Hi,

You may have already seen this, as I'm trying to post it on a few different SM sites with hopes it may help others.

I haven't posted in quite some time. As way of history/introduction,
our 6 year old Cavalier, Trevor, was diagnosed at 18 months with COMS,
compression of the cerebellum, and kinking of the brainstem, but no
syrinxes at time of MRI. A repeat MRI, approximately 1 year later,
showed no change in his condition. Since that time, we've treated
Trevor with Gabapentin (100mg/3Xday). His original symptoms were
scratching of the head and some occasional "ataxic" like movements.
Over time, more discomfort (?headaches) became apparent, especially
during the early morning hours. He would wake up and swallow
repeatedly and look uncomfortable. Also, in the last 18 months or so,
he has begun "head nodding" which has increased in frequency and
severity. When especially bad, he will lie down on the floor. Finally,
over the last 2 months he has begun scratching with his hind legs to
his sides (usually making contact with his skin) and trying to
reach/bite his back and legs. Repeat clinical neuro evaluations with
Dr. Kortz have remained fairly stable. He has not had another MRI.
Over the last several weeks we have put him on medrol/methyprednisone
to see if the side/back scratching would decrease. Interesting, when
at "full strength" (2mg/2Xday)the medrol decreased the head nodding
completely, but the side/back scratching was only slightly improved.

We have been on vacation with Trevor this week at the beach. We
typically put a Lycra bodysuit on him when taking walks to prevent
burrs/foxtails from getting in his coat. To our surprise, the
bodysuit has almost eliminated his scratching entirely. If we take the
bodysuit off, the scratching returns almost immediately, but while
wearing it, the frequency has been reduced by more than 90%. He is
happy to wear the bodysuit, even sleeping in it, and has been much
more comfortable this week. I'm not sure if this experience is
idiosyncratic to Trevor, but wondered if anyone has had a similar
experience? (The bodysuit has a rather narrow opening for the dog's
head, so it might not be appropriate for dogs who have extreme head
sensitivity.)

We did a bit of searching via the Internet, and it seems as though
people with diabetic neuropathy have found that lycra compression
stockings or shorts can improve their symptoms. So I'm thinking that
if Trevor is having parasthesias (strange sensations), the slight
pressure from the bodysuit may alter his sensations in a positive way.

In case you're interested, you can look at the bodysuit at http://www.k9topcoat.com

Wanted to share this experience--hope it might be helpful to others.

Best, Roberta