11th May 2012, 12:35 PM
Our SM puppies
Please could we have updates on how Toto and Dagny are doing? We'd all love to know how they're getting on - hope the news is good.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
14th May 2012, 08:31 AM
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?
14th May 2012, 09:54 AM
Diane, you are such a stellar mum and Dags is one special dog. She is so lucky to have you and I know you feel lucky to have her. xx
14th May 2012, 11:03 AM
Great to read that Dagny is on the up. I have to agree with you on the MRI in August.......just take things as they come and dont make any firm decisions yet. Well done you for getting her sorted and keeping positive for your little one.
Give her a gentle hug from Leo and I.
Mumma to Leonardo (Leo to his friends)
Waiting at the bridge
14th May 2012, 12:56 PM
Thanks so much for responding to my post - it's great to hear that Dagny is doing so well. I would guess it's going to be tricky to get her meds really sorted until she's stopped growing, but in the meantime continue to enjoy each other's company, hopefully for many years yet.
Kate, Oliver and Aled
14th May 2012, 01:24 PM
Thanks Kate. ;-) I just wish someone reading this would post that they have (or know of) someone who had a dog diagnosed at Dagny's age whose condition just never progressed and the dog lived for years w/o deterioration. Dr. Rusbridge told me she knows of puppies who were painful at Dagny's age (from the CM) and then stabilized. But for how long? Trying not to worry myself.
And Mel, thank you. Give Leo a pat from us. Thanks for the support. I really think MRI-ing her in August would be pointless unless we see her getting worse. In that case, of course I'd want to know and won't sit on my hands. But if she's the same in terms of symptoms, not sure there's a point in MRI-ing her. Except to throw money out the window and subject her to a stressful day. One day at a time...
Anyone have a dog diagnosed young who just never got worse???
14th May 2012, 03:33 PM
Think positive: if no other Cavalier has managed it, Dagny is going to be the first one, the pioneer, the No 1 dog She's got you as her owner, fighting for her; as more Cavaliers are treated for SM, researchers will learn more, treatment will improve, new drugs will be found - go for it, Dagny!
I agree with you about a second scan. You're still only going to be treating the symptoms, whatever the scan reveals. What does your neurologist think?
Kate, Oliver and Aled
14th May 2012, 03:45 PM
French neuro (or anyone in France) doesn't do surgery for this. Their reasonsbeing that it's not definitive. So I can understand that. I'm not opposed to surgery, just not into throwing money out the window on a treatment that may or may not work. So if that time comes, my doctor in the US can give me his best estimate on what the prognosis is and then I can make an informed decision based on his experience and her specific case. If at that time surgery is recommended and will help her, I'll strongly consider it...