View Full Version : SM symptoms getting much worse and Lyrica questions

23rd September 2012, 04:52 PM
I also posted this on the SM list, as I would like all the advice and suggestions I can get. I also have an email in to my vet who is wonderful about responding- even on a Sunday. We have been in close contact, but I would also like anecdotal advice from people who have lived with this condition in their precious Cavaliers.

Good morning, everyone. Need some help here. My almost 6-year old beautiful girl
Scarlett has severe SM and is recently doing very poorly. She was mri'd two
years ago and at that time, almost her entire spinal cord was damaged. The neuro
said it was one of the worse cases he'd ever seen. He wanted to do surgery, but
also said there was no guarantee her symptoms would decrease. I didn't want to
put her through the surgery as her prognosis was so poor. The neuro was amazed
at how well her meds (Gabapentin, Omeprazole, and Previcox) controlled her

Well, sadly, we are at the point where she is getting much worse. Panting,
scratching, bunny hopping. We have added 5mg Pred and Tramadol, but even that
isn't helping enough. She's not herself and has lost her sparkle and spunky
personality. I am very, very sad. Our last resort is to try Lyrica. I have been
holding off as it's $200/month- that's the best price I've been able to find.
But, if it helps her, it's well worth the expense. I think this is our last
resort and if it doesn't help, I will have a heartbreaking decision to make. All of her kidney and liver values have been good up to now.

I've also noticed in the last week or two that her eyes are very bloodshot. She
does have cataracts in both eyes and I use Pred drops. I will call her
opthalmologist in the morning, but in the meantime, has anyone had this with SM?
Could it be the prednisone causing this?

For those of you with Cavaliers on Lyrica, are you still doing the Omeprazole
and/or Pred? How long did you wait between the Gabapentin dose to start the
Lyrica? My vet wants her to wait at least 8 hours, but I am very against that as
I know it will be very hard on her. If the Lyrica performs a miracle and helps her enough, I'd like to take her off the pred.

Any advice is very much appreciated. I am 6 months pregnant and very emotional
as it is, and this is truly breaking my heart. :-(

Thank you in advance.

23rd September 2012, 05:51 PM
So sorry to hear about Holly.
My cavalier (weigh 13.5 kg) is on Lyrica at 75mg at 12 hour interval. Sometimes i do need to up this at 8 hours interval when he is scratching a lot but this is very rare.We switch from gapapentin 2 years ago and never look back. We don't give him prednisolone , but use a NSAID called Rimadyl, although some dogs from reading the forum did well on pred . we were told we cannot mix pred and NSAID but can combine either with tramadol. I find my dog need both his lyrica and his NSAID as if I give him one and delay giving the other , he start scratching .
Recently we went to see his neurologist for routine checkup and she diagnosed his bloodshot right eye was because of dry eye and an infection caused by dry eye and not because of his sm, he is on optimune and visco tears and an antibodic drop that and help to clear his infection, His eye look so much better now. I hope this help.

23rd September 2012, 06:50 PM
Do you think that there is any chance that Scarlett has developed glaucoma? This can result from untreated cataracts - you will recall that this happened to my rescue, Darby, when he was about the same age as Scarlett. Glaucoma is very painful and could perhaps push her pain tolerance over the edge along with her SM. It's probably a long shot, but if you could get her optic pressure checked, you'd know for certain.


23rd September 2012, 11:01 PM
Hi Pat- yes, I suppose it could be glaucoma and I will call the opthalmologist and set up an appointment. Her pressure has always been fine but that may have changed. But I do think her SM symptoms are much worse recently than they've ever been. For glaucoma, are there options other than removing the eyes? This poor girl. :(

Sydneys Mom
24th September 2012, 01:53 AM
So sorry you are having these concerns with Scarlett. It just isn't fair that this sweet breed has to suffer so much. I have no experience with SM and no advice to give you, just wanted you to know I was thinking about you and your precious Scarlett. I hope you can find something to help her.

Love my Cavaliers
24th September 2012, 02:57 PM
Holly, I'm so sorry the prednisone didn't help Scarlett. Unfortunately I have no experience with Lyrica. I hope you can find some help for her and for you. Those pregnancy hormones make you extra sensitive. I don't even have to tell you to give her lots of love - you're already doing that. You're always in our thoughts and prayers.