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Thread: PLEASE help - We are at a loss!

  1. #11
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    Thank you, Margaret C. Not what I want to hear, but I understand.
    Frodo and Mabes

  2. #12
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    Whatever the source of his pain,he certainly needs pain relief.
    I hope your vet can manage to get him comfortable until you decide what path to take with referrals.
    Definitely,get to a neurologist if you can,even if an actual scan is outside your budget.An expert examination may give some information without the scan.
    Sins
    Sharing my sofa with Holly, Ivy,Lilly and Hazy.. and never forgetting our beautiful Daisy who reached the bridge too soon.

  3. #13
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    Mabes wrote: One says "Neopolydex Ophthalmic Ointment" by a company called Falcon, and we are to use that once a day, at night. The other just says "Artificial Tears Ointment" and we can use that regularly.

    Yes, those sound like the Lacri-Lube that Oliver has at night, which is an oily ointment that lubricates the eyes over a longer period - hence using it overnight - but being oily is messy to put in during the day; and the Visco-Tears that he can have in as often as he needs it during the day (it's used for humans as well, so if it is the same thing and money is tight - and your vet is sympathetic - it might be worth buying it yourself over the counter if this works out cheaper. In the UK we can get the overnight one from the pharmacy as well - I get both of them from an online chemist). Oliver has other eye problems that seem to be related to pressure behind the eyes from his CM/SM dilated ventricles. Dry Eye can be hereditary in Cavaliers, and occurs in other breeds, but can also be caused by damage behind the eyes and I do wonder with Oliver whether this is yet another symptom of his CM/SM.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  4. #14
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    Kate H - very interesting. I wonder if it is related to the SM too. His blindness/eye issues seemed to come on really fast, along with the yelping. Thank you for the explanation!

    Sins - We may have to just take him in for a consultation, at least! We've spent over $1,000 in the past month and that is already quite a bit for us. I wish I could win the lottery or something and get him the BEST care.

    A small update - this morning he was walking around on his own! He went and got a drink on his own and followed my mom to the door when she was leaving for work. He hasn't done this in a couple weeks!! I read that SM symptoms can flare up and then go down for a while, so I'm wondering if this is the case. Either way it was good to see him moving again.
    Frodo and Mabes

  5. #15
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    Just wanted to give another update! Frodo is doing MUCH better. He's up walking around on his own, wagging his tail more, eating, drinking, not yelping nearly as much. I'm honestly not sure what this means but we are going to watch him very closely for any more signs of SM, and we are still going to try a different kind of pain medication on him to see if it helps even more. I'm just so glad to see him getting back to his regular old self.
    Frodo and Mabes

  6. #16
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    not yelping nearly as much.
    But this is still indicating very significant levels of pain if he is yelping regularly (eg several times a week, even) *at all*.

    I woud really advise you to print out Clare Rusbridge's treatment programme and point your vets to her website so they can fully and properly educate themselves and please, please try working through her treatment regimen. SM is one of the most painful conditions known to humans -- and relieving all pain has to be an absolute top priority for anyone who cares about their dog. If that means letting him go, because treatment cannot be afforded -- I think you may need to consider that, if a combination like gabapentin and cimetidine plus probably some type of painkiller doesn't address this level of pain. You cannot ask him to hang on because you are bot ready to let him go. If he is so bad he cannot lift himself, is peeing on himself, and yelping several times a day, listless and really struggling now to try and move about again -- he is trying to do this for you. We cannot ask them to suffer if we cannot give them the diagnosis and treatment they need, and *they* are ready.

    He just cannot be left as is to see what happens next -- he is still in pain, and though dogs can slowly adjust to tolerating huge levels of pain, it is obviously not acceptable to ask any creature to endure it when there ARE potential medication remedies. Yu must decide whether to get him properly diagnosed by a neurologist, or try him on meds immediately -- your vet at very least should immediately get him onto adequate pain relief while these larger questions are decided.

    Please don't wait and see if the yelping decreases before at the very least starting him on some type of SM-related pain programme, since he was not helped by treating for other things and as Margaret says, these are indeed likely signs of SM but at very least -- indicate significant and incapacitating pain and suffering.

    Hopefully he can be managed for longer on adequate pain relief but he really must, MUST get it right away.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  7. #17
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    I have been very busy but I wanted to comment on this post... PLEASE look for a specialist or neurologist ASAP! I have 3 SM dogs and this really sounds like SM. It just sounds SO familiar! This could easily be managed with correct medication! If you can't afford an MRI scan you can at least get a consult with a neurologist or specialist! They can at the very least do a trial with proper medications! One of my severely affected dogs would have pain episodes where he could not move. He would freeze in a standing position and refuse to move. Episodes can come and go at any moment without warning! Our longest episode was a month straight! It took steroids and higher levels of neuro meds to get him right again. Now he runs and plays like a puppy! It took a lot of trial and error but we finally have a management program that works great! We learned the hard way... GO to a neurologist! Vets want to say allergies, pinched nerve, pulled muscle, and a dozen other "well maybe it could be this". If we had tested for everything out vet wanted to treat and test for we would be broke! True the neurologist was 4 hours away and more expensive upfront but it gave us a clear YES or NO answer. Sadly it was a YES but we got on the correct course of treatment! Our vet did her version of a neuro exam and said our dog was fine. The neurologist picked up on his issues right away without an MRI. The MRI confirmed he had nearly 90% of his spinal cord blocked by a syrinx! He had such sever hingleg issues where he would have periods of time he could not walk even our neurologist gave him less then a year... Well here we are, over a year later and he still runs and plays everyday nearly pain free!

    If a dog is yelping .. it is in sever pain! With medications our SM dogs do not yelp! They run and play for the most part like normal dogs. Please try to find a specialist that will see your dog! OR a vet that is willing to listen! Our regular vet has taken over treatment for our dogs. Our neurologist is 4 hours away so it is just not feasible to drive on a regular basis. If you find a vet willing to listen or one with understanding of SM they can start treatment to see if your dog improves.

    As Karlin said, please don't wait just because his yelping has decreased. SM comes and goes. It has no set schedule. It is not always predicable. You just never know when it is going to roar it's ugly head up and wreck chaos on your dog. It tends to come on at the worst possible times... In the middle of a storm, late at night, on a weekend or holiday. And then you are stuck waiting again why your dog is in pain.
    Flash Blitz Holly

  8. #18
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    Your voice of experience is very helpful and to the point.

    Our vet did her version of a neuro exam and said our dog was fine. The neurologist picked up on his issues right away without an MRI.
    This is what worries me about an awful lot of dogs whose owners are told by their vets that their dog probably does not have SM -- *especially* if signs include real pain, such as unexplained and repeated yelping.

    There are indeed some basic things that should be vet-checked for before ever overly worrying that a dog has SM but in my book these are primarily the more straightforward things like ear mites, ear infections and disk disease... things that one or two vet visits will eliminate, relatively inexpensively. I'd be really dubious about a diagnosis of allergies when treatment doesn't help, and of alternative diagnoses of pain with proposals of all sorts of additional tests.

    A lot of money can be thrown at vet tests for any range of unlikely things, when a visit to neurologist would be more cost effective and spare a dog weeks or months (even, years...) of pain. There is a point where, given the very high rate of incidence of SM in the breed, it is sadly more likely that given symptoms are going to be SM than anything else.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post

    A lot of money can be thrown at vet tests for any range of unlikely things, when a visit to neurologist would be more cost effective and spare a dog weeks or months (even, years...) of pain. There is a point where, given the very high rate of incidence of SM in the breed, it is sadly more likely that given symptoms are going to be SM than anything else.
    When I joined this forum just over 3 years ago, the standard advice for owners of dogs with SM-like symptoms was to rule everything else out first. Now, sadly, because of the high incidence, it's usually the first thing to be considered.
    I hope that whatever is causing Frodo pain, you can manage to control it quickly and effectivley for him. SM pain can come and go in degrees of intensity.
    Shirley
    A comfy lap for
    Trapper - tri boy Feb 2004, Bosco - ruby boy Jan 2008

  10. #20
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    Thank you again for all of the responses! I will relay the messages on (like I said I don't really have control over what kind of care he gets, because he isn't my dog and I am a recent college grad with very little money myself).

    Frodo is up walking around on his own, using the restroom outside, eating, drinking, hopping...he even started barking again and going after the cat! I am, of course, worried that it is still SM and that these symptoms will still come and go as some of you have said.

    When we can get him tested and know for sure, then we'll do our best to manage any pain he has or to make that hard decision
    Frodo and Mabes

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