Anyway, as far as 'no symptomatic dogs' goes, I bet that most of the dogs mini-scanned and showing SM are actually also showing some (unrecognised) symptoms. Certainly Oliver was at the time of his first scan, though both I and my vet woud have sworn that he was asymptomatic. Does such a thing as a dog with asymptomatic SM actually exist - or do we need to learn a lot more about recognising symptoms of pain?

Oh for a DNA test!

Kate, Oliver and Aled

You are so right on that one Kate. When I did a write up on Rebel's SM symptoms for the vet I went through old photographs I had taken of him and was shocked to find that for at least 2 years he was clearly photophobic, even at the time of his MRI mini scan, also at Chester Gates, where I was told he was asymptomatic. This was quite clear to me when I realised that in all of these pictures he had the same eye very firmly closed when facing normal indoor daylight. The vet agreed with me, although she had no previous experience of dealing with SM. She also noticed that his face was showing signs of great pain, as illustrated on Claire Rusbridge's site. Once the Frusemide relived the pressure I realised she was right.

Yes, I do think that most of us have a lot to learn when it comes to recognising the symptoms of pain. It breaks my heart to think that dear sweet Rebel was experiencing pain without me knowing it and this experience is telling me that there must be many others in a similar position.