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laram
29th July 2009, 03:18 PM
Hi everyone,

You may remember some very worried posts I made back in February about my Sammy maybe having Syringomyelia. He had some nasty bouts of scratching and rubbing his head. Thankfully prednisone (and gabapentin in the beginning) took those symptoms away completely, and he has been totally fine again for 5 months. So fine for so long that I felt confident now going on holiday and leaving him with friends.

However, Murphy's law... I got a call from the friends yesterday telling me he had had a huge attack while out on a walk, couldn't use his back leg and was still moaning in pain. I could hear him crying in the background. What a sudden turn for the worse!! Thankfully I had some emergency gabapentin, and that relieved it almost immediately. He can use his leg again. I've talked with my vet and we're seeing how it goes now.

A few questions for other SM owners:

- does your dog experience pain episodes that occur suddenly and then go away? Or is the episode usually a permanent turn for the worse?
- do you feel that these episodes are triggered by anything in particular?
- are you careful about exercising your dog?

The friends Sammy's been staying with have kids, and he's been having a very jolly time playing with them and going on long walks. I thought maybe it's tired him out. The attack happened when he had got hold of something to eat from the pavement and my friend tried to take it from him. He gets very stubborn and upset in those situations...

Any experiences would be appreciated!

Karen and Ruby
29th July 2009, 07:58 PM
Hi Laura

Rubys symptoms definatly flare up when out on walks and when she is excited, to the point where yesterday when we went to walk with a few friends and their Cavvies Ruby was getting fussed as usual by our friends and suddenly started to scream out!
Its usual for her to rub her head alot when we are out and after she eats also,

karen and ruby

Margaret C
29th July 2009, 11:59 PM
A few questions for other SM owners:

- does your dog experience pain episodes that occur suddenly and then go away? Or is the episode usually a permanent turn for the worse?
- do you feel that these episodes are triggered by anything in particular?
- are you careful about exercising your dog?

Any experiences would be appreciated!

I'm not quite sure, when you say that you had some emergency gabapentin, whether you mean Sammy was given an extra dose, or whether you mean that he was no longer having daily medication?

Yes, my dogs will sometimes develop severe lameness which will gradually get better. It does not appear to indicate a significant worsening of the condition.
It tends to happen when we are out for a walk, but no real trigger that I can identify.
It can sometimes happen that they will get up from lying asleep and they cannot put one of their legs to the ground.

I let them exercise as much as they feel able. Very occasionally I will need to give one of them a ride back home seated on the platform of my mobility scooter

linderbelle
30th July 2009, 12:05 AM
The weather has an effect on it also. I'm confused on the gabapentin too like Margaret says. Isn't your dog on it daily??

laram
30th July 2009, 11:05 AM
Sorry, that was quite unclear! He's actually been on only prednisolone 2.5mg every other day for the past 4 months, but I've always kept a fresh bottle of gabapentin just in case he has pain episodes and needs extra help. He got just 100mg and it apparently stopped the attack completely. My friends are now giving him 75mg of the gabapentin twice a day, just in case (with my vets approval).

In the beginning Sammy was only on gabapentin and although it made a huge improvement, in fact it really saved his life, he was still scratching every few hours. We (vet and I) added a small dose of prednisolone which took away the scratching completely, and I was able to wean him off gabapentin with no change in his condition. He's been fine ever since until now.

I realize the risks of prednisolone, and I am very worried about them! But the vet said it's a very small dose and they have made such a big difference! Plus it's a very easy and much cheaper routine than giving him gabapentin three times a day, which is like gold dust in Finland (a concern for me, as a student).

laram
30th July 2009, 11:14 AM
Oh, forgot to add:

At the moment, the friends are restricting his exercise to a minimum (10min walks, several times a day) in case it was brought on by over-exersion. I'm wondering whether we should keep doing that despite the fact that he's already back to his lively self and eager to go out.