8th May 2012, 12:23 AM
Asking a hard question? But one I have wondered about?
Bentley thank goodness is healthy, for now, knock on wood, his heart is clear, aside from a scratch here and there on the ears and a good doggie shake once in a while he seems to be sm free, for now. (though I would love to have an mri just to ease my paranoia) But the topic with DH and I has come up recently of what would we do if he was diagnosed with mitral Valve or SM? We originally said when we choose cavaliers as our breed of choice, that we would have our dog put to sleep, if they had a painful debilitating illness, but now we have learned more about treatment options, and we are so attached to our Bentley (didn't expect that lol) that we have been saying would try to treat our pets. (no drastic measures like surgery, we did that once with a very sick cat and it did not work and our cat passed away with in 8 hours, so with that as our experience, surgery is not for our pets now)
I guess we would cross the bridge when we came to it (I have felt super paranoid lately about sm and mitral valve, like obsessed with every little scratch, freak out at the vet when he goes to check his heart and hold my breath ect.) But I wonder if anyone here has chosen to euthanize because their pet was diagnosed and they just did not want to see them suffer another minute, and not treat at all? I have had two very sick cats who I have treated, and honestly sometimes I think I should have just let them go and not suffer at all, but then sometimes I am glad for the extra time I had with the one that treating worked on.)
8th May 2012, 12:25 AM
I may have posted this in the wrong forum, I meant for it to be in health library, if that is where it goes, please move it if needed. Sorry in advance.
8th May 2012, 12:53 AM
This is a very personal decision and there really isn't a right or wrong answer. I feel if the owner has consulted with a vet and their family, what they have decide is best.
I don't think MVD as painful. The choice is treating your pet with meds and lengthening their life vs not treating and having your pet go into heart failure sooner. My rescue male is still doing okay without the meds...he has quite a few days where he still acts like a puppy and my vet seems to think he is doing okay still. We will medicate him when the vet tells us, and continue treatment until he goes into heart failure. I think that is the only option for our family. I could never euthanize a dog because of MVD.
I have no experience with SM....yet.
8th May 2012, 02:21 AM
8th May 2012, 02:45 AM
Ok sorry if I offend you but saying this (honestly) but I think your a little too paranoid about "possible" health issues. Sure, once you know what "could" happen it always is the back of your mind BUT from what I understand cavaliers can sense sad emotions sometimes. You may be adding to the stress in the whole house thinking of the "what ifs". You have children do you sit around and thinking about the "what ifs" about their health? I mean there has to be some medical issue that runs in your family, high bloodpressure, cancers something you don't over think everyday do you? There are few sure things in life, you NEVER get to have a crystal ball and see into the future. Treat your dog like you do your children, watch them for signs of illness but don't play the "what if" game. I mean you married your husband for better or worse, in sickness or in health its that the same way with your children and dogs???? Whatever happens happens deal with it then. Enjoy your dog, love him. Again, I'm just giving you some advice take it or not but please know I'm saying this from the right place and I hope your not offended.
8th May 2012, 03:57 AM
8th May 2012, 08:34 PM
I have not finished reading responses but I have to stop at this one. The problem is I know cavaliers that have a severe SM diagnosis (long syrinx) that are being managed well some on medication alone others opted for surgery. The flip side is I know cavaliers WITHOUT SM and have CM alone that even though being well managed, were far more symptomatic than some PRIOR to treatment with what one may say on an MRI is "severe SM". Yes SM is painful and CM too if you talk to human patients but I think one has to look at what's going on with their cavalier as far as symptoms go.
Originally Posted by 3kids1cav
I had a cavalier with severe SM. I spent hours analyzing an MRI syrinx width, was it asymmetrical (Karlin correct me but studies show that can be more painful) etc. instead of monitoring her symptoms. She ended up getting really sick with an obstruction and they had to remove part of her intestine and it eventually did play into my decision to euthanize her. I had the internest and neurologist tell me that they could try to remove more but to live with 30% of her intestine on top of dealing with SM was too much. I agreed. I can't really remember specifics but I think to euthanize one before trying to help the cavalier as much as possible just because of a SM diagnosis is unthinkable for me. I know some do eventually have to come to that decision but MANY MANY MANY are being managed on medication.
Anne Proud mother of
and Angel Ella
9th May 2012, 12:49 AM
I was finally able to watch pedagree exposed in full (I wasn't sure I should with my paranoia but I did) It is awful.. but interesting.. The Breeders make me so angry. I feel fine now though, I know if Bentley does end up with something we will cross that bridge when we come to it.. I think SM seems pretty controlable, with meds which is a positive.
For now I just love my Bentley, he makes me smile and brings me so much joy.
Last edited by 3kids1cav; 9th May 2012 at 03:18 AM.
9th May 2012, 03:20 AM
I really appreciate this response, and having this clarified! I always just assumed that the worse the syrinx the worse and harder to control the symptoms it would be. Thanks! I am learning as I go with Cavs and dogs in general.
Originally Posted by anniemac
9th May 2012, 03:39 AM
I just know I spent a long time hung up on the words severe SM (from MRI).
Originally Posted by 3kids1cav
There are studies with location and size of syrinx that is of value but my point was I spent too much time hung up on that but feel its more important for a pet owner to notice symptoms and help those. Very hard to do when you want to know progression and future but each dog seems so different and reacts different medications differently.
I just want to say enjoy your time. Live for the day.
Anne Proud mother of
and Angel Ella