Dog's Cool Blog + [Syringomyelia]

Guest Post by Jane Storm

Yesterday 1st Jan was Chaos's 7th Birthday and I am so happy that she is still with me and relatively pain-free due to the many different medicatons that she is on as she suffers from Syringomyelia.

I have had Chaos since she was 10 weeks old, I went through the Kennel Club to find a registered breeder as I thought that would be the best way to find a healthy pup. She first started to show symptoms of this awful disease when she was about 9 months old but, unfortunately, I did not realise that her scratching when walked on a lead was anything to worry about as I had not heard of SM. I put it down to fleas and was constantly checking her for that. When she wore a coat in the cold I also thought it was that because they irritated her, all her little clothes were in shreds on the sleeve where she scratched.

In the summer when she was 3 1/2 she was jumping about in the garden and suddenly fell on the ground screaming in agony. I did not know why but thought she might have been stung by a bee or something. I rushed her to the vet, the first one I saw said she had pulled a muscle in her shoulder and gave her painkillers, later I saw another vet as was not happy and she said the pain was in her neck and gave her more painkillers. She did mention SM but said if the painkillers worked then it was not that. The painkillers seemed to do the trick and she did get over that episode but later on I decided to do some research on the internet about SM. What I read convinced me that she might have that and I also read about a drug trial, on a new SM drug, being conducted at the Royal Vet College which was very close to me. They were looking for dogs to take part and so I contacted them and Chaos was enrolled on the trial. This was a big help for me, being retired and not having a lot of money as the MRI scan and the initial treatment was all free. Needless to say the MRI showed that Chaos did indeed have SM and also a very bad case too.

Since then my life has revolved around trying to keep her happy and painfree as the medications only work for a while and have to be added to in order to continue to help her. She goes for a long walk every day, round the lake and by a river but I do have to keep her on an extending lead to stop her from swimming as that makes her pain much worse. She also has a doggie stroller as usually at the start of the walk she is reluctant to walk so she goes into that until she decides to jump out and walk.