30th December 2013, 10:12 PM
Growing facial paralysis and a loss in confidence in my vet
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
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
1st January 2014, 04:21 PM
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!
1st January 2014, 06:07 PM
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.
In memory: Lucy
Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com
1st January 2014, 06:37 PM
3rd January 2014, 01:41 AM
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.