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Thread: My 2 1/2 Hunter may have SM

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  1. #1
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    Default My 2 1/2 Hunter may have SM

    My Cav Hunter is 2 1/2 and has all the symptoms of SM. We just brought him to the vet last week and blood was negative so off to the neurologist tomorrow. He fly catchers constantly, scratches, shakes his head, digs at the carpet, lies on the tile floor. We are so upset that this is happening; he is on medication for seizures and anxiety. What medication will help and will he live a normal life on medication? He doesn't want to play anymore and it is the saddest thing.

  2. #2
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    I am really sorry to here this about Hunter -- it sounds like you are right to have him checked by a neuro. I suppose one positive element that may come from seeing a neurologist is that perhaps proper meds for SM, if he has it, will take care of what was interpreted as anxiety and seizures? Meds can work well for some dogs and not so well for others and it is very hard to make any predictions for individuals. Surgery seems to have a somewhat better result over time according to one small comparison study, but meds are a legitimate choice as well. It is a very personal choice that depends on many factors. I have a 10year old that was diagnosed at just over 1, still doing fine on meds (though they have needed regular adjusting and increased in strength over time).

    Have you read Clare Rusbridge's information on her website?

    http://www.veterinary-neurologist.co.uk/Syringomyelia/

    Many of us here have affected dogs and so feel free to ask all the questions you wish. Three of my five have had SM.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
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    I'm sorry about Hunter. Getting him to a neurologist is the best thing you can do for him right now. I don't have any first hand experience with SM, but I hope your neurologist can help Hunter get more comfortable. Please let us know the outcome of your appointment. You will get lots of information and support here.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

  4. #4
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    Thanks for all your advice; hopefully he gets the meds he needs.

  5. #5
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    I'm sorry you are having this worry, but seeing a neurologist is definitely the right thing to do (though check out that he/she is knowlegeable about CM/SM - some neurologists have other specialisms!). Both my Cavaliers have CM/SM but do pretty well on medication. Oliver is 12 and probably had SM for a number of years before he was diagnosed at age 6. Anyone seeing him would just say he is an older dog, not that he has a serious neurological disease. The same is true of Aled, who is 6 and was diagnosed 2 years ago - he is doing well on the basic medication of gabapentin and cimetadine, though he has another condition which causes him problems. Both of them love their food, their walks, meeting people - in other words, they continue to live normal Cavalier lives!

    It can take several months to get the medication right for a particular dog, and as CM/SM is a progressive disease the drugs will need tweaking from time to time, but generally dogs can lead pretty normal lives. Let us know how you and Hunter get on.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  6. #6
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    Ok so the neurologist said my dog has anxiety and most likely has SM, he put him on Prozac. He doesn't come out of his crate, won't go on a walk, we have no idea what is going on. He was such a happy puppy.

  7. #7
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    Our rescue Charlie was diagnosed while at his foster Moms. She took him to a neurologist, but didn't have an MRI, which is necessary for a true diagnosis. Charlie is also on gabapentin. It doesn't take away the symptoms but controls them. He doesn't allow the symptoms to bother him. He just goes about his happy little life. It sounds like Hunter may have something more going on.

    Keep us informed.

    Tom A

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