17th September 2013, 08:57 AM
Me and Merlin are making progress with medicines
Well after many weeks now of Vestibular Disease, Middle Ear Disease, and finding out Merlin has Chiari Malformation, we were put on Frusemide by our neurologist. I read many comments on here about Frusemide not being used much any more, and as time went on his condition wasnt improving.
In the last week he has begun to limp very bad on his front legs. When he gets up he yelps, when he moves around he yelps, and when we try and take him for a walk his front legs buckle and give way, thus ending up with him falling down and sometimes even hitting his chin on the ground.
We took him to our local vets last night, he had a full examination of his legs/paws, pulled his legs in all directions, pulled his head in all positions, opened his jaw wide, checked his ears. The vet couldnt find anything wrong and not once did Merlin yelp, however the minute we walked out of the consulting room.....he yelped (Typical)
The vet seemed to think this yelping is being caused from Neurological pain, and thats its all linked to this Chiari Malformation. However he said his CM is only mild and with him being nearly 7, the CM would have been with him for years, and its very strange how all these symptoms/yelping pains seem to be occuring now at the exact time when the CM was seen on MRI (all very coincidental he said)
Anyway, the vet said if the Frusemide is not doing much then he wants to start him on Gabapentin (now I have heard some of you mention this drug before) So now he's on 2 of these each day for 10 days to see how he goes, then he can possibly have the dosage increased for a longer period of time.
Can anyone give me any more information in to Gabapentin, and if you used it or have used it before....and of course what results you saw with this drug. Its not much progress but at least other options are being tried out
17th September 2013, 01:29 PM
Thankfully, I have no experience with Gabapentin yet. One thing you can do is search all past discussions by putting "Gabapentin" in the search box, located in the upper right corner of the forum site. I hope this yelps.
17th September 2013, 10:12 PM
Gabapentin is the standard medication for Cavaliers with both Chiari Malformation (CM) and Syringomyelia (SM). It specifically targets neurological pain, and the usual starting dose is 100mg three times a day - it is important to give 'blanket coverage' to keep up the level of the drug in the body. If Merlin's pain is neurological you should see a real difference fairly quickly. Gabapentin has very few side effects, although to begin with it may make Merlin sleepy. It is usual to have to tweak the medication for a few weeks until you find the right combination and dosage for your particular dog
Although CM is a bone malformation, it can be progressive in its effects; it slows down the movement of cerebral spinal fluid round the brain and this can back up in the ventricles - the spaces at the front of the skull - causing them to dilate (expand) and push against the skull and the brain, causing painful headaches.
Stumbling on the front legs is a common symptom of CM/SM. It was one of my Oliver's first symptoms. He has both CM and SM, but most of his problems seem to stem from the CM rather than from his small syrinx. He has severely dilated ventricles which give him bad headaches and also make him light sensitive, though he is now on effective medication (gabapentin and another drug). My Aled also has both CM and SM; he was put on gabapentin about a year ago and the result was immediate - he became much more relaxed and lively, so must have been in some degree of pain since he was diagnosed 2 years ago. He is a rescue and it isn't always easy to recognise what is pain and what is lack of confidence and shyness.
Hope this helps - and that the gbapentin will help Merlin.
Kate, Oliver and Aled