This is a blog dedicated to our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy, Riley. He was just 17 months old when he was diagnosed with Syringomyelia. We are DETERMINED to over come this, make his life as rich, full and amazing as it was going to be before we knew of this diagnosis. We hope that other doggie mommies and doggie daddies out there who also have a baby with SM will be able to use this as a source of information and inspiration in their own personal journey through and to the other side of having a family member with SM.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Difficult Weekend

So we're still waiting to hear back from Dr. Rusbridge. It's been 5 days since our one and only email contact with her and she has yet to respond to my last email asking for information as to where I should be sending this material. I can only surmise that she's traveling, away from the office, or that she has Tuesday-Thursday office hours (which seems likely, based from some stuff on her website.) Sadly, this means that we're still waiting to find out where to send all of the materials, consultation reports, MRI films, etc... so she can do the consultation.

Meanwhile, after speaking with our family vet, we decided to start Riley on 5 mg of Omeperazole, daily. This is one of the first line medications used/recommended in the medical management of Syringomyelia, as it has a side-effect of lowering the production of Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF). This, in turn, could potentially lower the pressure in the syrinx at the base of the brain/spinal cord and alleviate his symptoms.

Sadly, this doesn't seem to be working. If anything, Riley has become more sensitive, his "episodes" are more frequent, and he has some hind leg lameness. He's not jumping up or down as much as he used to, and he's taking stairs (both up and down) very cautiously and that's both in and out of the house. Clearly Riley's not feeling great. Yesterday afternoon, he was lying on my lap. I was petting him gently, stroking his hair and as I often do, I told him "I love you, little man." He looked up to give me a kiss (which is what he usually does when I tell him this) and as he crooked his neck upwards he let out a frightening yelp and then he froze, locked in place, guarding against this horrible pain that suddenly gripped him. He seemed unsure as to whether he should lay down, sit up, or what to do... so he just froze in place. It was heartbreaking.

I'm starting to become very conscious of time, ticking away. I'm getting really concerned that we might be unnecessarily delaying a surgery that needs to happen. Still, I'm even more concerned going into this and making the decision without Dr. Rusbridge's input. After all of my research over the weekend there's one thing that's very clear: The research is conflicting. There are no large sample populations, no large prospective studies and it really seems to be a case-by-case situation with respect to doing surgery or not. For that, I want the world's premiere expert on Syringomyelia to have some input into this decision. So let's all hope we hear from her by this time tomorrow.

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