one year after surgery


You have a special place Dear Lord that I know you'll always keep

A special place reserved for dogs when they quietly fall asleep

With large and airy kennels and a yard for hiding bones

With maybe a little babbling creek that chatters over stones.

With wide green fields and flowers for those who never knew about running freely under

Your sky of perfect blue. Lord,I know You keep this Special Place and so to you I Pray, for one Special Cavalier Who quietly died today

She was full of strength & love and so very, very wise.

The puppy look she once had had long since left her eyes.

She is dearly missed my Lord by her Mom & Dad.

She went to join her family in Your land that is Devine

So, speak to Abbey softly please and give her a warm hello.

She's a Special gift to you Dear Lord from her Mommy & Daddy, who loved her so.

Run free sweet Abbey.

Abbey 1/24/2004 - 1/3/2012

Oh my sweet Abbey. You are with the angels and finally free of this awful disease. I will miss you sooooooo much and I am at a loss as to what to do right now. I love you so much but I know we did the right thing today.

RIP and I thank god he brought you to us.

I love you so much.


Not doing well--Any of Us - December 29,2011

It's been a very long time since I updated and unfortunately this is not a good
one. It is now almost 3 years since finally figuring out what Abbey had/has. She
was doing relatively good until this past year and has been declining. We are
now seriously talking abou putting her down. I've never had to put an animal down in my life.
Thank you dear lord they have always gone on their own. I'm looking at Abbey in a
different way now---she is having such a very hard time getting around--she
slips and slides all over the place and falls. Her eyes just don't have the
"sparkle" they used to. I think she's plain tired of dealing with this disease.
George and I talked alot last night and shed many many tears and also saw
another neurologist 3 weeks ago and was told we were doing all that she would
have us do and saw our vet yesterday and he agreed with me about her quality of
life. My emotions are so up and down right now. One minute I'm ready to make the
appt. and the next minute I say no. George feels we need to give it a couple
more weeks to give the increase in prednisone and omeprazole a chance. I can't
hardly look at her right now without sobbing so I know it won't be long. If
you've read our story you know how much we do love her and how this is killing
me. I will post when we finally make the decision.

One Year after Surgery

Hard to believe that its been a year. Time flies. She is doing well and is a very happy dog. She was having some scractching episodes about a month ago and we were quite concerned. She has never been symptom free since the surgery and we never believed she would be--we hoped though. I felt she was having some distress so we took her off the temaril and she is now on prednisone which seems to be doing the trick. I have only seen her scratch a couple times in the past 6 weeks or so. The change has been quite visible. She is hungry though and I guess steroids do that to you. We are still happy that we did the surgery as our goal was for her not to get worse and we have accomplished that goal 100% and more as she is definitely better than a year ago. Any questions, please e-mail me and I will get back to you quickly. I still get e-mails and sometimes people call me as they are worried and I sure understand what its like to go down this road.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

21 weeks. It sure doesn't seem that long since her surgery but it is. She is doing relatively well. She still does show symptoms--still a little scratching here and there. Once in awhile a little head rubbing. I have NOT seen her rub herself on the couch like she used to and she used to do that quite a bit. Tonight she did hold her paw up like she had a cramp and we think thats related to the sm but not sure--who knows maybe it is a cramp--maybe somebody can show some light on that one. Bentley and Abbey were buddies before we got Chelsea and they used to snuggle up to each other--they still do but Chelsea and Bentley play all the time. Sometimes Bentley goes up to Abbey to play and I know Abbey can't handle it and she just lays down and Bentley just leaves. Its sad to watch as I know in my heart Abbbey would love to play if she could as she adores Bentley. She is taking gabapentin 3 times a day--100 mg, omeprazole and also temaril and we've cut the temaril back to once daily and I think I'm going to try every other day soon. So she still does show symptoms but not like she did. I believe the surgery has helped her and she has improved and thats a very positive note in my book. I still worry about her but not in the same way and I don't freak out like I used to either. I now look at it like she is handicapped in a sense and not as a death sentence like I used to. We've both come a very long way in 4 months. :-)


  1. Hi George and Linda,

    I am a regular contributor on the CKCS-SM Yahoo group and have received your updates through my "Google Alerts". My Oliver underwent surgery with Dr. Dewey at Cornell University a year ago in July. He has struggled since the surgery and about a month ago we tried using the drug, Lyrica, per Dr. Dewey's recommendation. Unfortunately, the drug cost $220.00 for a 45 day supply and did not effectively help Oliver overcome his pain. Last Sunday we put him back on Gabapentin which we can get for about $10.00 per month on the CVS plan. He is now on about 500 mg per day and we expect to try to keep him comfortable until he needs to be put down. Tragic really since he is such a wonderful dog!! In an effort to try to breed dogs free of this horrible disease, I brought over a female Cavalier from Australia last September with a long SM free history. She has been bred to another top champion dog that is also SM free and I now have 3 pet quality puppy boys that need good homes. I hope your Abbey has a better prognosis than Oliver. I admire your resolve in getting the word out to consumers.


    Ellen Payne
    Knapdale Cavaliers
    816-804-8124 Cell (CST)

  2. Ellen: I admire you as a breeder in trying to eliminate this problem. I'm assuming you are mri'ing etc. Are you? This is a horrible disease and as much as I love this breed--obviously when I have 3 of them--I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to have another one. Its so tragic and very heartbreaking.


If you have a CKCS-Cavalier Spaniel-and you've run across this page by accident, you at least need to be aware of a disease that is in ALOT of the cavaliers. If you don't read this, then at least go to (link below) and read about what it is. It could be the best thing you do for your dog. We need to spread the word about this.

Day 23--she's feeling better and bored!!!

Symptoms of Syringomyelia - also known as SM

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