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Thread: So confused

  1. #1
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    Default So confused

    Some of you might remember that Murphy started acting strangely in June this year. We've seen the vet numerous times, he's been MRI'd in September, and comfirmed to have CM and a pre-syrinx. He was started on Cimetidine, and later in the month Gabapentin.

    We really thought we'd cracked it, as he's been fine, until Monday night. I put them both to bed, and 10 minutes later he's freaking out digging his bed, moving the washing basket from the corner, whining and whimpering, and finally just getting in a right state. He ended up covered in drool, chin, chest and front feet, I could hear him panting in the kitchen from the bedroom, his heart was pounding. Stuart went down to him, and as soon as he saw him he started wagging his tail, and was straight over for full body cuddles. They both came upstairs for an hour and a half, we dosed, I can't sleep with Misty as she snores in my ear, before Stuart put them back in the kitchen. And that was the last we heard from them until morning.

    Yesterday, he seemed quite clingy, wanting to be on my lap all day, normally he's happy to lie beside me, and he wanted cuddles a lot, he kept nudging me when I stopped. Last night was a repeat of Monday night, except I fell asleep until 3:45, and by then I couldn't drag myself from my bed to put them into the kitchen.

    This is what confuses me about the whole thing. It only happens every 6-8 weeks, a few days, mostly it's been at bedtime(there has been 3 occasions he's became upset while I'm sitting next to him) and then nothing for another 6-8 weeks. It was 25th of September this last happened. If it is pain related why does he settle down as soon as one of us goes to him? If it's behavioural, why doesn't it happen every night? He has the same routine, they get let out, they get their meds, they get a biscuit and get told to "be good, Mummy will see you in the morning" as it's always me that puts them to bed.

    It breaks my heart to see him in such a state, I just wish I knew what was going on in his little head. I've spoken to the Neuro again today, and she said to take him off the Gabapentin, and see what happens, as it hasn't made a difference to these episodes. She mentioned some type of seizures related to the CM, but because these episodes normally happens at bedtime, we're going to see Sam Lindley up at Glasgow first. She's a behaviourist that specializes in pain management. I really hope we get to the bottom of it soon, I don't know what to do anymore.
    Paula - mum to Murphy(6) & Misty(7), and Jerry our cat.

  2. #2
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    Could these 'episodes' be related to changes in air pressure Paula? Might be worth buying a cheap barometer from a charity shop or e-bay, then giving an extra Gabapentin. What you would be looking for are abrupt rises or falls in pressure, as both can be equally upsetting for some dogs.
    Warmest wishes
    Flo & the ByFloSin Cavaliers
    Rebel, Winston Alexander,Little Joe & Holly Poppet
    Birmingham, UK

  3. #3
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    I used to monitor changes in the air pressure with Misty, but as she's stable now(touch wood) I stopped checking. It's just the fact the these 'episodes' happen so infrequently I've never considered air pressure before with Murphy. I guess I'm worried that I'm being blinkered by the fact he has CM, and not really considered that it could be something else. The fact it happens more often that not after I've put them to bed just seems so strange.

    I'll start noting air pressure though and see what I find
    Paula - mum to Murphy(6) & Misty(7), and Jerry our cat.

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    I would say air pressure as Ebony has CM and it affects her badly. Since autumn has started she has been worse on and off. My friend’s Wheaten terrier has had funny episodes like what you describe it started with 6 month then 3 month in between episodes. It only happens at home but the only difference is he gets aggressive and tries to bite her. He has to have a scan now. You might be right that it could be something else.

    I realy hope you find the reason behind this. It's horrible to see our dogs in distress and pain.
    Sabby
    Rosie-06/06 - Ebony-01/07 Harley-08/08
    " My sunshine doesn't come from the skies, it comes from the love in my dogs eyes "

  5. #5
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    We've got our appointment for Friday the 23rd at 11:30, so we just need to muddle through until then. I'm really hoping he's okay tonight though.
    Paula - mum to Murphy(6) & Misty(7), and Jerry our cat.

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    Hope the next couple of days go smoothly for you and Murphy. Great to hear that you got an appointment so quickly

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    So many people have mentioned air pressure it might be worth checking it out. You are doing all you can for him taking him to a Nero and a behaviorist sounds right. Personally the drooling and clinging would FREAK me out.....I would give in and sleep with ear plugs.
    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

  8. #8
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    Last night wasn't too bad, he dug out the shopping bags and the lap trays from the nooks in the kitchen units, and barked a couple of times before settling down. I had given him a Zylkene at about 20:00, so don't know if this helped. We'd got them off the vet in September, but hadn't used them as the Gabapentin seemed to be working.

    And yes Melissa it is freaking me out, it's horrible to sea him in obvious distress over something, but I'm trying to remain calm for his sake, the last thing he need is to pick up me being stressed out too. I have some great breathing exercises to do if I feel stressed, it's just a shame Murph can't do them too
    Paula - mum to Murphy(6) & Misty(7), and Jerry our cat.

  9. #9
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    I put them both to bed, and 10 minutes later he's freaking out digging his bed, moving the washing basket from the corner, whining and whimpering, and finally just getting in a right state. He ended up covered in drool, chin, chest and front feet, I could hear him panting in the kitchen from the bedroom, his heart was pounding.
    I cannot see how this has anything to do with being in pain or CM etc..
    The dog is in a right state because he doesn't want to be separated from you at night.To me,it's a behavioural issue,perhaps some extreme form of separation anxiety.I would certainly work with a trainer,someone who is used to dealing with cavaliers and would be gentle and sensitive.If you're stressed and worried putting him to bed,I feel he would pick up on that and react accordingly.
    I don't put our dogs to bed any more because they act up..we have had destroyed dog beds,skirting board eaten etc..my husband now puts them to bed,without any fuss or incident.there's a simple instruction.."Mind the house" ...both get up off the sofa,go to their bed in the laundry room(all baskets removed) and they get a piece of ham or chicken,a fresh bowl of water and that's it for the night.If I put them to bed,the oldest girl is howling like a werewolf and hopping off the door like a cannonball.My fault,not hers...
    It's quite easy to blame CM/SM for everything strange and unusual.My Daisy became very withdrawn when in pain,never anything hyperactive like that.She just opted out of life..
    It's worth trying the behaviour/training approach before heavily medicating the dog.I would also worry about him injuring himself while in that state.I think you will get to the bottom of it,but not with a neurologist.
    Sins
    Sharing my sofa with Holly, Ivy,Lilly and Hazy.. and never forgetting our beautiful Daisy who reached the bridge too soon.

  10. #10
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    Dogs all deal with pain in their own way -- some withdraw (I imagine that is with the most extreme levels of pain) but some definitely do get frantic like this. I think Sins could also be right, that it might be a behaviour issue (or maybe at least in part), but it is very hard to know. But the fact that it is so desperate and started up out of nowhere and only happens occasionally would lead me to think:

    Given that you know he has a pain related illness that can cause sudden frantic bursts of activity in many dogs (see some of the videos I have linked to on www.smcavaliers.com and see if you see some similar behaviour) I think this may well be linked to occasional but not regular bouts of increased pain. These kinds of pain sessions can last short to long periods. They may also now be linked to behavioural issues as well -- if he knows that such behaviour gets a response. But how do you know exactly what is happening and why, and which it is? What's the best way to deal with it? I don't know.

    Leo gets these kinds of totally atypical behaviours at times I know he is experiencing more pain -- if his gabapentin is late, if air pressure is shifting. On the other hand Jaspar will suddenly do that kind of digging and leaping around out of the blue, but rarely. Jaspar just does this when I amthere -- Leo will do it if I am not (eg I might hear noise from upstairs and find him digging frantically and head rubbing and looking a bit frantic -- it is always linked to increased pain).

    If he is acting like this and has had his meds I will add some metacam or an extra gabapentin etc.

    Is he crate trained? He might feel more secure in a covered crate at night (that's where all my dogs go). If he is able to dig things out of cupboards etc then they need to be secured -- you don;t want him getting into trouble that could make him seriously ill (eg chewing up bags which could cause a serious blockage).
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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