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Thread: Just diagnosed (SM)

  1. #1
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    Default Just diagnosed (SM)

    Hi
    I joined the site some time ago, when I lost my last Cavalier with MVD. This site was a great comfort to me, reading other peoples stories on the loss of their beloved dogs.
    On the 7th of February (MRI) my lovely girl was diagnosed with a severe case of SM and since that day it has been a bit of a roller coaster with the medication!!!
    She has been on 2 Gabapentin 100mg spaced 12 hrs apart & Omeprazole 10mg once a day. Unfortunately the Omeprazole upset her too much (tried again on 2 occasions) so we had to cut that out. She was doing fine on just the Gabapentin up until last night when suddenly she was unable to even climb up the step into the house from the garden. I am waiting for her vet to phone me back to advise us; although she seems slightly better today she is not back to lively self yet. She is now 6 yrs old, I also have her sister who at the moment is showing no signs. I am hoping that we can keep her on an even keel. Has anyone else ever had a problem with Omeprazole? If so, what alternative medication has been suggested?

    Linda

  2. #2
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    Hello Linda,
    So sorry to read about your dogs. You might want to post something in the MVD/SM section as more people will read it and hopefully have some answers for you.
    I have a wonderful 7 year old who was diagnosed with MVD/CHF in December......its heart breaking I know
    I hope your vet has some answers

    Mel
    Mel
    Momma to Leonardo (Leo to his friends)

  3. #3
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    Hi Linda

    Just noticed this in the Introduce Yourself section - as Mel says, putting something into the MVD/SM section would get more results - Karlin, could you move this over??

    I'm sorry you've had to reintroduce yourself to this forum with such sad news. Both my Cavaliers have CM/SM, though with medication they manage to live more or less normal lives. An alternative to omaprezole is cimetadine (Zitac) - it's important that they are on some kind of diuretic, to try and reduce the amount of cerebral-spinal fluid. So it would be worth trying your girl with it; the standard dose seems to be 50mg three times a day. Gabapentin twice a day is very much the starting point, and most Cavaliers do better having it three times a day at roughly 8 hour intervals; the average time it takes to metabolise (work through the system) is 8.5 hours, but this is an average and some dogs will manage having the doses further apart and some will need them more frequently (my Oliver seems to do better on four times a day). The first few months of treating SM almost always seems to be trial and error to find the right dose of the right drugs for your particular dog; fortunately there are alternatives available and clinical trials going on to find more pain drugs that work for SM.

    Your girl's loss of leg power may not have been SM related. Vestibular episodes are quite common (the vestibular coil is in the inner ear and controls balance) and can be quite scary; some dogs can take several days to recover from one. Oliver has had a couple of them and you wonder what on earth is happening to them, but he recovered quickly with no ill effects.

    My Oliver was diagnosed with SM at the age of 6 (although with hindsight he showed symptoms long before then); he's now nearly 13 and still going (comparatively) strong. Old-age related things seem to cause more problems than his SM and he still really enjoys life, so hopefully you will have your girl for many years to come.

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  4. #4
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    I love the last paragraph of your post, Kate H, because tomorrow we're taking our sweet Bentley to see a neurologist. After each of 2 vet visits, a week apart, I received a call from him checking on Bentley. This had never happened before and I was surprised both times. Turns out he's strongly suspecting CM/SM and directing me to the Univ of Missouri Veterinary place for diagnosis. The "spells" Bentley has are so distressing to him and to us. There have been signs most of his life but many are just typical dog behavior; however, he's obviously hurting at times lately. I've read so many horror stories on the forum that we were feeling pretty devastated but hopefully his pain can be controlled. Today he feels fine. I do wonder if the air pressure has an effect.

  5. #5
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    I'm so sorry about Bentley. Many CM/SM dogs have been having a bad time lately because of air pressure. Here in the UK Midlands (bearing in mind the 'normal' pressure is 1010 millibars) it went down to 967 about 3 week ago and is now going up to 1020, and you don't seem to have been having very settled weather in the US either.

    'many are just typical dog behaviour' - but if you look around, they often aren't. Other breeds don't rub their heads along the edge of the settee or a low table. I was at an obedience training day for small breeds with Aled last summer, in strong sunlight, and looking up at me (and at the sky) he was squinting and clearly his eyes hurt; I looked around the other dogs - corgis, Lancashire heelers, Italian Greyhounds, Shelties, a Schnauzer, Pekes - and not one of them was squinting in the sunlight. What we think of as cute Cavalier quirks can actually be signs of CM/SM and many people don't pick them up - but don't get paranoid about it! I'm glad you're being referred to a neurologist and will know one way or the other what is happening with Bentley. It's a tough diagnosis but once you know, you can start doing something about it and hopefully Bentley will be able to enjoy life for many years to come.



    Kate, Oliver and Aled (all needing a brush after a happy but muddy walk yesterday!)

  6. #6
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    We were in Columbia all day and they were super! They talked on the phone with our local vet twice while we were there, getting some background. They did the MRI and the main vet (it's a teaching hospital) sat down with us and gave us a lengthy explanation. It seemed that he had all the time in the world. Bentley for sure has CM and a mild syrinx. The CM may be what's causing the episodes but he also has PSOM? is it? I don't have my paperwork in front of me at the moment. It's thick, sticky fluid in the ears that can easily be seen on the MRI. He showed us a normal dog's head compared to Bentley's and both the CM abnormality and the ear issue can be clearly seen. Meds were prescribed and we're optimistic that it can be dealt with. He doesn't see any need to even think of surgery. At some point we may look at getting the fluid removed. We're just glad to get some answers and all three of us were happy to get home after being gone for 12 1/2 hours!

  7. #7
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    So glad you got some answers and the Columbia people gave you so much time and attention. 'CM and a mild syrinx' describes both my two and they do well on moderate medication. PSOM is very common in Cavaliers - researchers say it's not connected with CM/SM but just gets noticed as an incidental to an MRI scan. Washing out the ears under anaesthetic seems to be the usual treatment, though drops can help - according to other people on this forum who have experienced it, anyway - it's one of the few things my two haven't got!



    Kate, Oliver and Aled

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