time we thought the fall was the problem, but now we know that his legs probably gave and he went head over heels because of his SM. I had him down as being a bit clumsy, or too fast for his own good, but now i know differently.
    He is such a trooper, and so plucky, he's a dog in a million!

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