View Full Version : Molly and Dougall Update

14th August 2010, 09:59 PM
Molly and Dougall have been on Trocoxil since February and started 100mgms of Gabapentin (3 x per day) approx 4 weeks ago. I took both dogs back to Clare Rusbridge earlier this week. Molly seems to have improved, Dougall is brighter but is still suffering quite badly with back sensitivity. We are going to try acupuncture in approx two weeks.

I was given an article "My Chiari Experience", I have also read a lot in the last couple of days of how humans with cm/sm cope and feel. I have found this quite upsetting :( !

We also have Dotty. Dotty is completely different to Molly and Dougall, she is full of life, nimble and has lots of energy. I have always treated Molly and Dougall like fragile china, (I won't allow anyone to pick them up) they are very rarely left alone. Dotty is a complete contrast!

The CKCS has a reputation for being a couch potato and sometimes, I am doubting myself and wondering if I always read their moods and lack of energy correctly.

I would like to know how my dogs would behave if they didn't have cm/sm ?

14th August 2010, 10:34 PM

I'm glad molly and dougall are doing better. I completely understand about the couch potato. I will say I am a strong believer in accupunture. Ella seemed to have good results. I think one thing that was interesting the first time was she did not when he tried to put a needle in her paw. I used to get accupuncture so I know certain spots are for different areas and that was her neck. At first that upset me but the next time, she let him do that point and she fell asleep! It was so funny because she seemed drugged afterwards:)

Karen and Ruby
15th August 2010, 09:41 AM
Hi Tania

Glad that Molly is doing better.:)

I think that is an un-answerable question- Even if Ruby (or Molly and Dougal) didnt have SM- would they still be couch potatoes?
Every dog is different- Charlie is a Nutter and has endless amounts of Energy. Sometimes I cant beleive how long he can go for.
But at the same time every dog is different so it is impossible to compare.
I would like to think that Ruby would be the same with out the SM as then I tell my self it isnt affecting her too much! But then I would be kidding myself!

I know that the SM has affected certain portions of her life- the fact that she used to LOVE playing with toys and tug of war etc (she wont even pick up a toy anymore) BUT I give her the opportunity to play mind games and puzzles- the Nina Ottoson toys are fab for Ruby as they are all food orientated and it will keep her busy for ages.
Unlike Charlie who will play with his ball and toys for hours on end!

She cant walk for as long as she could in the spring-autumn months- but when the winter comes with the snow she will run about for over an hour.

Just bare in mind Tania that the Gabapentin can have some side affects. Its just our personal experience but for Ruby it made her symptoms worse. Had no affect on the scratching and head rubbing and it made her extrememely wobbley on her feet and she lost the ability to jump on the sofa and walk up a curb. She fell flat on her face quite often and lost her balance alot!

I know you know a lot more about this disease than I do though!

Good Luck with Dougal- has he had the ears sorted yet? Of course I would think it is unrelated to the Back sensitivity?

15th August 2010, 10:19 AM
Thanks Karen, I don't know more about the disease than you at all ! Dougall is due another MRI soon so we will see about his ear. It was decided not to have surgery at the moment. Clare Rusbridge pointed out the last time she examined Molly (4 weeks ago)" her demeanour suggested she was in more discomfort and Dougall was in considerable discomfort". I knew there was a change but I didn't think it was as pronounced. I am doubting my judgement at the moment and I think I was secretly hoping they would stabilise and wouldn't get any worse, this week was a bit of a reality check and kick up the bum !

Molly loves puzzles, if you look at an earlier post she feautured in a book "Brain Games for Dogs" by Claire Arrowsmith. Molly was in the section "Games for less Active Dogs"

15th August 2010, 05:07 PM
It is so very hard - and sadly probably self destructive to wonder what they would be like without the CM/SM.

I think we just have to make the best of what we have, and help them have the best quality and maximum enjoyment out of life. Books like you have just mentioned are a great idea, especially ideas for less active dogs, rather than just letting them sleep all the time, they need some stimulation too!

Dotty sounds such a contrast, which makes things more obvious to you - I have been in that situation too, so understand what you are saying. Enjoy her :D

Gabapentin does have side effects and these vary between dogs. Teddy ended up on 300mg three times daily {the maximum possible dose} and as it had been gradually increased over the years, he was used to it and didn't have the sleepiness he had suffered with originally.

The human neurologists I have been in contact with say that it is very important to build up the dose gradually, and also to come off it gradually {if necessary}. I personally found it make me very sleepy {I couldn't drive whilst taking it}. Often you get used to the effects though and can function normally.

We all go through phases where we doubt our own judgement, and sometimes don't actually want to accept what we are seeing. Maybe writing things down/video would help you document the changes? Horrid to do though I know.

When is Dougall going back for another MRI?

We all hope that they will stabilise and not get any worse - sometimes this does happen, although it is a progressive illness and stability is the best we can hope for for them.

Keep positive - they will pick up on your mood and that can make them feel a bit down too :(

Thinking of you all

15th August 2010, 09:54 PM
Thank you, as you said it is a phase, I have spent a lot of time reading articles written by children which makes you feel even worse and terribly sad for them.

Dougall starts acupuncture in 2 weeks at Stone Lion, his scan is due roughly in 6 weeks, I will ask Clare Rusbridge if she feels this should be done sooner. I think CR would like him to be on the Gabapentin a little longer to see if he improves.

Today Molly is as bright as a button, her nose is wet and shiny and she has been pestering me for affection which she has not done for a while. I think I am annoyed with myself for not noticing!

I am keeping a diary now, it is a good idea and should have done this sooner. Thank you for the suggestion.

kind regards

kind regards

15th August 2010, 10:13 PM
I'll be interested to hear how the acupuncture goes. I know that this does seem to help many dogs (as well as people). I know of of a vet does acupuncture in Dublin so I might try a few sessions with Leo and see if there's any improvement for him.

16th August 2010, 01:17 AM

Ella really reacts well to the accupuncture. Her neurologist does it but I also used to go see someone who works with a vet and they do it together. The vet says she treats a Cavalier with SM on accupuncure alone. I just know that Ella seems to do real well after her sessions. So I also would like to hear that Tania has the same report.

Karen and Ruby
16th August 2010, 08:45 PM
I hope you get some answers Tania.

Dougall has CM not SM if I remember correctly? At least thats the latest you have? Is his back painful due to that?
I only ask as Charlie has increased sensitivity in his back- he will flinch when pressure is applied there?- Although that can just as easily be from where he was ill treated- he has lots of 'uncomfortable' spots!

My friends dog Molly also has CM and PSOM and she has had terrible problems with her spine! All this is just coming to me now. She has had the surgery on her ears and has had the gromitts put in. She has felt much better since that!
I seem to recal she has a problem with a couple of discs on her spine... has Dougal been Xrayed for his back??

Im so pleased Molly has had a chipper day! Its sooo sooo nice when they have a good day!

Could you give Lyrica a try??

16th August 2010, 10:04 PM
Dougall has cm. The pain/sensitivity is due to outflow obstruction at the foramen magnum and the compression to the medullary dorsal horn. The dorsal horn is the part of the brain that receives several types of sensory information eg. pain, touch, temperature.

Dougall starts acupuncture on Tuesday, will let you know how we get on.

Thanks for helping.