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Thread: Test results

  1. #1
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    Default Test results

    Sorry ive been absent, but other than being busy, Charlies MRI was cancelled 3 times, but we went today to Best in Netherlands and Charlie is 100% totally free of SM...i burst out crying of course with pure relief. All the symptoms i saw the doctor told me can just be Charlie and that sometimes knowing the symptons can make you see more than is there..but for sure there are no signs of SM. The only thing he has in a very minor heart murmour and he says that is very minor..i couldnt be happier, and i thank you for your support when i was desperate. Thank you
    ~~~Jayne~~~

  2. #2
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    Good news!!!!! Its never a bad to follow your gut tho when it comes to medical problems.
    Melissa
    "If you don't own a dog, at least one, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life."
    -Roger Caras

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    That's fabulous news!!
    ~Shari mom to
    Henry, black and tan 12-07-11

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    That's great news on SM! Yay!

    But given that you saw quite a few things going on --did they consider CM however? It can produce many of the same symptoms and be quite painful in its own right -- and almost all cavaliers are at risk of it as almost all have some degree of skull malformation.

    If you are seeing discomfort scratching etc I'd be inclined to think you might want to trial some of the SM meds also used for CM. We have people here whose dogs are fully clear of SM but have the same symptoms and are on meds for CM. I just am a bit uncomfortable with the notion that behaviours that owners know are not normal are seen as being just an oddity of a given dog.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    That's great news on SM! Yay!

    But given that you saw quite a few things going on --did they consider CM however? It can produce many of the same symptoms and be quite painful in its own right -- and almost all cavaliers are at risk of it as almost all have some degree of skull malformation.

    If you are seeing discomfort scratching etc I'd be inclined to think you might want to trial some of the SM meds also used for CM. We have people here whose dogs are fully clear of SM but have the same symptoms and are on meds for CM. I just am a bit uncomfortable with the notion that behaviours that owners know are not normal are seen as being just an oddity of a given dog.
    Oh hell...now my happiness has just gone out of the window and panic has set in...what on earth is CM
    ~~~Jayne~~~

  6. #6
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    Hi Jayne

    CM stands for Chiari Malformation. This is an oddity at the base of the skull that almost all Cavaliers have (and a few other Toy breeds as well). The skull 'tucks in', constricting the base of the brain. This has two common results: the bottom part of the brain 'herniates' - gets pushed down into the top of the spinal cord and acts like a stopper; and the flow of cerebral-spinal fluid (CSF) from the spinal cord, round the brain and back down the spinal cord is slowed down, and tends to accumulate in the space at the front of the brain called the ventricles. The dilated ventricles can cause pressure at the back of the eyes.

    In adition, research is showing that there is a mismatch at a very early stage in the life of Cavaliers between the growth of the skull and the growth of the brain. The skull stops growing but the brain doesn't get the message and continues to grow for a bit. As you can imagine, all these factors can create pain, and researchers are increasingly recognising that CM in its own right can cause considerable pain and require neurological medication. SM is usually a result of CM, when the slowing of the CSF creates abcesses or pockets of the fluid within the spinal cord. If they remain narrow, these syrinxes will do little harm, but if they widen they can damage the nerves that run along the spinal cord and in some cases cause great pain.

    My own Cavalier, Oliver, has both CM and SM. His fairly small syrinx seems to cause him few problems. He gets a lot of headaches from the severely dilated ventricles caused by his CM, though these are pretty well controlled by medication and to all appearances he is a fit and happy 11 year old. CM/SM is a disease that keeps you on your toes, as the symptoms are many and every dog seems to have his or her own variation on them! The medication also needs juggling to find the right combination for a particular dog.

    Hope this helps to make things clearer,

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  7. #7
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    The vet who did the mri said he was 100% fit and healthy except for the minor heart murmour, he needed no medications at all and for a 7yr old his only problem was being a touch overweight....now i am gutted i have to start all over again. He hasnt scratched, chewed or showed any pain since the weather got cooler. The pain he did have i am convinced was an ear infection and after ear drops and antibiotics the pain cry stopped. So do i tell the vet he is wrong?


    Addition...just emailed the vet he says...

    Charly is NOT clear of CM, like 99.9% of all the healthy cavaliers that I've scanned. I don't think CM is the reason for Charly's scratching, but if you want you can try giving carporal, metacam or rimadyl for about 10 days. If scratching completely disappears CM MIGHT be a cause, but as I've said, it is very unlikely.
    (i asked if he was in pain)
    NO, Charly is NOT in pain, but if CM is the reason for scratching rimadyl or metacam must clear all scratching. If not, scratching is not caused by CM.

    You stated that Charly stops scratching when you tell him so. Scratching caused by SM/CM usually cannot be stopped by telling to stop, because they simply MUST scratch. Please do not worry about Charly, he is a normal cavalier, not showing alarming symptoms, free of SM!
    Last edited by JayneMR; 14th September 2012 at 08:39 AM.
    ~~~Jayne~~~

  8. #8
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    That is fantastic news.
    I think your vet sounds very sensible..Congratulations on his excellent scan and how wonderful to see a cavalier in his age group without a syrinx.
    If you have his pedigree and your vet hasn't done so,would you consider sending his pedigree and scan results to the european EBV scheme?
    http://www.cavaliers.be/newsite/popu...r_life_eng.pdf

    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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    I hope you treated my explanation as just that - an explanation of the meaning of CM, not necessarily relevant to your Charlie. As your sensible vet points out, almost all Cavaliers have CM but many of them have no direct ill-effects from it, and if your Charlie is one of the lucky ones, just rejoice! And enjoy him. And, as Sins suggests, send his pedigree to the European Estimated Breeding Values project, which will help breeders to breed away from SM affected dogs and bloodlines.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  10. #10
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    That's a very good response from your vet. It isn't strictly true, but I found as SM progressed it did indeed become harder and then impossible to simply distract my SM cavaliers from scratching so it's a good general rule of thumb. There's no intention to terrify anyone -- but to make sure a dog gets accurately diagnosed and gets the care for pain it may need. The explanation you got back indicates all this was considered. I think neurologists really need to explain both the CM and SM implications though if there are symptoms that could be tied to this condition -- it gives a clearer and less ambiguous response for an owner but often I think they opt for a simpler response on the more obvious issue, SM.

    And of course it is impossible for us here to go on anything other than your own description of potential symptoms so we have to guess as to what is actually being seen. It is easy and understandable for people to worry that they are seeing severe scratching when actually it is mild. Scratching can also be linked to PSOM (as it is with one of my SM-clear cavaliers). Some people think what they are seeing is mild and indicates no pain when those of us with affected dogs quickly realise they have a dog in real discomfort and with some severe symptoms -- yet a vet to can miss them. It's a confusing and complicated disease. It is very reassuring that you clearly had someone who considered all these things in the evaluation -- thanks for clarifying that.

    You hadn't mentioned CM in your post initially, and unfortunately, as so many of us with affected dogs have found, there is an issue with vets and some neurologists not really understanding CM as a potentially serious cause of mild to significant pain/symptoms, as well as a problem (because so misleading to puppy buyers and other breeders) of some neurologists being very poor at diagnosing it -- I am aware one in the US who has given a surprising number of cavaliers a 'clear of CM' for example, whose skills at diagnosing CM are not considered very good. I'd never trust a 'clear of CM' nor should anyone else, unless confirmed by the UK panel).

    One of the serious issues I'd see with the European proposed EBV project (and a very disappointing aspect) is that at least in the past, they simply take scans -- they don't charge for taking them but neither is there any standardised panel of neurologists to accurately and consistently grade scans that can come from anywhere... thus, there's no standard of quality, nor for head positioning etc. It was originally breeders who demanded -- and I do mean, demanded! -- a panel of neurologists to grade scans for the UK EBV programme so that it would be consistent and fair and accurate (complaining that the original scheme accepted all scans). They were absolutely right to do so. However such work cannot be done and administered for free -- if you want a professional system, someone has to pay for it. And last I heard, results in the European scheme are not shared publicly making it hard to verify results or for anyone other than a closed circle who (might) share such info. Public availability and not just a 'believe what I tell you' approach has to be the basis for a reliable and truthful system. Maybe this has now all changed, Sins? And this European scheme will also shift to not taking just any scans, but require a standard of machine, head position, and a panel grade for accuracy and consistency? And make this a public database? If not, what is the breeder rationale for supporting a second scheme? So much more is now understood about the mechanics of scanning and there's so much greater a need for standards and consistency that supporting a scheme offering neither seems a significant backward step?

    On the basis that info is so unstandardised, I could not ever advise any puppy buyer to acceot what they say in their brochure:

    Instead of copy health certificates, breeders will only need to show the potential puppy buyer a certificate:
    Now THAT is alarming and an easy out for puppy sellers, and is a level of trust I cannot see a lot of breeders accepting themselves when deciding on potential matings . Also just who are their 'many geneticists' whop advise they not publish results?!? I've yet to hear a genetist say this. Why don;t they name and quote these people are this goes against ALL other genetic schemes I know of internationally and ALL the UK Kennel Club's programmes for example! I would not be inclined to trust a breeder with making such an unsubstantiated, convenient-for -hiding-results claim.

    It would be fantastic to have internationally available schemes however if they are properly funded, standardised, require consistent head positioning etc. and supported by breeders. And an open health registry. An international scheme os set of linked standardised schemes, supported internationally by breed clubs and national KCs, would offer the breed real hope!
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

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