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Thread: MRI for Abbey

  1. #1
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    Default MRI for Abbey

    Yesterday we took Abbey in to our vet to discuss the behaviors we've noticed the past few months--all of which match the symptoms of SM. As I feared, her exam came up normal and we're now being referred to the University of Minnesota for a possible MRI. Our vet wasn't aware of SM, and was very interested in the articles I brought in (thanks to Karlin and the rest of this board). She's asked to see Abbey again after her MRI, which is great to have her so receptive and supportive of something she was unaware of.
    We'll be getting a call within the next few days to set up an appointment and we'll go from there.
    Jen, Abbey (Tri Cavalier) & Gus (White Min. Schnauzer)

  2. #2
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    Jen, good luck on the MRI. It will set your mind at rest -- as you will know one way or another what you are dealing with, if anything. Keep in mind that the symptoms from PSOM ('glue ear' in cavaliers) are very similar to SM even some of the extreme symptoms like neurological proboems and seizures, so you may find you are dealing with an ear flushing and not SM, which is what happened with me and Jaspar (remember that I got mine MRId because I thought Jaspar had symptoms, and it turned out to be PSOM with Jaspar and SM in Leo, though he had no symtpoms at all).

    I'll be hoping for the best possible result for you and for Abbey. I can tell you that even with finding that Leo has a syrinx, it was a weight from my shoulders to have them MRId and to know what was going on and how to move forward.

    I am currently setting up an SM website attached to the board here and that will centralise lots of info on this condition.

    Personally I have gone from being very fearful of any SM diagnosis to accepting that it is apparently so widespread among cavaliers that only the smallest minority, perhaps 10-20%, are totally unaffected by the skull malformation that seems to cause SM or SM itself. As millions of cavaliers seem to live with this with no or few symptoms, the issue for most people is going to be not whether there's an SM diagnosis, but how affected the dog seems to be. Almost 6 months after diagnosis Leo remains just the same with no pain or problems and only some mild scratching.

    If she does show any syrinxes and compression at all do talk to them about frusemide (Lasix). They are not generally using it in the US but I do notice a difference and I know Clare has started prescribing it ijn at least some cases.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  3. #3
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    Default MRI for Abbey

    Thanks Karlin, and yes, I agree that at this point we just want to know what we're dealing with--it's more frightening not knowing what's going on or if she's in pain or not.
    I'm currently researching PSOM as I've heard it can cause similar symptoms.
    I think a separate SM site would be wonderful, for easier access if for anything. You've been a wealth of knowledge, I appreciate it so much!
    Jen, Abbey (Tri Cavalier) & Gus (White Min. Schnauzer)

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    I really hope both Abbey and Rory have glue ear!! wouldn't that be a relief!
    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
    --Roger Caras

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by rory
    I really hope both Abbey and Rory have glue ear!! wouldn't that be a relief!
    Wouldn't that be great!! Thinking of both of you.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  6. #6
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    {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Abbey & Rory}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    OK then, I agree with everything Karlin says. It's the NOT knowing that's worse. I was in a terrible state for days before Maxx was scanned. This probably sounds stupid but after we knew that he had both PSOM in his left ear as well as SM, at least we knew what we were up against

    There was us thinking he was ignoring us and half the time he couldn't hear us, poor baby LOL. Now, if we wiggle our fingers at him he knows we want him and will come willingly - especially if he thinks he's going to get something

    Ref, the SM, Maxx has been on Frusemide for 2 weeks and tbh it's like having my dog back again. He wants to play and go for walks and is even getting excited about things and jumping on the sofa and bed again

    Granted, he does have some scratchy and bottom scooting moments (which are mainly after getting excited) but he doesn't appear to be in pain now. We've also not had one instance of the yelping & crying that we had previously

    Just remember that even if your dog does have SM, it's not an automatic death sentence. Maxx is 6 this month & has an excellent quality of life (he's downright spoiled really ).

    If you need any support just holler OK ???

  7. #7
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    Well, I got a call from the NC State people to confirm details. we're scheduled for an MRI first thing in the morning Friday the 18th... I'm really freaked out. They are only doing a sagittal view, so it won't screen for PSOM, unfortunately. That's crazy that poor Max has both PSOM and SM!!

    Anyway - I told her that he was scratching more. When I first signed up for the study a few months ago I didn't think he was showing symptoms, but he's definitely scratching more now and yelping sometimes for no apparent reason. I told the doctor this and she made this sad "oooohhhh..." bummer sound which sortof put the nail in the coffin for me. :cry:

    I asked if they were getting a lot of the MRIs back as positive for SM and she said, "Yes, the ones w/ clinical symptoms are mostly positive" and she definitely seemed to think Rory's scratching and yelping are clinical symptoms... *sigh*

    In 2 weeks I'll know for sure.

    Unfortunately, she can't release the MRI image, so I won't get a copy. Which means that if he does have it and needs surgery, I'll a have to get another MRI afterall. Ugh. If I hadn't already made plane arrangements and everything, I might pull out and just get it done here, but it's all already set up so I might as well go. Who knows! It may be nothing!

    not holding my breath...
    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
    --Roger Caras

  8. #8
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    Question about the furosemide --

    What is the reasoning behind doing the medical treatment vs. surgery? Can it prevent progression of the disease? Can the surgery "fix" it?
    Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
    --Roger Caras

  9. #9
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    Well, Maxx is 6 this month and as he 'only has SM mildly' he is not a candidate for surgery. Tbh, I had already decided that there is no way that I would ever put him through it anyway.

    Do you realise that the surgery is actually open brain surgery? I have had several long chats with my Vet who also has three Cavaliers and he wouldn't put any of his through it either. I belong to another group and it would seem that even after the surgery the poor dogs still suffer pain, scratching etc. I personally am more of a 'quality of' rather than 'quantity of' life, person. I would never try to put anyone off doing what they want for their dogs, but surgery is not for me.

    The Frusemide is a diuretic and therefore drains the excess water from the body tissues. I do know that Maxx is like a different dog in the two weeks that he's been taking it

    If push comes to shove and he gets much worse I won't let him suffer and my Vet has promised me that he will take the decision out of my hands, bless him. I know he will too. I just hope and pray that it doesn't come to that & Maxx has a wonderful long life free of pain. He is my best friend in the whole Universe and we have been through so much together, I just couldn't imagine life without him ...

  10. #10
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    Sorry, meant to ask, does Rory have any other symptoms of SM ? Maxx had a whole caboodle of them. Scratching and yelping can also be signs of PSOM or also allergies. Maxx had allergy tests, full blood tests and X-rays done before he went for his MRI.

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