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Thread: Asking a hard question? But one I have wondered about?

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3kids1cav View Post
    I feel the same way about MVD.. just watch him until he is in pain. It is the SM that I wonder about. It looks so so painful even in mild cases, It makes me want to cry to watch. I am pretty sure that if we found out Bentley had severe SM ever, that we would choose to not treat and let him go, just personal since I have watched pets suffer.. and for us it is harder, to see them in pain every day. Not sure if it was mild sm. probably treat and see if treatment worked. But who the heck knows, I obsess over it though all the time. I LOVE cavaliers so much they are the best breed ever, but honestly I think Bentley will be the only one I own, I did not realize how attached and in love I would fall, and how upset I would be at the idea of him ever being sick and in pain and of course no longer having him as my sweet companion. I have been researching dogs that have few health problems lately none of them are Cavaliers though.
    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.

    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 Elton 5 and Angel Ella

  2. #12
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    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 02:18 AM.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by anniemac View Post
    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.

    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.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3kids1cav View Post
    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.
    I just know I spent a long time hung up on the words severe SM (from MRI).
    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 Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    Hi 3kids1cav, I agree w/Karlin here. Forgive me because maybe I misunderstood your post, but how can you say you'd want to give up at the drop of a hat if/when Bentley is diagnosed with something like MVD or SM? Where's the love? If you have a child who is diagnosed with a severe childhood illness, do you opt to just kill him or her before pursuing treatment options? If not, why would you even consider euthanizing a dog after a similar diagnosis?

    If the dog can be treated (SM is NOT a death sentence!), why not try? Our dogs would do anything for us so to deprive your dog of medical treatment is kind of like giving up in my mind. My puppy was diagnosed with CM/SM at 4 months (in Feb) via MRI and it was the shock of a lifetime. I now know she can be managed on meds and if we need to cross the surgery bridge in the future, we will when we get to it. But for now, I can't worry. Trust me, I did worry. A lot. And when the diagnosis was confirmed, I thought my life was over. It hit hard. But you have a healthy dog!!! Enjoy him!

    I totally get your concerns. The paranoia, the worrying, and like I said, I apologize if I misunderstood your post. But when the going gets tough, why would your first response be to just give up and euthanize? I understand not wanting your dog to suffer, but modern medicine works wonders! I hope your dog stays healthy...

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    I think not being able to communicate with our dogs and not having access to great medical resources compounds our feeling of frustration when we want to prevent suffering.

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    Oh please don't misunderstand, I would want to try to treat him, and as long as he was not acting like he was in pain of course we would continue to treat and hope. I just think that if he wasn't responding to any thing we tried and he was in pain. Just that surgery is not really something I think I would consider.. but I have not been there.

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    It is really hard to see a dog that you love in pain and not know whether you are being unkind and selfish keeping them alive or whether you are in fact dealing with something that will turn out to be treatable enough to give your dog a fair quality of life.
    We all hope it will not happen, but sometimes it does, and then you have to make the decision that seems right for you and for your pet.

    As dogs have a shorter life span than people most of us are going to have to say goodbye to a dog that we love at some time.
    I know it is hard to put these worries completely out of your mind but try to relax and enjoy what you have now, time goes fast enough as it is.
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

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    I just read your post , you said Bentley is healthy, for now, 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, this is very good, and why the worry. All dogs scratch occasionally and give a doggie body shake now and then, my non sm dog does this often, I think you should put the thought of severe sm and euthanization completely out of your mind , cherish your cavalier and the joy he brings to you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daffymum View Post
    All dogs scratch occasionally and give a doggie body shake now and then, my non sm dog does this often, I think you should put the thought of severe sm and euthanization completely out of your mind , cherish your cavalier and the joy he brings to you.
    Ditto! This is what I was wanting to say but couldn't put into words. I used to worry a lot about these things too, but I find loving a healthy Cavalier so much more enjoyable when I don't worry on what "could" happen.

    My boss gave me a few little quotes on worry ... maybe they'll help you keep perspective:

    "Worry is the tax you pay on problems that haven't happened yet"

    and

    "Worry is using your imagination to invent things you don't want"

    Or something like that! When I start to stress, I try to remember those little sayings. ;-)

    If something happens to your Cavalier's health, then of course you can deal with it then. You'll enjoy your dog much more now if you try to put those thoughts out of your mind. You're an informed dog owner now, so if the symptoms present themselves, you'll be able to see them. Karlin has some excellent videos posting of what moderate and Severe SM scratching episodes look like. Until you see something that looks beyond normal dog scratching, and you've exhausted all the other non-SM causes (like ear infections, bug bites, etc.), I hope you can find away to not worry so much.
    Lani
    (a.k.a. Lucky's & Sparky's mom!)

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