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Guest bernadette

I have a question for those familiar with Gabapentin. As some may remember, I had Vinnie in to see the neurologist at NorthStar Vet Group in NJ and she prescribed Vinnie 600mg of G per day, 300mg in the am, 300mg in the pm (dx cervical compression, myelopathy, maybe stenosis which is causing his rear legs to be wonky at times, weakness during walks, lack of coordination it seems at times).

The 300mg was too big of a hit for him, so we started him on 150mg in the morning and 150 at night. I then started 200 2x per day and as of about five days ago, 200mg every eight hours (three times a day = 600mg per day). He is also on 75mg Novox (Rimadyl) twice per day.

 

My question is, how soon may we begin to see (and Vinnie begin to feel) the effect of the G increase? It almost seems as though the symptoms we have been seeing (panting more than anything). He continues to go betwen eating once per day and twice per day. His right leg, which both the regular vet and neurologist told me bothers him more than the left (separate from the neck issue, which he still has-pain upon extension upward) continues to bother him as he oftentimes will have wet spots on that right hip or along the back of that leg from him licking and biting. That right leg will go out on him from time to time while walking. He hasn't fallen down yet, he will catch himself but it folds under him, I've seen it have trouble coming back under him from a stride, I've seen it cross under him to the other side, almost collapsing. But so far, he catches it and himself every time.

 

Many people have suggested acupuncture which I am anxious to try... unfortunately I was laid off earlier this month and finances are so thin at the moment. But I am so worried about Vinnie being in continued pain and not finding any relief. He is still happy, gets excited when the leash comes out or for treats. Nighttime seems to be the worst but I think that may be because it's just us in the quiet bedroom and all I can hear is him breathing. He is usually awake whenever I wake up, sometimes sitting up, panting. He moves around the room a lot.

 

I downloaded some video I took of him. One is from this morning, 6am... 65 degrees out, windows open. I woke up to his panting while laying down. Another is from a couple of days ago, mid afternoon in the bedroom, panting and his left eye squinting. The third is from a few nights ago, about 2 or 3am. Sitting up, panting heavily. I'm not sure I can get them on here but I will try.

 

I am waiting for the neurologist to call me back.

 

http://s1084.photobu...innieMovie1.mp4

 

http://s1084.photobu...inniemovie2.mp4

 

http://s1084.photobu...innieMovie3.mp4

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Ohio State is super inexpensive compared to our prices in NJ-of course there is the gas prices--BUT, there is one super cutie neurologist at OSU that you could see :colgate and of course Dr Couto is most definetly worth the drive. If you decide to go in the future send me a pm and I can suggest hotels etc.....

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Guest bernadette

Thanks, TB. Should I be able to make the trip in the future, that info may come in handy althought travel is (unfortunately) one of my passions.

 

For now, I am depending on the specialist I am working with and would love to hear of anyone elses experience with Gabapentin.

Regular vet had also mentioneded steroid use possibly in the future, not sure if that something worth exploring now.

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Steroids are a double edge sword--in my experience gh"s are not the best canidates, however, that said sometimes they are a necessary evil.

Gabapentin's dosage can get really high if needed but, I wonder in Vinnies case if another medication should be added---tramadol or amantadine for example.

Have you consulted with OSU yet?? The consults are still free--just you the consult form thats posted on their website.

Edited by tbhounds
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Guest bernadette

Yes, I consulted with OSU early on, but that was REALLY early on- before we discovered the issue was coming from his neck. The regular vet DID also mention Tramadol... I will see what neuro has to say, maybe she will suggest the same. I have mixed feelings about so many meds, but the way it was explained to me, they all affect different receptors. The 12:30am pills are the worst. I feel SO bad waking him up to shove pills down his throat.

When I was having to split the capsules, I tried a few different things (cottage cheese he enjoyed) but the canned cat food with the meds from inside the capsules mixed in and shaped into a little meatball worked best. Maybe I will continue that method at night so it isn't so rough for him...

 

I am worried about the panting. Were you able to view the videos? I've not had to deal with this before and to me, it seems a bit much....

 

Thanks, TB.

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Want to try a natural pill pocket?? Try cooked chicken hearts---they love them, they are cheap and have a naturally made pocket for the pills. My crew loves them--sure is an easy way to pill a dog. Panting is a sign of pain or distress--something of course is not to be ignored (which I know you're not). I would consult with OSU again.

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Guest bernadette

TB- great idea about the hearts!

 

OSU got back to me in what MUST be record time. They said that the vets actions thus far have been appropriate. She said that at 300mg twice a day, he could actually have his dose increased considerably (I did tell them how I'd broken it up into 200mg, 3x per day). His leg is indicative of a neuro deficit, as the vets have said.

Tramadol was also brought up. She said another thought would be stroke/clot episode but to NOT try aspirin without consulting my vet.

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Guest bernadette

Additionally, they had this to say about the 200mg of Gabapentin three times per day vs the 300mg twice a day: The short answer to your question is no, it would probably not be just as effective, based on the science, but, it truly depends on Vinnie and his system.

 

Of course, nothing can be definitely diagnosed without the MRI, which even at OSU is about a couple of thousand she said.

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My completely non-medically educated opinion is that Vinnie has a combo of neurological damage, thus the deficit, and ongoing pain. You can't change the damage that's already been done & you may not be able to prevent further damage from accumulating. However, you can hopefully do something about his pain.

 

[deleted because I misread the original post] I say add the tramadol to the gabapentin & Rimadyl.

 

So out of curiosity which gabapentin dosing protocol did OSU believe would be most effective?

Edited by kudzu
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Guest bernadette

Thank you for your thoughts.

 

Vinnie currently on Novox (Rimadyl) and Gabapentin. OSU did not make a suggestion as to a dose fo the Gabapentin, only that he is on the low end and that some dogs responsd to it (sometimes over a matter of weeks) and some don't as well. She did bring up Tramadol as did my regular vet. I still have not heard from the neurologist, I have to call her again. We need to go in for our follow up anyway.

I was very surprised to hear OSU thoughts on the 200mg three times per day vs 300mg twice a day after reading others accounts here.

 

So, we have Tramadol as a possibiity and the steroids. I need my vet and neuro to see the videos of Vinnie. He is a happy boy but I am afraid that if we can't get this pain under control soon that that may change sooner than it needs to.

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Guest bernadette

Spoke to neuro, she is fine with the 200mg every eight hours. She did say that a lot of dogs wil take a week or two in order to adjust to the initial dose. She also suggested Tramadol and said that steroids are another option- and that the steroid would be the only thing to help his back leg, mechanically. But, she did explain how the steroids are trading problem A for problem B. Vinnie still enjoys his walks, I am not anxious to put him on steroids but I also don't want to pass the point of no return and try them when there is too much damage already done.

She also brought up acupuncture. As soon as I start working again...

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Guest bernadette

First night on Tramadol last night... probably the best nights sleep for him in awhile. I didn't wake up at all to him panting. :)

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Guest bernadette
:) Thank you. I was waking up, I think because that's just what I am used to now, and each time he was passed out cold, no panting, regular slow breathing. I am THRILLED! Neuro said some dogs are sedate at first when introducing Tramadol, but so far, he just seems happier.
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