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.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Is it Allergies

Let me start by saying I think Elton is having allergy problems but it has me wonder at what point would you say see a neurologist? Everyone knows Ella's story of me calling crying to the vet to get referral to neurologist because I knew it wasn't allergies causing her problems. I now have a cavalier, Elton, that I really do think he has allergy problems. Part of me feels that vets don't know enough about SM and we need to raise awareness. Then the other part thinks sometimes people who are aware of SM can jump to the conclusion that scratching = sm when it could be other things.
I felt like I was starting over. Elton had already had an MRI and was diagnosed with mild CM and he had some hydrocyphelous but the way he was scratching at his ears made me go back to the vet. Let’s not forget that one of the first things to do is to rule out other things with your vet. You can go here and it gives you a step by step of what to rule out and to do. http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/diagnosing/diagnosing/isthissm.html So here I was ruling out the ear infections and mites. Now we tried some allergy medicine and I am seeing a difference. I have been writing about SM for so long but Elton was diagnosed with mild CM. Do I think that he is symptomatic from this? Do I think some of his tail chasing and obsessive scratching is OCD or behavioral? It really is hard to not jump to other conclusions. I think he does have a little OCD but also allergies. I don’t think that his CM is symptomatic now. Here is what I would suggest to people. Get a journal or they even have apps on phones. Notice the frequency of symptoms and make a note of it. When did this happen, how long, what time was the last medication. I noticed that Elton was not scratching as much. He did start to scratch but it was getting close to time for his medication. I noticed that he was scratching when he got on my bed. Is he allergic to something in my comforter? All of these things are important. I am doing this for his allergies but I think those with CM or CM/SM dogs should do the same for those symptoms. I know it is hard to do but it having a dog that is not suffering is worth it.


MB Squirrell (Embee Cavaliers) said...

Sorry to hear Elton isn't feeling well. Allergies are pretty bad this year for both human and dog.

One way I can easily separate the two is allergies often come with other signs. Pronounced runny noses, yucky ears, streaming eyes that are stained with yeast, red staining between the toes, and often a rash/red irritated skin on the tummy. If a cavalier is scratching more than normal and does not have any of the other tell-tale signs of allergies I'd seek a neurologist.

The symptomatic cm dogs I know do not have compulsive behaviours. However I was recently told that a lot of them experience lower back pain and sensitivity through the sternum.

Good luck Elton, I hope you feel better soon!

AnnieMac said...

Thanks MB! Perfect advice! Elton has the runny eyes and has red around his mouth, pink skin etc.

Jana Rade said...

Keeping a journal or a chart is definitely a great plan; I've been keeping a detailed chart for Jasmine for over 3 years now.

Frequent bathing also helps with allergies = mechanical removal of allergens from the coat and skin. You may or may not use special shampoo and/or conditioner; just rinsing off the allergens brings a relief.

I heard of having a dog wear a t-shirt when outside; also a good idea, makes a physical barrier between the environment and skin.

Omega-3 also helpful.

Since it seems seasonal, probably no need to think food allergies at this time.

I can see how not thinking SM can be difficult; just as with a limp, not thinking knee problem is difficult for us.

Elton is lucky to have a mom who will do what needs to be done for him.


Mode Dog said...

My dogs have the same signs too =/ thanks for the advice!

James said...

Hi – Will you please post a link to your Blog at The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Community at vorts.com? Our members will love it.
Members include: CKSC Owners, Breeders, Rescues and Lovers.
It's easy to do, just cut and paste the link and it automatically links back to your website...
You can also add Photos, Videos, Rescues and Classifieds if you like.
Email me if you need any help or would like me to do it for you.
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Community: http://www.vorts.com/cavalier_king_charles_spaniels/
James Kaufman, Editor

Rod Lucas said...

I think it's great to keep a journal! I love the name cavalier king charles spaniel!

Lisa @ Charlie The Cavalier said...

Hello from Charlie the Cavalier!