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Thread: Nellis better!!! but its bittersweet

  1. #1
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    Default Nellis better!!! but its bittersweet

    Nelli has been on neurontin (gabapentin) and tagamet for a little over a week and I can happily say her scratching is about half of what it was.... we areboth sleeping better ...

    I would love to say I feel thrilled by this, but....short of an MRI....I think this confirms SM I'm going to enjoy that we are making her comfortable ...and try not to feel to sad at what her future may hold...and my next post will be about average progression ....darn it! thanks so much for your help everyone!

  2. #2
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    I'm so glad that Nelli is responding to the medication even if it confirms your worst fears. Sadly, there are many dogs here that do very well for years on medication to control SM. Keeping a positive outlook is good. You are doing a wonderful job taking care of Nelli.

    Please post some pictures. I just love her name and would to see how beautiful Nelli is.
    Joyce - Proudly owned & loved by

    BellaMia (Aug. 30, 2012) My Beautiful Ruby Milo (Jan. 20, 2014) My Handsome Tri
    Sydney (
    April 16, 2000~April 4, 2012) Always and Forever In My Heart

  3. #3
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    I can understand your mixed feelings, as both of mine have CM/SM. I don't think there's anything like 'average progression' - both for symptoms and progression it seems to be a very individual disease. My Oliver was diagnosed at 6, but had probably had it for several years before; he's now 12 and isn't really all that much worse, especially since we put him on a different drug two years ago. Aled is 6 now, was diagnosed at 4 and is already on a higher dose of gabapentin than Oliver, but has another chronic disease that really causes him more daily hassle than his CM/SM. On the other hand, there are many on this forum who are struggling to control severe pain in their SM dogs - and sometimes failing. It does seem that the younger the diagnosis, the worse are likely to be the symptoms, but apart from that it's just constant watchfulness and frequent tweaking of medication and dosage to keep them as comfortable as possible. All I would say is that it is important to let them live as normal a life as possible and don't mollycoddle them. Walks are often an opportunity for them to 'switch off' and forget about aches and pains, and all Cavaliers seem to have a capacity for enjoying life to the full however much that life is curtailed by illness. CM/SM is a lottery - unfortunately you don't have the chance to win a million pounds!

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

    PS What dosage of gabapentin is Nelli on? The usual starting point is 100mg twice a day, but in fact most dogs seem to do better on three times a day (and Oliver is more comfortable on 4 times a day) - dogs differ in how long the drug takes to work through the body and it's important to keep the gabapentin level up, so that there is 'blanket coverage' of the pain. Pain level can also be affected by weather and air pressure, so if your vet agrees, you may need to give an extra gabapentin occasionally - and become an expert air-pressure-watcher, like a lot of us!
    Last edited by Kate H; 28th November 2013 at 03:56 PM.

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    thanx 4 the reply...I have read also that younger dogs tend to have worse symptoms and poor Nelli was only 2yo when we noticed her scratching...hopefully she will defy the average she is on 100mg 2x a day...and you can really tell if you miss just one dose!! she would scatch her back under the cofee table or the wooden slats under the bed...and one dose missed....and there she was...rubbing her back like crazy!!! It makes me think the neurtonin is helping more than the tagamet...

  5. #5
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    I cant get my photos to post...most are on my Ipad which isnt the right format....tried down loading to shutterfly and tht didnt work either...**sigh**

  6. #6
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    I am so glad to read too that Nelli is much better now she is on Gabapentin and I can understand that with this it brings a lot of mixed emotions. I can only say that the medication can make a huge difference. In Kookie's case (diagnosed with CM at 9 months) he is having a much better quality of life in his 2nd year than he had in his first. His symptoms were pretty bad and although I have had to increase his medication and I also tweak it at times during episodes it is much better controlled now. As owners we learn so much too and like Kate says we become experts on lows and highs in air pressure and basically it all comes down to giving them the best quality of life possible.
    Catherine & Kookie

  7. #7
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    It does sound to me, from what you say about her reaction to missing a dose of gabapentin, as if Nelli would be better on 100mg three times a day, which is what most dogs have. Something to discuss with your vet?

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

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