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Thread: Merlin still limping ..... 9 weeks on ... (good news & bad news)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Nottingham. Uk
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    Default Merlin still limping ..... 9 weeks on ... (good news & bad news)

    Well Merlin's vestibular, middle ear disease and Chiari has all calmed down. Medication (100mg of Gabapentin twice daily and Metacam) is working and he's more himself, in regards to his paralysis he's started to move his right ear again and also his right eye lid flickers like there's sensations coming back again. So proud of my little boy.

    HOWEVER...... his limping has got much worse.

    I can tell that its definately his front left leg/paw. He yelps when he gets up, he yelps when he walks around. His limp is very bad and sometimes he just holds his paw in the air.

    The vet has done a full 30 minute examination on him, and found nothing, Merlin didnt yelp no matter how much the vet pulled his leg around. He thought the pain was neurological from the CM, but he said Merlin would be yelping all the time, and uncomfortable when trying to lay down or sleep, however it only seems to hurt him when he's moving around, therefore making me think he's damaged his leg or there's something worse going off.

    I'm going to insist on an x-ray to see if it shows anything. I'm worried about bone cancer as this can cause lameness, limping, weakness.

    Just when things were improving i'm back to square one again. Wish someone up there would give him a break, hasnt he suffered enough in his life

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Dublin, Ireland
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    I'm so glad you have had some good responses! Really great news for you and Merlin. The fact that gabapentin helps is a sign on its own that you are almost definitely dealing -- at least to some degree -- with pain and symptoms from CM. It must be such a relief to be seeing some response and improvement now; hope the paralysis keeps getting better.

    However, I actually think, to be honest, that your vet may not understand CM adequately. It is not true that the leg would always be hurting with CM. Neurological pain comes and goes. My dog with SM pain sometimes is very sensitive on his sides or neck and other times has no reaction at all to being handled in those places.

    I would really try to get to see a neurologist who better under stands CM if you can. Or have your vet contact a neurologist who does, like Clare Rusbridge.

    Given that you have had all the other issues as well it would seem most likely that this is connected in some way.

    CM/SM affects the motor control areas of the brain. Limping is seen with both CM and SM.

    There could obviously be other causes too, but I'd think bone cancer would definitely result in pain much the time if the leg was pushed and pulled around (unlike might be the case with CM).Before I'd spend more money and time on more investigations I'd really, really try to talk to a knowledgeable neurologist (not that many are that great on CM which is why I recommend Clare) or have the vet do this.

    I'd wonder whether you'd be better on 100mg 3x as gabapentin clears the system of most dogs in about 8 hours -- hence the pain coverage may not be adequate for large chunks of time. Not many of us are able to stick with just 2x for CM/SM dogs. Perhaps simply trying 3x would address the limping?
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    I agree with Karlin, I have dogs with cm/sm and cm. All of them are on higher doses of Gabapentin than Merlin. Some of my dogs are on Lyrica/Pregabalin which is a more potent form of Gabapentin. One of my dogs suffered symptoms almost identical to Merlin, most vets do not understand or have the experience of the range of symptoms cm/sm presents this is why it is important to see an experienced neurologist like Dr. Rusbridge. I would not put Merlin through an xray, an increase in pain medication under the supervision of a neurologist is more likely needed.
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