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

  1. #131
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    Yes, I know that Zitac is not marketed as a diuretic but something quite different, but for dogs with CM/SM, Zitac acts as an effective diuretic. When Aled went into heart failure and was put on frusamide, the cardiologist stopped his Zitac because he didn't need to be on two diuretics. Oliver is on Topiramate, which again reduces CSF as a way of dealing with inter-cranial pressure (for humans it's an epilepsy drug), and again stopped Zitac when he was put on the alternative. Clare Rusbridge's treatment algorithm describes cimetidine as 'a CSF pressure reducing drug'. Because there are virtually no drugs produced specifically for CM/SM, neurologists have had to be inventive in using drugs designed for other conditions (in both dogs and humans) that also have properties that can help with CM/SM. I'm surprised that Zitac is used for kidney and liver disease, since my two CM/SM dogs, when they have been on it, have had to have 3-6 monthly blood tests to make sure that its diuretic properties were not damaging the kidneys or liver. Both have now stopped Zitac, but still have regular blood tests for the alternatives they are taking (frusemide and topiramate), and for the same reason - potential damage to the kidneys and liver by prolonged use of a diuretic.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled
    Last edited by Kate H; 21st October 2014 at 09:53 PM.

  2. #132
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    Hi everyone!

    So so sorry for not posting any updates recently! More studying (learning 2 different things at the moment and also learning a new language in my spare time) along with volunteering at my local RGT (which I'm really enjoying, great lot of people there ) has made things pretty chaotic!

    Very unfortunately, although our new setup worked for a while in October, things have started to slowly decline very sadly. The one side of him (it seems to be in his patches of white fur) is very nearly bold, if he loses any more fur he will be bare skinned . His stomach took a turn for the worse at the beginning of November, only this time without colitis. His stomach was constantly churning and he just seemed a little under the weather. So we ended up deciding that we'd take him off his steroids completely with his new amitriptyline, which didn't have any ill effects, he was definitely feeling less sick and there was no change in him which was great!

    While that helped a little bit, it still didn't do a lot so we rang Stephanie and she recommended some anti sickness tablets for him. This has calmed his stomach a lot which is great and that seems to have put itself to rights.

    Other than his stomach, his SM/CM has definitely worsened. Where as before his legs would collapse every few weeks, it is now every day or so. His legs have lost quite a bit of strength, as we discovered the other day while trying to put his winter coat on for a walk, he fell over because we lifted one of his back legs... This is new, as we have been keeping a close eye on his legs.

    Walking wise, he is (weirdly enough) fine! Although he can't go as far as he used to anymore.

    In general, we aren't very happy with him, whenever he's awake he's licking his paws now. Only, just recently it's been more of a really violent chew rather than lick which is pretty concerning. His tremors have worsened a lot to the point where he can fall over depending on how bad they are.

    We suspect he might have cussians? We have noticed that around his privates area, (he is castrated) that occasionally he swells on both sides.... Not sure what that's about but I have heard its as symptom? The reason we think it might be this is because of his fur lost too, along with a number of other factors.

    We are ringing Stephanie after the weekend, will keep you posted . Hope you all have a good start to December

  3. #133
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    So sorry to hear that Ziggy isn't doing too well at the momentl
    Warmest wishes
    Flo & the ByFloSin Cavaliers
    Winston Alexander,Little Joe & Holly Poppet
    Birmingham, UK

  4. #134
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    So sorry to hear about Ziggy's problems. Oliver too has very weak hind legs; he does better when walking outdoors and enjoys his gentle walks, but falls around quite a lot in the house, where he's having to change direction more to negotiate doors and furniture. I find a couple of short walks a day help - he is worse if allowed to rest all day. I also find that when he does collapse, it helps more to just gently move his hindquarters so that his spine is straight, and then he can usually haul himself up, and it's better for him to do it himself than to be over-helped. The instinctive response is to lift up his back legs to get him on his feet and that seldom works - he just collapses again; but a gentle poke to straighten him out usually works. We had a session with a physio, who gave us some simple exercises to do; too soon to know if they are really helping. The physio was impressed by how well he manages on the whole; he has very little muscle in his back legs and his nerves are pretty dead, but he uses other muscles in his abdomen to keep his back legs straight and usable.

    The tremors could be Cushings, or could be myoclonus, which is quite common in Cavaliers - old dogs tend to get it (Oliver has mild twitches), but also younger dogs (Aled has it quite severely but is helped by medication - he's under Sebastien Behr at the Willows).

    Aled is now in heart failure as well, so I sometimes feel I'm living in a veterinary hospital and pharmacy! I expect you feel the same! I do hope Stephanie can make Ziggy more comfortable, please keep the updates coming.



    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  5. #135
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    Oh gosh Kate! So sorry to hear about Aled! How is he doing now?

    Thank you all for your support. Unfortunately it is not good news at all. We rang Stephanie to tell her about his discomfort, and she suggested to up his amitriptyline to 2 tablets. So we did, and literally the next day his stomach got upset. (we discontinued this dosage immediately after finding out) Diarrhea since 7am til around 12PM on Thursday, after around 12 it stopped and he seemed OK after that. So we just thought he ate something funny. Friday came and went and on Saturday morning, he was up since 1am with quite a lot of Diarrhea with blood and mucus so we rang the vets and booked an appointment. They have given us some stomach calming medication for him and have suggested we carry on with the bland diet of rice and little bits of chicken (which we have been doing since Thursday) and see how it goes. They were saying how uncomfortable his stomach would be for him and said that if this current set of antibiotics and stomach binding stuff doesnt work, theres limited options past this point. They were saying his stomach is struggling to cope with all the meds hes on and it might not be a good outcome.

    We are keeping our fingers crossed and hope the stuff he is on does the trick. We are a bit sad about not being able to put his amitriptyline up to 2 tablets a day as his not very good at the moment. He is currently on (this is excluding his anti biotics and binding stuff):600mg of Gabapentin a day. (all together)40mg Amitriptyline a dayOmeprazole 1 capsule - 40mg (We have had him on this now for around a month for his paw licking which we thought might be sickness related)Yesterday he tried to go for a poo, but nothing came out. He hasnt tried today, although he keeps going in and out to sniff the air which is unusual for him as he usually only goes out just to empty himself. His temperature was taken at the vets, all checked out normal etc. Fingers and toes crossed!
    Last edited by ZigsBro; 14th December 2014 at 09:40 PM.

  6. #136
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    So very sorry to read this. I am in bits just thinking about what poor Ziggy is going through.

    Let's be realistic about this - I think there is only one thing that you can do for Ziggy at this point. I had to make the decision for my Rebel when he lost the ability to walk and all dignity disappeared. How I wish it was different for both these dogs.

    Let's face it, we have much in common; both of us have gone through all the options to help our beloved dogs through all the various stages of this dreadful condition, but there is a time to say the suffering is greater than the quality of life we and the vets can give them. I am writing this with tears for your boy and you streaming down my face, because I know how much it is going to hurt you to make the decision that is lying before you, but it is one that we all know you must now take. My heart goes out to you both. Nobody could have tried harder for Ziggy than you or have done more. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Warmest wishes
    Flo & the ByFloSin Cavaliers
    Winston Alexander,Little Joe & Holly Poppet
    Birmingham, UK

  7. #137
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    Hi flo, thanks so much for your kind words, it's not looking like it will turn into a good outcome.

    As far as things are going so far, he hasn't been to the loo for a few days yet, so we still don't know his situation just yet. although he has improved since, to the extent where he still has a quallity of life (to the point where it's worth keeping him) but​​ even after sorting his stomach we don't have anywhere else to go treatment wise for his SM/CM. Either way, I don't think we have much longer with him and we will definitely let him go when there's no longer a sustainable quality of life, as we definitely want to do right by him and make sure he doesn't suffer. The last thing I'd want is to delay the inevitable unnecessarily.

    If we can get his stomach more solid, there is still a good enough quality of life for us to keep him. But as you say flo, we definitely don't want any unnecessary suffering and we will do the right thing when the time comes. (Which will be soon due to the meds not being able to put up)

    As for right now, he's a lot more comfortable since his stomach meds, we are on his last day and hopefully he will empty out today, if he doesnt there could be a problem.... Although he has gone 3 days without emptying his bowels before, but if he doesn't go today we will ring the vets and see what's up.After his stomach meds tomorrow we'll keep a close eye on him and see what's what.

    Thanks so much for following his story and providing support for us to treat him. It means a lot that everyone has stuck with us all this time.

    Il let you all know what happens over the next few days
    Last edited by ZigsBro; 16th December 2014 at 02:29 PM.

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