View Full Version : Tips for making our cavalier more comfortable? We have neuro appoint on monday
9th October 2012, 09:07 PM
Unfortunately, Monty's neurologist won't be back until next Monday, so at the moment, we are at a loss as how to make our sweet little boy more comfortable. About a week ago, he hasn't really been in the mood to walk (which he normally loves), cries all the time and pants quite a bit. The last time this happened, he bounced back rather quickly but that doesn't seem to be the case this time.
He is almost 9 years old and was diagnosed with a pretty severe SM case at 5. He's currently on 100 mg of gabapentin daily, and up to this point, it's worked tremendously.
Does anyone have any tips for making him feel better until we see the doctor? Also, has anyone's cavaliers exhibited these types of symptoms and if so, what was your course of action and the outcome? We just feel terribly for him as he must be in a great deal of pain.
Thanks in advance!
9th October 2012, 09:39 PM
Unfortunately, Monty's neurologist won't be back until next Monday, so at the moment, we are at a loss as how to make our sweet little boy more comfortable. About a week ago, he hasn't really been in the mood to walk (which he normally loves), cries all the time and pants quite a bit. The last time this happened, he bounced back rather quickly but that doesn't seem to be the case this time. He is almost 9 years old and was diagnosed with a pretty severe SM case at 5. He's currently on 100 mg of gabapentin daily, and up to this point, it's worked tremendously. Does anyone have any tips for making him feel better until we see the doctor? Also, has anyone's cavaliers exhibited these types of symptoms and if so, what was your course of action and the outcome? We just feel terribly for him as he must be in a great deal of pain. Thanks in advance! These are all symptoms which my Rebel, almost the same age, has had at various times. He was MRI scanned at 6 years old, which showed a very large syrinx, CM and curvature of the spine. Fortunately, his symptoms didn't appear until about 18 months ago, but he has progressed quite a lot since then. Doseage of most medicines depends on the weight of the dog. Rebel is 8.5 kilos. He was given 10 mgs Frusemide twice daily, then got worse a while later, so 8.5 mgs of Metacam was added, reducing to 6 after a while to avoid long term problems. Then this summer the screaming started again, as did the scratching, so Gabapentin was introduced to his regime at the rate of 100 mgs twice daily. This is the standard dose according to Dr Rusbridge's algorithym (?sp), which helped quite a lot, but he had problems lowering his head so the dose is now a total of 300 mg, i.e. 1 tab 3 times a day. He is fine on this. So good in fact that when he had his check up at the vet's this morning, the poor long suffering lady had her face kissed all over while she was trying to listen to his heart. From this you may have gathered that 100 mgs Gabapentin seems to be a low dose. I am no expert, which is why I have used Rebel's meds as a guide, but as it's an emergency because your poor dog is suffering, I would think you would be safely within the guidelines if you increased the Gabapentin to 200 mgs a day until you can contact the neuro. Others are more experienced here than I am, so I think you should watch your thread to see what they have to say. I do so hope there is an improvement soon. It is so distressing to see the dog you love so much in pain and distress. Keep us updated as to how things go please. Meanwhile I am spinning the Tibetan Prayer Wheel and asking for some relief.
9th October 2012, 09:59 PM
thank you so much for your reply and your prayers - all good energy is welcome!
my husband just gave him another gabapentin; if anything, hopefully it will make him feel better. i have a feeling the neurologist will up the dosage and possibly give him other meds. we just want monty's quality of life to be pain-free and happy - we miss the dog who sneaks up on the ottoman and licks chip dip straight from the container when our backs are turned, the little thief! :)
will definitely be keeping a close eye on this thread for sure. your cavalier rebel and monty are roughly the same weight & age too - hopefully rebel is painfree and happy-go-lucky!!
9th October 2012, 11:35 PM
I would second Flo that 100mg a day is a very low dose. Gabapentin works through the system (metabolises) in an average of 8.5 hours and it is important to keep up the level of medication in the body - it needs blanket coverage, so to speak. This is why most SM dogs are on Gabapentin x3 daily. Some dogs metabolise Gabapentin more quickly and will be on x4 a day.
Many CM/SM dogs are affected by rapid changes in air pressure, and these may be days when Monty is more uncomfortable and needs an extra Gabapentin - worth discussing with your neuro. If you haven't given it to him/her already, download Clare Rusbridge's algorithm (as Flo mentioned), as it gives advice to vets on treating dogs with CM/SM - though your neuro will probably know it already.
Hope Monty is feeling a bit better - let us know how you get on.
Kate, Oliver (11-year-old with SM) and Aled (5-year-old with SM but so far no obvious symptoms)
10th October 2012, 12:10 AM
I would definitely try increasing his gabapentin to three a day. You could also ask your vet to prescribe metacam for extra relief for the few days before you see the neurologist.
This is the combination my Tommy was on before his SM deteriorated so much that he needed to go on to Lyrica.
1st November 2012, 08:17 PM
quick update: monty's on an increased dosage of gabapentin and now also on omeprazole. the difference is amazing. he is now the same sweet (& naughty) little boy we're used to. we'll continue to monitor him and hope that this dosage continues for the long term. thanks everyone for the advice and support!
2nd November 2012, 03:00 PM
Glad to hear Monty is back to his old self.
5th November 2012, 07:02 PM
Great news :)
5th November 2012, 09:19 PM
Sorry I missed seeing this earlier. I have had quite a frantic few days one way and another!
I am so relieved and glad that Monty's meds have been changed helping him to get back to his old self. I see this happening every day to my Rebel too, so I know just how you feel when you 'get your old dog back'. Rebel has started being alpha dog with me recently, just as he used to do when he was years younger, even aimed a quick shot with his teeth across my bows as they say. I could not scold him. I got my dog back, which is all I ever wanted.
9th November 2012, 04:40 AM
I'm just catching up on posts here at CT, and am so glad to see that your med changes have made such a great improvement. We always need to hear good news.
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