View Full Version : *Update on Flash* & question about bad days

3rd November 2010, 04:25 AM
Hey everyone!

Well Flash has been on Lyrica of a little over a week... For the most part he is a different dog! (HA, we have even joked that they gave us the wrong puppy back!!! )
He is on 25mg Lyrica twice daily. For the most part he has been episode free although in the evenings about 1-2 hours before his bed time dose I notice him start to air scratch and rub his face a little bit. NOTHING like before but he still seems a little uncomfortable. Usually less then an hour after his evening lyrica dose he is back to being episode free. Over all he has been SO happy and so hyper. I have never seen him play like this before. He used to only play a couple of hours out of a day and sleep the rest of the time. Now I never see him sleep for more then an hour or two during the day. At night when he does sleep he actually sleeps instead of constantly moving around. He now wakes up before I do and is off running around playing when I get up. He has so much energy when he plays that he has actually destroyed a few of his toys that he has had since he came home.
We have had NO episodes of the fearful barking and no growling episodes! :*nana:

I was wondering what would be considered "okay" as far as the scratching and rubbing episodes? Ideally I would love for him to be totally symptom free but is occasional scratching and rubbing still normal? It is drastically different then before and only last for maybe 30 seconds before he runs off to play.

Also last night really concerned me. He was so happy and hyper all day but a cold front and rain came in and he was suddenly became terrible for about 3 hours before his evening dose was due. Really just miserable scratching, rubbing, whining under my feet. I went ahead and gave him Lyrica an hour early to make him a little more comfortable sooner.

Then tonight again about 3 hours before his evening meds the scratching and rubbing hit hard very suddenly. He also had a short yelping fit and followed by a "dribbling" pee problem. He then went and hid in the dark bedroom alone. Again I gave him meds about an hour early. A little while after the Lyrica he came out to the living room but has been uninterested in being social or playful. Just laying on the couch watching what is going on.

Is it normal to still see bad days even on the medicine?

I have left a message with his neurologist but I guess she is really busy and has not gotten back to me. Going to call again and bug them tomorrow..

:xfngr: *Fingers are crossed that we can get the medication dosage right soon *

3rd November 2010, 08:25 AM
I'm really happy for you that Flash is lots better. Weather does seem to affect my Dylan who has SM. Dylan is on 50mg twice a day and my only thought is maybe Flash could have a higher dose perhaps?

Let us know what your neuro says.

Kate H
3rd November 2010, 09:59 AM
Dogs seem to metabolise medication at different rates - that is, it passes through the body at slower or faster rates - and when you start a dog on, say, gabapentin it's a matter of watching when it starts wearing off and adjusting the dosage accordingly. This is not so much a matter of the dog needing a higher dose but of maximising the effectiveness of a relatively low dose, to achieve 24-hour coverage.

My Oliver, for example, has just moved from 2 x 100mg gabapentin to 3 x - not because he is getting much greater pain but because having it at 12-hourly intervals, he was getting uncomfortable overnight (which I noticed when we were sharing a tent on holiday a few weeks ago). So Flash may need a slight adjustment to the frequency of his Lyrica?

Hope you get it sorted,

Kate, Oliver and Aled

3rd November 2010, 03:48 PM
The neurologist called back this morning! She has me giving it to him 3X a day now.

Really hope that helps him!

By the way: Has anyone ever had a problem with dribbling pee with SM/CM? My vet ruled out everything else and she "assumed" that it could be possible he has a syrinx down in his lower spine causing the problem. But we are reluctant to do additional MRI's to try an locate it at the moment because each image is $1000. The dribbling only happens when he is obviously uncomfortable in an episode. I'm really hoping the medication to prevent the episodes will prevent the dribbling. Not sure how to manage this issue if it doesn't stop. Walking across little spots of pee all over the house is NOT very appealing. I have heard of some kind of belly band for male dogs but have never used one. Seems like a dog would just try and chew it off. Has anyone used one of these before?


3rd November 2010, 05:53 PM
Yes it's not uncommon with SM - sometimes you get puddles when they are asleep :(

You can try belly bands, he might tolerate them - I think in the US this rescue sometimes has them http://www.pekeatzurescue.com/storefurbaby.htm

Something like these could be placed on Flash's chair - or perhaps you could arrange so that he is in a smaller, easy to clean area, with one of these on his bed?
http://overthetop.co.uk/index.php?pg...=44&pid=138&p= (http://overthetop.co.uk/index.php?pg=2&action=dept&id=44&pid=138&p=)


http://overthetop.co.uk/index.php?pg...id=7&pid=65&p= (http://overthetop.co.uk/index.php?pg=2&action=dept&id=7&pid=65&p=)

These are from the UK but you should be able to find something similar.

Alternatively I think people have tried Propolin from the vet - I have used the homoeopathic remedy made from that medication very successfully in the past - Teddy and Rupert were both leaving puddles and dribbling, and this stopped it completely. They had to stay on it for life though.

3rd November 2010, 06:59 PM
I am so glad Flash is doing good on Lyrica. I actually just hung up the phone with Ella's neurologist and got on her because he just changed her to Lyrica. So reading this gives me some hope.

Ella was on Gabapentin but we are going to try Lyrica because she is not doing as well as I like and also I heard Gabapentin does better three times a day. I may be wrong, but I hope Ella does just as well as Flash!:xfngr:

3rd November 2010, 09:42 PM
Echo Nicki on the dribbling. SM can affect bladder control. Also pain can cause them to pee on themselves, if this was happening during one of the bad sessions. I don;t think this would need a syrinx in the lower spine -- hindbrain compression alone could affect bladder and bowel activity (human patients with Chiari alone have pain when bearing down when using the toilet and can become incontinent). Also the syrinxes anywhere press on the nerves that are involved in bladder control so it doesn't need to be a syrinx in a particular location. See for example:


where they note:

Increased pressure in the cyst may interfere with the long nerve fibres within the spinal cord that supply the legs and bladdder, causing leg spasticity and urinary incontinence.

as well as !!:

What causes it ?

The condition may be caused by spinal cord tumours, spinal cord injuries, and vascular malformations (benign blood vessel tumours).
It may also be associated with Arnold Chiari Malformation and Spina Bifida (Meningomyelocele).
May also start after a severe bout of straining or coughing.
It is also known to occur commonly in King Charles Cavalier dogs.

You may also need more of a cocktail of pain killers (just gabapentin or Lyrica often isn't adequate, according to Clare Rusbridge), or at least have something additional for bad days. The goal should be for a dog to be pain free. :flwr: Mild scratching or face rubbing I wouldn't be too worried by -- Leo does this every day, regardless of medication. Only when he first went on gabapentin did it fully control scratching.

If you have a young dog having very serious pain episodes though -- I would be talking to the neurologist about the option of surgery, if you haven't gone through that consideration already. There may be many reasons why this would not be a choice, but severe pain in a very young dog generally means you are looking at short term palliative care rather than the possibility of a medium to longer term lifespan that might be available with surgery. Sorry to be that blunt, but sometimes I am not sure how clear neurologists make those choices. I know from so many neurologist presentations and from Dr Rusbridge's own papers that the choices are pretty stark for severely affected young dogs. I presume your neurologist has gone through that with you, and of course as well there are many, many reasons that people need to make the choices they do. :flwr: But the record of being able to manage young dogs with severe pain on medications is unfortunately very poor as the condition does almost always worsen over time and if a dog is already on the most serious level of painkillers -- which Lyrica is -- there are few further options to turn to. You can work with steroids or some heavy duty painkillers on top of the Lyrica but again you may be looking at a short span in which that will contain pain.

It is great that he has had such relief on Lyrica and that you are seeing normal behaviour again. This horrible condition creeps up on these dogs and easily makes us forget what a normal dog or puppy acts like. :( It is just so unfair for them to have to endure this disease.