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Author Topic: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions  (Read 13933 times)

mmuns

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New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« on: January 15, 2017, 07:10:00 PM »

Hello!  My name is Monica and my 4 year old boxer mix Bluesy is currently undergoing treatment for SRMA relapse.  (Initial diagnosis and treament at 14 months old.  Completely recovered to normal with no symptoms until last March 2016).  We are down to 20mg of prednisone eod and 100mg cyclosporine twice a day with omeprazole.  Her relapse was very different than her original illness.  The regular vet thought she had a UTI, ear infection, impacted anal glands and macular degeneration from March until July of 2016.  She would display varied symptoms (always eyesight loss combined with something else) that would improve with treatment for whatever diagnosis she was given.  Her eyesight loss was noticeable at home but not at vet visits.  Finally she ran into a fence running at full speed and I took her back insisting they find what was causing her to be unable to see.  We were referred to a neurologist who diagnosed her relapse. 

She has improved much during the course of treatment but has physically gone downhill.  She's gained weight and lost muscle and the pads of her feet are in terrible shape.  She was so young initially that the side effects of prednisone weren't as hard on her.  I am feeding her different things four times a day and she doesn't have stomach upset thankfully!  She has recently become grumpy and growly - we have six other dogs so this is a big concern.  We are scheduled to lower her prednisone dose to 10mg every other day starting Wednesday. 

Questions:
1.  Anything I can do to improve the condition of her feet?  I have tried paw wax with no success. 
2.  Could the grumpy, growly behavior come from lowering the prednisone?  She is so much happier on the days when she doesn't have to take it.  I'm wondering if she has an infection somewhere else causing this...
3.  What to expect as far as lowering the meds from here?  Will we wean off prednisone totally and then lower cyclosporine?  What is the difference between prednisone and cyclosporine?
4.  Vitamins or other liver support supplements?  I am not giving her anything but should I be?

Thank you for this forum and for the information!
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Jo CIMDA

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 08:33:39 PM »

Hi Monica and welcome

I am sorry your girl has relapsed again.  It is hoped that as SRMA dogs get a bit older they will achieve long term remission.

Unfortunately, loss of sight can occur with SRMA - you are not going balmy!

In an attempt to answer your questions:

It is most likely that the problem with her pads is due to the effects of prednisolone.  This is not uncommon, and it will probably not improve much until the steroids are significantly lowered.  Long term use of steroids can have a bad effect on the skin and this can result in lesions, ulcers and thin skin.  The best way to address this, a part from lowering the steroids, is to put your girl on Natural Vitamin E (400iu twice a day - Clinical immunology of the Dog and Cat by Michael J Day) .  Natural Vitamin E encourages new cell growth and this is not just a supplement but it is used in conventional medicine treatment for skin conditions.  It has to be the natural form of Vit E, and not the synthetic type which is a lot cheaper, because the synthetic form has hardly any active effect.  In addition high doses of essential fatty acids (EFA's)  such as Evening primrose oil (Omega 6) and fish oil (omega 3) should be included in the diet.

http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1659&aid=666

These will all help to encourage new skin to grow.  It is also likely, where the skin is broken,  that there is secondary bacterial infection and/or fungal/yeast infection and this should be addressed by using antibiotics and or washes for fungal or yeast infections.  Because her immune system is considerably suppressed she does not have the ability to fight these secondary problems herself.

The grumpy, growly behaviour is most likely to be cause by her being Cushingoid (the effects of the steroids and having too much glucocorticoid).  This is typical behaviour and this is why she is better on the days she does not have the preds.

She will feel so much better when the preds are lowered to 10mg EOD. The Cyclosporin is controlling the immune system, so I would expect after a week or so (depending on how quickly they want her off the preds) the dose of preds will be lowered further to probably 5mg/ EOD and then if the vet considers her stable they should start to reduce the Cyclosporin until eventually she is weaned off altogether. There are lots of different ways of reducing preds when they are at a very low dose and hardly having any effect.  It does take a while (many months) for the skin and coat to repair and to look healthy again.

The difference between Cyclosporin and prednisolone, in terms of how both drugs suppress the immune system and their side effects, is huge, but ultimately they do the same job and have the ability to bring autoimmune diseases into remission. 

 Prednisolone is usually the drug of choice because it is fast acting, and if it controls the disease well and if the dog is on a good reducing regimen, the dose is usually reduced before intolerable side effects occur.  This fails if the dose and duration is wrong or if the disease doesn't respond as expected to the preds and the dog has to remain on the high dose for longer than intended - or if the dog relapses during the dose reduction phase and the preds have to be raised to a high dose again.  This is when the vet might consider using a 'combination' drug such as Cyclosporin or sometimes Azathioprine.

In addition to Natural Vit E and EFA's, Milk thistle and SAMe are very good and can help to support the liver during this time.

SRMA has a good prognosis.

Jo





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mmuns

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2017, 12:41:32 AM »

Hello Jo and thank you for the information.  At our neurology appointment on Jan 17th they lowered her prednisone dose to 10 mg eod for three more weeks and then we stopped that medication.  She is now on 100 mg once a day cyclosporine until our next appointment at the end of March.  Then I am hopeful that we can start lowering that one too.  Bluesy has gained too much weight - she weighs 82 pounds (up from 60 pounds at her initial appointment in October).  The prednisone- increased appetite along with almost complete inactivity really packed it on her.  I am trying slowly increase her activity taking short walks outdoors.  Again, thanks for the information.  I will be adding vitamin E to her supplements.  (She already gets Omega 3).

Monica
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mmuns

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2017, 10:05:02 PM »

Now that Bluesy is taking only 100 mg of cyclosporine a day I am seeing many more negative side effects.  She is losing her hair by the handfuls and having lots of stomach upset.  Is this because her adrenal glands aren't functioning correctly yet?  We weaned her off prednisone almost two weeks ago.  I expected her to improve with less medication but she hasn't improved - quite the opposite...

Monica
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Jo CIMDA

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2017, 09:31:15 AM »

Hi Monica

Your vet will have to examine Bluesy to determine if her current clinical signs are due to the withdrawal of preds or a relapse of the disease - it might also be an infection.  Check her body temperature.

It is sometimes very difficult to differentiate between a relapse of the disease or side effects of the drugs; or withdrawal of the drugs and/or a secondary problem that might be related or unrelated.  I know that isn't very helpful but when a dog's immune system is compromised they are open to other problems, and one of the most common is a urinary infection.

These symptoms, coupled with the past and present treatment regimen,  can be very confusing and each potential problem has to be eliminated before you reach a diagnosis of the current clinical signs, eg., does she have an infection? Does she have a high (or low) temperature? Is she in pain?  Does she have symptoms of the original disease etc....?

Reducing pred from 10mg EOD for three weeks and then stopping altogether should be OK, although sometimes it is better to reduce the dose again before stopping altogether.  It is possible that her adrenal glands are not performing well but I would have thought they will have kicked in by now.
 
Underperforming adrenal glands (hypoadrenocorticism) can result in an upset stomach/inappetence etc... and her blood results should reflect this, so ask your vet to check her bloods. 

Also, some dogs have an upset stomach as a result of Cyclosporin.   

Her hair loss is probably due to the prednisolone that she has already had and there is nothing you can do about this. It just takes time for the hair follicles to become active again, and they will, but it may take 6 months or more before you see significant hair regrowth.

I think you should take Bluesy back to your vet for a thorough examination.  If it is a relapse of SRMA then either the Cyclosporin will have to be increased or the preds will have to be significantly increased to bring it back under control. If she has an infection then she may need antibiotics, or sometimes dogs on immunosuppressive treatment can get a nasty gut bacteria such as campylobacter which will cause diarrhoea, and this needs to be addressed. There are so many variables.

I wish you luck at the vet.
Jo


 

 
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Annie Jackson

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2017, 06:57:28 PM »

I was beginning to think that my BC, just turned 3, was the only dog going through SRMA and the associated long term side effects of prednisone and cyclosporine.  Finn was diagnosed when he was 6 months old and every time his pred was reduced he relapsed which was preceded by diarrhoea (without warning).This last year my new vet has insisted on doing a blood test for C Reactive Protein levels and if they are normal or below then the meds are reduced.  We had to reduce the cyclosporine as his system could not tolerate it any more so he is on 50mg x 3 times per week now and 10mg of pred once a day.  More side effects of the steroid started to show last November, he went lame on his left front about the same time as our new puppy nipped his left elbow which went from a tiny scratch to a large boil - he needed 10 days of oral antibiotics and three, 2 weekly injections before it healed. Tests showed the joint and surrounding soft tissue to be clear so our vet suspected steroid damage and he is having Cartrophen injections which have done their job. But what I cannot find out is if the long term side effects of the pred are permanent or not.  Weight gain is not an issue but heavy panting and thirst were.  More recently the hair loss and muscle, tendon, joint problems. At the mo he has coconut oil, salmon oil and No-Moult oil + a good probiotic supplement.  I have noted the advice on vitamin E (natural form) and will add that once one of the others has finished.  Also noted the Milk Thistle and will look into that.  Finn has a very sensitive tummy and became less toleratant of raw food which he was weaned onto and had until he was about 9 months. He now has the next best thing - raw food which has been freeze dried and cold pressed with lots of good things in it, he has the Fish one and is thriving.  I would like to know what the future holds for dogs like ours with SRMA and what permanent damage the meds do.  Any help here will be much appreciated. Thank you.
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Jo CIMDA

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2017, 09:28:05 PM »

Hi Annie

I'm sorry Finn has SRMA. 

SRMA generally carries a very good prognosis but relapses are common, especially when the dog is young.  Relapses are not so common as the years go by.

 SRMA, as the name suggests, responds very well to prednisolone and eventually it is expected that dogs will achieve remission without a maintenance dose of immunosuppressive drugs.  Has Finn been on drugs ever since his diagnosis? Do you think his SRMA is remission now?

It is realistic to expect dogs with SRMA to achieve long term remission, but the drug regimen is crucial to the outcome.    I don't know what drug regimen Finn has been on but if he is stable it might be worth trying to lower the dose of the preds, at least to every other day,  and if that is uneventful, the you can start to gradually reduce the Cyclosporin in an attempt to completely wean him off of all drugs. 

The Michael J Day immunosuppressive prednisolone reduction regimen (in the files)  is the best I have come across and can be confidently used as a guide should you ever need to put Finn back on to an immunosuppressive dose of preds.

Skin problems are common when a dog is on long term preds. The skin becomes thin and it can easily ulcerate.  This can also cause secondary infection and can be challenging.  Once the preds have been withdrawn or significantly reduced, the skin will recover and start to heal but it can take several months. Hair growth is the same, it can take many months before the hair starts to regrow. The good news is, when the dose of preds is very low or is totally withdrawn, the majority of body systems do return to normal function.  Within 6 months you should see his muscles getting firmer and stronger and his energy increasing.  Also, his liver will return to normal, and skin and hair will regrow like you cannot imagine at this time.  If ligaments have stretched these will not return to how they used to be, but on the whole he can be a normal dog again. Preds inhibit the absorption of calcium so this may have effected his bone density but it does depend on how much was given and for how long.  Introduction of essential fatty acids, and as you say natural Vit E, will help but it does take up to 4-6 weeks to be effective, but it is well worth the wait.

Cyclosporin has different side effects than prednisolone. It can upset the stomach and cause nausea and diarrhoea and it has a few other long term side effects.

The aim with SRMA is to achieve long term remission without drugs - it is even expected -  so it is worth trying to gradually lower the dose of Cyclosporin so he can be drug free especially if the clinical signs you are seeing now are due to the side effects of the drugs and not the autoimmune disease.  Have a chat with your vet and perhaps devise a plan to reduce one drug at a time.  If your vet doesn't want to reduce the drugs, because he is worried about him relapsing,  then perhaps you can go to see a specialist who will be able to accurately assess Finn and decide whether lowering the drugs, with the view to taking him off them altogether, is the right thing to do.

Finn's diet is good and I don't see why his future should be good too, especially if you can reduce the drugs to allow his body to function normally again. 

Jo
 






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Annie Jackson

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2017, 10:27:50 PM »

Hi Jo,
Thank you for your response it is good to hear the positives for the future rather than worry about the negatives.  In the past Finn has relapsed after his pred was reduced but now that my vet is doing the CRP blood test and only reducing the dose by 2.5 mg each time is shows normal or below he has not had any problems at all. The cyclosporine will remain at 500mg x 3 times a week as this is quite low anyway and he cannot tolerate any more.  His next blood test is due in two weeks and hopefully he dose can be lowered to 17.5mg per day.  Finn was started on prednisolone first of all when he was 6 months old.  Our vet has tested his elbow and said that the lameness has nothing to do with the steroids and is elbow displasure.  The Cartrophen injections are working well, he had the fourth final one yesterday.
Now the unthinkable has happened, out new puppy who was 6 months old yesterday, was taken ill on Saturday night as was with the vet first thing Sunday morning, high temperature, lethargy. X ray showed what looked like a lead pellet in his stomach and his symptoms pointed to lead poisoning. This morning, however, things changed for the worst and he was rushed to the referral centre. He has suspected SRMA!!! Tests and scans are being carried out tomorrow morning and I will see him and learn more when I visit him in the afternoon.  I can't get my head round this - both of my dogs have SRMA!!!  Both border collies. I am hoping against hope that the tests are negative and that it is lead poisoning- can they present the same symptoms??  It is hard to come to terms with this. Cursed or just unlucky?  What do you think? Thank you for your support, it is really appreciated especially now. : Annie
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Jo CIMDA

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2017, 10:04:02 AM »

Oh Annie, I am so sorry your young puppy is now having problems.  I had to look up the symptoms of lead poisoning to see if they could be confused with SRMA, and to be honest I doubt it.  Perhaps the little object seen in his stomach is not significant.  I am so pleased he is with a specialist and you should have an answer today.

Are your two border collies related?  If they are then it probably isn't down to bad luck.  If they aren't related then all it means is that the breed, like the majority of pedigree dogs these days, has a genetic predisposition to autoimmune disease, and given that Border Collies are a numerically large breed then this is probably down to bad luck.

When they are in remission, you have to limit their trigger factors, such as drugs/vaccines/flea treatments etc.  When a dog who has had an AI disease reaches remission, if that dog relapses again then the disease has been triggered by something, so the more you can limit the triggers the more chance the dog has remaining in remission. For your reference, Prof. Catchpole at the Royal Veterinary College said at a seminar, dog who have had an AI disease shouldn't be vaccinated again.  The risks outweigh the benefits.

Regardless of what the problem is, I do hope your pup is diagnosed today so treatment can start as soon as possible.

All the best.
Jo
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mmuns

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2017, 03:19:24 AM »

Jo -

I did take Bluesy to the vet and she had infection in both ears.  She's much better after medication for that.  We go for a recheck tomorrow.  New question:  Can a dog suffer permanent effects from SRMA?  Bluesy is down to cyclosporine 100 mg once a day and the side effects from the meds are much improved.  She did not regain her eyesight completely and is just not her normal self since relapsing.  She did return completely to normal after the initial illness and tapering of medication, so I'm just not sure what to hope for.  If the way she is now is her new normal we can accept that - but I don't want to give up if there is more recovery possible.  Is there anything I can do to help her recovery?

Thanks!
Monica
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Annie Jackson

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2017, 07:11:22 AM »

Hi Jo,
Puppy initial symptoms of high temperature, lethargy and the fact that the x ray showed what looked like a lead pellet lead to that first thought but the results for lead poisoning took 4 days as it had to be sent away. The other symptoms followed afterwards and he was rushed to the referral centre where he had an MRI, x rays and spinal tap. Yes it is as I feared SRMA.  My two dogs are distantly related through my first dogs father. Finn's father is my pup (Loki) grandfather. As far as I can find out there have been no other cases of SRMA in his line. Loki's father is owned by a champion dop trials shepherd so not connected.  Their mothers are not related at all but I will look again at the pedigrees in case I missed something first time. I thought that the chances of this happening again were 0! I thought that Finn's SRMA was due to his puppy vaccinations, this was after I had read research by Dr Jean Dodds, I had him at 9 weeks and took him straight to our (then) vet for a check up. The breeder insisted on this as she said they had cases of giardiasis, to get him 5 days panache treatment and once clear then vaccinate after 12 weeks. That vet discredited all this, gave 3 days panache, his first vaccine and advocate spot on, all at the same time.  I didn't think genetics.  With Loki his vaccine was at 13 weeks so he didn't need a second, lepton followed weeks later.  I had, along with my new vet, removed any vaccine risk, and he has been a very lively, shiny, happy, healthy puppy. The at exactly 6 month the unthinkable happened. Now I have two sick dogs from the same breeder. I am devasted. Finn will never do agility again as the steroids have affected his muscles and he has elbow displasia and he is still on steroids at 3 years old. And Loki? Who knows. I bought him to be my agility dog. I am an ranting a bit here, sorry.  You mentioned flea treatment and worm treatment? Finn has Advocate once a month and Drontal twice a year. I was told that Advocate will not have an adverse affect on him with his SRMA and I cannot find out any more about this, as I am not so sure, have had to trust my vet on this one. Loki is on it too. It's good to have your feed back Jo. Thank you. Annie
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Jo CIMDA

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #11 on: March 03, 2017, 09:20:46 AM »


I am so sorry Annie. It is such a disappointment to you and it is horrible to see young pups going through all this.

The bottom line for development of an AI disease is a genetic predisposition to autoimmunity.  Without this, no matter how many triggers you expose the dog to, an autoimmune disease will not develop. It is inherited from both parents.  It is the same in humans.

Having said all that, SRMA is one of the AI diseases that carries a very good prognosis and the expectation is the dog will achieve long term remission without daily drugs - I know I have said this before so I won't repeat.  You may have relapses along the way, but life does get better for the dog and for the owner, and a good quality of life is realistic.  There are no guarantees though, there is no cure only remission, but for dogs with SRMA, this is realistic. I have known many dogs with SRMA and I can't think of any who have not achieved remission but it may take a few years because it occurs mostly in very young dogs. The treatment is crucial to the outcome though, and please go through the drug protocol with your vet to make sure they have got it correct.  Not all vets have the necessary experience to treat AI diseases correctly.  The aim is to follow a good protocol and gradually wean the dog off medication.  Yes relapses may occur along the way but the aim is still to get the dog off medication.  If a relapse occurs the dog has to go back on treatment and weaned down in the usual manner, but it isn't usually necessary to keep the dog on high doses of medication permanently.  You don't want the dog on these drugs any longer than necessary. There are some AI diseases where the dog has to remain on a low maintenance dose of medication, but for SRMA and immune mediated polyarthritis (IMPA), the aim is to eventually wean the dog off medication altogether. 

Spot-on treatments can be a trigger for AI disease and so can any drug. When I spoke to Prof Catchpole at the RVC I asked him if a dog with an AI disease should be given further vaccines or spot-on treatments and he said "No, the risks outweigh the benefits".   Personally, I wouldn't use regular preventative treatments and I would not worm a dog unless I saw worms in the faeces and then I would use Panacure. There are natural flea repellents  on the market or you can make up your own flea grooming spray with lavender oil, eucalyptus oil and geranium etc.... (15 drops in total to 500ml water). You can add a little hair conditioner too and it makes a good grooming spray.

The breeder gave you the correct advice by saying that you should not give worming treatment with vaccination but many vets do. Giving so many chemicals all at once is really overloading the immature immune system and although this may not have been the trigger for the AI disease (you can't say for sure)  you don't know if it contributed to it.  IMPA and SRMA can take a while to fully develop in to obvious clinical signs, so who knows if it was triggered at this young, vulnerable stage. 

Unfortunately, elbow dysplasia is also an inherited condition.  See this link: http://discoveryspace.upei.ca/cidd/disorder/elbow-dysplasia-ocd-elbow and breeds that are known to be genetically predisposed should be screened and dogs with high scores should not be bred from.

If you can wean Finn off the drugs (especially the preds) then his muscles should build strength again and he should be like a normal dog.  The elbow dysplasia may be a problem for agility but it depends on how severe it is.   How about discussing Finn's treatment with Loki's specialist?

Check out the WSAVA vaccination guidelines if you want to know more about vaccination - what is and what is not necessary.  Lepto vaccine is more likely to trigger an AI disease than the core vaccines.  Lepto is not a core vaccine and it doesn't last much more than 3-6 months anyway, so you really have to consider if this is worth the risk.  If a dog has been vaccinated after the age of 16 weeks then it is likely that the dog is immune to those core diseases that are vaccinated against.

I hope you will see a marked improvement in Loki very soon - you should do. As the name SRMA suggests, it responds very well to prednisolone.

Looking forward to a positive update.

Jo

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Annie Jackson

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2017, 09:11:40 AM »

Hi Jo, thank you so much for the info. A lot to take in. Loki had his core vaccine at 14 weeks and therefore did not have another one.  His first lepto was at 16 weeks and 2nd at 20 weeks.  One week after I had bought Loki the breeder phoned and said that two pups from a different litter, at her property, had died of Lepto and that we should have our pup inoculated immediately.  My vet disagreed with this and advised how to monitor him and any change to bring him in immediately.   Loki is happy to be home, not quite his normal self understandably but is playing, barking and weeing, not necessarily in that order, and is going out for short walks around the estate here.  I am quite speechless about the fact that both parents have to have the fault in their immune system.  I am wondering now if the breeder is not being honest as she has, it seems distanced herself as soon as I told her of the neurologists report that SRMA is a genetic fault in the immune system.  Both of Finn's parents are her own breeding dogs and as I said before Loki's mum is daughter of Finn's dad, although Loki's dad is an outside dog.  So this genetic fault must be in her line at least for Finn anyway. I can't get my head around that fact that Loki's dad must have the fault too!!  Finn's liver screen came back clear, so all good there. He has wild Atlantic salmon oil which has omegas 3 and 6 and I will now get natural vitamin E for them both - do you recommend evening primrose oil as well? They also have coconut oil, just a tiny bit for Loki as he is only a pup.  Finn had his puppy vaccines but will not have any more. My vet is very careful about Finn's treatment and insists that, even if another of his vets sees him, he must be consulted at all times.  He even came into the surgery on his day off to look at Loki's x-ray and oversee his treatment. Can't ask for more. The neurologist are the NDSR who is now overseeing Loki's treatment said that she has never before  encountered a dog as difficult to get off the steroids as Finn, my poor boy certainly has suffered a lot.  I will write down your recommended flea spray- I used to make up my own for my horse but added garlic to the mix, which cannot be included for dogs.  I have also been told about diacenateous earth (wrong spelling) so will look at that too.  What about lung worm?  Advocate takes care of that but I intend to follow your advice re worming treatments and can easily get panacur for both Finn and Loki.  But it does not treat lung worm, heart worm and tape worm?? Our garden gate leads out onto what was farm land and there are deer, badgers, rabbits and foxes there. We have always taken our dogs there and onto the woods.  I don't let them go in the stream nor let them drink from puddles.  I will also look up the references you have given as I like to be fully informed. Thank you so much Jo. Best wishes, Annie
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Catherine

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2017, 12:22:30 PM »

What about lung worm?  Advocate takes care of that but I intend to follow your advice re worming treatments and can easily get panacur for both Finn and Loki.  But it does not treat lung worm, heart worm and tape worm?? Our garden gate leads out onto what was farm land and there are deer, badgers, rabbits and foxes there. We have always taken our dogs there and onto the woods. 

It is all about putting things in perspective and reducing the risks. You may want to:

(a) Check out the source of media scare stories, get actual statistics and perhaps ask your vet how many confirmed cases of lungworm he has seen.

(b) Make your garden more secure against rabbits, foxes etc. getting into it.

(c) Snails and slugs will head towards flowers, plants, vegetables so perhaps if you grow these you might want to consider having a fenced off section of your garden without these where the dogs have less chance of encountering them. Maybe even have the area paved or concreted or with gravel.

(d) If your dogs are getting the odd tick etc. after going on the farm land then vigilance is all that is needed, checking them over for ticks when you return home. However, if every time you go on the farmland they come back with ticks then maybe it is time to find somewhere better to take them.

I do not know where you live, but heartworm is not a problem in the UK.

Not every snail, slug and tick is carrying disease.

I agree with Jo, in that I would not give an adult dog worming treatment unless worms were seen.




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Jo CIMDA

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Re: New Member with SRMA - lots of questions
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2017, 04:06:45 PM »

Hi Annie

I am pleased you have Loki back home.  I do hope the treatment regime is correct and he is improving every day.

Catherine has made good points with regard to lungworm. Most of the information in the media about lungworm is deliberately misleading.  This is usually because they are produced by the drug companies and some vets who are running a lucrative business. They show pictures of a dog being near a slug or snail and giving the impression this is all that's required for your dog to get lungworm.  This is not true.  A dog has to eat the body of an infected snail or slug to develop lungworm. Sniffing it and being in close proximity of a slug/snail does not cause the infection in a dog.  Catching lungworm from slug slime is also a myth.  It is more common in warm climates, so it is not so common in the UK. Of course you can be very unlucky and a dog can ingest an infected slug and develop lungworm,  but because these creatures don't taste nice it is usually because the dog has ingested it my mistake, perhaps drinking water that has been outside and it has a live, infected slug floating about - or similar. 

Making these decisions is all about balance and probabilities, and also weighing up the risk of triggering an AI disease in a genetically predisposed dog. Also, like revaccination, the owner has to be comfortable with their decisions.  Now one can tell anyone else what they should and should not do - just aim to give information that will hopefully lead to a good decision for the individual dog.  If you take out the lucrative business, generated by these  preventative treatments, I wonder how many would be deemed essential, as they lead you to believe now?

This is from the Blue Cross site:

Caroline Reay Chief veterinary surgeon at the Blue Cross hospital in Merton adds that the Blue Cross are also trying to raise awareness through displays in the waiting rooms of all Blue Cross hospitals.

So clearly it’s an important issue, but what is a Lungworm? And how does your dog catch it?

There are several variations of the Lungworm parasite, and the majority are found in warmer climates, and are not found in dogs. Different types of the parasite have often been found in farm animals like cattle, and some strains can affect our cats, although this is not common, and those parasites cannot be passed to dogs.

But one parasite does affect our dogs, and it’s this one that’s causing all the concern.

The parasite cannot be passed to humans or to other pets in the house, but the spokesman for Bayer Animal health explains: “The lungworm Angiostrongylus Vasorum is a potentially lethal parasite that can infect dogs. It’s sometimes referred to as the French Heartworm, and left untreated this parasite represents a very serious risk to a dog’s health and can kill.”

He continues: “Dogs become infected with the lungworm through eating slugs and snails which carry the larvae of the parasite Angiostrongylus Vasorum. Most dogs do not habitually eat these garden intruders, they may do so by accident – e.g. when a slug or snail is sitting on a bone or a favourite toy, or when drinking from a puddle or outdoor water bowl. But some dogs do take great pleasure in eating these miniature ‘treats’, and should be considered at risk from infection.”


Yes, diatomaceous Earth  is a natural  flea repellent.  You may also want to look at this site.  It sells natural repellents:

http://www.fenlandforager.co.uk/store?productlist-sort=score-desc&productlist-categories=&productlist-tags=&productlist-itemcount=20&productlist-search=flea

It is a rare breeder who will admit to producing dogs with an inherited disease.  There are some honest breeders,  but most will deny it, and some will blame the owner for the way they have brought up the dog  - which of course is absolute nonsense.  It is the same in all breeds.

Just because pups develop an AI disease it doesn't mean that the parents will go on to develop one because they may only be 'carriers'. Parents of  AI progeny are 'carriers' until they develop an AI disease, then their status becomes 'affected'.  An affected dog has the capacity to pass on a greater number of deleterious genes to their offspring than a carrier does.  I have known stud dogs to have produced AI disease in their offspring but have lived a normal and healthy long life.  A carrier (stud) will not get an AI disease because they don't have the correct quota of bad genes to develop the disease but coupled with another carrier (the dam) they can together produce pups that are genetically predisposed ie., 'affecteds' .  It is a mine field, but breeders should note what a pairing of two dogs produce and not repeat that mating if resulting pups develop AI disease.  Breeders should be grateful for this information but very few are.


Jo


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