Ella was diagnosed with Syringomyelia and taught me more in her short life about how to live life to the fullest, love with all your heart, and learn from each other.

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The moment I first held Ella, my world changed. She has touched so many people giving love as a therapy dog but now it is time to give back. No matter how hard she tries to give, her eyes show sadness and pain.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Dog’s in Pain, it’s in Pain. Know What’s Going on and Treat Symptoms

Ok, my post title is not the best but I think this is a very important topic.  A couple of things have been bothering me lately. You would think that when Ella passed away, I would forget about SM but it’s on my mind everyday like the awareness bracelette a kind friend gave me.  

 Sometimes we need to look at things from what your dog is saying.

There's nothing wrong with Ella, she's not like those videos! You and your neurologist are wrong....

Look at Ella's eyes in the picture above. It's not the best picture but maybe you can see something in her eyes? You can't make it out but I could look into her eyes and know how she felt.  Just because Ella did not scream in pain, scratch so much, or some other things, did not mean that she did not have this sad look on her face. I knew something was wrong deep down and that is why no matter what people said, I knew she needed help.  She was able to get treatment and things were adjusted to have days where she was so happy.

Does the picture above look like a dog in pain? She was being treated and that treatment had to be adjusted accordingly. First and foremost she needed to be treated. So why am I telling you all of this? Well when Ella was first diagnosed, I was hung up on the words "severe SM". I looked at books, tried to figure out her syrinx location, how wide it was, what her prognosis was etc. but take all of that away and what really mattered was this SMILE.

Now I know that Severe SM are just words. This may shock some but I never thought about her true diagnosis CM/SM. I just jumped to the SM. You see the word Syringomyelia talked about a lot and now little by little people are starting to talk more about CM (Chiari Malformation). Sometimes I don't know if it was her CM or her SM that was causing her pain. Why does it matter now? Well, I have friends that have Cavaliers with CM alone that act like Ella did.

I can not describe what it is like to have a dog with CM only and still exhibit signs of severe SM? I can tell you that I DO know what it was like when people thought I must be wrong and Ella is fine. Whether it was severe SM, the CM she was not fine and that is why you need to know what's going on.  Here is the best post and a must read so you can understand that SM awareness should be CM/SM awareness or just support for those that have dogs in pain. You know even if a MRI says it's mild, if the Cavalier or dog is not doing well, then well that's not good. Next time you hear someone say the MRI should no SM or mild, but they were describing a dog with severe symptoms, think of that and not just the diagnosis.

Please read Miss Kodee's Blog Post below and this wonderful post and also check out link for "How to Tell if Your Dog is in Pain" 

Below is a picture of Ella and I on her last day on Earth. CM/SM did not take her life, but more on that later...I knew something was wrong but did I miss something?


Miss Kodee said...

Is true how you can see it in there eyes unfortunately. Your last day with Ella pictures is sweet - and sad all at once.

mbtest said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MB Squirrell (Embee Cavaliers) said...

Love this post Anne. All of it is very relevant and true. I can always tell when Mylee is having a bad day just by looking at her eyes. I loved the link you included to Barkn' About. Very well written and concise. Its so important to learn issues and opinions from all sides. Only there can balance and the real picture emerge.

(sorry for the delete) Posted from my other account

Skyz said...

Wonderful post Anne. Sometimes I think people over look just how sever the symptoms are that Flash has. After all he only has "CM". Without medication Flash is as symptomatic as Blitz who has very sever SM.

You are so right. People think I'm making it up but you can just see it in there eyes and KNOW. Sometimes I don't know how to describe it. I just KNOW they are in pain.