Syringomyelia in Dogs - Natural Pet Remedies

Nov 06, 2017

What is Syringomyelia?
Syringomyelia is a chronic condition of the central nervous system in which (typically) a Chiari-like malformation of the brain tissue causes a blockage of the foramen magnum (the "valve" between the brain cavity and spinal column) and increased pressure of the cerebrospinal fluid along the spinal cord. Characteristically, small cavities form in the dog's spine and fill with fluid. These cysts, called syrinxes (singular: syrinx), are the result of different pressures within and outside the spinal column and can result in irritation of the neck, pain in the neck and shoulders, and with increased pressure eventually significant pain that progresses to loss of coordination and paralysis.

Diagnosis of syringomyelia can only be made with MRI imaging. However, signs of the condition include unexplained neck and shoulder pain as well as obsessive neck scratching. In fact, it is often called "neck scratcher's disease" for this reason. While a similar condition occurs in people as well, in dogs syringomyelia is most common in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. For this breed of dog, its breeding led to a brain too large for its skull, and the condition is a direct but not universal result of that mismatch.

Our first contributor on the subject of syringomyelia in dogs witnessed success from chiropractic adjustment. Have you had success with other complementary and alternative medicine treatments for your dog's syringomyelia?



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Posted by Katie (Northport, NY) on 05/23/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Cavalier Has Been Symptom-Free for Over 8 Months Now.

A friend of mine owns a beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who was diagnosed with Syringomyelia (with chiari-like malformation) in September 2012. A visit to a local neurologist confirmed the diagnosis. This neurologist said the only available option for this dog would be an invasive and dangerous operation on the skull in an attempt to ease the flow of the fluid around the brain and throughout the spine. The surgery was expensive and debilitating, with both a long, difficult recovery period and no guarantee of success. In addition to other dangerous complications, there is a significant risk that scar tissue can form after the surgery, would reverse any benefit of the initial operation, and again block the flow of the spinal fluid. Surgery was not an option for my friend, as he was not going to put his dog through this.

This poor dog was in such extreme agony - it was screaming at night and there were no amount of painkillers that could control the pain or stop his screaming and his head and neck became contorted from this condition. This dog was also so doped up from all the drugs prescribed by the neurologist, that his heart slowed down to less than 60 beats a minute. I do not know specifically which meds he was on, but he was on at least 5 (including Gabapentin), along with a Fentanyl pain patch that was put on his back. This patch was put on as a last-resort pain killer, but the dog's condition was so bad that the patch did not work, and only worsened his condition by making him groggy and lethargic. To date, the fur that was removed to apply the patch has never grown back there is only "peach fuzz" there now. Imagine how toxic that med must have been!

After some discussion, we decided to consult with another neurologist at a major teaching veterinary hospital (with a more holistic view) and she turned out to be wonderful. She mentioned that she had seen and treated many dogs in far worse condition than ours, and that many of them have been able to return to being almost completely normal with the help of some holistic modalities. Specifically, she recommended chiropractic treatment with the use of cold lasers and acupuncture. She also recommended that we give him 1 tablet a day of Prilosec. After our return home, we sought out a well-trained veterinary chiropractor who used cold lasers in his practice. (To find a qualified, well-trained chiropractic vet we went onto the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association's website http://www.avcadoctors.com). Note: do not use just any vet who claims to know chiropractic - they must truly have advanced training with extensive or they may be completely useless. Also, the cold laser is essential in this therapy.

Anyway, we brought the dog in for his first chiropractic session with this vet and the dog immediately started to relax. The session took about 45 minutes, with the vet applying both physical adjustment of the spine and application of the cold laser throughout the length of the dogs back, head and neck. It was really amazing because as he held the laser over the dog's neck area you could see "ripples" start to form and move in the skin even though no one was touching him. It was almost like watching small waves moving on the water. The doctor explained that this was from the underlying muscles and nerves being stimulated by the treatment. Literally, the muscles were relaxing and releasing their tension. By the end of the session, the dog was clearly feeling better in fact, he almost fell asleep on the table.

That evening, the dog only had one minor episode of pain, and I was told it was minimal. Where the dog had been in continuous pain previously, with an intensity that prevented us from so much as touching him in any attempt to comfort him, the episodes were reduced to no more than one per day, with the duration gradually diminishing each time. After a few days these episodes stopped completely, and he has never had another pain episode since - and it's been 8 months now since his initial treatment. Since then, the dog appears to be completely normal in every way he's like his old self. However, I must mention that my friend continues to bring his dog to the vet/chiropractor once every 3 weeks for a treatment to avoid a recurrence (I believe these regular follow-up sessions are essential in controlling this condition). As far as meds go, the vet helped my friend to wean his dog off of all the meds over a 2 month period. The only thing the dog is taking now is one Prilosec a day.

It is truly amazing to see how well this dog is doing. What a gift it was for this dog's life to return to normal.

Replied by Katie
Northport, New York
10/04/2013

It has been over a year now and my friend's dog with the Syringomyelia continues to do well. He is still like his old self. He is full of energy and out running around all the time. We try to keep his activity to a moderate level because he loves to run, jump and climb but these things can aggravate his condition

It is important to stress that we feel the reason this dog continues to do well is because he is brought back to the chiropractic vet for regular follow-up sessions every 3 or 4 weeks. He still gets the cold laser at each session, and this is very important in this condition. The cold laser helps with inflammation. The sessions only take about 15 or 20 minutes now, whereas they used to take about 45 minutes when he was very sick. The vet said he's doing well and that his neck and back are in pretty good shape. Also, he continues to get 1 tab of Prilosec a day.

This dog has only had about 2 minor pain episodes since my last post in May. We're not sure what caused them, but it's possible that he might have over-exerted himself by jumping or running, or something else. We don't know. But, both times he was taken back to the vet for another treatment and the pain disappeared. Then, about 3 weeks ago, he had a medium pain episode but this was the direct result of catching and killing a full grown rabbit (it was very upsetting, but my friend was not aware that it had happened until it was too late to do anything about it). Because of the violent head tossing and whatever else may have taken place during this episode, he threw his neck and back out again which required another session with the chiropractor. Thankfully, he has been fine ever since. Now my friend is much more careful about scanning the yard for rabbits before opening that back door.

Replied by Katie
Northport
12/05/2013
5 out of 5 stars

Update 12/5/13. It's been about 14 months now since we started our Cavalier on a protocol using cold laser therapy, chiropractic treatments and 1 tablet a day of Prilosec and I would like to share our thoughts and observations to date on each of the above.

This dog continues to do extremely well. We continue to bring him back once a month for a cold laser/chiropractic treatment. So far he hasn't had any more pain issues since the day he caught the rabbit. This dog is agile and athletic – much more like a cat than a dog. We find him jumping up and walking around on the kitchen table stealing napkins and food. This by itself is amazing because only 14 months ago he was having a hard time walking.

Since my last post, we have discontinued giving the dog the Prilosec. We believe it was not necessary and that it may be harmful for long term use. I will give more detail below and some of the side effects which we attribute to the use of the Prilosec.

Here are our thoughts:

Cold Laser Therapy. This is absolutely essential and the #1 treatment, in my opinion, for syringomyelia. I believe this is what really helped our dog…maybe more so than the chiropractic treatments. The reason I say that is because I have since been in contact with another vet who has also treated many MRI diagnosed cases of syringomyelia and he has used only cold laser therapy on them. He has not used chiropractic on them. He said that he has had “staggering” results treating these animals. He said Cavaliers have their share of spinal disease, and that syringomyelia is only one manifestation of it. His feeling is that once a spinal issue (of any kind) has been diagnosed, and there is a regression of symptoms after treatment (with cold laser), that maintenance is necessary. His recommendation to his syringomyelia patients is to have follow-up treatments every 4-6 weeks.

Chiropractic Adjustments. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, this vet does not do chiropractic treatments in his practice although he does use the cold laser. He told me the story of one of his syringomyelia patients (another Cavalier) who had a serious collision with a very large dog and he said that it took weeks to get this dog back on its feet while using only the cold laser. My thoughts are, that in a case like this, a chiropractic treatment probably would have helped to get this dog up and going much quicker, along with the use of the cold laser. The chiropractic treatment would have helped to put the displaced bones, discs, ligaments, tendons and whatever else was knocked out of place --back into place and that it would have been a much shorter recovery time for the dog. The cold laser treatment would still be required though.

Prilosec. I would not recommend this any more. I believe it is harmful for long term use and that it is probably not helpful any way. My friend stopped giving the Prilosec 2 months ago (after having the dog on it for about a year) and so far we have seen no adverse effects by eliminating it.

To begin with, our vet never wanted the dog to be on this at all. He tried to convince my friend to stop giving it to the dog but my friend was concerned about a possible setback with the dog and understandably nervous about the dog's condition. However, we've since learned that the reason the dog is doing well is not because he was taking Prilosec, but because of the cold laser treatments.

The reason my friend finally decided to take the dog off the Prilosec is because the dog's anal glands were becoming severely impacted and he was constantly bringing him to the vet to have them cleared and it was causing the dog a great deal of pain to have this done. Then, about 2 months ago he started showing signs of a severe flea infestation. He'd never had this problem in the past. At this point, I convinced my friend to stop using the Prilosec because I believed that it was at the root of this dog's problems. I believe it seriously weakened the dog and made him susceptible to the flea infestation. Fleas are parasites and parasites only prey on weakened individuals.

At this point, I started to research acid blockers such as Prilosec, what I found out are that they are only meant for short term use, not long term use. You will see the warnings if you research it. What happens is that they suppress the natural acid that the body uses to break down food, meds and supplements and then in the long run you could wind up developing much more serious problems such as heart problems, candida, increased risk of cancer, high blood pressure, anemia, etc.. Acid blockers steal most nutrients from the body, including CoQ10, magnesium, B vitamins, potassium, calcium, zinc, vitamin C, glutathione, selenium and many others. In addition, they destroy the beneficial gut bacteria – which many consider to be our ”second immune system”. Acid blockers suppress acid-alkaline balance and thereby alter the pH (acidity) throughout the gut, so the absorption of every single nutrient is suppressed. So I knew this explained why our dog had become infested with the fleas and had the anal gland problem.

Thankfully, the fleas are gone now. We added a tsp. of a vinegar to his food twice a day and within 4 weeks they were all gone. We now have the dog on probiotics to help restore his gut bacteria and will start to supplement him with vitamins to make up for what he's lost from taking the Prilosec for so long.

So, overall we've had wonderful results using cold laser therapy, along with the chiropractic. As mentioned above, the cold lasers are absolutely essential for treating this condition. However, now that I know of this other vet who uses only cold laser therapy on his syringomyelia patients, I'm now wondering if the chiropractic therapy is absolutely necessary in treating this condition? I guess each of us will have to dtermine which therapy works best for our dogs – cold laser only or the combination cold laser/chiropractic therapy?

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
12/05/2013

Hey Katie!

THANK YOU for these updates!

I do not see the benefit of chiro UNLESS there is vetebra subluxation occurring - and this will vary, case by case.

How AWESOME the cold laser is working with your friends dog!!!

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
12/05/2013

Hi Theresa,

Thanks. My feeling is that it is the cold laser therapy that has really helped this dog - not the chiropractic (although I can't prove it). However, if this dog was mine I would ask the vet to do cold laser treatments only and to stop doing the chiropractic so I would know for sure. So my recommendation to anyone reading this post is to seek out a veterinarian who uses cold laser therapy in his practice first. I believe this is what will really help your animal.

Replied by Danie
Indiana
05/15/2014

I've been reading more and more about dogs with Chiari, and I can't imagine what they must be dealing with. I have Chiari, and it is difficult to deal with, even knowing all that I do.

I did want to note that chiropractic adjustments can herniate the brain further over time. It may help with the syrinxes, but the pressure the Chiari is causing to the spine and nerves can get much worse with this kind of treatment, even if the dog/person feels better right now.

Acupuncture on the other hand works like magic, and as long as you are using a Traditional Chinese Acupuncturist they will know what they are doing and how to best alleviate symptoms safely.

But, in either case, if the dog (or human) does have the classic Chiari structural problems, then surgery is the only option for taking care of the cause of the issues. But, as noted, surgery isn't a guarantee. It takes a real expert, and even then everyone responds differently.

My heart goes out to all who suffer with this. It's hard to make decisions for the future when there is no guarantee that things will physically get better.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
05/15/2014

I am sorry to hear that you are not doing well with your chiari condition and that you feel that your only option is to have brain surgery. I would suggest that you look into the use of cold lasers too to deal with your condition (its also known as low level light therapy). Cold lasers work incredibly well on any kind of inflammation and they have helped our dog tremendously - in fact they brought back his life. In the beginning we thought we might have to euthanize him because of his condition.

I would like to give another update on our dog. It has been almost 2 years since he was diagnosed with syringomyelia and he continues to do extremely well! He continues to live a normal life, the same as he did before he was ever diagnosed with this condition- he's active, he's alert, he's pain free. We still bring him to the chiropractor for an adjustment and a cold laser treatment once every 4-6 weeks for maintenance.

Since our dog was diagnosed with this condition we have met others who have Cavaliers that were suffering from the same condition and we suggested that they use the same treatments that we did on our dog. We have heard that their dogs are experiencing the same results as ours.

I did want to clarify one thing appearing in one of my earliest posts. During the first month of his initial treatment with cold laser/chiropractic (when he was very sick), he did not have just one treatment during that first month. He had probably about 5 treatments in the first month when he was really sick. However, after the first month, he's been only on maintenance visits, which I mentioned is every 4-6 weeks.

Replied by Michelle
Washington, US
10/21/2014

Katie, it is so wonderful and really a miracle to have stumbled on to your blog. My precious cav, Coco has been diagnoised with syringomyelia and we are just heartbroken. Can you please tell me who the vet is you are seeing for the cold laser and chiro treatment? Thank you so much!!!!

Replied by Katie
Northport
10/22/2014

Michelle, can you reply with your e-mail and we can chat that way. I'm not sure if our vet would want his name posted.

Replied by Michelle
Seattle, Wa
10/23/2014

Hi Katie,

Totally understand, just trying to get a Dr.who has worked on a dog with syringomyelia to consult the chiropractor I found.

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
10/23/2014

Hey Michelle!

Just dipping in here to post this resource of experienced Cavalier neurologists who may be able to help you:

http://www.cavalierhealth.org/neurologists.htm#Washington

Replied by Michelle
Seattle, Wa
10/23/2014

Thank you Theresa for thinking of us! That is where we found our neurologist! Take care!

Katie, did you get my email?

Replied by Katie
Northport, NY
10/23/2014

Michelle,

First, I think it's great that you came across this post, I am sure it will help Coco as it has helped my friend's dog.

A couple of thoughts:

1. It's good that you've got a chiropractor lined up. That is a step in the right direction. But, I wonder if chiropractic care alone will give the desired results? Our success in treating Darcy has been with the combination of the chiropractic care and the cold laser. This is not to say that chiropractic care won't help, but in case it doesn't work as a stand-alone treatment, you should try to locate a practitioner who uses cold lasers in his practice and do as we have done, or you might want to even consider acupuncture. Acupuncture was the other recommendation made to us by that incredible, open-minded neurologist. She was the one that saved my friend's dog.

If you're looking for a vet that uses cold lasers it might be a little challenging, but I had a few thoughts on this. I know of a few medical grade cold lasers which are used by doctors, chiropractors, vets and other medical professionals. Thor Lasers is one of them, Erchonia Lasers is another, and our vet uses a Centurian laser on Darcy. I know that if you go on the Erchonia website (erchonia.com) you can locate a practitioner through a drop down box and two of the choices are (i) vet, or (ii) chiropractic vet. If the other websites don't have the same searches available to help find practitioners, maybe you can call the company and ask them if they have sold any of their units to any vets in your area? You might be able to locate a vet this way.

I'd like to give another update on Darcy, since I'm answering this post. It has been over 2 years now and the dog is still doing great, and he's still on no meds. However, he had a setback recently and I wanted to share it. I've mentioned in earlier posts that it was recommended to us from the beginning that once your dog is diagnosed with this condition that you should bring the dog back on a regular basis for maintenance treatments. Well, my friend had been doing this religiously for the first year and a half - he brought the dog back every 6-8 weeks for a preventative treatment. But then he got a little lax about it and stopped bringing him. Five months passed without bringing the dog back to the vet and the dog had a big setback. All his original symptoms returned, including the hot spot in his neck. After two chiropractic/cold laser treatments though, the dog returned to normal again and has been that way to present. So this has been an important lesson to remember.

However, it is possible that this setback might have also been brought about by another incident. At about the same time he had this setback, the dog ate, what I was told, might be a small hand towel. As a result, he was extremely sick for days and he was retching while trying to throw it up. This may have been a contributing factor and he may have thrown out his back, neck and everything else as result.

Replied by Katie
Northport, US
10/24/2014

Michelle,

There is one other thing I wanted to mention regarding chiropractors. Many years ago I brought my dog to my regular vet and he was given a chiropractic treatment. This vet, it turns out, didn't have any specialized chiropractic skills, he just used a hand held device to adjust my dog (they may be called an activator or an impulse adjusting instrument, I'm not sure). He just ran it along the spine and neck, pulled the trigger and it kept making this popping sound, that's it! What surprised me was that he did not use his hands at all to massage or kneed any other area of the body, which I would have expected. By contrast, the chiropractic vet my friend uses (who is an AVCA certified vet, link attached in an earlier post), only uses his hands to adjust the dog, I believe. I am sure that his hands tell him exactly where the source of the problem is with the patient, and those are the areas he works on. I'm not sure if I've ever seen him use one of these mechanical devices on the dog (although I've only been present for a few treatments). The treatment he gets from this vet is very gentle and the dog seems to love it, he practically falls asleep on the table. In fact it almost doesn't appear to be what you would expect a chiropractic adjustment would be.

Thought I would just mention this so that you would know that all chiropractic care may not be the same and that this is something to consider if your dog doesn't seem to benefit from the chiropractic he's given.

Replied by Katie
Northport
10/24/2014

Michelle,

I've been given permission to give you our vet's name. It is Dr. Alberto Gil, you can find his contact information in the attached link. He's located here in New York.

http://animalchiropractic.org/avca-doctor-search-3.htm

Replied by Michelle
Seattle, Wa
10/24/2014

Hi Katie!

Wow thank you so much for all the info especiallly the your vets name! I found a wonderful chiropractor who uses cold laser therapy, I found him on the AVCA link you posted he is in Bellevue, WA. He has treated cavs with syringo doing acupuncture but not with the cold laser therapy. So that is why I wanted the name of your vet so he could consult with him. We all are very excited to try this therapy.

To be able to get Coco off all those meds, 9 pills a day! That would be a miracle! I have an appointment with my neurologist then I will see the chiropractor. I will keep you posted. Thanks again so much for everything, I am truly grateful!!! It is so good to hear Mr. Darcy is doing well! :)

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
10/28/2014

Good luck Michelle. Keep me updated.

Replied by Michelle
Wa, US
12/13/2014

Well, I am happy to report it as been just 1 month since we started treatments; cold laser therapy and acupuncture twice a week. He also does a chiro adjustment from time to time. It is definitely helping, we have been able to make to decrease her prednisone with no increased symptoms!! Coco's personality is back! Snuggling and sleeps next to me all night! Which she has always been happy but was never able to really be comfortable. We should be off pred in another month and hopefully the others in time. Her chem screens are off the charts (liver) because of the pred, so we are detoxing etc...so hopefully we caught this in time for her liver to heal. Thank you again for the info! Take care! Have a wonderful holiday season!!

Replied by Katie
Northport, New York
12/13/2014

Michelle, I am so thrilled to hear Cocoa's good news and thank you for updating all of us!! This is valuable information to share with others whose dogs are suffering from this affliction. Does your vet think he will be able to slowly wean her off any of the other meds, other than just the prednisone?

Re Cocoa's elevated liver enzymes. I can give you some advice on this too. In a short period of time I have seen a huge improvement in my own Cavalier's liver enzymes by giving him a few natural substances. My dog Oliver has always had high liver enzymes (which was never good) but then after being bitten by a tick and subsequently being diagnosed with Lymes disease, he was then given a month's course of doxycycline. The doxycycline, in combination with heavy duty antibiotics given to him following the removal of a few teeth, completely taxed his liver. A blood test was taken shortly after the dental and I noticed that his liver enzymes had soared. His ALT was 804 (norm: 12-118); ALK PHOS was 394 (norm: 5-131); AST was 248 (norm: 15-66); and GGTP was 13 (norm: 1-12). My vet told me to give Oliver Milk Thistle twice a day. (Give either in a pill or a glycerin based tincture, but do not give a tincture with alcohol in it. She told me to give him twice the amount stated on the label for the first 3 months. (She said it takes between 3 and 4 months for the liver the regenerate and start healing). She said it is the safest, most studied herb out there for the liver. She said we should all be taking it for prevention and to help our own livers out. In addition, I also give him Dr. Mercola's Liver and Kidney Support for Pets twice a day and I also give him some dog greens which also help to detox the liver.

Well, after the first 8 weeks, I took him back for a follow up blood test and his ALT dropped 496 points to 308, his AST dropped 133 points to 115; his Alk Phos dropped 91 points to 115; and his GGT dropped to 7 (which is now in the mid-range of normal). We are now at 16 weeks into the liver herbs and he is due back for another blood test and I am expecting to hear more good news. Maybe his liver enzymes will be in the normal range for the first time in his life? This would be wonderful. BTW, I had met with two internists re Oliver's liver issue. From the ultrasound that was taken, one thought that he might have cirrhosis, but the other felt that it was just a very serious liver inflammation as there appeared to be scarring on the liver. Either way, we are making progress and he's doing very well and his liver disease symptoms have disappeared.

Replied by Michelle
Washington
12/14/2014

Hi Katie! Thank you again for the input! So glad to here Oliver is doing so well! When we got Coco's results back my heart just sank, but I feel that we can turn this around so does our vet, everything else looked good. Yes we are hopeful to get her off the gabapentin and zonisamide eventually. The pred is the biggie because, as you know, long term is just killing her. We get back her results from her second chem screen tomorrow so hopefully we will see some decreases in her levels. She is taking Denamarin 225mg (it is SamE and Milk thistle), along with herbal supplements: Livit 2, Rentone, & Ashwagandha! They are from a local company Ayush Herbs. They have a website if you want to investigate! We will keep on these to help her liver get healthy. Her first results were: ALP 4819, GGT 229, ALT 538. Yikes!! .....I cross all my fingers and toes. Will keep you posted. Take care!!

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
12/15/2014

Michelle, my vet said the liver is one of the most regenerative of all organs - and she told me that I should not worry. She said the liver has the capacity to heal itself even if liver function has fallen to like 20%. It is so good that Cocoa is being helped with these therapies and that this will enable her to eventually come off these meds which have caused the problem. For every med removed, I am sure you are going to see tremendous improvements in her liver chem profiles. It sounds like you have a very good vet and are in very capable hands. Please keep us posted.

Replied by Michelle
Wa
12/15/2014

Well, we got Coco's 2nd lab results back today, this is 4 weeks since her first results. I am pleased to say WOW!!!!! ALP: 655, GGT: 21, ALT: 74!!!! Amazing! I was so worried it was still going to be high and have to deal with cancer! This is the best Christmas present ever!! Take care Katie! Have a wonderful holiday season! No changes in therapy and supplesments for now. I will keep you posted with any changes and updates. :)

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
03/06/2015

Michelle, how is Cocoa doing? Your last update was so encouraging.

Replied by Peabody
North Of Seattle, WA
03/23/2015

Michelle, I was wondering where you go for the cold laser therapy?

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
03/24/2015

Michelle might not be signed up to receive notifications when posts appear on syringomyelia. In case you don't get a reply from her, this may be why. I don't think she's seen my earlier post asking for an update on Cocoa either.

Anyway, if you checked the American Veterinary Chiropractor Association link which appears in the first post of this thread and you search for a DVM in Bellevue, WA only one name appears. She did say she got her vet's name from that link. So my guess is that her vet might be Dr. Tejinder Sodhi in Bellevue, Washington at http://holistic-pet-care.com/.

If Michelle sees this, maybe she can confirm and maybe give an update on Cocoa. I hope Cocoa is continuing to do well!

Replied by Andrea
Salt Lake City, Ut
08/29/2015

Hi Katie, I am hoping you still keep up with this thread?! I can't tell you how relieved I was to find it.

I just rescued a 4 month old CKCS a month ago and it appears that he is showing signs of SM. My vet is holistic and specializes in acupuncture and chiropractic care. After reading this thread we immediately began Cold Laser Therapy and 'Inti' had his first session last week (though only about 12 minutes). Can you be a little more specific about which laser was utilized? My vet is preferring the more defined acupuncture like wand vs the more diffused one but I am not seeing much difference in his pain. I appreciate you sharing all you have and hope you might give me a few more specifics if possible.

You are welcome to email me as well. Thank you so much. Kindly, Andrea

Replied by Katie
Northport
08/30/2015

Andrea,

Our vet doesn't use an acupuncture type laser or probe, like your vet. Our vet uses an older hand-held Centurian laser, which looks just like the model appearing in the attached link, at the bottom right. It has a handle on it and the laser part is about 3" or 4" wide and long, I think. (The other laser appearing in the lower left of the attached link, is an acupuncture type laser, which may be similar to what your vet was using, but this is not what we used). This is the link to the Centurian laser that our vet uses (although he has an older model and I don't know if any of the specifications have changed on this newer model). http://www.centurionsystems.com/laser-shower/.

The other vet I refer to in one of my earlier posts, uses a hand-held Thor laser in treating syringomyelia. This vet primarily uses the LED CLUSTER probes for the inflammation, I think, which appears in the attached link. (But he may also use it with the 810 nm 1 watt LASER cluster, I think, depending on the case.) Here is a link: http://www.thorlaser.com/products/

I would guess that the reason that your vet's "acupuncture type" laser is not helping your dog is because (i) it does not cover a wide enough area on the body which is necessary to reduce the inflammation. (These acupuncture type lasers may only be useful for stimulating acupuncture points in the body); (ii) your vet did not give your dog enough time for the treatment, or (iii) the laser may not be the right wavelength of light to treat an inflammatory condition such as this. (Note: cold laser manufacturers use different specs for their lasers and some may be more beneficial than others). However, I am not an expert on lasers, and this is just my general understanding.

When our Vet treated Darcy for the first time, he spent about 45 minutes with him. He used the hand-held cold laser (Centurian) and very slowly moved it up and down the base of Darcy's skull, right down to his tail bone and along the side of the spine. He told us that Darcy needed the extra time because of his condition and because of his pain. After a few treatments though, Darcy became a new dog. It was really amazing to see a dog who had become an invalid, return to being his usual feisty self after a few treatments.

So my thoughts would be, that if this vet cannot offer you anything except for the "acupuncture" type cold laser, which doesn't seem to be helping him, I would look elsewhere for another vet who uses different laser technology. Look for someone using the handheld devices, maybe, or anything other than acupuncture type lasers. (Look for vets using medical grade cold laser equipment from good companies such as Centurian, Thor, or Erchonia). There may be others good ones too, but I don't know who they are. I believe you will have the same success as we did.

BTY, Darcy the Cavalier is still doing great and it's been about 3 years now?and he's still on no meds! His owner brings him back for follow-up treatments once every 3 months now for a preventative treatment.

Good luck with your puppy, let me know if you have any other questions.

Replied by Andrea
Salt Lake City, Utah
09/01/2015

Thank you so much Katie. My vet actually uses the Centurian and does have the broader probe which we used today in Inti's 2nd of 5 weekly sessions. We are up to 20 minutes at this point which my vet feels is plenty since he is just barely showing signs of SM and is only 5 months old. He seems to be feeling better though I have cut back on his hikes in the mountains till he grows into himself a bit more (I think this may have also contributed to his pain). I will definitely keep you posted. I so appreciate you clarifying everything you did.

Awesome news on Darcy! Fingers crossed we will have similar results. Kindly, Andrea

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
09/01/2015

Andrea,

There was another thing I wanted to mention about Darcy's treatment. Darcy had a hot spot in his neck which we noticed even before the severe signs of syringomyelia appeared. We did not know why this area in his neck was so much warmer (or hotter) to the touch than the surrounding skin. But when we brought him to the vet, he treated this area too, in addition to the spinal area with the laser. This gave immediate relief to Darcy. This is when we noticed his muscles moving and contracting as the laser was held over it. So, the vet continues to treat this area, along with the spinal area. Just wanted to mention this in case you notice something similar with your dog.

Also, although his initial visit was 45 minutes, it was a combination laser/chiro treatment. His laser treatments have never been 45 minutes long. I think his regular treatments are typically around 15/20 minutes or so.

Replied by Bren
Houston, Tx
09/02/2015

Oh! I'm sitting here with my beautiful Boston terrier laying in my lap. My heart is so heavy ....Izzie is 1 1/2 yr old happy baby and yesterday she was diagnosed with SM! I've been struggling all day wondering if I was selfish by wanting to keep her with me. She has been such a happy girl that I can't imagine saving her only to keep her druged all of the time.

Your blog has given me such hope! Please keep us in your blog and your thoughts....I will begin my search for vet that does cold laser. At this point I'm nervous about chiropractor since the SM has effected C2-L3 (pretty much her entire spine)

Any help and support you give us would be so appreciated

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
09/03/2015

Bren,

When I was looking into lasers, I also came across info on the ML830 laser which may also be a good one?? But, again, our experience has been with the Centurian so this is something that you would have to determine. If you scroll down in the attached link, there is a vet, Bruce Meuth discussing how he uses this laser in his practice in a couple of different videos. He's located somewhere in Texas. Maybe it's worth a phone call to him?

http://www.myml830.com/veterinary-laser-therapy

Replied by Bren
Houston, Texas
09/04/2015

Katie, thank you for your help. The vet you sent the link for is only about an hour away, I would gladly go if it will help with the pain. How much of your dog's spine is involved? I can already see Izzie losing muscle mass.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
09/05/2015

Bren,

I'm not sure how much of of Darcy's spine is involved in the syringomyelia. I think alot of his issues might be in his neck area, but I'm just not sure. Either way, cold laser treatments are supposed to be good for musculoskeletal issues and arthritis too, so I think you may have very good results with this.

Replied by Veronica
New York, Ny
09/17/2015

Katie,

Thank you for your generous posts. Our 3 y.o. French Bulldog was diagnosed 2 days ago and it was the most painful shock to us. It seemed to come out of nowhere, as we were expecting a herniated disc diagnosis. The neurologist recommended Prilosec and Gabapentin, but discouraged surgery because of the risk. Thanks to your experience, I will seek out cold laser treatment and acupuncture. You give me hope that we will have some more time together. Thank you so much!

Replied by Marijo
New York, Ny
09/19/2015

Hi Katie,

We were hoping we could speak to you about the amazing progress that your friend's dog has had with this treatment. As the post above indicates, our 3 year old was just diagnosed with SM and we are very anxious; we liven the City as well. Would you be willing to speak to us (off email) about your friend's treatment? We would really appreciate it. If so, you can email us directly at marijoesq (at) me.com.

Thank you! Marijo

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
09/22/2015

Marijo, I'm not sure if I'm comfortable going offline. Is there anything in particular you would like to know? I did try to provide as much information as I could about the treatment Darcy has been receiving.

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
09/22/2015

Just wanted to comment re: going offline.

The goal here is to share info, so taking the discussion offline prevents others from learning from your journey.

Thank you for keeping it on the EC forum :)

Replied by Andrea
Salt Lake City, Ut
09/22/2015

Thank you for the follow-up Katie. Inti is coming up on his 5th session in as many weeks tomorrow and it wasn't until last week when we went 25 minutes that I noticed a marked difference! We are also using Homeopathic Hypericum (St John's Wort, which is supposed to be excellent for the nerve pain that the SM causes) when he is grumpy and growls to my touch and the results are remarkable. Today, he over did it a bit playing with another dog and slept much of the day. I gave him two doses about 3 hours apart and it was pretty much instantly after the 2nd dose and he was his normal crazy puppy self! Will keep you posted for sure. Thanks again.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
09/23/2015

Andrea, thank you for updating us on Inti's progress. Is Inti getting just cold laser therapy or is it a combination of cold laser, acupuncture or chiropractic? The homeopathic Hypericum sounds wonderful for his nerve pain. What strength was prescribed 30C or stronger? (It is interesting because Hypericum was prescribed to me for toothaches. And, the combination of Hypericum and Arsenicum were prescribed to me for tooth extractions (nerve pain).

Do you know if Inti's pain issues are mostly in his spine? The reason I ask is because when I was researching what we could to do to help our dog, it was mentioned that cold laser therapy typically takes a number of treatments to deal with musculoskeletal issues (at least 7 or 8) before the results start to take. It is said that each treatment is cumulative and that it builds on the previous sessions. In Darcy's case, however, it may be that some of his pain issues are in the softer tissues of his neck (although I don't know this for sure) which might explain why he had results a little sooner.

Andrea, please keep us updated on Inti's progress. It would be great if you would be a contributor to this blog going forward, so that others can learn from your experience too in treating this condition.

Replied by Veronica
New York
09/30/2015

My 3 y.o. frenchie, who has severe sm as evidenced by her MRI, has now had 5 cold laser treatments. I'm uncertain whether it is helping because we have kept her on the Gabapentin and Prilosec since her diagnosis two weeks ago. My fear is that, given her condition, she needs to remain on the meds. An acupuncturist who is also a neurologist said acupuncture would not help. My next move is to see someone who specializes in Chinese herbs and to consult about the surgery, although I doubt that we will put her through the surgery.

I also wanted to add that I contacted the breeder, who never followed up to my request that she notify my dog's litter mates and any other dogs who resulted from the same parents. Had someone notified me, we might have caught her sm before it progressed as much as it did. So, in hopes that this might reach someone who might be affected and not even know it, my frenchie is from Bluegrass Frenchies in Berea, KY, born 11/29/11. Her parents are Styles Jr. and Roxy.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
10/03/2015

A number of people have asked whether cold laser therapy may help their animals with spinal issues and thought I would share some additional info from the perspective of one vet who uses cold laser therapy ALONE on syringomyelia dogs. He said that with spinal issues if one is going to see improvement you will typically see it within the first 3 or 4 treatments. He said whether light therapy causes a reduction in the fluid build-up in the spinal cord or just reduces inflammation is really unknown. (I’m guessing it’s because most people are not going to pay an additional $2,500 for a second MRI to confirm this).

So, for those dogs that don’t improve with just cold laser alone, my thoughts are that chiropractic should also be utilized to see if it helps your dog. This was the therapy that was specifically recommended to us by one of our neurologists early on and this is the treatment we are currently giving to our dog. The recommendation was chiropractic plus cold laser therapy. Although I’m not a vet, you have to wonder if these animals with the spinal issues, who don’t respond to cold laser alone, have some sort of underlying misalignment in the spine (which may be blocking the flow of spinal fluid) and therefore may not respond to cold laser therapy until it is corrected? As mentioned in a previous post, the chiropractic treatment our dog receives is very gentle but it should only be done by a AVCA certified chiropractic vet. (See link in an earlier post).

We have also recently been in touch with another AVCA chiropractor who mentioned that she herself owns a cavalier who is showing early signs of syringomyelia. She said that so far she has been controlling it with homeopathy but did not know about the possibility of using cold laser for this condition too. The reason I mention this is because homeopathy may be another treatment people want to look into IN ADDITION to the cold laser and chiropractic treatment. They may all be helpful together.

Given the seriousness of this affliction, and the fact that all syringomyelia dogs are not the same and may not respond the same, I would look into all available possibilities to see what works for your dog before considering surgery.

Replied by Andrea
Salt Lake City, Utah
10/11/2015

Hi Katie,

I will definitely keep posting updates on Inti. At this point we just completed 6 weeks in a row of sessions with one full week without anything. His pain has lessened substantially and I have only had to give him Hypericum (8-10 pellets @6C btw, up to 3x until pain is gone - so far we have only needed two doses one time, otherwise he has shown remarkable relief with just one dose. Literally down in pain and within moments will be up and playing). I am hoping to be able to go 3-4 weeks between Laser now as in Darcey's case, but will yield to his cue's.

One of the other things we have used was homeopathic Sulfur. Apparently it is quite helpful to relieve the genetic patterns associated with SM. His first does gave some relief and we gave a 2nd large dose 6 weeks later. This, I believe was also a big part of his improvement.

He is getting some spinal manipulation as our vet is also trained in chiropractic as well as acupuncture (though we haven't utilized acupuncture yet to date).

Inti's 'hotspot' was actually in his lower back, though he is like putty in our hands when getting the laser on his neck so I suspect it is where the bulk of the pain was. Both again are improving!!! He will still growl with touch from time to time after a more rigorous hike but prior to the Laser treatments he was yelping and biting. As a side note, we did determine that he was manipulating me a bit because he knew that I was sensitive to when he was hurting. We nipped that one, thankfully. He's a smart one this pup!!

I did subscribe to this site so I should now get notifications when you reply. This is such an important thread for those of us who are looking for alternative treatments to standard protocol (which I will do my best to avoid as long as possible)! Thanks again for keeping this conversation going so many years Katie.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
10/13/2015

Andrea, I am so happy to hear of the progress you are making with Inti. The addition of the homeopathy is also very interesting because this was something that I never considered initially. Please keep us updated.

Replied by Erika
Fairfax, Va
10/30/2015

Can you tell me how the dog is as of today, and explain why prilosec?Thank you so much!

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
10/31/2015

It is my understanding that the Prilosec was prescribed to supposedly reduce cerebral spinal fluid production, which is supposed to help the SM condition. However, it was our experience that this did nothing to help our dog. Instead, it created a condition in him where he had chronically impacted anal glands and he became severely flea infested after being on it for close to a year.

The following is taken from an article written by Clare Rusbridge, a veterinary neurologist, regarding the use of certain drugs which reduce cerebral spinal fluid production, such as Prilosec in treating syringomyelia. This article appears on loveforollie.com website.

(Quote) “Proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole (Losec or Prilosec) can inhibit cerebrospinal fluid formation and therefore may be valuable; clinical data on their use and effectiveness for SM is currently lacking. This drug is unlikely to be useful in the long term as therapy longer than 8 weeks duration is not recommended as this may increase the risk for stomach cancer….”(End Quote)

Darcy the Cavalier continues to do well and hasn't been on any drug in the past couple of years. As I mentioned in a post from last month, he continues to show no signs of SM and he has basically returned to normalcy. However, there have been times, which I have written about in this post where he did have some pain issues, but this seems to happen only when he overdid things. When that happened we just brought him back to the vet for another treatment and it would go away. Our open-minded neurologist mentioned to us early on, that relapses could be expected and that when they did happen we should just treat the animal again and that they would most likely return to normal again, as did most of her patients.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that the cold laser, chiropractic and acupuncture all help to deal with the symptoms of the spinal disease and they have been a miracle treatment for our dog. But I am still curious about what actually CAUSED the SM in the first place and what methods could be used to address it so that the body becomes healthy and rebalanced again? I wonder if this is where homeopathy has its place in dealing with that underlying imbalance or condition?

Replied by Kathy
Il
12/18/2015

I don't know if you will get notification of my reply since you wrote this post in 2013 but I am hoping that you do. Our Cavalier is going to see a neurologist on Monday with symptoms of syringomyelia. She is currently in a lot of pain and unable to move around. I would be so appreciative of any info you can give on the natural treatments that the dog you wrote about had.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
12/18/2015

Kathy,

The first thing you should probably try is to find a chiropractic vet who uses a cold laser in his practice and see how that works for your dog (link appears earlier in this blog). Other options to try would be homeopathy and acupuncture.

I hope one of these treatments can help you dog.

Replied by Roxanne
Toronto Canada
01/03/2016

This information is very interesting. Our 7 year old cavi Molly was diagnosed 3 years ago with after a MRI.

At the time he symptoms where manageable however in the last year we have seen a significant decline in the quality of Molly's life. She is now yelping in pain when frantically rubbing her face. Six months ago we decided to proceed with another (very costly) MRI to see how much it had progressed at the neuological vets advice. Unfortunately the news was not good and the vet said that Mollys condition had worsened dramatically. She immediately put her on gabapanton 3 times a day which lessened the symptoms for a few months, however we have now moved onto Prilosec and another pain drug which is not working. In fact she has declined. So last week we went back to Gabapanton and are now looking for advice.

Is there anyone who has found a vet in the Toronto area who offers this type of cold laser therapy?

Thanks!

Replied by Roxanne
Toronto
01/12/2016

Hi again, after ending a vet who offers cold laser therapy I have just returned from a consultation discussing the benefits for our 8 yr old Cavalier Molly. She was diagnosed 3 years ago after a Mri with mild syringomyalia . In August 2015 we had another Mri performed because her symptoms were worsening dramatically with increased scratching and yelping in pain. Unfortunately the news was not good and Molly's condition had worsened dramatically. She is currently on Gabapanton 100 mg 6 times a day. We have tried ither drugs with no benefit, we are being told we should consider adding steroids to alleviate pain.

The vet was not confident that the cold laser would benefit but he said it won't hurt. We now need to decide if we should try it.

The cost to date has been excessive to say the least but I am having a hard time not going ahead and giving it a try in case she realizes the benefits expressed on this site. My concern is none of vet's listed on the link above in our area offer the cold laser therapy, the vet I am going to is the only one who I could find that does. They are not a chiropractic veterinary office but do have underwater treadmill treatment and other physiotherapy options.

I note in the post there are strong recommendations to find a chiropractic vet who offers the cold laser. Is there any other information with regards to the laser treatment I should ask before going ahead?

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
01/15/2016

Roxanne,

I'm not sure if there is anything you could ask that might give an indication in advance of whether this will work for your dog. I think you just have to try it, hope for the best, and see how it goes (and also hope that your vet is using good equipment). By the way, when we first asked our chiro/cold laser vet about whether he thought this treatment might help our dog, he told us that he had never treated an animal with SM before, but he said he was open to it and he suggested that we “try it and see what happens.”

Also, I think this condition probably does require a multidimensional approach - possibly using two or more therapies, which would depend on the dog and how he reacts to treatment. I would hate to see anyone try just cold laser therapy, feel that it did not help their animal and then abandon it, along with any of the other treatments mentioned in this blog. When maybe what might be required is a combination therapy? Our dog still receives two types of treatment… and it seems that some of the other people who posted on this site, who have been seeing results, are also using more than one type of treatment to deal with the SM.

I still think that a visit to a chiro vet is a good thing (at least for an initial visit) because a chiro vet would at least be able to tell you if your dog has some sort of “structural” issue that needs to be addressed (e.g., misalignment, pinched nerve, blockage or something like that). And, if so, where the issue is located on/in the body. He might also be able to correct it. I'm thinking that the information learned from a chiro and your dog's condition would be important info that you would want to share with the cold laser vet. This might even help to make the laser treatments more effective by at least knowing where the issues are in the body. However, if a “structural type” issue is left untreated, is it possible that it could would make the cold laser treatments ineffective, or less effective, by possibly block the flow of lymph? I don't know the answer…but its a thought.

Also consider things like homeopathy and/or acupuncture. Andrea from Salt Lake City seemed to be having some good results with the homeopathy with her cavalier, Inti's pain. (If Andrea from Salt Lake is still receiving notifications from this blog, maybe she can update us on her Cavalier Inti's treatment and progress?).

Roxanne, I hope these treatments can help Molly. There is nothing worse than seeing an animal in pain, it is heartbreaking. Six gabapentins a day is heavy duty pain control. Please keep us updated. I wish the very best for her recovery.

Katie

P.S. Roxanne.....just curious. Have you noticed a "hot spot" anywhere on Molly's body like we did with Darcy (in his neck) and Andrea did with her Cavalier (in his back)?

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
01/15/2016

Roxanne, I just came across the attached link to a holistic vet in Calgary and thought it looked interesting. Is Calgary anywhere near Toronto?

http://www.holisticpetvetcare.com/

Replied by Roxanne
Toronto
02/06/2016

Hi Katie, thanks so much for your your insight. Unfortunately Calgary is not close to Toronto but I appreciate the link and will contact them to find out if they know anyone in our area.

Molly does have a hot spot in her neck, and as her condition has worsened in the last six months we have had to remove her collar completely, we switched to a harness for walking her about a year ago however that no longer works she can only walk a few feet without stopping to scratch her neck and shoulder. we have no changed to a very loose collar just to her to a leash free area and then she can enjoy her walks with nothing on her neck and back. we have noticed that her happiest, pain free time is when she is out with us in a field walking, she seems to have a frown of pain the rest of the time.

Last week the vet advised that 4 Gabapanton in a 24 hour period is the maximum recommended by the neurologist so that's what she is now on. They want us to consider moving to steroid treatment next.

We have decided to proceed with the cold laser therapy first and will keep giving her the Gabapanton in hopes this combination prove helpful with reducing her pain. We have found a veterinary clinic who will start the cold laser treatment in two weeks time, we are purchasing a package of 5 sessions and will see how it goes.

in the meantime I will continue my search for a holistic veterinarian as I would prefer not to give her steroids if we can avoid it.

It is heart breaking to see Molly in this kind of pain and we are hopeful that we can find a combination that will improve her quality of life.

I am so pleased to hear that Darcy is still doing well and that Andrea has found a path as well For Inti as well. Thanks so much for posting Darcy's journey, it has given us hope!

Replied by Katie
Northport
02/08/2016

Roxanne, Molly sounds like she's experiencing symptoms like Darcy was - including the hotspot in the neck. Hopefully, you will find relief for her, like we did. Please keep us updated and let us know if any of the treatments helped.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
03/31/2016

I just wanted to share something else regarding a supplement that Darcy's owner has found useful for his dog's syringomyelia. Darcy has had a few recent bouts with his syringomyelia in the last couple of months. It is believed that the dog next door sets him off and he runs into the fence barking at this dog which has twice caused a relapse. Darcy's owner has started giving him curcumin (which is an anti-inflammatory) and he said he believes it has been helpful in his condition.

Replied by Andrea
Utah
04/01/2016

Hi! Inti's mom here. Inti is doing well for the most part though he is still needing the cold laser monthly. In January I went to Peru for 3 weeks and went a bit over and he ended up limping. His front paw goes lame if I wait to long. It seems to show up differently on him for sure but the relief is definitely the same. I definitely agree on the tumeric and also am feeding him grain free diet which is also anti-inflammatory. Again the homeopathic St. John's Wort is still super helpful when he has bouts and I also recommend that. All in all, we are still huge proponents of this course of action and are finding incredible results without the liver damage that the western meds cause. Hope everyone is doing well.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
04/02/2016

Andrea,

You were using the homeopathic Hypericum (St. John's Wort) in the 6C potency, when he was down in pain, right? What were the dosing instructions again? I am going to order this for my friend so that he can have it on hand for Darcy, in case it is needed.

I remember my homeopath mentioning that Hypericum was excellent for nerve pain. Also, Darcy's owner is using the combination of turmeric and curcumin for Darcy, rather than just plain curcumin, so I wanted to correct myself.

Replied by Robin
Los Angeles
04/23/2016

Hi all -

I'm posting because I feel like I'm slim on resources to help my dog, Margot.

At 3 years of age she was diagnosed via MRI with syringomyelia. The neurologist tried her on a few different combinations of drugs (including steroids which were awful for Margot). We ended up on Gabapentin 100 mg 2x daily.

At 8 years of age she was diagnosed with MVD by a cardiologist. She was put on Benazapril, Torsemide & Vetmedin 2x daily.

At her 6 month checkup at the cardiologist over a week ago EKG + x-ray shows progression of the MVD. Margot was additionally prescribed Sildenafil + Spironolactone. Immediately she started panting and coughing uncontrollably, 24 hours a day.

A week later she's returned to the cardiologist twice + has stopped the additional/new heart meds to eliminate them as the cause of her discomfort.

The symptoms continue which lead me to believe that it's the syringomyelia that's the cause of her restlessness, discomfort, panting + coughing.

It occurred to me that she had perhaps panted so much in pain from the SM that she's created an inflammation in her trachea (which showed to be very narrow/collapsing on x-ray as a result of the enlarged heart).

She's been prescribed hydrocodone to relax her and stop her from panting/coughing. It worked for 24 hours but now I'm giving her the max hydrocodone prescribed and doubled her gabapentin dose but she is still extremely uncomfortable.

I've also begun to give her hawthorn extract for her heart + milk thistle to help detox the liver from the meds.

The regular vet doesn't have much else to offer + I've been reading these posts and am now trying to find a reliable cold laser therapist in/around LA.

Any further suggestions would be so appreciated - I can't stand seeing Margot in so much discomfort.

I've cross posted this to the MVD thread since there are two issues with her at present.

Video of her behavior here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBryCZUzPFY

Replied by Andrea
Utah
04/24/2016

Hi Katie,

So sorry, I am not sure how I missed your message but I just saw it when I got notification of the most recent post. The Hypericum was in a much higher concentraion. Something like 100c, I need to check to be sure but they are very, very small and I need to give him like 8 or 9 at a time up to 3 times until pain ceases. It is very helpful. Also the sulfur was helpful as it works with genetic predispositions. I will call my vet tomorrow to confirm dosage and repost if I am incorrect on the dosage.

Again, apologies for not replying sooner.

Replied by Andrea
Utah
04/25/2016

Hi Katie, Correction... It was 6c of the Hypericum. The 100/300 was the sulfur. Good luck.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
06/29/2016

I just wanted to mention that Darcy just had a very bad setback (worse than when he was first diagnosed 3.5 years ago) and right now he's being treated conventionally with the hope that we can stabilize him. His pain level was extremely high and the cold laser/chiro treatments did not help him this time.

Right now he's taking a steroid, along with a pain killer and Lyrica for the spinal fluid issue (this is supposed to be stronger or more effective than Prilosec). We hope that he won't need to be on these long term.

I came across the attached and wanted to post it here for anyone who wants to investigate this supplement called PEA for their dog. It's supposed to be helpful for the neuropathic pain in syringomyelia. Although we have no experience with it, it is something that we have ordered for Darcy. Here is the link.

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
06/30/2016

Aww, Katie,

No advice, just sending prayers at the news of this setback. :(

Replied by Andrea
Utah
06/30/2016

So sorry to hear Katie. Keep us posted please. Sending healing prayers that you find a lasting solution!

Replied by Suseeq
Sydney, Australia
07/02/2016

The only thing I can suggest for you to do is try boosting the immune system - raw honey, probiotics, aloe vera, echinacea, paul d arco are a few things to try.

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
07/14/2016

Update: Darcy seems much, much better and doesn't appear to be in any pain now but we have to be really careful about where and how we touch him. His current meds are (i) an oral steroid, (ii) Lyrica (for the pain - 2 pills am and 2 pills pm) and (iii) Prilosec (10 mg once a day for the spinal fluid issue). My understanding is that these meds were prescribed for the short-term only until his condition was stabilized and that Darcy's owner would then have to get back in touch with the neurologist to make adjustments to his meds. He will be doing this very soon. In addition to the above meds, he was also started on the PEA (Palmitoylethanolamide), which I mentioned in the post above, about a week or two ago. He's taking 1 capsule a day - split into 2 half-dosages a day.

The interesting thing about the relapse he had this time was that the typical hot spot which would always reappear in his neck, did not appear this time. Instead, he developed different symptoms such as watery, somewhat bulging eyes and a dry cough. He also developed some sort of swallowing issue. His eyes appear more normal now.

I will update this post on his progress going forward.

Replied by Brenda
Houston
07/16/2016

I first joined this link about a year ago when Izzie, my then 18 mo old Boston Terrier was diagnosed. Since Izzie was diagnosed as the "worst of the worst" spanning from her skull all the way to her tail, I went with the the traditional treatment. She takes prednisone, every 2-3 days, tramadol 3 times a day and gabapentin 3 times a day. She had a lot of bad days during the winter but seems to do better during the summer ( good thing we live in Houston).

The reason I reach out today is I discussed the PEA with the vet and she wasn't opposed to it but said she couldn't locate it. So would you share with me where to locate the supplement? And to ask for prayers and support for Izzie. The fact that she was diagnosed at such a young age with the severity of the disease leaves us with a very grim future, so we play and enjoy every good day that she has.

I thank you for this link it has been very helpful and uplifting.

Thank You All

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
07/16/2016

Brenda,

I am so sorry to hear about Izzy's condition. I hope the palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) may be able to help her. I also hope it will help Darcy so that we can lower his meds and hopefully remove some of them.

With the PEA, I read that you need to give it for at least 2 months for it to saturate the body. Results may come earlier though.

You asked about where to buy the PEA. It seems that most of the studies, some of which were on pubmed.gov, were done with something by the brand name of “PeaPure” capsules (it is mentioned in the article I posted). This is a European formulation. (it is also available for medical purposes in Italy and Spain under brand names Normast and Pelvilen.) The article I posted on the PEA used PeaPure in the study with the Cavaliers. It seems that you can purchase it from rs4supplements.com. Here is the link: www.rs4supplements.com http://www.rs4supplements.com/en/pea/peapure-capsules. Note that these are 400 mg. tabs.

However, Darcy's dad bought his PEA from a place called Vitalitus.com. I think they are located in Pennsylvania. Here is the link: http://www.vitalitus.com/buy/pea/. Note that these tabs are 350 mg., not 400 mg. like the PeaPure. I don't know if one product is better than the other.

PEA Dosing Instructions From Article I Posted:

Cavaliers were given "PeaPure" as follows: "If dogs are very light and less than 6 kg (or 13 lbs.) we start with PEA 200 mg. Dogs between 6-12 kg (or between 13-26 lbs.) mostly get 150 mg. twice daily and heavy dogs, and non-responders get 200 mg. twice daily. As the substance is tolerated very well, a bit more is no problem, up to 40 mg/kg dog."

Darcy's dad asked me to tell you that Gabapentin did nothing for Darcy's pain even though his pain also went right down his back. But as an FYI, he felt the steroid was helpful (Dexamethasone 0.5mg) and so was the Lyrica (although he is only taking 1 Lyrica twice a day, not 2 Lyricas twice a day, as I mentioned in an earlier post). But, the Lyrica costs over $300 a month and it is hugely expensive.

These meds were only prescribed for 1 month at these dosages, along with the 10 mg. dose of Prilosec which was to decrease the cerebral spinal fluid production. They need to be adjusted downward soon.

Replied by Rose
Mississauga
11/03/2016

I have the same problem with my 15 month old dog who was diagnosed with SM. Cold laser therapy is done at Oakville Mississauga vet hospital and I too am looking to start this program. This truly hurts a great deal, my heart is feeling broken.. I continue to pray that something will work for my fur baby. It saddens me to see all the animals who are diagnosed with a non curable disease.

Replied by Michelle
Huntington, Ny
03/20/2017

I am looking for the vet chiropractor who treated the cavalier spoken about in this post. It was a few years ago, but I live in the same area and have a cav with the same problem. Thank you

Replied by Katie
Northport, Ny
03/20/2017

The number I have for Dr. Gil 516-997-3632. He's located in Dix Hills.

Replied by Sara
Hull
09/02/2017

Where can I find out more about this treatment. Such as which vets and how much please.

Replied by Ronda
Los Angeles Ca
10/03/2017

Hello Katie. I have a 5 year old 4 pound maltese that is diagnosed with Fthe following: Inflammatory CNS disease and cervical meningomyelitis, such

as secondary to granulomatous meningoencephalitis;

Secondary hydrocephalus, syringohydromyelia,

and caudal cervical, thoracic and lumbar spinal cord edema and/or myelitis.

My question is what cold laser machine was being used for the treatments for the pups with SM? Any specific details would be helpful as there are many kinds with different wavelengths and output power and length of treatment. I would love to know the protocol that Vet used that was so helpful for the pup.

Thank you in advance!

Ronda

Replied by Liz
Far Hills, Nj
11/06/2017

Making a trip to Dr. Gil tomorrow with my 13 year old Cavalier that has SM. It is a 100 mile trip each way. Keeping my fingers crossed.