View Full Version : Rex feeling poorly - advice please?

28th November 2008, 01:55 PM
Hi all,

Rex has been doing very well since being diagnosed with SM two years ago at the age of 9. He is my mother's dog but is with me at the moment for some weeks. He has been reasonably bright and chirpy, sleeps alot (he is 11 or so) but is happy and waggy and interested in all the lovely smells in my garden.

The last few days he has been less good. He is not keen on his food, his faeces seem quite pale / yellow, he is very weak on his back legs and has started falling over / tipping sideways since last night. He doesn't want to get up off the sofa.

He isn't crying and is not as bad as his first episode 2 years ago (was doubly incontinent and crying in pain a lot)

He has been on Gapapentin 3 times a day for the 2 years with no other medication.

Given his age, he has a 'not bad' heart murmur (not medicated as yet), may be a bit arthritic, has got really terrible teeth (maybe not extracted due to murmur?) and may have other things going on.

I am taking him to my vet today but I don't know what experience of SM they have. I will ask them to consult Clare Rusbridger, who did the diagnosis.

My question is - does this sound like a 'normal' episode or something else or even a side effect of all his pills. Anyone have any suggestions?

Cathy Moon
28th November 2008, 03:00 PM
I would take him to the emergency vet right away. Those symptoms sound very serious to me!!

Has he ever been diagnosed with pancreatitis? It isn't necessarily related to medication but has other causes as well.

Bad teeth are a serious health problem for dogs, as the infection in their gums can be carried into the bloodstream and affect their hearts.

He also needs bloodwork every 6 months if he is taking Gabapentin.

2nd December 2008, 10:46 PM
Thanks for the advice. I took him straight to the vet that afternoon. It turned out he had a temperature so, while they didn't locate a cause, they assumed an infection somewhere and gave him a long-acting antibiotic injection and some steroidal anti-inflammatories to bring the temp down and make him more comfortable.

Unfortunately they informed me that while his heart murmur isn't affecting him, it is in fact a major one. This means no teeth extraction sadly as I'm sure it would make him happier.

I am very pleased to say he has perked up remarkably and you wouldn't know he was the same dog. His appetite is back and I have bought him some softer food on the vets advice. He is toddling off outside for walks and thinking about chasing the chickens again...

Many thanks for taking the time to reply. Fingers crossed that's the last of it.

2nd December 2008, 10:53 PM
Glad to hear Rex is feeling better :flwr:

2nd December 2008, 10:54 PM
Thanks for the update; sounds like it was something unrelated to the SM at least in part (not sure about the weak legs which sound possibly SM related). Stool colour etc would not have anything to do with SM. You could add other medications to just the gabapentin; Clare would often be adding in something to reduce CSF pressure like frusemide or cimetidine. Perhaps he is on frusemide though with his murmur? That drug is also used for MVD. If he is showing any signs of pain or discomfort at all I would have your vet contact Clare as he may need his gabapentin dose raised.