I have been a member on here since Phoebe was a pup and she is now 6.5 years old. I often pop in for a browse and a read, but I don't post very often.
I have been trying to manage Phoebe's health issues on my own (I guess I've just not felt able to talk to others about it until now)
I really need support and advice from folks on here.
Phoebe is a poorly girl. She has Inflammatory Bowel Disease and was also diagnosed via MRI at ChesterGates with SM in December 2013.
Please forgive me if this is a lengthy post, but I need to describe the full picture.
We are limited with the drugs that Phoebe can have due to her IBD. Oral medication such as Metacam and painkillers/anti inflammatories cannot be tolerated by her stomach and the same goes for antibiotics. Everything gives her bloody diahorrea (sp?) within two days of starting a course. Goodness knows what steroids would do to her insides, I just pray that she never needs them.
At the moment her IBD is reasonably controlled with diet and Zitac. On the advice of her Consultant, she has Hypoallergenic Royal Canin kibble and also the tinned equivalent. And that's it, nothing else. I use a chunk of her tinned RC to squish her tablets into and this works well when administering her meds. To avoid a flare with her IBD, all meds are given with food.
I feel as if I'm walking a tightrope between managing her SM and managing her IBD.
I don't mind this because she's precious to me, but what I'm tired of is constantly having to be her advocate between her Neurologist, her Internal Medicine Consultant and her Vet. I am the only one who understands the nuances of her conditions, not just her symptoms, but how different meds can affect her and even make her violently ill. I am the only person who intimately understands the full picture regarding Pheobe's health. I am sure that many on here can relate to that feeling.
I think I must be feeling a bit lonely and tired about it today
Phoebe has 100mg of Gabapentin 3 x daily with food, plus Zitac 3 x daily.
Recently her SM symptoms have worsened. Face rubbing, scratching around neck area, limp on right front leg are all increasing, and there is the start of a head bob.
I rang her Neuro at ChesterGates for advice (Ulrika) but she is off sick at the moment. I was passed on to Lucca, who suggested either adding Tramadol to her current meds or swapping the Gabapentin for Lyrica. Because of her IBD, I opted for Lyrica so that I can keep the number of meds to the minimum.
I was told to give her 2mg per kilo of Lyrica 3x daily and that we should gradually increase the dose over time.
Well, I'm such a twit, I should know that Pregabalin only comes in capsule form and that the lowest dose is 25mg.
I take this drug for Fibromyalgia and ME!
Based on her weight (9kg) Phoebe needs 18mg of Lyrica 3x daily.
Do I open the capsules and remove approx. 1/3 of the powder? This isn't a problem for me and I know that it won't be forever, eventually she will work her way up to 25mg doses.
Having read as much as possible on here, I have noticed that most dogs on Lyrica only take this drug 2x daily not 3x daily.
Does Lyrica cover them for around 12 hours? If so, I would ask her Neuro about giving her the Lyrica only 2x daily. Obviously as she has to have all meds with food, medicating her less frequently means feeding less frequently and fewer concerns about weight gain....... I would be able to use less of the tinned Hypoallergenic RC (which I believe causes the weight gain) to administer her tablets.
I also need advice on how to make the transition from Gabapentin to Pregabalin please. I can't believe that you just stop one and start the other instantly. I rang her current Consultant to ask these questions and was advised that I would receive a call back.........2 days later and I'm still waiting!
I will of course speak to her Neuro again, but I would appreciate any information based on personal experience from all of you.
I want to make informed decisions on Phoebe's behalf so that I do the very best for her. Naturally anything I do will be with the full agreement of her Consultant.
I'm sorry about this huge outpouring! I didn't realise until now quite how isolated and sad I have been feeling about all of this.
There are other questions I wish to ask, but they can wait. I have included the most important for now within this post.
I need to know that I am doing the very best at all times for my little girl. I hope that some of you with more experience than I regarding SM meds (particularly with Lyrica) will be able to help me.
Phoebe's mum. x