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Thread: Vets that have knowledge on SM in the Solihull area?

  1. #51
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    Squinting in strong light is quite a common symptom of CM/SM. With Oliver, it's not just sunlight that makes him squint, it can be bright fluorescent light or even very white cloud seen through the window. Aled squints in sunlight but seems to be OK indoors. Both of them wear a sun hat in the summer! So Zigg may be squinting morning and evening simply because the lights are on. With Oliver squinting is a symptom of his dilated ventricles, which create pressure behind the eyes. A diuretic such as Zitac should help to relieve the pain from the ventricles by reducing the pressure. Red eyes are also quite common, but it would be worth getting your local vet to test for dry eye - this is a very simple and quick test that he/she can do on the spot, or you could ask Stephanie to do it. It is quite common in Cavaliers and very painful - Oliver has that too; ointment twice daily deals with it very efficiently.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  2. #52
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    A PS to my post yesterday. If Zigg's eyes look sore, an immediate help, before you can take him to the vet, is Viscotears, which is very soothing. It is basically synthetic tears that lubricate the eyes but won't do any damage. They are used for humans so most pharmacies sell them at a very reasonable price. A useful thing to have in the house anyway. Aled has keratosis - not dry eye, he has plenty of tears but they are poor quality and don't keep his eyes healthy - so he has ointment in them twice a day, but sometimes they look sore in the middle of the day and that's when Viscotears really helps.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  3. #53
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    Just a thought: Ouch my brain does hurt

    As Holly P and I know so well, The Willows have an outstanding opthalmic department. I am sure Stephanie could arrange for Ziggy's eyes to be checked over by Christine, Heidi or any of the other experts. I think it might be quite a relief for you to have a definitive answer about the redness to Ziggy's eyes.
    Warmest wishes
    Flo & the ByFloSin Cavaliers
    Rebel, Winston Alexander,Little Joe & Holly Poppet
    Birmingham, UK

  4. #54
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    Hi both! It turns out the eye issues he was having were to do with SM.
    We went to Stephanie 2 days ago (sorry I didnt reply sooner, I wanted to see the changes) and she wasnt happy with his progress. She said that we will be giving 2 gabapentin in the morning and 1 mid day followed by 2 at night. She also has prescribed us a very very very very low dose of steroids for him. She said his SM was a bit out of control (so to speak) and so the combo of the boosted gabapentin and steroids should help. He used to have a lot of bad days still and only a few good days. Well, 2 days, now since we put him on the new stuff and upped the dose of the gabapentin and the results have been very very positive! The weather doesnt seem to badly effect him as it did before, so far anyway. (Usually by now, hed be pretty bad)

    Hes a lot more comfortable and is sleeping a lot better than he was before the new changes in his medication. Stephanie did say his red eyes were to do with his SM/CM and that the medication should help quite a bit with that. She wasnt wrong!
    His eyes are a really nice white color most of the time and other times when you can see hes slightly effected, his eyes are a very very very pale pink to the point where you dont notice unless you really focus on it. Before, even if it was mild youd be able to see it easilly.

    So far so good, folks! Hes a lot more comfortable now and his symptoms seem to be few and far between so far. Like said though, early days but its all looking so good! Thanks all for the information

  5. #55
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    That's great news -long may it last!

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  6. #56
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    Delighted to know how well you did with Stephanie. Ziggy must be feeling so very much relieved to have less than the awful pain he must have had earlier.

    So far as my experience with Rebel is concerned, Gabapentin is my Rebel's wonder drug and I will continue to use it for as long as it works for him. I do so hope very much it will probe to be the same for Ziggy. At the moment, just as I've got Rebel back down to his 200gs maintenance dose, it will have to go back up to about 400 when the bad weather starts up again over the weekend.

    Yesterday was a bonus. While the snow was coming down thick and fast he was out running and jumping around in the back garden and trying to catch the snowflakes in his mouth. He looked years younger than is usual for him these days and when he came back in he had a spring in his step. He's still bright and alert today - what a pity that is likely to change with the weather pretty soon!
    Warmest wishes
    Flo & the ByFloSin Cavaliers
    Rebel, Winston Alexander,Little Joe & Holly Poppet
    Birmingham, UK

  7. #57
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    Hi both! Hope your rebel was ok through all the weather!
    Ziggy has had an amazing reaction from the new medication we are giving him!
    These past 2 days have been amazing with him. No squinting, no paw licking what so ever (thats insane as he has always done that), no head shaking at all ( this used to be multiple times every hour or half hour), no weird walking (This would be an every other day sort of occurrence), no more sleep issues, no more difficulty waking up, no red eyes and even no head scratching!

    Its all very early days yet, but hes doing amazingly well so far. I havent seen him this well in a good 2 years or so. Hes basically back to his normal puppy like state! We have yet to take him for a walk (We have bought a proper buggy for him so we can sit him in it if he falls frail on his legs when we are on a walk) yet which is where he always has issues, so wel get back to you on that.

    As for him in him self, hes much more contented and happier and just has a much better vibe than he did before. Ofcorse, these are very very early days but things are definitely looking up for him, which im so glad about because he deserves it.

    Anyway, Il keep you all posted!

  8. #58
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    So glad to hear Ziggy is doing well on his new meds. Fingers crossed he keeps on improving.
    Sir Remington II (Remy) Oct. 17, 2012 -

  9. #59
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    Hi everyone! Thought id put up a little update. Zigg has stayed pretty much the same thank god! Looks like the good bits are here to stay for quite a while yet which is so nice to see! The only thing I have noticed is that hes a little bit more uneasy on his legs now but other than that hes better than hes ever been since his SM symptoms started (when he was 3 or 4 looking back, we had no clue up until around now) so this is a lovely sight. Absolutely no paw licking, I can quite honestly say I havent seen him lick his paws in weeks... Its a bit crazy that hes so good with it to be honest!

    We had a follow up appointment with Stephanie and she said shed like to bring the Steroids down a tad. I have to admit, Id be hesitant to do that as he can still have his bad days (although this is exceptionally rare now days) but the symptoms are near to non existant. Now a bad day just consists of eye squinting and drowsiness, thats all.. Although, before he takes his steroids and Gabapentin hes really bad, like around the time of 3am (I hardly ever sleep haha) you can see he can either barely open his eyes or his eyes are really red and his squinting.
    Anyway, we'l keep you posted!

  10. #60
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    That's such good news Ask Stephanie if you can give Zigg an extra gabapentin just before you go to bed. Otherwise overnight can be a long stretch. I do this with Oliver and it definitely seems to help him manage overnight. Long-term, steroids can have side effects, so they do need to be reduced or eventually phased out if possible, but I know how hesitant you feel - you definitely do not want to go back to the bad old days! But once the steroids have broken the pain cycle, Zigg may be able to manage on gabapentin, with perhaps a non-steroid pain killer such as Metacam in reserve for the occasional bad day.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

    PS As you're going to the Willows, I assume you live somewhere in the West Midlands or thereabouts? If you do, the Companion Cavalier Club has a lively group of members in the area who meet up for walks and picnics and other activities. Non-members are welcome to join us, so would you like me to let you know when we're doing something? If so, message me your email.

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