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Thread: UPDATE on Shiloh...Rapid decline in last 24 hours

  1. #11
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    Thanks for the replies. Sorry I'm just now responding.

    In answer to some of the questions...I gave the treatment algorithm to the vet at the last visit and Dr. Pearce has been consulting with a neuro as well regarding Shiloh. We have increased her gabapentin as well as pain meds. Dr. Pearce is very knowledgable about SM, she certainly has exceeded our expectations since we switched vets. Dr. Pearce is also aware that financially we are not able to afford the more expensive options. Lyrica is quite a bit more expensive than the Gabapentin, so this is the reason we have stayed with it. She also does not believe that Shiloh is a good candidate for surgery. Although she is only 2, her case seems to be very severe and I will not put my dog through brain surgery. I have to trust that my vet knows best regarding the surgery. She said that even if we did have all the money in the world, she and the neuro would not recommend putting her through it.

    Maybe there is a neuro out there who could guarantee Shiloh would have a great life after brain surgery, but I can only do so much. Brain surgery is just not an option for us. I'm staying hopeful that we will see Shiloh's life improve. As of late, we are starting to feel that even if she has relief for a time, this disease will absolutely continue to get worse. We have seen proof of this over the last year. We have seen proof this week. Unfortunately, we may have given her too little too late. Before starting her on the meds, she was already in very bad shape. And she continues to get worse even after being medicated. The only time she is even a little bit more comfortable is when she is sedated. I just don't think it's fair to keep a dog drugged all the time when it doesn't even relieve her pain. If she was doing great, I'd give her as many pills as it took! Believe me! But she's in misery and I don't know how long I can watch her get worse and worse. The misery seems to never end. It's HEARTBREAKING.

    She's catching flies now. The other day when I bathed her her leg twitched every time the water gently touched her back. Yesterday morning she growled and snapped at my husband when he tried to gently put on her harness. Her cries are more anguished. She has been digging obsessively on the floor and we now have claw marks on the wood floor and concrete. I could care less about the floor. She scoots her bum on the pavement on walks and cries when it rubs her raw. I honestly feel like if anyone else witnessed her misery every day they would tell me I'm crazy not to give her mercy and put her to sleep. My husband feels we are delaying the inevitable and is having a hard time watching her suffer so much. Who wouldn't!? It's BRUTAL. We just feel helpless. Thanks for all of the support. It means a lot. Xo

  2. #12
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    And also forgot to mention, the air pressure situation is very interesting! I'm not sure what it has done over the last few days, but it seems likely that the air pressure has affected her if it can cause pain in SM dogs. I had no idea so thank you very much for the insight.

    Also, we will definitely do steroids if the increase in gabapentin doesn't help. Thanks so much Everyone here has been so wonderful. Sorry if I seem gloomy today. Our household has been quite stressed the last few days watching Shiloh suffer. I would give anything to take her pain away.

  3. #13
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    My two have never had anywhere near Shiloh's level of pain, so I can only guess at how you feel. So I'm just sending you much love and for you to have the wisdom to do what is right for all of you.

    I think how the air pressure works is that CM makes the cerebral-spinal fluid move sluggishly round the brain and it backs up in the ventricles, pushing them outwards against the brain and the skull and creating pressure. So when the air pressure is very up and down or very high, the skull has pressure inside pushing outwards and the air pressing in from the outside - so it's hardly surprising it hurts, they must get splitting headaches. Human CM sufferers are also affected by air pressure and get bad headaches.



    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  4. #14
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    I cannot imagine what you and Shiloh are going through. To see your dog in such pain, must be beyond agonizing. I pray the vet finds the right meds and can give Shiloh some relief. If Shiloh is such an extreme case that relief is not possible, I wish you strength in making a tough and personal decision.

    Joan

  5. #15
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    Hi everyone
    Shiloh has been on the higher dose of gabapentin now for several days. She is very sedated by it. We think its helping some, but she sort of just has a dazed and confused look in her eyes all the time. Just wondering if this is normal or if it will ease up at all? Her legs are pretty unstable as well, which the vet said may happen as a side effect. Has anyone else experienced that with their dog as a side effect or as a result of SM? Just curious since she just seems unable to stand up sometimes without her legs sliding out from underneath her.

    If anyone could offer insight on this we'd so appreciate it.

    xo

  6. #16
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    Sleepiness is a normal reaction to gabapentin and should wear off in a week or two (humans are warned not to drive or work machinery, but neither apply to dogs!). Wobbly legs are also a common symptom of SM - oddly enough, I find a short walk helps to steady them. It seems to be a balance thing rather than painful, which I suppose is understandable as the CM is pressing against the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls balance. Oliver's had wobbly back legs for several years, but seems to be able to forget about them when trotting round the park. I have bad balance and often can't walk straight, so we make a good pair

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  7. #17
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    Rebel had similar balance problems when he started on Gabapentin. As Kate says, it soon wears off.

    I am so glad that the increased dosage has helped Shiloh to feel better. Nil desperandum (?sp) is the operative phrase when medicating for SM/CM
    Warmest wishes
    Flo & the ByFloSin Cavaliers
    Rebel, Winston Alexander,Little Joe & Holly Poppet
    Birmingham, UK

  8. #18
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    How is Shiloh? If you find that no other combinations work, please do try prednisone. Sammy was in a horrible state at Shiloh's age and I eventually put him on prednisone. It gave him 5 happy years. He is in a sad state again now and the prednisone may have done some damage in the end, but I still would not give back those 5 normal dog years for anything.
    Laura

    & Samwise (7 year old ruby male)

  9. #19
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    I agree with Laura that prednisone can be a miracle drug. That doesn't mean that it has to be used forever - even though for Riley it has been. Short-term it can work wonders. I've even seen it with Oliver who has had severe disc problems and has periods in which the pain is so bad he will not move. Prednisone has gotten him over the hump. With Riley, because she's on it long-term, she takes Denamarin every day to protect her liver. But, maybe Shiloh is adapting to the gabapentin now and this is all a moot point - hopefully?
    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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    With Riley, because she's on it long-term, she takes Denamarin every day to protect her liver
    I've never heard of Denamarin, which I've got to say makes me angry. Sammy has been on prednisone for years and having regular blood tests to check his liver/kidney function, but no one ever mentioned it. However, I will be off to the vet tomorrow to get him on it pronto. His neurological symptoms have improved again today.
    Laura

    & Samwise (7 year old ruby male)

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