Update on Murphy
After his last episodes at the end of September, we took him off the Gabapentin as per the Neuro, to see how it went. We soon saw changes in his posture, his back started to look hunched again, and his restless back leg twitching returned when he was resting, so we put him back on it. Then we settled down to wait on our appointment at Glasgow, with pain management specialist, Sam Lindley.
We went up yesterday, and I have to say what a worth while appointment it was.
We told her everything that had been happening, and she ask a lot of questions about his diet, behaviour and routine etc, and then had a really good feel of him. She returned to a few area's several times, watching him closely as she did. He then got a piece of Dentastix for being a good boy, which he loves as he gets them at home too. He then proceeded to beg for more! Not like Murphy at all, Sam caved, made him sit and gave him another piece lol.
Now it gets interesting. She told us there is nothing otherwise obvious in Murphy’s behavioural history that would make these episodes “make sense” as a behavioural problem. When there is no behavioural sense to be made then we turn back to a clinical/medical cause. She told us Murphy has degenerate discs, which shocked us no end, as we'd asked about this when he was scanned. Sam says that often Neurology wont mention them unless they think they are causing problems. But the vet initially thought he had DDD, and x-rayed him, but the x-ray didn't show anything, as is often the case. So when he got referred, we told the Neuro about this, and she said they would make sure to check. Sam told us that looking at the scan, it didn't tell us if they are causing pain or not. I wonder if this was why Murphy had a curved looking back? Since starting the Gabapentin his back looks fine again.
She advised on examination he has pain in his neck muscles (lower and worse on the right) forelimbs and long back muscles (again, worse on the right) and to a lesser extent in his back leg muscles. There is also repeatable pain when pressing on the bony spine in his “lower” back (around L2-L3). The muscular pain may have been caused by the pain arising from his CSM and perhaps from his discs at certain times; from the tension and muscle strain of panicking; and perhaps from shifting his weight off certain areas of his body.
As for his sudden fear of the kitchen she thinks it is pain related. He's had pain, most likely a sharp pain from his CM, which has caused him to panic, because it's now happened a few time in there, he now associates the dark kitchen with this. Although the pains probably happen through the day, there could be enough distractions going on to distract him to a point where he doesn't associate all the rooms with pain.
So at the moment the plan is to keep him on the Gabapentin, he's to start taking 3 x 100mg a day(he was only on 2 x 100mg) as it definitely seems to make an improvement for him, and see how he is. At Sam's suggestion, we've moved the baby gate to the bottom of the stairs, and last night left them with the run of the kitchen and living room. We tried this before but Misty wouldn't settle, last night however, they both seemed to settle perfectly. No noise, no pacing or whining, and that was them until 0630 this morning. She says he may need other meds added in, but we'll wait until we see how the increased Gabapentin does.
I feel a bit happier now. Although Murphy has been in pain, which obviously is not a good thing, at least now we are more sure that the episodes are to do with his conditions(CM/SM or DDD) rather than him having some extreme separation anxiety.
He has been doing really well since being put on the initial Gabapentin(excluding the 3 episodes), his playfulness returned, he's a downright pain in the evenings when he wants to play, which is great to see. His back looks so much better, not hunched like it was. I just hope that we can get the right medication for him to not have these terrible episodes ever again.
Paula - mum to Murphy(6) & Misty(7), and Jerry our cat.