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Thread: A liitle advice please?

  1. #11
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    Hi Marie-Anne:

    Just wondering whether it might be a good time to discuss gabapentin again with your neurologist? The kind of difficulties she is experiencing are exactly the ones where gabapentin helps. It isn't like steroids where there's any significant concern about keeping a dog on it long term -- it is very well tolerated. You might find she is far more comfortable and again engages with the other dogs if given something more than frusemide and an anti-inflammatory. That is a very minimal treatment level and doesn't actually address pain for many dogs -- frusemide just tends to relieve a degree of the pressure they seem to feel, which may in turn help some with pain -- but frusemide doesn't tend to work very long for most dogs on its own. It does nothing at all that is noticeable for either of mine but I use it because there are indications it helps keep the condition from advancing as rapidly and gives some relief. It might be worth consideration -- at any rate I think most dogs with the condition do need at least an annual check-in with their neurologist because this is a progressive condition and often the dogs may be tolerating far higher levels of pain that we notice (eg they learn to simply tolerate it though they have declined further, while we don't notice because the decline is gradual and we don't see it).
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Leo Lily Tansy Libby (foster) Mindy (foster)
    In memory: Lucy
    Cavalier SM Infosite:www.smcavaliers.com

  2. #12
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    Hello Karlin and thanks for your concern and suggestions.

    It was actually Martin Deutschland at Chestergates who said we should try to get Megan off the gabapentin, which I think was because he considered many of her more severe neurological problems (tilting gait, eye-rolling, lip-licking etc) were actually being caused more by the hydrocephalus than anything else. She hasn't experienced any of these problems for over a year now, so I've assumed that the frusemide has indeed helped reduce the hydrocephalus.

    Megan still enjoys her walks (most days) and has always been an "independent" spirit, so I haven't been over- concerned that she doesn't interact with the others, especially the pesky younger ones.

    However, I take your point and will see if I can get a follow-up appointment in the near future, just to be on the safe side.

    Cheers, Marie-Anne

  3. #13
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    Just had to to say, your dogs are all very lucky to have such wonderful caring owners.

  4. #14
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    Default What a change

    Ruby and I went to agility as usual this evening and she has been on the gabapentin now since yesterday morning and lets just say i am sooo happy I could cry.
    Everyone at training said that they thought I had replaced Ruby with a different dog- but NO- its like I have got my puppy back again.
    Now yes I hear you all saying its too soon to be making these assumptions but you should have seen her go!!
    She has always struggled with the jumps and we have only been going a few months. To the point where I was thinkng about stopping. She never seemed to enjoy herself but today... well what can I say. I am the proudest mum in the world and she truly was flying round with not a care in the world and she was LOVING it!!!
    And the best thing was that she didnt scratch or rub her head once when we were there!
    Now I may be jumping the gun and we shall see how she does at obedience training in the morning as the heal work soes involve keeping her head elevated which has been a struggle for her lately but so far so good.
    i finally have a good day to share with you all and I hope it warms your hearts as it has mine.

    Best wishes to you all and your angels xxxxx

    Karen and Ruby

  5. #15
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    Default Lovely news ....

    Hi Karen,

    I have followed your thread and have finished reading it with a big smile on my face. It's lovely to hear about Ruby and her 'leaping' in her agility classes. I also fully understand and share your concern about her condition and how she may be feeling on a day to day basis ie is she in pain, discomfort etc. As usual Margaret and Pauline ( and others!) offer very wise words and come to this condition with a lot of true understanding and experience. Thank you for that ladies x

    My Ruby had an appointment on Friday with Martin Deutschland and she has been put on Gaberpentin alongside her frusmide. Ruby's SM presents mainly as a hyper sensitivity to touch on her left side of her neck. It kicks off her air scratching. Walking is no problem since we bought a harness that doesn't touch her sensitive spot! Martin gave her his usual thorough examination and she responded well on all counts including the neck mobility check.

    To try to dampen her senstivity he suggested Gaberpentin - which thanks to this site I knew all about! She has been on it since Friday and so far so good! Like yourself I know it's early days but it is remarkable how she can be stroked etc without kicking off the air guitar! As the medication wears off her sensitivity comes back noticibly!
    We were advised she may be drowsy but we haven't noted that yet !
    She does seem to be drinking a lot more though - I have called Chestergates to check if this could be the Gaberpentin.

    Anyway Karen, I will sign off now (as usual I always seem to hi-jack posts!)

    I pray that your Ruby will continue to do well on her meds - keep us posted on here.
    Dawn x
    Last edited by dizzy; 4th August 2009 at 03:04 PM. Reason: spelling!

  6. #16
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    It is so good to know that Ruby, and Ruby, are having some good days. Thank you for sharing with us.

    Our SM cavaliers are very special little dogs.
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

  7. #17
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    Linda- That guest book entry on your blog was amazing...brought tears to my eyes. And to think that HUMAN sufferers are indebted to CAVALIER RESEARCH...

    There are many more benefits to submitting MRI scans than just the obvious benefit (or future benefit) to Cavaliers.
    Trisha in Southwest Florida
    Cavaliers: Casey, Ollie, & Winston and usually a foster or two! Cats: Pebbles & Benson

  8. #18
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    Default Not bumping but progressing

    Its all started to go downhill recently again and have been emailing Clare for her advice and she said that it sounds as though damage is being done to Rubys spinal chord as she seems to be loosing control of her front legs recently.
    She fell flat on her face last week (literally) and has been tripping up far more often than usual. She is also walking with a head tilt which is deffinatly new.
    Ive come to the conclusion that the Cimetidine isnt doing the job that we had hoped it would and that it is time to try something else.
    Clare suggested either Steroids (which i have my reservations with) or Surgery (which I have great reservations about)
    Surely there is something else??????

    Dont get me wrong the gabapentin is still doing wonders and she isnt in pain but I can see the SM progressing and feel sooooo helpless with it.
    We will be arranging an appointment with Clare for when she is back in the Surgery as she is on annual leave at the moment but in the mean time I need to think long and hard.
    One of my main problems is that my partner still doesnt want to accept that she is a very poorly dog and doesnt get involved in making the desisions and I feel soooo much pressure on my shoulders. To top it all of I found out that my mum has a tumor on her spine and now there is that to worry about also.

    I feel so lost and dont know what to do x

    Karen and my angel Rubes

  9. #19
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    oh Karen, I feel your pain. For what it's worth, I would probably try Ruby on steroids. Riley is on 5 mg prednisone a day (and probably will be forever) and I up it to 7.5 mg for 3-4 days if she seems to be having a harder time. For her, the benefits of steroids far outweighs any long-term side effects she may have. Her quality of life is so much better with them than without them. Interestingly though, the steroids did not work for her before her surgery. They made absolutely no difference. Like Ruby, she has a lot of weakness and a very pronounced head tilt. She still gets off balance and has to lean against a wall for support, but nowhere near what it was like before surgery. Please PM me if you want to talk about the surgery. I am so happy I did it. It didn't solve all her problems, but it made them more manageable and I hope it stopped the progression of her SM.

    I'm so sorry about your mom. I hope it is benign and doesn't cause her (and you) too much worry. Good luck. PM me if you want some support.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

  10. #20
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    I am so sorry that Ruby is deteriorating. You must feel as if you are being faced with more than you can cope with at the moment.

    I do understand your worries about steroids, especially with a young dog, but I have found that prednisolone works well for Matthew, and I do know of SM dogs that have been kept comfortable for over four years on steroids.

    Stop feeling lost. Make a decision, even if it is to put Rubes on steroids while you take a bit of time to check out & think about surgery.

    I know it is hard to accept there are not more options, but that is the reality of the SM situation at the moment. This is a really hateful condition.

    You are not alone. There will be many people here sending positive vibes your way.
    Margaret C

    Cavaliers......Faith, The Ginger Tank and Woody.
    Japanese Chins.... Dandy, Benny, Bridgette and Hana.
    Remembered with love......... Tommy Tuppence and Fonzi

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