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Thread: Growing facial paralysis and a loss in confidence in my vet

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    Default Growing facial paralysis and a loss in confidence in my vet

    Hello all.

    its been 5 year that I got my little Poppet and despite some horrible issues with allergies which took the vet about 4 months to sort, she has recently developed further problems.

    in short she had facial paralysis on the left side (her left) which I spotted quite quickly. The vets have done ear tests, blood tests, X-rays and even an MRI but nothing.

    They ruled it off as ideopathic after milking the insurance.

    in the last 2 days, Poppet has become much more unsure on her feet when negotiating tricky ground (cushions, simple jumps) and the other side of her face has became paralysed.

    its back to the vets tomorrow but I'm worried at this point all they see is another hefty insurance claim rather than an actual solution.

    im hoping someone here may have an insight to the issue. I'll state what I know:

    She is a 5 year old, done at 8 months and full vaccinated
    she is on steroids for her allergies (these have been ruled out as the cause)
    initial paralysis started on the left side of her facial muscle 45 days ago
    subsequent paralysis started on the right side 2 days ago along with increased clumsyness
    xray showed nothing
    posm ruled out
    MRI showed nothing (he seemed confused when I asked if there was any sign of SM so I'm not ruling that out)
    no obvious pain expressed
    no loss of appetite or desire to move around
    no bowl or bladder issues
    no scratching
    blood tests showed no thyroid issues
    no heart issues
    no issues with biting, fur loss etc
    eats the same Pedegree dog food every day of her life

    Finally nothing at all wrong my my other Cavalier who is a dog also of 5 years (and done at 4). He eats, sleeps and plays in the same places

    Any ideas or suggestion appreciated

    also any known and trusted vets near Chester le Street also welcome for referrals

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Western NY
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    Happy to read your last sentence. As I read your post it was very clear trust was lacking with your vet. I'm glad you're moving forward and wish your little pet well. As for me, I think I'm going to give our vet a big hug next time I see her!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Dublin, Ireland
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    I think I would ask for an immediate referral to a neurologist, especially as the vet is not very aware of CM/SM. You can have facial paralysis with SM. I think whatever is going on is beyond the vets at this point (this is NOT to blame the vets -- vets are the GPs of the vet world and would not know more complicated neurological disease or conditions).

    The fact that she is on steroids for diagnosed allergies -- which are often wrongly diagnosed when the problem is CM/SM -- would also make me want to get in to see a neurologist before possible irreversible damage, if it is SM causing these issues. I would ask for the MRI to be referred to the neurologist.

    You can see that facial paralysis due to damage to the facial nerve is listed as a possible symptom of CM/SM. Many SM dogs show no outward pain and some neurologists say about half of SM dogs do not scratch. Symptoms are hugely variable but 'allergies' alongside this would be ringing some urgent alarm bells. Steroids would also block most obvious SM symptoms including pain, as well as scratching -- which it sounds like she would be doing if she were not on steroids even if only due to allergies? It's one of the main symptoms of allergies.

    At any rate given the vets have done this testing -- as they should -- and reached a dead end, I'd be getting her to a neurologist familiar with cavaliers.

    Here's a list of certified neurologists in the UK. I would definitely not consider going through this same process with another vet -- she needs a specialist.

    Please let us know how you get on and what you hear back.
    Cavaliers: Tansy : Mindy Connie Roxy Neasa Gus
    In memory: My beautiful Jaspar Lucy Leo Lily Libby

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Orlando, Florida USA
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    Sounds like it could be a stroke.
    Rod Russell

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    North Yorkshire
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    Back in the early nineties I had two with facial paralysis one was only affected on one side but the other suffered first one side and then some months later his other side was affected. He had the classic head tilt and nystagmus (eyes flicking back and forth). Eventually his eyes went back to normal and his head tilt lessened. It didn't affect his quality of life he lived life to the full like he had always done. It changed his facial expression as the muscles atrophied and he couldn't go swimming as he couldn't breathe properly in water. Having said all of that he lived until he was fourteen years old. Good luck with your little one.


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