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Thread: My 2 yr old Cav is showing signs of Syringomyelia. What should I do?

  1. #11
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    So right about every dog being different. Riley has never had head/neck tenderness, whereas Oz will yelp if anyone touches his neck, ears or front paws. Riley will hide under tables and chairs a lot like Charlie. Oz never does. Riley has terrible vestibular problems related to her SM, but no scratching. Oz was scratching and face rubbing all the time before gabapentin. Gabapentin works for Oz, never worked for Riley - she needs the big guns (prednisone). These are just a few of the different ways SM manifests in different dogs. Riley was diagnosed 6 years ago and despite her problems is still going strong. She'll be 12 in August. I'm hoping I still have a few more years with her, but every day is a day I wasn't sure I'd have when she was diagnosed, so I count myself lucky.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

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  3. #12
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    Hi everyone, words can't express how grateful I am to have this forum as my support. Charlie had his MRI yesterday. The radiologist said he does have the malformation but said there was no evidence of any syrinx(s). He recommended starting Charlie on 100mgs of Gabapentin and Corticosteroid. I told him I just wanted to start with the Gabapentin and then see how he does on that. I'm still going to send the MRI to neurologist in Arizona for a second opinion, and hopefully he can recommend what meds he should be taking.

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  5. #13
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    Just as an FYI, 100 mgs of gabapentin is a very low dose. Most dogs are started out at 100 mgs 3 times/day. Oz started out at 2 times a day and quickly moved to 3 times/day. He's doing well on that for now. Most neurologists will also add something like over the counter Prilosec also to reduce the flow of CSF. One thing you may be dealing with is that the radiologist didn't consider the malformation serious enough by itself to warrant a higher dosage of gabapentin. There are a number of people with dogs on this forum who have CM without syrinxes who are severely affected. So it's god that you're sending the MRI to a neurologist, hopefully with a detailed report of Charlie's symptoms. Hopefully he'll get relief soon.
    Bev
    Oliver (blenheim, born 3/2001), Riley (black & tan, born 8/2002,), Madison (ruby, born 9/2003), and Oz (tri-color, born 7/2007)

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    I'm sorry to hear that Charlie does have the malformation, sadly many dogs who have symptoms from the malformation only can be quite difficult to manage in terms of pain relief. This message is slowly filtering out to the veterinary community...

    It's good that the neurologist is going to review the MRI, they should be able to give you a more thorough report.

    We hope that Gabapentin will help - yes it's usually started 100mg twice daily, but generally dosed at three times daily as the effects only last 6-8 hours. There are many other possible medications so if that does not seem to be helping, do let your vet know.

    Keeping you in our thoughts.
    Nicki and the Cavalier Clan Our photos www.scotlandimagery.com
    Supporting www.rupertsfund.com and www.cavaliermatters.org

  7. #15
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    Hi everyone, I misspoke! Charlie is taking 100mg of Gabapentin 3 times a day. Any advice on administering the meds? It's a capsule. Does anyone break it open to sprinkle it on food? Or am I just better off sticking it in a clump of peanut butter and having him lick it up. This is what I usually do when he has to take a pill but the GABA is slightly bigger.

  8. #16
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    Hi, I've been following Charlie's story and am so sorry you have been going through this. I can't help with SM related issues, but I can help with giving meds. My first cavalier had heart issues and just before he died, I was giving him 11 pills each morning and evening. Peanut butter is good. Also liverwourst, cottage cheese, yogurt, apple sauce, sliced cheese, cream cheese, even left over mashed potatoes! I also would sometimes wrap the pill in a piece of deli meat like turkey or ham and soft white bread. I mixed it up some so he always thought he was getting a special treat. Really, it can be anything he likes.

    Hope this helps. Glad Charlie is getting treated and hope the meds reduce his symptoms and make him comfortable.
    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

  9. #17
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    Hi, so according to Dr. Rusbridge's treatment algorithm, I should start with CSF pressure reducing drugs, not Gabapentin. But I just don't know which of the three drugs to start with, Cimetidine, furosemide, or omeprazole. Please help! So far the radiologist said he has the malformation but no evidence of the syrinx(s). He shows clinical signs such as rubbing his eye, scratching neck and ears, hiding under furniture and he had a dreadful pain episode recently. So he's in discomfort. He's only had two doses of Gabapentin. I mentioned to his vet that I wanted to use Dr. Rusbridge method of treatment and start with the CSF pressure reducing meds before starting GABA but I'm not sure which of the three is best. The vet is leaving it up to me. Any advice??

  10. #18
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    Furosemide is not used so much these days, as its long-term use can affect the heart. Some people feel that cimetidine needs to be given separately from gabapentin, at least 2 hours apart, otherwise it doesn't work so well, which is a pain remembering to give it! Though I personally haven't found this and give them together. If Charlie is in pain and already having gabapentin, add the diuretic, don't stop the gabapentin before you start him on cimetadine or omeprazole. It takes time for the diuretic to be effective and in the meantime Charlie needs a neurological pain suppressant, which is what gabapentin does. Be warned: when starting on a diuretic, he will want to wee a lot, because the fluid that is being removed from his system has to go somewhere! And he will need regular blood tests to check that his kidneys are not being affected - though this is usually only a danger after long-term use.

    My two love their pills wrapped in a sliver of cheap liver pate!

    Kate, Oliver and Aled

  11. #19
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    What's dose do they usually start off using on omeprazole? How often?

  12. #20
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    Also, does anyone think it's a bad idea to stop the GABA, and just start using omeprazole to see if symptoms reduce solely from taking that?

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