Thank you to everyone who replied to my previous thread regarding Ellie with her grade 1 heart murmur. I have read each and every one of your responses and they are all very much appreciated. In my original post, I noted that Ellie has "allergies", as I kept reading the board I noticed more and more that her symptoms seemed like SM. Please forgive me for not responding as the past month has been completely overwhelming in regards to first being diagnosed with early onset MVD and now presumed SM. I have an appointment with Dr. Marino's colleague (Dr. Loewn's - not sure if spelling is correct?) at LIVS next week. I am hoping she can be a part of his study, get the mri/work up, and then decide from there if surgery is best. If anyone has had any experience with Dr. Marino and/or his team and could share the experience on the board/private message me it would be greatly appreciated. Further, if anyone has had experience with surgery in general or knows of anyone else that is highly recommended in the NY/NJ area it would be very much appreciated. I have been thinking greatly in terms of whether or not I would want to proceed with surgery and do not have a great answer. Should I try medical management first and see how that goes? Should I get a second opinion from Clare regardless of what Dr. Marino and colleagues say? Mesh or no mesh? The cardiologist is recommending another echocardiogram in 6 months to see how much her heart has progressed, im not even sure how to include that in my decision making of surgery vs no surgery. I guess I am just rambling now and am completely overwhelmed/scared/upset/angry.
my thought process of surgery vs medical management:
- may stop the progression
- may halt the pain..i guess same thing as progression
- scar tissue
- death during surgery
- progressive pain anyway
- surgery not working
- complications from surgery
- need for another surgery
- anesthesia, even though cardiologist said she was ok for anesthesia
- MVD may progress and this was for nothing...
- may take away some of her quality of life in terms of recovery period
medical management pros
- no surgery
- hopeful for meds to control symptoms
- can live comfortably until she can't
- can control pain
medical management cons
- lost the opportunity to get surgery during optimal time period
- may not work
- having to watch the inevitable degeneration and feeling like "what if I did surgery"
I wish someone could just say the surgery worked and I would just do it...this just seems to be a high risk surgery for not necessarily a great outcome..i dont know..i am just angry/sad/devastated...if anyone has any suggestions/advice etc i would appreciate it..
As a side note: As you can see from my previous post, I now have a 1 year 5 month old cavalier with early onset MVD and SM...anyone have any advice as to how to approach the breeder (already knows about the MVD, not about my concerns for SM yet)
In case anyone is interested in Ellie's symptoms for future diagnosis here is her list:
Scratches her face, neck, sides excessively on both sides
Bites at paws on both sides
Bites at back on both sides
Sneezes (not sure if this is particular to SM)
Licks (not sure if its "excessive")
Has never yelped or had noticeable weakness in her extremities, though our regular vet examined her and noticed her reflexes in her left ear is diminished somewhat and slowness in left hind paw