9th September 2013, 11:20 AM
When to move on to stronger medication?
One of my dogs is on 3 gabapentin and an onsior per day , she is starting to scratch a bit ( she didn't scratch before) & occasionally has sensitive spots on her sides & rubs her head , we then give her her medication and she is ok.
she doesn't scream and is quite cheerful when we go out but at what point should we consider putting her on something stronger , like steroids ? She does seem to be getting worse but obviously steroids have side effects so i'd rather keep them for when she really needs them.
my vet is not great so its a case of I tell them what I need and when .
9th September 2013, 01:16 PM
You should have many, many options before steroids.
Are you using Clare Rusbridge's treatment algorithm with your vet, to decide on dosage and meds? That would likely be very helpful, if not.
What dosage of gabapentin are you on?
Also not sure what an onsior is -- ? Is she on a CSF inhibitor?
I would say, given your description, that yes, it is time to adjust medications. Those are clear signs of increased pain and the goal is for the meds not to wear off and pain occur before the next dose, if at all possible.
In memory: Lucy
9th September 2013, 01:33 PM
Originally Posted by Karlin
she's on 100 mg gabapentin 3 times a day ( she weighs 5 kg) csf inhibitor 2 times a day . and one onsior ( rymadil but another brand)
the mri referral centre put her on the first two & I asked my vet to put her on the onsior ( after a 40 minute consultation of him saying oh this is odd & wouldn't believe it was Sm causing her to flinch on her side , he thought i'd kicked her)
i'll have a look at the treatment algorithm as I think its changed since I printed it out
9th September 2013, 01:40 PM
Wow -- are you sure you wouldn't want to change vets? I'd kick a vet who made such a suggestion! But seriously -- would look perhaps for a more sympathetic and proactive vet. Sensitivity to touch is one of the most common signs of SM.
Might be time to increase the gabapentin (eg to 150) or add in a daily painkiller from Clare's list. Leo is about 5kg as well and went up to 200mg, but that would have really been borderline as to what he could take. Lyrica really improved his breakthrough symptoms and only needs to be given 2x but is a lot more expensive.
In memory: Lucy
9th September 2013, 02:10 PM
Originally Posted by Karlin
That is the owner of the practice , when i've mentioned SM he says " oh that skull thing" ( he also thinks mvd does not cause early death ) it took me 40 minutes and eventually convincing him to search google for the symptoms on your site , then he said oh this does not match her symptoms .So I had to point out the paragraph on sensitivity and sleeping with the head raised.
I only went there because I liked his employee who I thankfully asked to give me an mri referral for my dog the week before he left for another practice , She had no obvious symptoms when he examined her but he referred her on my say so. If i'd gone a few weeks later i'd have had no joy from his boss.
I am considering moving practice but don't know where to go.
we have her litter sister who is technically worse but has reacted quite well to the medication. i'll have a look at the options and then maybe take her in to see the new vet there. who is nice but newly qualified
9th September 2013, 09:37 PM
Sorry you are having problems. A 'nice but newly qualified vet' may actually know more about SM, as the veterinary profession is slowly catching up with what Cavalier owners have known for some time - that CM/SM is a widespread and devastating problem in the breed. They may even teach it in vet school now! Ideally, you should also take your dog to see a neurologist with experience of SM (some of them are specialists in other things) - I think there is one in County Durham, which wouldn't be too far from you, or perhaps go where you had the MRI done. The initial consultation can be quite expensive (I hope you're insured!), but then they are at the end of the phone in the future, when anything new crops up or medication needs tweaking. And your new vet will then be able to ask your neurologist for advice on medication and treatment. My vet and I now work as a team (after a slightly rocky start!), with Clare Rusbridge's website to hand and occasional consultations between the professionals. We need to do this to give our dogs the best chance of living as free of pain as possible - as Karlin says, there are a number of options before steroids, which are a last resort. Hope you can find the right vet.
Kate, and Oliver and Aled, both with CM/SM