A few questions
Now that everything is starting to settle down here, I have a few questions to ask you guys.
Misty is now on Gabapentin 100mg three times daily. She will have been on it two weeks on Monday, however, she doesn't seems to be acting any different. Her head rubbing and scratching is just as bad. Should I be seeing an improvement in these symptoms? Her head rubbing symptoms are the worst of the two, she can badger me to rub her head for her at times. She likes me doing her ears, the top of her head, across her eyes and round her neck, and while I do it she gives out little groans.
She is only on the Gabapentin, as Allison(Neuro) said her clinical symptoms aren't that bad, but is there anything that your furbies are on that has helped head rubbing? Or is it something we just have to live with. It's just, I worry that she is sore when she is doing this, but Allison said that they don't know why SM dogs head rub.
The other thing is I spoke to AXA about claiming for her Gabapentin, and they said claims can take 3 -5 weeks to process, but she's going to need a new prescription every 4 weeks. Do those of you that have insurance claim off of it for your SM meds, or do you get a prescription and try and buy it cheap on-line?
So far I have bought my Zitac from the vets, but as two of my dogs are on Zitac it costs me nearly £100 a month so by the time I have claimed it back the next lot be due and I would always have £200 outstanding in claims. I can’t afford to carry on like this especially if they go more medicine over time. Next time I will get a prescription from the vets and by it online. You can also claim the prescription and the online medicine back from your insurance. I am not sure yet how. I will have to ring my insurance company.
On Clare's protocol, she suggests trialing any drug for about 2 weeks, and if you aren't seeing any improvement, then you probably need to raise the dosage and/or try adding in other medications. If you haven't seen any improvement at all in 2 weeks, I would definitely get back in touch with your neurologist. When I put Leo on gabapentin, he stopped scratching literally immediately. Many dogs do a lot better if they are on something like omeprazole or cimetidine as well as gabapentin, or on an additional painkiller. I would always choose to try something like cimetidine 1st, and then adding in a painkiller as a 3rd drug–I will probably be going to Trocoxil myself the next time I go in to see my vet (for Leo that is).
For any medication that is a prescription drug, it is generally considerably cheaper to buy using a prescription from a regular pharmacy. Gabapentin, you can get from Boots for example. I would never get medications like this directly from a vet. Cimetidine or Omeprazole on prescription from a human pharmacy is also going to cost a lot less than buying it in small lots from a vet.
I would be extremely cautious from buying from online pharmacies unless you can verify that they belong to something like a national online trust scheme And and national pharmacy organization. In particular, I would be very cautious about overseas pharmacies–especially anything that is supplying medications from India or the Far East. A lot of these places are scams and you do not know what you are getting–studies that have looked at a lot of these places which commonly advertise online have found that the medications are often counterfeit or are cut with other drugs, or with just meaningless substances, and so on. There are also lots of good pharmacies online, including several in the UK for both that and human medications.
Thank you I'd decided to call Glasgow today anyway. I really thought I was coping with all this, but this morning I feel like I'm having a melt down. I'm so upset this morning, I feel like locking myself away and crying my eyes out.
I can hardly look at my two this morning, as everytime I do I just worry. "Is Misty in pain? Is she happy? Is Murphy okay? Is he happy? Oh my god Murphy is having a scratch, does he have SM?" My head is going to explode! I feel like I'm going to be sick. Where has all this come from?
I selfishly feel like I wish I had never heard of SM, only for my own sake of course, not Misty's. How do you guys cope?
Murphy was my first dog, so how do I even know what is normal. I don't know that I do. I don't think he has any symptoms, I think he just scratches like a "normal" dog does, but I don't know do I?
Like I said - melt down.
We've been prescribed a 30 day course of Prednisolone to see if this helps her any.
We'll just have to wait and see.
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What you said is so true. I had a melt down day on Saturday, I convinced myself Blue was deteriorating and got myself in a right state. I have to put out of my mind his age and what he should be doing, and remember that he is amazing for coping as well as he is. I worry too about pain etc but I can see in his eyes that he is not suffering. He obviously struggles to do normal activities, and the effort tires him out tremendously. We are doing a wonderful thing in looking after these dogs. There are people who would give up at the first hurdle and take the easy way out. Each little achievement they make is such a gift, and most of all they love us so much in return, keep that in mind. You keep fighting for your little dog, and don't worry when you go through a bad day, I bet we all have them. xx
I don't know if it makes you feel any better but Oliver, who does not have SM (had an MRI for disc problems less than two years ago), loves to have his head rubbed and will pester me to rub it for him several times a day beginning with when he first wakes up. After he eats, he will rub it on the carpet several times, leave and then come back and do it again. He'll rub it against the sofa, and then come to me to rub behind his ears, under his eyes, and the top of his head. Seems like he never wants me to stop. He will lean into me when I do it. Sounds like Misty, except he doesn't groan.
I hope the prednisolone makes her feel better. It's a miracle drug for Riley, my SM dog. She would not be walking around today without it. Let us know how it works. I saw almost instant results.
I can empathize and it can be worrying.
I have a dog called Daffy with sm and another with no sm, Daffy scratches a bit and sometime for about 5 minutes or have an episode like digging into rugs, Usually happens when he has another hour to go before his next dose of Lyrica. Most other times he is his happy self ,wagging his tail, watching me and begging for food. Since his operation in March 2011 his syringomyelia has reduced significantly but his scratching still continues so this make me think or I like to believe that scratching on its own and without any other symptoms is not necessary pain, its more like an irritation. So I guess I am happy with this, although I wish that his scratching will greatly reduce one day.
My other dog (without sm) sometimes scratches and shakes his head for 1 minute especially in the morning.
Don't give up, they are little angels and bring us so much joy.
Thank you for your replies :)
We've given her her first Prednisolone this morning. She's to get two for five days, one for five days and then one every other day. Ive to keep in touch with Allison to see how she goes.
I really do appreciate all your support I know I'm not alone.
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