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Thread: 8mth Old Showing Symptoms - Lost, Please Help - In USA, from UK

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love my Cavaliers View Post
    My black and tan, Riley sees Dr. Podell, a neurologist at http://www.chicagoveterinaryemergency.com/ in Chicago for her SM. He has been absolutely wonderful to us. He diagnosed her within a minute of hearing her symptoms and looking at her walk and watching her behavior. She has seen him now for over 5 years. He has a cavalier and is very familiar with SM. He may be able to help you with Leo just with a diagnostic physical exam. If you can get a video of his air scratching that would be great. You could talk to him about wanting to wait for an MRI until you get back to the UK, but maybe ask him if he feels Leo might be helped by some medication. I have nothing but good things to say about him. He has done surgery on two of my dogs - one for SM and one for cervical disc decompression. Good luck.
    Bev,

    I didn't know you lived in Chicago and I didn't know Dr. Podell did Riley's survey.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

  2. #12
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    We live about 20 miles north of Chicago. Riley gets so excited whenever she sees Dr. Podell - which is good because she sees him every 4-6 months for blood work! He picks her up and holds her and always has cookies. I love one of his techs too. She will always come out and say hi to us even if she's not taking care of Riley that day.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

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  4. #13
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    The only way to be sure is to do the MRI. I am in the US but in NY. I just went through all this & my Winston just had the decompression surgery on 4/4. So far he's doing great. I remember freaking out wondering every time he scratched or rubbed his face, "does he have SM"? Even though I dreaded the news at least when I found out it was bad news I could deal with it. Knowing he may have been in pain all that time & he could've at least been on medication was killing me. You will feel better KNOWING what you are dealing with & if it so you can starts meds to relieve pain & then take it from there one day at a time. Good luck & I'm praying for you.

  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rdituro View Post
    The only way to be sure is to do the MRI.
    Absolutely the only way to be sure your dog does or does not have CM/SM is by doing an MRI, but skilled neurologists can tell a lot by a physical exam, especially if you have a video of behaviors that might not be elicited during the exam. Since you say you're going overseas in August, a neurologist may be willing to give Leo medication if he/she feels his behavior warrants medication until you can get back to the UK and get a less expensive MRI. That is something you would have to discuss with the neurologist. Although Rdituro has made an excellent point that just KNOWING what you're dealing with is half the battle. Please let us know what you decide to do.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

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    Yes would echo that it may be worth a clinical exam -- but I'd really talk with your vet or try a new one familiar with SM before doing this.

    Honestly nearly everything you describe could well be just normal dog behaviour (and in particular, puppy behaviour for some things ) -- the only thing that would raise questions for me, is the air scratching. (sneezing has nothing at all to do with SM).

    SM air scratching also may, or may not be, what you are seeing -- perhaps that's not what he is doing, in which case, none of these other things would make me think this dog should be seeing a neurologist at least on your description. If you can video that and post here we can have a look -- a lot of us have cavaliers with SM and are familiar with this very distinctive scratch. I also have numerous videos showing this behaviour on www.smcavaliers.com that might be helpful. They also show the kind of intense versions of some of these activities that are done by SM dogs.

    I would -- if all seems to point to SM symptoms -- see a neurologist explaining that you just want a clinical exam and opinion but first you ideally need a vet to consider your concerns I think and perhaps give you a referral. Or a vet may be willing to use Clare Rusbridge's treatment algorithm to try some SM meds and see if he improves.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  7. #16
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    I've heard good things too about Dr Podell as a kind person working with dogs and people with SM affected dogs. My only caveat with him is that he seems to be amongst the only neurologists finding numerous dogs of various backgrounds that are completely clear of CM -- which seems quite extraordinary given that these are closely related to UK dogs and the BVA panel has yet to find a scanned cavalier it would rate clear of CM, internationally!!

    And owners of these dogs have not wished to submit the scans to the BVA. Which is very sad on several levels -- if they are TRULY CM clear then they would of course be immensely important for international research and would help researchers to better understand this horrific disease. If on the other hand, they do have CM, then the breeders owning them and breeding them need to be considering that within their breeding programme, honestly, rather than --as is happening in some cases -- advertising/selling their puppies as coming from CM-clear cavaliers.

    Not all neurologists are adept at seeing CM as we have seen with other cases on the board, when a second opinion has been sought -- so it isn't a big deal or a criticism of the neurologist. It is just a shame that breeders who claim to be supporting health research only want to help research if they hear what they want to hear, and won't put contentious scans through to the independent panel breeders themselves asked for, for precisely such cases...to ensure accuracy of clear cavaliers! Go figure.

    In addition I would think a neurologist would appreciate the feedback of a BVA panel, as correctly identifying and grading CM is itself a skill especially in some cases and some head positions... Well, we can all hope for some changes of mind, and maybe someone at some point will submit those scans and do something truly positive towards health research.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  8. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karlin View Post
    I've heard good things too about Dr Podell as a kind person working with dogs and people with SM affected dogs. My only caveat with him is that he seems to be amongst the only neurologists finding numerous dogs of various backgrounds that are completely clear of CM -- which seems quite extraordinary given that these are closely related to UK dogs and the BVA panel has yet to find a scanned cavalier it would rate clear of CM, internationally!!
    Not to be too defensive, but Dr. Podell has MRI'd all 4 of my dogs and has said all 4 of them have varying degrees of CM. They were all MRI'd for various reasons - only Riley and Oz for suspected SM. I know it's a small sample though and I don't know any other cavalier owners who have seen him. That's unfortunate if what you say is true about his low findings of CM, especially since he is such a caring neurologist and a gifted surgeon, particularly when we all know that CM itself has caused such pain and suffering for so many of our own cavaliers on CavalierTalk.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  9. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Love my Cavaliers View Post
    My black and tan, Riley sees Dr. Podell, a neurologist at http://www.chicagoveterinaryemergency.com/ in Chicago for her SM. He has been absolutely wonderful to us. He diagnosed her within a minute of hearing her symptoms and looking at her walk and watching her behavior. She has seen him now for over 5 years. He has a cavalier and is very familiar with SM. ...
    Dr. Podell has served the breed well. Back in around 1998, he figured out that the progressive early hearing loss so many cavaliers experience. He also has focused upon these other genetic problems of the CKCS: epilepsy, PSOM, and episodic falling.
    Rod Russell

  10. #19
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    It definitely isn't a criticism of the specialist . Just a caveat on getting a 'clear'. There are several cavaliers now that he has given a 'clear of CM' to -- odd that there would be a cluster of in some cases, unrelated dogs in this one area of the world clear of CM! CM can be hard to diagnose at times -- so it is no criticism of Dr Podell, just a wish that the owners of the clear dogs would submit those scans to the BVA. It may be however that the quality is not the standard that the BVA requires... some centres do not have the latest scan technology as MRIs are pretty expensive machines... but in which case again that would raise questions on accuracy of a no-CM diagnosis. I had the same myself (a CM-clear) in the past from a UK neurologist by the way, and Anne of course had an initial CM-clear too from a good US neurologist -- and someone else here had one from another US radiologist -- the issue is really that it is exasperating when the supposed 'clear' claim is used as a selling point for puppies yet the breeders won't submit the scans to an independent panel to confirm and if they are clear, make DNA available for research. I think professionals would want to have their grading set against a standard (eg the BVA panel) if they are giving recommendations and results to breeders or pet owners.

    If I had a clear from any neurologist, I would be submitting it in a nanosecond to the BVA panel as I'd want it verified by the panel, and would love to have a dog that could be so helpful to research!
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  11. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZacAndLeo View Post
    His breeder is AKC registered and I have spoken to her Ė they said they have never had a Cav with SM nor luxating patellars or heard from a buyer that it developed in one of their puppies. They seem to genuinely care and offered, ďI know itís not want you want to hear but we can give you a replacement free if worst comes to worst.Ē I didnít want to hear that tbh and it sent me to tears but I understand they meant good.

    Zac
    I agree that what your puppy is doing may well be normal behaviour.

    It may be your breeder "meant good" but most astute breeders know that buyers bond within hours of taking their new puppy home, so there is usually no way the new owner will return their pet. I would say that breeders depend on that fact when they don't do the health tests that they should on their breeding dogs.

    I would have been more impressed if they could have shown you certificates that showed you the parents of your puppy had been screened for SM. Did you see any health certificates at all when you bought your little boy?

    In the UK the £300+ scans are to help breeders check whether their cavaliers are suitable for breeding. They provide a mini scan of the head & neck and a consultation with a neurologist is not included. To get a proper diagnosis and a treatment plan you will need to pay for a full MRI scan which will cost £1,500-£2,000.
    You would be well advised to take out insurance as soon as you get home.

    When you get back to the UK you do also have the option of paying for a neurologist for a physical examination only. If you go that route please make sure you get referred to someone who is really experienced in SM. There are plenty of us on here that can help you.
    Margaret C

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

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