View Full Version : SM meds used with herbs or other natural treatments ideas?

1st July 2009, 05:39 AM

My 5 year old cavalier, Jeszel, most likely has SM. She has had symptoms of neck scratching episodes for a few years now, but 2 different vets did not know what was wrong with her and guessed that it was her ears or teeth, etc. I'm heartbroken that I did not do more to get her diagnosed earlier. :( I recently went to a neurologist that diagnosed her. I'm getting an MRI done in a few weeks, which I'm nervous about.

My neurologist had Jeszel on Rimadyl for a week, but I saw no improvement. He wanted to put her on prednizone next, but I read that the side effects were too dangerous, so I said no to that drug. Thanks to this site and others, I asked him about Gabapentin, so we have her on that now. 100mg 3x per day = 300mg per day. It has only been a few days but I think I see some improvement.

I wanted to know if anyone has tried any natural treatments with the Gabapentin such as Nature's Sunshine Nerve Eight. My neurologist seems open to any ideas that I have, so I wanted to know if anyone has had luck with herbs or natural treatments that don't interfere with the Gabapentin.

Baths are a big trigger for Jeszel. For years I thought that she just hated being wet. :( Has anyone found ways to make that better? I thought that the Nerve Eight might be good for bath days. Or maybe a Rimadyl on those days? I heard that I can give it to her with the Gabapentin.



Love my Cavaliers
1st July 2009, 04:58 PM
Sorry, I don't know anything about natural treatments for SM. I just wanted to say that Riley, my SM dog, is on 5 mg. prednisone each day. She is sooo much better on the prednisone than off. We monitor her liver function every 3-6 months and she also takes Denamarin every day to protect her liver. Although prednisone has a bad reputation, it has been a miracle drug for Riley.

1st July 2009, 05:28 PM
I know of some who have tried Nerve Eight and some think they see improvement while most did not. Acupuncture is the one natural treatment that seems to help some dogs with pain. Nicki might have some other suggestions as she works with a holistic vet in treating her SM dogs and has used various combinations of things.

It is probably the excessive handling with baths that is very painful for Jezsel. I'd try to minimise baths and minimise handling during them.

You can use various drugs in combination. For example some people find rimadyl or other painkillers are a helpful boost to gabapentin on bad days. I'd suggest reviewing Clare Rusbridge's treatment document for various approaches and be sure to read her website. You can download these and view her SM FAQ at her website; info is pinned at the top of this forum. I give more of a layman's explanation and additional info from owners of SM dogs at www.smcavalier.com.

1st July 2009, 06:16 PM
I've had to minimize showers too. I just wash Dylan's feet and tummy. He has the occasional shower but he can't cope with the zoomies he has after and usually yelps.

1st July 2009, 10:42 PM
Pauline you might try a K9 Topcoat. These minimise drying and make them less prone to rolling about. I bought seconds so they are less costly and just towel dry than zip the dog in while still damp and you can leave it on for hours. There is some indication that they also can help with scratching (acting like compression bandages).

2nd July 2009, 01:19 AM
Pauline you might try a K9 Topcoat.

Thanks Karlin, I'll look into that. Do you have any recommendations as too where to buy one?

Margaret C
2nd July 2009, 09:57 AM
I am sure that I have heard at a SM seminar that altered sensation could make bathing painful, as some affected dogs seem to experience even lukewarm water as burning hot.

Some human SM sufferers report that they feel the lightest touch as burning. Some cannot bear the flimsiest of clothing on their arms.

I very seldom bath my SM cavaliers. I use a non rinse shampoo ( Baby Bath ) in a spray bottle to freshen up where necessary.

3rd July 2009, 01:26 AM
I used to give Jeszel a bath once a month, but now have cut way back. She is usually okay during the bath, but after she will roll around and rub her face, which then makes her scratch her neck like crazy. This cycle can last 5-15 minutes. She whines a bit during as well, which now I know is pain and not just frustration. :(

It seems like when ever Jeszel rubs her face she then has to scratch at her neck. It is like which came first the chicken or the egg. Does she rub her face because of the SM or does she naturally want to rub her face a little which brings on the neck irritation/pain and then scratching?