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  1. #1
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    Default Sm ???

    I have been reading and watching threads on SM. for a few weeks now and have been to the vet who told me best to contact Glasgow vet hospital to discuss. They then told me I need to go through vet.

    I haven't got back yet as I now don't know what to think.
    Female Cav Cara now 5 but has been scratching her right leg using her back right leg. Only does this when excited and at the start of her walk.has been
    like this probably since 6 month old and has never got any more regular.
    ocassionslly rubs her face on carpet after dry food but only lasts 10 seconds.
    never in pain.
    Now don't know what to think as a lot of comments seem to state this is not unnatural for a dog
    any advice would be great.

  2. #2
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    Sorry I can't help on the actual symptoms or what is best you should do - just wanted to mention the Glasgow Vet School. Going through the processes of thinking my Cavalier has SM just now and I done my own bit of research into neurologists and Glasgow are closest to me. It seems they've set up a scheme to research SM, MRIs are £200 per dog but don't include a neurologist review, they simply send your results back to your vets and they go over it with you?

    I found all this out and I'm heading back to my vet on Thursday - are you aware of them doing it for reasons other than for breeders, as their site doesn't seem to mention getting a scan for anything other than breeding prospects, rather than for treatment like I'm looking for as well. Maybe this is why we need to go through the vets instead? All very confusing!
    Sorry, that was totally random and I hope someone comes along to answer your questions soon.
    Mum to Izzie and George

  3. #3
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    You will need to get a referral from your vets to be seen by a Neuro. I had to push my vet for this. The scans you mention are under the low cost breeding scheme and are for breeders to use to get their dogs graded under the SM/CM BVA KC scheme.
    To get a diagnostic scan for medical purposes will cost upward of £1200 normally but would include a full examination by the Neuro and life long care and support where needed.

    Hope this helps x

    Karen

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


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    JimDoc the symptoms you are describing are exactly the same as out Misty's were before we took her to Glasgow. Misty turned six at the end of last year, and we'd noticed her odd behaviour for a while, but our old vets kept shrugging our concerns off. I also kept noticing her lower eyelids drooping a little, and her eyeballs going pinkish. She would groan a little while rubbing her head too, and in the mornings she would come to me and mash her head into my head. I used to sit and rub her head for her.

    We changed vets in September, and after a 20 minute consultation, we got our referral to Glasgow. Misty has very poor reactions in her hind feet. If you flip them over backwards, she takes longer that normal to right them. The vet said this was a sign of back trouble or a symptom of SM.

    On the day of our appointment, we were met by some Med students, who made a huge fuss over Misty, and took a thorough history from her. We then met our Neuro, who examined her, and after talking to us agreed SM could be the cause. We had to leave her overnight, as there was a couple of emergency cases brought in before us. We collected her the next day, and we were taken through the blood tests, her general health, and of course her MRI results. It confirmed she has SM. She has three syrinxes that run nearly the full length of her spin, and they are all quite wide. Allison, our Neuro, was shocked at how mild her clinical symptoms were after reviewing her MRI. We came home with Gabapentin, and a bill for £1,600. We had to pay the £190, for the consultation direct to Glasgow, but they claimed direct off Axa for the rest, and we put in a claim for the £190. In the end we were only out of pocket £75 for our excess.

    I cannot tell you what to do, but I followed my gut instinct, which told me I had to get her MRI'd.
    Paula - mum to Murphy(6) & Misty(7), and Jerry our cat.

  5. #5
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    Hi Jim Doc

    Any vet should know that you will need a referral from the vet to see a neurologist. Did you disgust you fears about SM with your vet? A lot of vets are still not very well informed about SM. I have always been very lucky with my vets in regards them knowing about SM and they didnít hesitate to refer me. (Also had the scan done at my vets)

    IMPORTANT
    Please donít assume that Cara is NOT in pain or discomfort. A lot of people make this mistake thinking that if the dog doesnít cry or yelp it isnít in pain. If these symptoms are SM she will be in some sort of pain or discomfort and will need appropriate pain relief.
    Sabby
    Rosie-06/06 - Ebony-01/07 Harley-08/08
    " My sunshine doesn't come from the skies, it comes from the love in my dogs eyes "

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    Ideally, if you can afford it or are insured, a full MRI is what you need. If that isn't possible, a mini scan will at least tell you whether SM is present, you can then discuss it with your vet, and you could also pay a bit more for a session with a neurologist (it will still come to less than a full scan!). I don't think you have to be a breeder to get a mini scan at Glasgow, just a referral from your vet. My Oliver has never had a full scan, just two mini scans two years apart that diagnosed him with CM/SM, and a later session with a neurologist to discuss treatment. Since then we have simply tweaked his medication according to his need.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

    PS I would agree with Sabby about pain - Oliver has never yelped. His early signs were squinting in strong sunlight and being a restless sleeper - neither things that many people (including me for a long time!) would recognise as symptoms of pain.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimDoc View Post
    Female Cav Cara now 5 but has been scratching her right leg using her back right leg. Only does this when excited and at the start of her walk.has been
    like this probably since 6 month old and has never got any more regular.
    ocassionslly rubs her face on carpet after dry food but only lasts 10 seconds.
    never in pain.
    Now don't know what to think as a lot of comments seem to state this is not unnatural for a dog
    any advice would be great.
    Of course dogs do scratch sometimes and rub their faces, with SM/CM these behaviours are more frequent and more intense.

    If she is only face rubbing after a meal then that to me IN ISOLATION would not be a symptom.

    The scratching at the start of a walk and when excited would be more indicative - pressure builds when they are excited which could aggravate symptoms.

    In the wild animals have to disguise pain and hide any weakness - so this is their normal behaviour which makes it difficult for us to see pain.


    Have a read through the symptoms on here http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/ and see if she is doing anything else. There is also info to print off for your vet. Yes you would need a referral from your vet to go to Glasgow, and the low cost scans are NOT for symptomatic dogs.


    At the international conference on Syringomyelia in 2006 it was stated that incidences of scratching due to SM were an indicator of SEVERE pain.


    My two most severely affected dogs NEVER yelped or screamed, one had his cerebellum prolapsing right through the foramen magnum [the back of the brain was pushed through the hole at the back of the skull]. His ONLY symptom at that point was intermittent lameness of one front leg. He underwent decompression surgery and was eventually PTS aged 3 Most of the time you would not have noticed anything wrong with him.


    I think you need to rule out other causes for scratching but ALL cavalier guardians need to be aware of their health issues, so they are prepared and aware BUT we also need to enjoy our dogs and not become so obsessed that it spoils every day.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

  8. #8
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    Good advice from Nicki. I would definitely go talk to Glasgow for a clinical exam if your vet cannot find anything but you remain concerned (the excitement/exercise/scratching correlation is very typical of SM -- I have a dog that has done this all her life, never gotten much worse, but I monitor her carefully). A neurologist can do a far better assessment even just in a clinical setting than a vet.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  9. #9
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    Thanks to all who contributed.

    On the case for a consultation with a neurologist.

    Will update sometime.

    Thanks again

  10. #10
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    Let us know how things go.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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