16th April 2012, 11:09 AM
Dagny's mum wrote:If her meds are late or the weather is bad...
It seems to be changes in air pressure that cause the problem, so I find it's worth keeping an eye on the weather forecast (the BBC weather site is very good and gives you air pressure for 5 days ahead, so you can see patterns). In the UK for example, the pressure plummetted last week and Oliver was having more trouble with his eyes (presumably because the pressure was affecting his dilated ventricles). If you're allowed to make adjustments to Dagny's medication (ask your neurologist), this is a situation where you can to some extent foresee problems and an extra bit of gabapentin or whatever Dagny's on might help.
So glad Dagny's doing well.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
PS Just checked the UK weather for my area (West Midlands) and over the next 3 days the air pressure is forecast to drop a huge 45 millibars, so I'll be taking precautions to keep Oliver out of bright light.
Last edited by Kate H; 16th April 2012 at 11:34 AM.
Reason: Additional information
14th May 2012, 07:58 AM
Posting this update in my original thread here too:
Hi Kate and everyone else who has been so kind with your advice and overall interest in my girl Dagny....hope all your dogs are well!
Dagny is doing alright actually! The weather is warming up here so it makes trips to the park even better. ;-) We've had to switch to a raw diet due to some diarrhea issues from kibble and she's loving that. The only problem is that there are no commercially made frozen or freeze dried raw diets here (like Nature's Variety or Primal or Stella & Chewy's), so I do it myself.
As for her CM/SM, I'd say she's stable, but we had a bad period of nonstop rain for about three weeks, so as you can imagine, it wasn't great for her symptoms. When it's time for her next gabapentin dose, she has more symptoms, but they go away quickly. She'll have a few scratches and face rubs throughout the day, but not 20+ like it was in the beginning. And the ones she does have are 10 seconds or less and are NOT vocal. She hasn't had a vocalisation of her pain (not even a small one) in well over a month.
The tricky part now is knowing where that "sweet spot" is in terms of meds. I think when she was on 75 mg 3x/day of gabapentin, for about a two week period, she was nearly symptom-free, but she's growing (just over 6kg and 7.5 mos old now) and her dose was upped to 100 mg 3x/day as her weight increased. We just upped her Diamox (CSF inhibitor) to 30 mg instead of 25 since that dosage was never increased. Her neuro doesn't want to dose her to the max for her weight, so that way we have room to add in more if she needs it down the road, so I"m OK with that. I don't know if we're aiming for 0 symptoms or just no vocalisation.
I can't help but be paranoid sometimes when she seems to be scratching more over whether or not she's getting worse. I just have to keep focusing on the positive and live every day with her to fullest. I don't think she's worse.
The plan was to re-MRI her in August (6 month mark from the diagnosis) to see if there's been progression, but I was thinking about this and may opt against it. What will it change? Except have me be out a bit of money. If she's the same, great. If she's worse, what will that mean? That I'll rush off with her to the US for surgery? I don't know. I want the best for her, but not sure surgery would be the best route for us. I just don't know. If my surgeon in the US said it has a 70%+ chance of helping her live a full life, great, I'd probably do it, but those odds aren't the norm. I think if her symptoms worsen, we'll of course MRI her to see if the SM has progressed, but if she's the same in August? Not sure I'll MRI her. It's just all up in the air.
I love my dog with all my heart and I can't imagine our lives without her. So so so happy that we made it through the tough spots (thanks to all of your support here on the board). I was so scared we'd have to put her to sleep. She's like a whole new dog now (with the occasional symptom) and I just hope it stays stable for the rest of her life. We can hope, right?
22nd May 2012, 07:01 PM
No big update here. I was just writing to let all of the Cav Talk family know I've started a blog that I'd love for all of you to subscribe to. It's about my life in France and of course my pup although there is no mention of SM. I want people to see my pup for everything she is and not her neurological condition. I'm not posting the link here for two reasons 1) Not sure if it violates the terms of service here and 2) I don't want my posts here on SM to be associated with my blog.
I write on all kinds of things (nothing much yet because it just started) but the focus will be on my dog (minus the CM/SM) and life in France. We recently switched to a raw diet so that'll be an upcoming post.
I'd be happy to send you the link via PM. I hope you'll all take a look!
Thanks again for all the support. It's been quite a journey...
22nd May 2012, 07:47 PM
Hi, I'd love to read your blog if you can pm me the link please, will look forward to reading it!
22nd May 2012, 08:32 PM
There is no problem with putting a link to your blog [we only object to breeder adverts, spam, unsuitable material, that sort of thing]
However if you do not wish to link to here, you can put the link to your blog in your profile,
[I'm somewhat technically disadvantaged and even I managed it, so it must be easy!]
Go to SETTINGS [top right, 2nd one in]
scroll down to MY SETTINGS, click on EDIT PROFILE
scroll down to HOME PAGE URL and insert your blog link there.
then SAVE CHANGES [bottom left]
People who want to see the link to your blog click on your name, a box comes up and they click on VISIT HOMEPAGE
Hope that works, it's just worked for me to put a link to our photo site
22nd May 2012, 08:47 PM
Thank you Nicki, I'd rather just ask those interested to PM me. I don't want anything I post here about my dog or SM to be associated with the blog. ;-) Thank you, though! Just not ready for that.
27th May 2012, 06:38 AM
Thanks for the update. So glad to hear that Dagny is doing better, and pray that she continue's to do so.
I know that this has been a tough journey for you both, but I think you have handled it brilliantly. And I think if she is doing well, I would feel th same as you and wait on another MRI.
Thanks again! And hugs to you both!
Cindy and Claire
Claire was born on Feb7, 2010
29th May 2012, 03:22 AM
What a moving and lovely testament to Dagny, what a special girl she is. I would like to commend you for your honesty in all of these posts...what great lengths we go through for our beautiful babies and well, well worth it. Best of luck to you, your husband and mostly Dagny.
29th May 2012, 11:16 AM
Hi Joanie, thanks so much for your post. I'm just trying to do the best I can and it's been a crazy journey. I won't dare go back through what I wrote on here because I know I was in a really bad place mentally, but I think now, I can see SM for what it is. NOT a death sentence but something that has to be managed and if we need to pursue the surgery route in the future, we will. I hope others who were/are in my same shoes can learn from something I've written here -- even if it's just how NOT to flip out on an online forum. ;-)
My girl is so special -- you all know how these dogs capture your heart. I have a stomach bug and she sat with me while I was puking and is here with me on the couch. These dogs love like no other and what kind of person would I be if I didn't do the same?
Gosh, what a road this has been. Again, thank you all for your support.
3rd June 2012, 10:38 PM
It breaks my heart to hear your story. Especially because it is somewhat similar to mine. I have a 16 month old tricolor that I got from a breeder at 8 weeks old. Around 6 months, she stopped eating and was painful when I would pick her up. She would also scratch at the air very slowly. My regular vet immediately suspected CM/SM and referred me to a specialist. I saw the specialist immediately and had an MRI, spinal tap (to rule out possible meningitis) and blood tests done(to check for Lyme's). The only thing that came back was the Chiari Malformation on the MRI. Right now, she does not have SM but she does have the malformation which could (as we all know) lead to the progressive disease. The neurologist put her on prednisone, tramadol, omeprazole, and gabapentin. She improved over a few months and I haven't seen any progression in any of her symptoms since then (its been about 8 months). She is now only on the gabapentin for neurological symptoms and the omeprazole to decrease the fluid. Now, I know that your case with your puppy is more severe but I just wanted to write to you because I want you to know that you're in all of our thoughts and that you aren't alone. This has been the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with thus far in my life. To watch an animal suffer doesn't seem right. And I too feel helpless as an owner. I immediately contacted the breeder within a week of her diagnosis. At the time, the breeder sent her condolences and said that we would definitely work something out. After many emails were exchanged and i had been sufficiently strung along, my breeder did not take any responsibility (despite the fact that she never even did SM testing in her dogs) and she decided to blame it on me and write it off as me being irresponsible. So not only am I dealing with the heart breaking condition of my dog, but my breeder is unwilling to help me in any way. Im a young adult and I am in school studying to be a vet. My dog has inspired me in so many ways and she really has saved me. I cannot imagine my life without her but I truly trusted my breeder and now I feel a bit jaded. I understand what you're going through and how you feel. And I hope that this is of some consolation for you to know that you are not alone. I really hope the best for you and your family.