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Thread: Wanted to introduce myself/SM

  1. #11
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    It's been a tough night and day. Until last night, Watson was getting way better on the pain meds and anti-inflammatory. He kept wanting to play (which we ignored), and was doing fine on his steps to sofa and bed. I was carrying him up and down our spiral staircase for bed time. He was getting better. He was happy again.

    Then yesterday I literally rolled his ball two feet away on the grass (I hate myself, don't hate me), Watson ran... and stopped too fast. And we had our first yelp in days. A few minutes later I was sitting on the sofa, and he wanted to join me. Not even wanting him to use his little 3-steps after what had happened on the grass, I picked him up (fine) and placed him next to me. But when I got up, he jumped off the coach - right past the steps, ignoring them completely. He yelped again. And from that point on until this morning he yelped every time he moved.

    For the rest of the night I slept downstairs with him on the floor near me. He was clearly not feeling well. He's reinjured his bulging discs (I guess I should be posting on the disc forum, if there is one). Today he's a bit better. Getting up without yelps and wagging more, walking around a teeny bit. He's eating and goes outside to pee/poop. But still... what have I done? I'm worried he won't get back to where he was. At this point he's pretty much where he was when I first noticed something was up. The only good news (if you can call it that) is that this has made it clearer it's the disc problem that's causing this bout of pain.

    The vet says I can add gabapentin to the rimadyl and tradmadol and wrote me a prescription. I just got it home. I feel horrible. I'll see if he needs it tonight.
    Last edited by boymom; 2nd August 2008 at 04:26 AM.

  2. #12
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    I can only imagine how much you are beating yourself up about this. Am hoping rest and meds will make him feel better. I'm so sorry you are going through this.
    Cathy
    Loving mom to Jake, Shelby and Micah

  3. #13
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    Small sigh of relief. Gabapentin an hour and half ago with his second Rimadyl, and he's feeling better. Not letting him do anything, but he's wagging and licking me and definitely perkier and feeling better than last night. Stretching and resting in different positions, unlike last night. So I feel better too.

    For your dogs that have SM, do your vets have you give gabapentin and another pain killer, like tramadol? Or just one? Just curious for the future. For now I'm happy to have both. Are there any risks or any issues any of you have had with tramadol + gabapentin + Rimadyl + lasix? Seems like so much! Since Dr. Sammut doesn't think his small syrinx is even what's bothering him, I'm wondering why the lasix? Especially if it means getting up to pee more, when his back hurts. Sorry for all the questions. it's still so much to take in.

    And is there a separate thread for disc issues?
    Last edited by boymom; 2nd August 2008 at 06:04 AM.

  4. #14
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    I had a dog that I suspected had SM and treated her with gabapentin which helped. She had a big pain incident but it pretty much returned to normal athough I noticed she held her neck stiffly. I heard about an amazing horse vet who was achiropractor and acupuncturist, both, so l went to see him. He said her back was twisted and hips a mess and after 3-4 treatments, she was so much improved that she didn't need to return. I also had another dog with a ruptured disc and she went from paralyzed to walking with IV steroid treatments. My point is that the back issues may be what is causing a lot of his discomfort and scratching may be putting him in positions that make it worse. If you can get both under control it may help a lot. Sounds like the lasix is a just in case the swelling from syrinx is causing the pain to alleviate the fluid pressure. I'm suprised he's not on steroids although that really acts as a diuretic.
    Last edited by Nancy; 2nd August 2008 at 01:50 PM.

  5. #15
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    Lasix is thought to help control the development and progression of syrinxes/SM in some cases as it reduces CSF pressure so it is most likely a preventative. But there are many cases where dogs have SM-like pain from the malformation alone. Many neurologists now automatically put dogs onto Lasix if they have a syrinx or possible Chiari pain. If a syrinx is forming, it is a sign that the CSF flow is definitely compromised and creating extra pressure and this is known to cause pain on its own. In humans, Chiari -- pain from the malformation and interupted CSF flow -- is a more common complaint I believe than SM.

    Some dogs do take a mix of painkillers. Be sure to go back and ask Dr Sammut these questions-- remember, none of us is a neurologist or a vet, and only she knows the professional answers to why your dog is taking what he is taking, what the interactions could be and why she has chosen this mix. It isn't a good idea to assume anything that we are saying is a correct reply or matches her intentions. Have her write down her reasons or take notes right then from what she says, if you need them for reference as it can be hard to remember sometimes or confusing. You are paying her as a consultant and these are all obvious questions to expect a reply to from a professional.

    I'd really be penning and crating your dog until there's a lot more healing I think. I'd also be keeping him (via babygates or other barriers) where he cannot ever go into rooms with furniture on his own and when there, he must be lifted onto and lifted down from furniture anytime you are moving so that he doesn't jump down, or needs to be on a lap then penned in the room or crated while you are up and moving around. I'd also consider working now to train him to wait rather than jump onto furniture, and likewise wait to be let down. Recovery from back problems an take weeks or months -- you really do need to minimise activity even though it is difficult and be sure not to assume he is ready for further activity, even as mild as what you tried, unless you get a green light from your vet or neurologist. It is amazing how fragile they can be in recovery but think of how you'd be with severe back pain and how little you'd be able to do.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

  6. #16
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    Karlin, we are now keeping Watson confined (via folding gates,etc.) to a small area. The sofa is there, but right now, without his steps, he won't even attempt. And I certainly won't put him there again - NO way. But perhaps soon I will block off the sofa altogether.

    He's better even today from last night (one gambapentin really helped). I'm sleeping downstairs in a guest room and Watson's quite happy on the floor next to me w/his folding tumbling mat + comforter. It's hard for him when I have to go upstairs and I won't even carry him with me, but he seems to know it's for his own good.

    So I hear you loud and clear!

    Nancy, I asked about steroids. Apparently, steroids are not supposed to be used with Rimadyl. He'd need to be off Rimadyl for a few days first, and now is not the time. Perhaps in the future. Since my regular vet is the one who started the tramadol + Rimadyl combo, I'm curious to ask Dr. Sammut if that's what she would've started with.

    Since we're going on vacation a week from today, I'm going to make an appointment to see her next week, just to answer a lot of questions and make sure I've got firm directions for my wonderful housekeeper who adores my dog as if he were her own. (She even calls me on her two days off to see how he's doing!).

    I know you guys aren't vets, but you do have a lot of info, and I really appreciate it.

  7. #17
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    I really think I would get him in to see a neurologist. They are the experts in both SM and Back problems.

  8. #18
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    Um, we are seeing a neurologist, Dr. Sammut. She is listed in RED on Cavalierhealth as one of those who deals with a lot of SM. My regular vet referred me to her, yet in the few days before we saw Dr. Sammut, Watson had already started on tramadol/Rimadyl per my regular vet. Dr. Sammut is the one who reviewed his MRI and has been on the case since.

    I'm just trying to learn about others' experiences as much as possible, and seek support, between now and my next visit with her.

  9. #19
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    Sorry, I did not realize. I hope your dog is on the road to recovery.

  10. #20
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    Thank you, Nancy. I've been learning quite a bit here.

    Are there any other members whose dogs have SM (in our case, a very small syrinx thus far, per neurologist) AND disc problems in back/neck? I would love to hear your experiences.

    And Nancy, I plan to ask her about surgery for Watson, so the syrinx does not get worse. He is 3.5, and I don't know that we've seen any symptoms SM yet, since the neurologist suspects its the discs causing problems at this time. But until I hear her thoughts, is surgery typically considered a good preventative measure for dogs like Watson?

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