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Thread: Sm ???

  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


  4. #4
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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 "

  6. #6
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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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    I echo the above. My Molly has sm and Dougall cm. Molly on the odd occassion yelped, we investigated because she became lame, I did not think for a minute she was suffering acute nerve pain. I decided to MRI Dougall because I needed to know if he had cm/sm, in my opinion Dougall did not display any signs, we assumed he was a quiet dog. He was diagnosed with cm Both dogs were suffering and at best would have a constant headache, I felt terribly guilty as you can imagine.
    We now have another little rescue dog, I believe she has either sm or cm.

    I have asked for a referral to a neurologist for a clinical examination, based on this I am sure we can treat her for pain quickly. I don't know if we will have an mri at this stage because she has heart issues. Unfortunately for Cavaliers they do not display pain and sadly there are a lot of them suffering.
    Tania and The Three Cavaliers!
    Dotty!- A Sweet Little Tri
    Molly - Pretty Tri Dougall - Gorgeous Blenheim

  8. #8
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    Hi all,
    thanks for advice on previous post.
    i am still a bit in between as Cara jumps on to our bed and doesn't move all night.
    some people say they wouldn't have an MRI. On their dog but don't know why.
    as I said before Cara has infrequent scratching spells for a few seconds.
    another question.
    if I do nothing does anyone know the consequences. Or should I wait till I see or hear that she has pain.
    can. I go to the Glasgow vet hospital for a consultation only.?

  9. #9
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    Like I said if this is SM then she is already in pain, just alone the scratching and head rubbing indicates that she is in pain. What do you mean with consequences ? The consequense is that your dog lives in constant pain.
    I am sure that if you are not insured that the neurolagist will just see you for a consultation.
    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 "

  10. #10
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    Scratching and face rubbing are all signs of discomfort. Dogs with SM really learn to disguise there pain. They are in a chronic pain that they just learn to "deal" with. I would at least have your dog checked out my a Neurologist. A consult with a neurologist should not be too expensive. They can tell you if you need an MRI done or not. Regular vets typically overlook the symptoms. I have 3 affected dogs and I can tell you... If they are suffering the difference can be night and day. Once my dogs were started on medication they were totally different. They had a new life to them almost acting like puppies again. It's hard to tell how much your dog has "changed" due to pain until you see them completely pain free.
    Flash Blitz Holly

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