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laram
4th March 2009, 03:55 PM
Hi all,

Those who've read my previous threads may remember my Sammy who has been having severe SM symptoms. I haven't been able to get him an MRI scan yet as I can't afford it (I'm a student :neutral:), but I finally managed to get him gabapentin last Thursday. He's on 100mg twice a day.

So far it's made a big difference. He's still scratching every now and then - especially coming up to the time of his next dose - but otherwise he's much more comfortable. I'm so relieved. I just hope the improvement lasts more than a week this time :xfngr:

I do still have a question about gabapentin though. He's on the liquid version (made especially for dogs, so no xylitol). He HATES it :grnyuk:, which means that I usually manage to get half the liquid in his mouth and half splashed across his ears! :sl*p:

Does anyone know a way to make it taste better? For example, could I mix it with honey? I can't mix it in with his food, as he's on a dry non-allergenic diet and I think the gabapentin would just end up at the bottom of his bowl.

Thanks!

Nicki
4th March 2009, 04:31 PM
hi I'm so pleased that Sammy is helped with the Gabapentin - it's a shame about the MRI, but to be honest, there aren't too many other conditions that Gabapentin would help, so this is pretty indicative of SM :(

I prefer to give them the capsules of Gabapentin, as the liquid is very irritating to the gut lining {it isn't usually prescribed in the UK for this reason}. This may be a problem for Sammy if he already has stomach issues. I do appreciate however that it may not be possible for you to get hold of the capsules.

I can't see any reason why you couldn't mix the liquid with something - you can give it with or without food anyway. I would probably suggest giving it with food especially in this situation. I would think if you were careful how you squirted it onto his food it should be absorbed by the food - that might be the easiest way to get him to take it. Otherwise after you've squirted it into his cheek pouch - and held his head up until he's swallowed it - give him a treat of something he is allowed and really likes, that way he'll learn that it means something good is coming :thmbsup:

*Pauline*
4th March 2009, 05:03 PM
I was told at first to open Dylan's powder capsules and mix the Gabapentin with water, he hated it and it went everywhere. He now has it in capsules.

My neurologist says Gabapentin only lasts 8 hours. I presume you are giving it 12 hours apart? Dylan is on the same as Sammy, 200mg total a day. I use powder capsules and split 2 capsules into three portions and refill capsules. I have to buy empty capsules.

Maybe if you talk it over with your neurologist, they might let you do something similar. :thmbsup:

Karlin
4th March 2009, 06:35 PM
Pauline, please be cautious about advising people on splitting up doses or making any change on what they have been told to do by their vet or neurologist. I absolutely will not allow posts that advocate making changes outside of direct medical care to the dog. None of us is a qualified neurologist and these are human medications that need careful vet/neurologist supervision *at all times*.


Gabapentin is known to only last 8 hours. I presume you are giving it 12 hours apart? This would be why it is clear to you he needs his next dose by his scratching.

This is not actually "known". Many and perhaps most dogs start at whatever their dosage is, TWICE a day, eg every 12 hours. This is also the basis of the Rusbridge recommendations which are widely used as the standard for other neurologists. If Clare Rusbridge routinely recommends starting at twice daily, I am sure she feels a single dose can keep a dog comfortable for up to 12 hours depending on how severe the symptoms are (and this worked fine for Leo for a couple of years). Gabapentin is also an experimental drug in dogs and there have been no clinical trials so statements about how it might work or what the 'best' dosage is are little more than guesswork -- and should really not be repeated as fact.

I don't mind people explaining what they themselves are doing, on medical advice, with their SM dogs, but I do not want to have anyone here offering advice as fact that isn't actually fact or making recommendations involving altering in ANY way the instructions of the person's own supervising vet or neurologist. It is fine to suggest going and discussing a change but please do not make suggestions that people make such changes without proper medical advice.

*Pauline*
4th March 2009, 06:36 PM
Sorry about that, I'll edit my post.

laram
4th March 2009, 10:02 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice! I'll see how twice a day goes for a little while longer and if he continues to scratch after the 8hr mark, I'll look into changing it to three times a day. At the moment, my vet, the pharmacist and myself are pretty much working together to get Sammy feeling better safely. Noone here has heard of using gabapentin for SM, so we're relying on Claire Rusbridge's treatment chart and monitoring Sammy's response.

I mixed the gabapentin this evening with some honey and he licked it right up :p So that's one problem easily solved! Hope it doesn't give him a sugar high though :rolleyes: Will have to buy some liver paste instead.

*Pauline*
5th March 2009, 12:24 AM
Will have to buy some liver paste instead.
Now that's a good idea. Can you get Gabapentin in capsule form? I just dab the tip in cream cheese and he swallows it whole.

laram
5th March 2009, 05:28 PM
I would love to get it in capsule form as it sounds so much easier, but unfortunately 300mg is lowest capsule dosage available here. Dividing a 300mg capsule into three l00mg capsules would be quite messy!

*Pauline*
5th March 2009, 07:48 PM
Dividing a 300mg capsule into three l00mg capsules would be quite messy!

A powder capsule is easy to split and empty capsules are cheap. That reminds me, I have to divide some up now, I'll youtube it for you, I found it tricky at first but it's easy really. I'll post a link to the youtube soon as it's done. Glad I painted my nails yesterday!! :rolleyes:

Jossu
19th March 2009, 01:49 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice! I'll see how twice a day goes for a little while longer and if he continues to scratch after the 8hr mark, I'll look into changing it to three times a day. At the moment, my vet, the pharmacist and myself are pretty much working together to get Sammy feeling better safely. Noone here has heard of using gabapentin for SM, so we're relying on Claire Rusbridge's treatment chart and monitoring Sammy's response.

I mixed the gabapentin this evening with some honey and he licked it right up :p So that's one problem easily solved! Hope it doesn't give him a sugar high though :rolleyes: Will have to buy some liver paste instead.

Mauri is also on a strict diet because of his allergies, and we give all his meds with the same stuff as his dry food is, only in canned form :) we use Trovet's venison and potato diet dry and canned... the canned one is Mauri's favourite :paw:

Anyway, if Sammy is ok with honey or liver paste, that'll do the same trick.

-Johanna

PS: for allergies, we put Mauri's dry food to the freezer the day before... that way the possible mites that might worsen the allergies die (at least this is what we've heard, and so far it has worked out).