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Thread: MRI scans for young cavaliers for diagnosis/surgery options etc

  1. #1
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    Default MRI scans for young cavaliers for diagnosis/surgery options etc

    I have a couple of thoughts and wanted other people's views. My reasoning for these questions is based on treatment options and curiosity. I know we have had posts from people who feel their puppy (before a year old) may have SM.

    • We know the only way to diagnose SM is from an MRI. Some start a medication trial to see if it helps if they do not have an MRI. What age or have their been puppies under 6 months that have been diagnosed with an MRI for SM?
    • If a cavalier has an MRI at a young age am I correct to assume that it would be extremely rare to not see CM. Since CM alone can cause pain, how can an MRI at a young age be beneficial (given that it has not progressed to SM) for treatment options?
    • As many know, I decided to opt for surgery for Ella. I imagine progression is different for each dog but if there was a diagnosis at such a young age of SM, it might be something that I would take into consideration. Surgery can not reverse any damage done to the spinal cord which is why I wish Ella had surgery earlier. I know surgery is personal but just my thoughts. This may not be a question but I am rambling as usual.
    • Have you ever heard of surgery being done for CM?
    • It seems like surgery is more common in the US. Why is it more common? Is it because Dr. Marino who is one of our top neurologists is a big advocate for it. Has their been any recent research? It seems like their has been some advances in medical management but surgery does not mean that they will no longer be on medication.
    Last edited by anniemac; 24th April 2013 at 04:19 PM. Reason: Added last comment
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

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    The reason I am asking these questions is because someone contacted me after reading Ella's blog. I always say that I can only tell them about Ella and to at least try and get a consultation with a neurologist if they fear their cavalier (or other breed) are showing symptoms. I can not determine those things but it got me thinking.
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

  3. #3
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    Kookie showed SM symptoms from 4 months old, the scratching, head rubbing and biting his hind quarters also chewing his back legs. He was a bit snappy at times however it became clear later that this was due to pain. He was scanned at 8 months old and diagnosed with CM, scan was sent to Clare Rusbridge along with videos of Kookie's episodes and details of symptoms. We have had to tweak the initial meds to bring his symptoms under control, he didn't respond well to NSAID so he is now on 400mg Gabapentin, 75mg Tramadol and Cimitidine daily, now 11 months old. Clare's report stated that surgery for Kookie's CM is an option. I am reluctant to opt for surgery, guess this is just a personal choice, I am hoping that getting an early diagnosis and being on medication will reduce the risks of the onset of SM but I guess with this disease can never be sure. I am so glad I followed my instinct though and pushed for early diagnosis as his symptoms from CM alone were extreme and he needs all the above meds to hold him. Hope this helps
    Catherine & Kookie

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