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Thread: Help: I think my dog has SM

  1. #1
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    Default Help: I think my dog has SM

    Hello. I hope you can help me with some advise. I just recently found out, that my almost 3 years old cavalier has SM. In our country (Slovenia) this illness is not very known, I learned about it on the internet and then told the vet, what might bother my dog and he looked it up, studied and confirmed SM. I always thought, that my Maxy is just very spoild and sensitive dog, just not very brave, who would cry for every little thing. Now I know what is the cause of his behavior ( he has almost all the simptoms) and I fell so guilty of acusing him for beeing a brat. We just thought he has ear and skin problems, which was partly truth. I am kindy asking you to tell me, what can I do to help him, how should I behave, react and where should I start... I dont have to tell you, that I love him so much....
    Thank you and please forgive me any mistakes in speling, it has been a while since school. Best wishes for your dog.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxy View Post
    Hello. I hope you can help me with some advise. I just recently found out, that my almost 3 years old cavalier has SM. In our country (Slovenia) this illness is not very known, I learned about it on the internet and then told the vet, what might bother my dog and he looked it up, studied and confirmed SM. I always thought, that my Maxy is just very spoild and sensitive dog, just not very brave, who would cry for every little thing. Now I know what is the cause of his behavior ( he has almost all the simptoms) and I fell so guilty of acusing him for beeing a brat. We just thought he has ear and skin problems, which was partly truth. I am kindy asking you to tell me, what can I do to help him, how should I behave, react and where should I start... I dont have to tell you, that I love him so much....
    Thank you and please forgive me any mistakes in speling, it has been a while since school. Best wishes for your dog.
    I'm sorry, I just saw your message. I am also sorry that your vet thinks Maxy has SM. I don't know if you have a veterinary neurologist near you, but they are the best ones to make an accurate diagnosis and also the best ones to manage your dog's medications. A dog with SM will need to be on medication for the rest of it's life to control his or her pain. There is a lot of information on SM in the Cavalier Health Library (go to the top of the page and click on Forum and you'll find it). You can print out some of this information and take it to your vet. There are a lot of cavaliers on this forum who were also misdiagnosed for years before they finally got an accurate diagnosis and were put on the right medication. And even then, it sometimes takes a while to get the medication and dosage right. Many dogs are on gabapentin, but not all. My dog is only on prednisone.

    We wish you the best for Maxy. Please ask questions. We're here to give you support and help.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  3. #3
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    I put your original post into a new thread, as I think lots of people missed it when it was included in somebody else's discussion.

    Good advice above on where to look for information. You can also get detailed information from the neurologist Dr Clare Rusbridge for both you and for your vet here:

    http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/Syringomyelia/

    http://www.moleculia.nl/DNA-FAQ/index.html

    This includes a diagram for how to go about treating this. It sounds as if your options will be limited to trying the various medications that might help relieve the pain and discomfort of this condition.

    About halfway down the page here (from Clare's website) http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/Library/

    you can see that there are links for copies of her explanation of SM in several languages, and then below that, there are copies of the treatment algorithm.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  4. #4
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    I know how awful you feel about having missed Maxy's symptoms - but I think we've all been there, and top marks for doing your research and suggesting a way forward to your vet. I can now see that Oliver already had symptoms when I had him as a one-year-old; and the Cavalier I had before him clearly had serious SM and must have been in a great deal of pain all his life, but he had been fragile from other causes as a puppy and missed out on socialising before I had him, and I (and my vet) just thought his dislike of being handled was due to that and that his dislike of turning his neck to the right was a funny quirk. And this was before MRI scanning was available for dogs, which is really the only definitive way of diagnosing SM. I think we're still the only Cavalier with diagnosed SM in our vets' large practice (though probably not the only Cavalier with SM), and I find I have to tell them about it. Clare Rusbridge's website is a life-saving source of information. If Maxy has SM, the gabapentin will help almost immediately, so I hope he will soon be more comfortable.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  5. #5
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    Thank you for taking the time in sharing your experience with me. I learned a lot about SM from this forum and I fell a little less guilty for not knowing what was wrong with my Maxy. He is on medication for almost a month now and feeling much better.
    Merry Christmas to all!

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    Thank you very much for your help and advise.

  7. #7
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    Thank you for your answer. I learned a lot about SM from all the websites and Maxy is on medication now and he is doing well. I try to be optimistic and just enjoy the time with him. Merry Christmas from Slovenia.

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