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Thread: Last stages of SM????

  1. #1
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    Default Last stages of SM????

    Hi everyone,

    I have not posted in a while, but I am beside myself, and need answers from anyone who can help me.

    Just a little background, my Cavalier, Lily, who was diagnosed with a mild form of SM when she was three, has taken a drastic turn for the worse. She was showing symptoms of SM at three months, but was officially diagnosed at three years, along with PSOM, she will turn six, this August.

    She has mild symptoms, face rubbing, scratching, a few times a day, but never did the bunny hop, or had weakness in her limbs. When she was diagnosed, she was put on gabapentin, and omneprozal. She has done very well, and was a normal happy, healthy, agile, and very active dog.

    Just a few days ago, I noticed that she tripped a few times coming up the stairs, but didít think too much about it, because she always goes full speed running up or down the stairs. There were no other indications of limb weakness. Yesterday, when she got up, she could not walk, when she tried, her front and back legs on her right side, would just spread out to the side, and she would lose her balance, and she tried to jump on the sofa and couldn't. I put her up on the sofa, and she just lay there starring up at me. I walked toward the kitchen, and she tried to jump off the sofa, and fell flat on her face. She was very confused, and couldn'tíunderstand what was going on. I called her vet, who said she would call the neuro at Auburn Vet School, where she was diagnosed, but in the mean time, I brought her to the vet. She was worse by the time I got to the vet, and her little body was tuned in complete C shape. The vet had not yet heard back from the neuro, but she thought it was either her SM, or possibly the PSOM, with perhaps an inflamed ear pressing on a nerve. She started her on prednisone for inflammation, and tramadol or pain, and said to continue her on her gabapentin.

    This morning she seemed a little better, ate well, and even wanted me to throw her ball, but now, she is back to where she was yesterday. This dog has gone from a happy, healthy, and VERY active dog, which I can't stress enough, to a shell of herself, almost overnight. I canít believe she could have gone down this quickly, with no other signs.

    My questions are, is his the end stages of this horrible disease? Would she have gone this far down overnight? Could it be the PSOM, or does this sound more like SM? And what do we do now? She can't even go out side to potty, because of the stairs, she has to be carried, and can't even balance herself well to potty, and keeps falling over. Has anyone had this happen, and then with the prednisone, they get better? I am beside myself and can't imagine why this happened so quickly. Any information anyone can give me of similar experiences and outcomes would be greatly appreciated. I love this dog more than life, and it is killing me to see her like this. It's like I went to bed with a happy, vital dog, and woke up with another dog. Her life has changed overnight. Is it normal for this to happen this quickly, and will she get better, or when these symptoms appear, do they stay, and even get worse?

    Thanks in advance for any info you can give me. As of this morning, my vet hasn't heard back from the neuro.
    Last edited by Shay; 29th June 2012 at 07:19 PM.
    Sharon,
    Mom to Bleinham Cavaliers Lily, 5 years old, and Alfie, 8 year old puppy mill rescue.
    At the Bridge, Chloe, Lhasa Apso.

  2. #2
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    Unfortunately it does seem that SM can break through with these sudden painful symptoms but don't despair too soon and don't panic until you have had specialist advice from the neurologist.

    There are a variety of drugs that may help if this is a deterioration of her SM.
    Margaret C

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

  3. #3
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    Sharon, I am so, so sorry that this is happening to Lily. I'm sure both of you are frightened and confused with what is happening. I wish I could give you advice, but I have no experience with SM. I will keep you both in my prayers.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Red Headed Baby Girl
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

  4. #4
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    My Daisy developed hepatic encephalopathy,where the liver function fails.Sometimes it can happen over time that the liver tolerates the medications less well and that's why vets order periodic blood tests on cavaliers who are being medicated for SM.The symptoms are ataxia and collapse,with lack of control over limbs and disorientation.
    If it's a neurological issue,your specialist will be able to advise the best way forward.Hopefully you'll be able to find the cause of her symptoms quickly.
    I certainly wouldn't give up hope yet.

    Sins
    Sharing my sofa with Holly, Ivy,Lilly and Hazy.. and never forgetting our beautiful Daisy who reached the bridge too soon.

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    IMO you should take her directly to a neuro for an exam, and not wait to hear through your vet. The symptoms are severe enough to warrant pushing on this. Good luck! Hope she returns to normal and this isn't something serious.

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    Hi

    I am so sorry for Lily and you an do so hope you find a solution quickly .I can only say what others have said a
    visit as urgent as you can to your Neuro .
    Brian M

    Poppy the Tri, Daisy the Blen, Rosie the Ruby and Lily the B & T

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sydneys Mom View Post
    Sharon, I am so, so sorry that this is happening to Lily. I'm sure both of you are frightened and confused with what is happening. I wish I could give you advice, but I have no experience with SM. I will keep you both in my prayers.
    I second this. Will be praying for Lilly ( and you*) as well!
    *Diane ~ Mom to~
    Wrigley ( Cavalier) Zeb ( Labrador) & Jake ( Labradoodle)

  8. #8
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    just to say you are in our thoughts & prayers, please do keep us posted when you can
    Blessed by the love of a Cavalier!
    G & Ruby(ruby girl!)B:04? Ex PF rescue,she came to me in '08 & has SM/MVD & she's a special princess & Jelly Tots(B&T girl)B:20/3/09,a real cuddles cheeky chops & the baby of the family!

  9. #9
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    It almost sounds like something is damaging her vestibular system - or maybe a syrinx is putting pressure on it. Riley's SM damaged her vestibular system and a lot of symptoms are similar to Lily's. Prednisone is the only drug that worked for her and it has been a miracle drug for her. She had to start on a pretty high dose - 10 mg for a time before we could cut her down to 5 mg a day and we have just cut her back to 2.5 mg a day, but she has been on it for over 4 years now. She still has days in which her balance is terrible - she has to lean against walls to walk, she has seizure like activity in which he head whips backward and her whole body goes into a backward C and she has nystagmus of the eyes, she can't jump, sometimes one step up into the house is hard, her back legs are weak and she sometimes falls over, Sometimes she can't sit up, etc.

    i will echo everyone else's advice. Call the neuro directly. This is not something to fool around with. Please let us know how she's doing.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the kind and informative replies. My vet did hear back from the neuro this afternoon. He is familiar with Lily, and saw her two years ago, when he increased her gabapentin, and when she was having vestibular episodes, which he said was from her PSOM. She only had two episodes and has not had one in two years. He was located in my city then, but is now back at Auburn Vet School, so we have no local neuro in my city now, and Auburn is two hours away. The neuro, Dr. Shore, who initially diagnosed Lily is now at the U of Mississippi vet school, and was an excellent neuro. At that time, he told me Lily was borderline for surgery, so we opted to treat her with medication. I will not do surgery on her now, because I have heard of too many cavs, one done at Auburn, who still deteriorated after the surgery, and have since died. I won't put her through that now, to have the same outcome.

    She does have blood work drawn twice a year to check the affects of the gabapentin on her organs, and to check her gabapentin levels. She just had this done in April, and all her blood work was excellent, so it is not her liver, but I appreciate the info Sins.

    Bev, when she had the vestibular episodes, it was similar to this, but they only lasted about an hour each, and she vomited both times. This seems to be somewhat different, in that it has not gone away, no vomiting, and is much worse than the vestibular episodes. But, my vet is not convinced this is not in some way a vestibular incident associated with her PSOM in addition to the SM. I do see her little leg shake when she tries to stand, so that leads me to think it is muscle weakness, and not a vestibular episode. But I guess it could be both.

    Anyway, the neuro said that my vet is doing exactly what he would do, the prednisone and the tramidol, and there is nothing else he would recommend at this time. He also said that he believes it is a progression of her SM. He said we should finish this course of treatment, and see how she is, and go from there. My vet is not convinced the her PSOM is not involved in some way, because when she tried to look in Lily's ears, she freaked out and screamed, and then the muscle weakness immediately got worse and she collapsed on the table. She thinks the plug could be pressing on a nerve causing the limb weakness. It is so hard to tell with a dog that has SM and PSOM. I will bring her back to Auburn, if she is not better after this round of treatment, but if her SM has progressed, after another MRI, we can only treat the symptoms.

    I am not giving up, and pray that this is just a flair up, or that she can regain her quality of life with prednisone, but as it stands today, she has no quality of life. All she does is lay here and look up at me, as if to say "what is wrong with me, help me". She has tried to do her normal things today, but her little body, just won't allow it. When my husband got home, and I heard the garage door open, I said "there's daddy", which I have done almost every day of her life. Her routine when I say that is to jump up on the couch, run to the end and jump up, so she can see him come up the stairs from the garage. She was laying next to me on the couch when I said that, and I never dreamed she would do her normal thing, since she has barely gotten off the couch today. Like a light, before I could grab her, she tried it and went right over the arm off the sofa onto the floor....it was heartbreaking. She seemed to be ok, but just looked confused. She has tried to bring me toys, but just drops them on her way, and just plops down. She looks very depressed, and there is no light in her eyes. She is a different dog, literally overnight. I am hoping some of what I see in her eyes, and the lethargy is from the tramadol.

    Please keep Lily in your prayers, and again thank you for the kind words and encouragement.
    Last edited by Shay; 30th June 2012 at 01:49 AM.
    Sharon,
    Mom to Bleinham Cavaliers Lily, 5 years old, and Alfie, 8 year old puppy mill rescue.
    At the Bridge, Chloe, Lhasa Apso.

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