As some of you know, Lady has started going to doggie daycare this week. I believe she has enjoyed it and I have heard great things about the Doc. I decided to call today and figured why not get a second opinion on something I've kept an eye on recently.
Lady seems to be drooling a lot lately. She drools all day long and only from one side. She has always done this since we brought her home, but very little. The strange thing is that it is increasingly worse as she gets older. She drools so much now that it, at times, drips onto the floor. We usually wad up a paper towel and soak it up. I have seen the vet about it and also asked her ophthalmologist last week at her follow up. The vet was stumped. Her ophthalmologist said it's not related to her KCS or micropthalmia and it's more than likely just an oddity. To me, this is not normal and it's concerned me more and more every day. Her throat, ear and mouth has been thoroughly checked over and over again.
I called today and asked this new Doc to check her out while she was there for daycare. When I went in to pick her up he had discouraging news. He seemed stumped, but very eager to get to the bottom of the issue. He said, at this point, he has two possibilities he's concerned about, but he's almost 100% positive it's b/c she's in pain for some reason.
The possibilities he expressed: 1) She is drooling because of pain associated with her eye. The only strange thing about this is when she was testing 2mm of tears on eye test, her drooling was intermittent and minimal. Now she tests 16mm and drools more than ever? I'm unsure about that theory. That doesn't make sense to me 2) Although he knows it is not a symptom of SM, something is pushing him to explore that direction.
I was surprised how knowledgable he was about Cavaliers. He told me about studies he has followed regarding SM and told me about 2 Cav patients he has right now with SM. He recently sent one of his SM patients for decompression surgery. Needless to say, this will now be Lady's new general Doc.
I'm saddened that his gut is telling him this, though I know he really has no reason to think it besides an obvious (from the drooling) underlying pain. He inspected her ears, eyes, teeth and throat. He said that everything looked fine so all of those factors were ruled out. He gave her a non-drowsy anti-inflammatory pain injection and wanted me to evaluate her tonight. Unfortunately, she ran full speed after one of the cats after we got home and ran smack dab into the wall (seriously? poor thing. What else!?!?!?! They stained her eye so I'm sure she was still blurry). That really ticked her off and she decided she was going to bed at that point so I've had little chance to evaluate. From what I did see, she drooled less.
I'm reaching out the best place I know for any insight. I'll tell you what I've noticed recently.
- Drooling, every day, excessively
- Just starting this week - rubs her head on the carpet and grass as soon as she gets home from daycare. Both sides. Rather frantically. She will do this for minutes. I'm so worried she will rub her bad eye out of its socket that I encourage her to STOP!
- Almost every night before she settles down to sleep at night in the bed she scratches her neck/ear area. Normally the same side she drools on. I'm starting to think it's a ritual. She does not do this for very long.
- Just starting this week - I've also noticed she uses her back legs to paw/scratch at the front her mouth while at the same time biting/nipping her paw. This happens when sleepy as well. It's not very puppy like...more like she does it out of annoyance/irritated/restless. She did this about an hour ago for a good few minutes until I started scratching her neck.
- When she is sleeping 70% of the time her head is stretched or elevated as possible
I hope I'm overreacting and so is the Doc. I wanted to evaluate her tonight so I didn't go into great detail about the above observations I've had. I will see him again tomorrow.
I fear that being 6 months this could mean she's a severe case if diagnosed. Thoughts appreciated. So defeated right now. I was so happy we got over the eye hump I'm torn up that he thinks her drooling is pain. That would mean constant pain. The thought makes me nauseous.