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Thread: Is there anything I'm missing CM?

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  1. #1
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    Default Is there anything I'm missing CM?

    I was going to write this post yesterday but glad I didn't because I have something important to add. I always talk about Elton and even though I strongly believe that CM can cause pain alone, I have to admit I started to get convinced I was being paranoid.

    Let me back up. CM and SM are just so hard to understand. I don't want to go through history and repeat what I've already said. The last time I wrote about Elton's CM or worries about neck pain, we had a consult with neurologist and he manipulated his neck and saw no reaction. This really confused me but he said he believed me when I said he has cried when touching neck area. He did note what I see is a very happy cavalier that doesn't show signs of being in pain. He said we will continue to monitor it and he had no problem with starting him on a CFS reducer but from what he saw there were no clinical symptoms.

    This is where I have a very hard time and don't know how to separate Ella (severely symptomatic SM) with Elton. I know there are certain degrees and symptoms etc. vary but i can't get over not seeing the "pained" look in Elton. Also Ella had SM that affected her mobility so seeing Elton run and act normal is something that makes it hard for me to see that he's in pain.

    Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago. Elton has been hiding more and more under the bed. Now I see he does not like to be touched. This turned into taking him to the vet when he was in significant pain and it was really scary. I wrote the vet noted he found neck pain and a follow up call to neurologist is recommended.

    He went right back to normal so I started to question myself. I called the neurologist and asked how could he do a physical exam that showed no neck pain but the vet seeing what I did. I noted he has yelped a couple times more and it seems he's hiding more. The neurologist said its a complicated condition and symptoms can just come on and said what I already knew about weather and other factors contributing.

    I just don't want to miss something if there is another reason for these occasional yelps by concluding its CM. I know in my heart symptoms are different and he does head rub, scratch at his ears etc.

    At one point I thought how do I not know its a strain or disk issue? The vet had prescribed tramadol but that would help with pain from whatever the cause.

    I then gave him Prilosec last night. I don't know if its me like a placebo effect but he got in bed with me like he hasn't done for a long time. Less hiding and it's like he's a different dog. Not activity and other things but in regards to being by himself or shying away. Can Prilosec work that fast?? I don't question it but I see a noticeable difference. I guess you treat symptoms (besides tramadol) which can help other things but is there anything I should have ruled out or should I just accept that the pain is from the CM?
    Anne Proud mother of Elton 5 and Angel Ella

  2. #2
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    Hi Anne

    CM, like SM, is a pig to diagnose! Seems to me anything and everything or nothing you can recognise can be a symptom. Oliver has a syrinx, but most of his problems come from his CM causing severely dilated ventricles. Nobody's ever told me that squinting in strong light and being a restless sleeper are CM symptoms, but with hindsight they clearly have been with Oliver. He hardly ever scratches but does (or used to, until he went on a new drug) get a lot of headaches. I would think it's the tramadol that's working - prilosec would take longer to act, I would have thought. Aled started gabapentin a few weeks ago and the effect was rapid - he was instantly a livelier dog, and I feel sad that i took his quietness for a hangover from the puppy farm when he was clearly in some level of pain and I missed it. A disk problem would be very obviously painful to the touch, usually around the loins or a bit further up. From my limited experience it does sound like CM pain rather than anything else. It could be affected by air pressure - worth checking it on his bad days and see if there's any correlation.

    Sorry this is a rather bitty (and probably not very helpful) answer!

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

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