View Full Version : Worried sick about Abbey

2nd January 2010, 04:11 PM
As most of you know Abbey was diagnosed with sm about a year ago and had surgery in March so about 10 months ago to the day. We have been dealing with an ulcerated eye for about a month which she was rechecked last week and will be rechecked on monday with the opthmalogist. I see vast improvement--not hardly any red at all now which is a relief.

Now this is what I am worried about and I feel sick to my stomach like I did 10 months ago. She's air scratching more--she takes her front paw like a cramp and cried. I haven't seen the cramp deal thing since before her surgery. I'm terrified right now. What gets me is that in addition to her gabapentin, termaril, prilosec, and eye drops-gels she's getting rimadyl and tramadol for the pain of her eye. To me this should mask her symptoms if anything and now its worse??????

Terrified to death here. I've e-mailed her neurologist which she is seeing on monday also to see what he has to say and I'm preparing that he's going to say we need to mri her.

Please pray for her and me. I love this dog too much and am fighting back the tears right now.


p.s. could the cone she's wearing around her neck to keep her from scratching at her eye possibly do this? Thats what hubby is saying--he's Mr. Positive always --.

2nd January 2010, 04:34 PM
I'll keep your sweet little Abbey in my prayers. My heart goes out to you as there is nothing worse than having a sick pup and no answers. Here is hoping your husband is right.

2nd January 2010, 05:04 PM
I'd say the cone could definitely be the irritant. For an SM dog I'd suggest trying one of the gentle, inflatable collars that are not so stiff. I'd certainly just recommend keeping an eye on her and waiting to see how she is after she gets the collar off for a few weeks. I don't think you need be MRIing under the circumstances. Many to most SM dogs continue to scratch after surgery. Do not forget that there was damage already done that will always cause some nerve discomfort and so she would tend to remain a bit sensitive I would think. Did you talk to your vet about the collar?

Why not order one of these:


or these:


I woudn't leave her in a hard elizabethan collar.

Claire L
2nd January 2010, 05:38 PM
Linda, thinking about it logically; I'd say that the cone is definitely contributing to the scratching. I would imagine Abbey is twisting herself in all sorts of ways to get at her eye or even her neck because the cone is possibly annoying her.

I'm sending lots of prayers your way and a great big bear hug to you and healing prayers for Abbey . Fingers crossed this is just a temporary thing and will cease when the cone is removed and her eye is all better.............. hang in there Linda :hug::hug::hug::hug::hug:

2nd January 2010, 05:44 PM
Ok I feel a bit better since you both said it could be the culprit. Yes she still shows symptoms Karlin but they are so much more frequent and stronger lets say --especially the last week and she's been wearing the cone for almost 3 weeks. The foot deal I haven't seen since before the surgery. I can't get ahold of the opthmalogist and my vet really isn't that knowledgeable in regards to sm and being new years holiday not much of a prayer to talk to anybody.

Thanks for the kind words and it helps. Still worried but hopefully the cone is doing it.

I have e-mailed her neurologist and maybe he'll reply before monday.

2nd January 2010, 05:55 PM
Well the eye specialist isn't really the person to ask I suppose. I'd just have your normal vet check her foot for any possible other source of the problem as it could be anything. And I'd get a different collar on her or try to keep it off most of the time if she gets it off anyway soon. Three weeks is a long time to have had it on and I'd say it may be quite irritating to her neck over time.

2nd January 2010, 06:01 PM
I also agree about the cone, I know I'd get a reaction from that if Dylan wore one, he can't even wear soft clothes near his neck. Sorry you are going through this Linda :hug:

2nd January 2010, 06:21 PM
I dont have any extra advice Linda but just wanted you to know Im thinking of you.


2nd January 2010, 07:44 PM
Sending positive thoughts your way. I am so sorry that you and Abbey have to be dealing with so many problems. It just doesn't seem fair. I hope it is just the collar and nothing more serious. It's always best to rule out the simplest things first. Take care and keep us posted.

2nd January 2010, 08:13 PM
I would think that a cone would make thinks a lot worse, like Pauline says her Dylan canít even stand soft cloth near his neck. I hope and pray things will improve for Abbey. You and Abbey are in my thought and prayers. :hug::hug:

2nd January 2010, 08:13 PM
So sorry to hear about Abbey.

I have had problems with SM dogs with those collars before.

I had an opthalmologist insist that my dog wear one - I assured him that he wouldn't be able too, but he was one of those "know everything" types.

When I went to pick my dog up, needless to say he wasn't wearing the collar...and at least the opthalmologist admitted that he was wrong...

We have a comfort collar now - it's soft fabric.

Generally you can adapt most collars so that they are not actually putting any pressure on the neck .

I really hope that this is the cause of Abbey's discomfort.

As Karlin says they can indeed show symptoms after surgery - the surgery hopes to halt the progression but can't repair existing damage.

Wishing you and Abbey well.

2nd January 2010, 08:21 PM
So sorry to hear about dear Abbey. Will keep you both in my thoughts :)

Karen and Ruby
2nd January 2010, 08:58 PM
Oh Linda you must be inconsolable x

I do agree with the collar thing though- Ruby cant wear one either and she is fine with her buckle collar so heres hoping thats what it is.

I will pray for Abbey and You and I hope you get some answers very soon x

Brian M
2nd January 2010, 09:01 PM
Hello Linda

So sorry to read about poor Abbey,but with you being such a caring Cav lover I am sure she can be in no better place than right there with you :) and like all the others am fairly confident in that removing the collar will certainly improve her well being .
We and my four send over healing thoughts across the seas to you and Abbey.

With Kindest Wishes
Poppy :flwr:,Daisy:flwr: ,Rosie:flwr: and Lily:flwr:

2nd January 2010, 10:50 PM
I am so sorry you are dealing with all of this AGAIN. It is heartbreaking when they are in pain. We feel so helpless. Abby will be in my prayers this weekend. Please keep us informed. Judy

3rd January 2010, 12:54 AM
I talked to my vet. It is sooooooo wonderful having your vets cell # and he answers it 24 hrs. a day. He would have met me there tonight but I said it could wait to morning. He told me to give her a full pill of tramadol instead of the half and to give it right when we hung up which I did. She is now resting comfortable. Told me also to take the cone off of her which I did and again she is sleeping on daddy's lap right now. I have taken a video of her symptoms that she's showing to show the neurologist, vet and opthmalogist. I only saw the foot deal once today and didn't get that on video unfortunately. I am praying hard that this is from the cone as you have all said your sm dogs would have trouble with it. After all we have been through the last 12 months we deserve some good.

Thanks for caring and all your help. You all know how much it helps and again you all came through.

I'm still scared--my stomach feels like I'm getting the flu and I know its worries --I can't help but be scared as I haven't seen her like this since before her surgery.

3rd January 2010, 02:49 PM
Just popped in to check on Abbey. You have a lovely vet there Linda. Sounds like its the cone causing the trouble, and hopefully she'll be able to settle a little better now its gone. Thinking of you.

Margaret C
3rd January 2010, 03:47 PM
Dear Linda,

You and Abbey are in my thoughts.

I think there must be a strong possibility that the cone is the cause of the increased symptoms, but I know you will remain worried & apprehensive until that has proved to be the case.

It seems so unfair that our little ones, who have already suffered enough, should then get these other painful problems and have their hard won stability threatened.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you both :xfngr:

3rd January 2010, 10:25 PM
I met with my vet this early morning--7:30 on a sunday and got a soft cone for her. She's had it on all day and today has been better. We shall see what her neurologist says tomorrow. I'm praying that its the cone.

4th January 2010, 12:12 AM
I think you will only really know by waiting many weeks til after the cone is off and she is back to normal activities. I wouldn't worry about it for now and certainly would not pursue something like MRIs when there's been an obvious irritant there on her neck for several weeks that may have become progressively more aggravating for her and brought on a reaction. Glad you were able to get a softer collar for her. I hate those hard ones even for healthy dogs. I am going to order one of the softies just to have around as I need an e-collar every now and then!

4th January 2010, 01:04 AM
I think you're right Karlin and going to take your advice as the money for a mri would be out of our pocket. I'll let you all know what the docs say tomorrow asap. Its a long drive and day-- 2 1/2 hrs. each way and always lots of waiting and seeing two different doctors tomorrow also.

Claire L
4th January 2010, 12:17 PM
Good luck today Linda :xfngr: for little Abbey :hug:

4th January 2010, 01:01 PM
Only seeing this now Linda....good luck for today, positive thoughts going your way xx

4th January 2010, 01:03 PM
Linda, best of luck today. I hope everything goes well for Abbey. I bet you will find that it is as everyone here suspects - the hard cone. Fingers crossed for a good outcome. Hope you are feeling better too. Do you have anything like Rescue remedy that you could take, just to calm your tummy jitters?

4th January 2010, 01:26 PM
Only saw this now. Sorry that you have been going through this :flwr:

Best of luck today, will be thinking of you and Abbey :hug:

4th January 2010, 03:48 PM
Thinking of you and Abbey.:hug:

4th January 2010, 10:11 PM
Hoping for the best for you and Abbey... :xfngr:

4th January 2010, 10:49 PM
Linda- How did it go today?

Love my Cavaliers
5th January 2010, 02:15 AM
Linda - having computer problems so am just catching up. I hope Abbey's problems are related to her cone. But I do feel your pain. With an SM dog, your mind goes right to the nightmare scenarios. I know it was a long day, but please let us know how Abbey is doing.

5th January 2010, 02:51 AM
Thinking about you and Abbey.....

5th January 2010, 01:33 PM
Thank you for thinking of us and we are going through a very hard time right now and I don't have the strength right now to type down everything that happened yesterday but will asap. I feel she is worse and we're trying to figure out if the gabapentin is not cutting it or the worse scenario of scar tissue. Unfortunately, yesterday was a zoo at the university--many emergencies and I was put on the back burner which I didn't deal with but yet understood--again a long story and will post soon. Her neurologist is hopefully calling today to come up with a plan--he wants to talk to some other neurologists about some new medication--can't remember what its called.

Margaret C
5th January 2010, 03:57 PM
Please don't feel under any pressure. We can wait for the full details until you have time and energy.
Just know we care about you and Abbey, and all of us are hoping she can be made more comfortable soon.

5th January 2010, 04:10 PM
There are a lot of different medications so hopefully you can get a better balance. Scar tissue unfortunately seems to be common, but most often does not mean the dog ever is as bad as they were before surgery -- and I would still think wearing a cone for a long period may have aggravated the area and caused more symptoms. Hopefully it is a short term issue but you just never know with this condition and the treatments are all not ideal; management options, not cures. :(

5th January 2010, 09:32 PM
Linda, is it Lyrica? I believe I have heard of that being used with SM dogs-- I think I was told it's the updated version of Gabapentin?

Anyway, good luck with your pup. Sorry you are dealing with this.

Karen and Ruby
6th January 2010, 11:14 AM
If it is lyrica/pregabalin then you may see a huge difference. Ruby has been on it for a few months and i have barely seen a symptom in that time. The change was instant. I am so sorry for you and abbey. We get the pregabalin at its cheapest from boots.

6th January 2010, 04:18 PM
I'm not sure. Got an e-mail from him yesterday and he's checking out all options so I'll post as soon as I know. He said in e-mail that he would call last night or today but I know he's working on the best plan.

6th January 2010, 04:20 PM
Karen: What dosage and how many a day does Ruby get?

6th January 2010, 07:07 PM
Linda- I'm so sorry you're having such a rough week. You'll get through it.

It's interesting hearing that Lyrica is being prescribed- it is a human fibro myalgia med.

6th January 2010, 07:47 PM
well gabapentin is an anti-seizure med although neurologist says it stinks for humans in that regards.

Been more than a rough week. Few weeks ago worried she was going to lose her eye but thank god we're at the tail end of that ordeal hopefully.

I have a feeling he will call tonight and unfortunately I'm not home--bible study but hubby is home so he can at least talk to him if he does call. I know he'll call when he feels he has the right plan. Go figure today and yesterday she's been better. Even at the better deal he did tell me the goal is to be symptom free.

Karen and Ruby
6th January 2010, 10:22 PM
I wanted to start her on the lowest dose so we started on 50mg once a day in the morning. If she has a bad day she has an eXtra one in the early ning but more often than not she has just the one.
They come in 50mg size and i get them for £148 for 84 tablets which usually lasts us 2 months. She truely has been back to normal and even her eyes have stopped gunging up and until i worked out timelines i didnt even think it was down to the SM but i think now it was a sign of pain.
My prayers are with you both and i hope your main man will be in touch very soonx

6th January 2010, 10:49 PM
Lyrica is basically a stronger version of gabapentin, as far as I understand. Gabapentin is also prescribed for human fibromyalgia BTW (probably a lot more for that than for seizures). :) I have to go through a bit of a rigamarole to get gabapentin in Ireland for a dog as it is a human drug and has not been cleared for animal use thus there's some extra paperwork for the vet. My pharmacist thinks it is funny to do up the prescription for a dog!

Karen and Ruby
6th January 2010, 11:04 PM
Yes i shopped around a bit as my vets cant get lyrica. Petdrugs o line were £190 and other chemists wouldnt do it fot a dog but Boots have been great and do it much cheaper than anywhere else plus its always in stock. The first time i asked i did get a funny look and when they saw the price she must have tbought i was a crazy dog lady!

10th January 2010, 02:20 AM
Sorry I haven't updated but I just talked to her neuro yesterday and yes its lyrica/pregabalin that he is investigating. He still is researching it for side effects, price and all that kind of stuff and said we will talk again either monday or tuesday and if I don't hear from him by tuesday to call him. I've researched a bit on it to kind of prepare if he does recommend it but any input would be appreciated.

10th January 2010, 03:26 AM
Linda, did you ever have her on the Prilosec (Omeprazole)? I know of some SM Cavaliers that have really done wonderfully on it, though I'm sure your neuro knows best!

Also, the pharmacy at places like Sam's Club and BJs typically has really good prices on meds. I think CVS does some type of a program, as well, that you might want to look into. I have a friend (human) who was on Lyrica and even with insurance, it was terribly expensive for her.

10th January 2010, 11:50 AM
It is extremely expensive.

Most SM dogs seem to get best results from being on one of a range of CSF inhibitors like Omeprazole, frusemide or cimetidine and different ones work better for different dogs. Also some do fine with a simple addition of rimadyl to a cocktail of say gabapentin and a CSF inhibitor. And not sure what dose of gabapentin Abbey is on but generally most neurologists would just raise the gabapentin dose if she's not on a high dose now. Personaly I would probably do all those things before Lyrica but for some dogs Lyrca may give a better response.

Really very little is known of side effects as these are not drugs licensed for use with dogs (meaning they haven't been trialed and tested on dogs) so there's not much on side effects out there for any of them including gabapentin.

It is frustrating but most of us with SM dogs do end up regularly adjusting the medication regime -- sadly it is the norm for this frustrating condition. :( Hope you find a good mix for Abbey. I would think she will do better having a hard collar off her now as well.

Karen and Ruby
11th January 2010, 12:44 AM
Obviously ruby is one dog so her results certainly shouldn't be taken as a given but compared to the gabapentin she hasnt had side affects.
She is on a combination of frusomide and the lyrica. As you are in the US i cant really help much with finding the cheapest place to find it. But with anything you will probably find it at its cheapest from a human pharmacy. I saved myself over £40 by doing so.
Like karlin said different dogs react different ways to these drugs and gabapentin made ruby nautious, sleepy and very unsteady on her feet. It just wasnt for her, however like i think i previously mentioned it has taken more pain away than i ever dreamed it would which is obvious by the change in ger general demeanor. I pray abbey gets the same results as ruby did.
As for price...well how can we put a price on quality of life.
If you can find it for the equivalent of £150 for 84 pills you are on to a winner!
Feel free to msg me with any questions, im more than happy to help any way i can.