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creavis1
24th April 2007, 10:36 PM
Kaelin has been diagnosed with SM and she has had surgery. She is doing well. She is on gabapentin and it is working. Every once and a while she has severe pain. I don't know if she spit her pill out and I didn't notice, if she slept funny or if it is just random. My question is what should I do when this occurs. Is it better to leave her alone or is it better to hold her? I do know if I touch her neck or leg she will shy away, which I totally understand. It is very frustrating not to mention painful for her. I have an appointment with her neurologist to ask about medication solutions when this happens but I am not sure what to do while we are waiting for the medication to kick in. Any suggestions would be helpful.

Karlin
24th April 2007, 11:30 PM
Sorry to hear she is having these occasional pain episodes. How long is she now post-surgery? Many report some ups and downs with pain but also say these sessions generally start to disappear in the first months after surgery.

Does it hurt her for you to hold her? If so, then I'd avoid that but maybe speak soothingly. Some find holding something chilled, like those freezable pain relief gel bags or even just a bag of frozen peas, wrapped in a teatowel, to the neck and shoulder area helps relieve pain. Others find gently rolling the dog on its back helps -- maybe it shifts the position of the syrinxes.

If Kaelin is only on gabapentin, I'd ask to try adding in frusemide or tagamet -- maybe try one for two weeks, and if that doesn't help, try the other. Many people find they need gabapentin along with one of these for pain. There's another thread posted by Molly's mom in this section on gabapentin where some of us list the other things we give.

Friday's Mommy
25th April 2007, 12:24 AM
With Friday we've tried everything to get her out of pain at that moment. She will actually start running around the house, which I think makes it worse. We've found trying to get her to settle down by talking to her in a soothing manner and softly stroking her back. We're careful not to touch any of her sensitive spots like her ears, chest and feet. She also will jump up on the back of the couch and rest her head on the couch pillows so her head is upward. We'll help lift her up and arrange the pillows for her.

We've also tried ice cubes to lick on and eat or frozen carrots. I noticed when she had a bad day she would want to go outside and eat the snow (we had snow all winter). Like Karlin said the bags of frozen peas or something like that might help because I've also noticed she digs her head into the snow and lays there for several minutes. She would not let me touch her neck during her pain episode though so I couldn't hold it there anything there.

Sometimes distracting her with toys or something else that's going on in the house helps. It seems to get her mind off her pain.


If she has one more episode quickly or soon after I give her a pain killer, tramadol. That's only on occasion and when I sense she's having a bad day due to weather or wind. She does fairly well on her other meds which I have posted on the other thread. Hope this helps.

creavis1
25th April 2007, 03:36 PM
She had her surgery in February. She has only had two episodes and they were both in the last week. I think she managed to spit out the pill without me noticing because before this she didn't have pain once she recovered from surgery. I will talk to my neurologist tomorrow about tagamet as a back up plan if the gabapentin doesn't work. I think if she has pain again I will try something cold on her neck if she lets me or to roll her over on her back. Thanks for the advice.

sellnee
24th May 2007, 10:16 PM
I've also noticed she digs her head into the snow and lays there for several minutes. She would not let me touch her neck during her pain episode though so I couldn't hold it there anything there.


Hi fridays mommy, just wondering if maybe she's burying her head in the snow to block out light rather than for pain relief. Personally I would imagine coldness would make neurological pain worse.

Karlin
24th May 2007, 10:22 PM
A lot of people with SM dogs have reported this kind of behaviour -- lying in snow, seeking out cold tile floors or lying in ceramic bathtubs, even dogs going outside to lie in the cold rain. :( One of the things many find helps their really bad episodes is putting a bag of ice or cold peas, wrapped in a tea towel, on their neck/shoulder area where the syrinxes are. People say they can feel this area get really hot sometimes. Light may be a factor too but I think they do primarily look for somewhere cold.

sellnee
24th May 2007, 11:16 PM
Anecdotal information like this is great. Care must be taken that affected dogs are not exposing themselves to extreme cold temperatures (such as snow) for prolonged periods as the loss of heat/cold sensation in syringomyelia renders natural instinctive protective measures ineffective.

Karlin
25th May 2007, 01:22 AM
I have a lot of this kind of information in my symptoms sheet, available here:

www.smcavalier.com

:thmbsup:

Jen
25th May 2007, 02:39 AM
A lot of people with SM dogs have reported this kind of behaviour -- lying in snow, seeking out cold tile floors or lying in ceramic bathtubs, even dogs going outside to lie in the cold rain. :( One of the things many find helps their really bad episodes is putting a bag of ice or cold peas, wrapped in a tea towel, on their neck/shoulder area where the syrinxes are. People say they can feel this area get really hot sometimes. Light may be a factor too but I think they do primarily look for somewhere cold.

When Abbey seeks out the cold she'll lie in the bathroom against the bathtub or in front of the toilet with her neck against the base. :(