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We have a five year old, red, female retired racing greyhound who has just been diagnosed with GME. We are bringing her home today because someone had reached out and helped her get the proper diagnoses, to whom we are so grateful. We are new to this and do not know where to begin, even in asking questions. Her name is San Tan Snuggles. She raced 141 races and won many for her owners until she broke her right, rear leg while racing in Palm Springs, Florida.. San Tan Snuggles adopted us September 7, 2014.She has a partner, named Surprise who will be so glad to see her.

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Medications:

1) Prednisone 20 mg tablet (disp # 60, 1 refill): Give 1tablets with food twice a day (every 12

hours) until otherwise directed.

- Next dose due at Bpm tonight

- This medication is a corticosteroid to reduce inflammation and pain, and modulate the immune

system

- Side effects may include GI upset - please call if your pet develops diarrhea or if you notice

blood in the stool

- With long-term use blood will need to be monitored by your regular veterinarian every 4-6 months

- A handout with further information has been provided


2) Cyclosporine (Atopica®, Neoral®, Sandimmune®)

- 1OOmg capsule (# 20 disp, 1 refill): Give 1 capsule on an empty stomach twice a day (every 12

hours)

- 50mg capsule (# 20 disp, 1 refill): Give 1 capsule on an empty stomach twice a day (every 12

hours)

- Next dose due at 6pm tonight

- "Cyclosporine 130mg capsule, #120, 2 refills - 1 capsule on an empty stomach twice a day" has

been called into Pet Health Pharmacy (800-742-0516) . They will contact you in the next 24-48 hours

to arrange delivery.

- Give at least 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals

- Keep refrigerated

- This medication is an immunosuppressant

- Side effects may include gastrointestinal upset

- A handout with further information has been provided


3) Clindamycin (Antirobe®) 300mg capsule (# 28 disp, 0 refills): Give 1 capsule with food twice

daily (every 12 hours) until gone or until otherwise directed

- Next dose due at Bpm tonight

- This medication is an antibiotic

- Side effects may include gastrointestinal upset


4) Doxycycline (Vibramycin®) 1OOmg tablet (# 42 disp, O refills): Give 1 tablets with food twice

daily (every 12 hours) for 14 days or until otherwise directed

- Next dose due at Bpm tonight

- This medication is an antibiotic

- Side effects may include gastrointestinal upset


5) Gabapentin (Neurontin®) 300mg Capsule (# 60 disp, 1 refill): Give 1 capsule by mouth 2-3 times a

day with food (every 8-12 hours) as needed for pain

- Next dose due at Bpm tonight

- This medication is to reduce pain and discomfort

- Sid- You may discontinue this medication once your pet is no longer painful


6) Phenobarbital 64.8mg tablets (# 30 disp, 1 refill): Give 1Yi tablets by mouth twice a day (every

12 hours) until otherwise directed

- Disp written script for Phenobarbital 64.8mg tablets (# 180, 2 refills): 11'2 tabs PO q12h

- Next dose due at Bpm tonight

- This medication is an anti-seizure drug

- Side effects may include sedation, increased appetite and thirst and urination

- Long term use requires blood monitoring approximately every 6 months

- IN THE EVENT OF SEIZURE: Please give an additional dose after each seizure (once able to swallow)

up to 3 times in a 24 hour period. Continue to give maintenance doses when due. If your pet has

more than 3 seizures in a 24 hour period please contact us or seek emergent veterinary care.


7) Famotidine (Pepcid®) 1Omg tablets (# 0 disp, 0 refills): Give 1 tablet by mouth twice a day

(every 12 hours) while giving Prednisone

- Next dose due at Bpm tonight

- This medication is a gastroprotectant

- This medication is available from any pharmacy without prescription as Pepcid AC


e effects may include mild sedation


She is improving and even more so since she has come home
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My beloved Piper was eventually diagnosed with GME. Be sure you take your hound to a neurologist or that your local vet is working closely with a neurologist. You want to get the most current and knowledgeable input for treatment.

 

Sending warm best wishes that your girl responds to the treatments and that her GME will be manageable manageable.

gallery_2398_3082_9958.jpg
Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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can anyone who had a greyhound with this condition, share what they have gone through? She seems to be doing okay, improved, but today, she seems to have a little more pain and is more quiet. Is walking a little better, but still has her unsteady moments. Are there up and downs to this as a normal process of getting better?

Edited by SanTanSnuggles
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today, she seems to have a little more pain and is more quiet.

 

Make sure to give her the gabapentin every eight hours. Greyhounds metabolize gabapentin faster than other breeds and need the more frequent dosing. You can also talk to your neurologist about increasing the dose.

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We had a female(Sara) who was diagnosed with Multifocal GME, she had an MRI and spinal to confirm lesions/inflammation in brain and spine, she was diagnosed in 3/07 and lived another 5 years. She was seen by a Neurologist to diagnose and spent a week in ICU before coming home, she could not walk at onset of disease and within a day of being given Cytarabine injection, she stood up on her own, she came home with many meds, Prednisone, Phenabarbitol, Doxy, Pepcid, and her Cytarabine (Leukemia drug, Immune Suppressant) was injected every other week -4 injections each time given 12 hours apart, she had blood work on every 3rd week but never Gabapentin, no pain meds given. She had a whole year of her drugs, everything but the Doxy which was discontinued after 2 weeks, she was also on Metronidizole(spelling). We treated this aggressively and she honestly lived a full life and after 2 weeks on drugs, she was running the back yard and playing with her toys. This is a rare disease for Greyhounds and there are only a handful of us on GT who have Hounds who lived thru it, sending lots of hope and prayers for San Tan, lots of hugs too, you are on the right track with meds.

 

PS, I met Dr Couto(Greyhound Specialist), the year she was diagnosed and told him what meds she was on, he said that he had been using Cytarabine for 20 years on dogs for treatment and that he had lots of success with it.

med_gallery_14228_2915_582.jpg
Roberta & Michael with Furkids- Flower (Shasta Flowers 6/7/06) & Rascal the kitty - Missing our sweet angels - Max(M's Mad Max) 10/12/02 - 12/3/15, Sara (Sara Raves 6/30/01 - 4/13/12) Queenie & Pandora the kitties - gone but never forgotten

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can anyone who had a greyhound with this condition, share what they have gone through? She seems to be doing okay, improved, but today, she seems to have a little more pain and is more quiet. Is walking a little better, but still has her unsteady moments. Are there up and downs to this as a normal process of getting better?

 

About 8-10 years ago, my friends' greyhound was diagnosed with GME. He was on pred and cyclosporine and some sort of chemo drug at one point. He was diagnosed after he suddenly went blind (brain swelling pressed down on optical nerve). He got his sight back pretty quickly and would do fairly well for stretches of time. Unfortunately, he was on a high dose of pred and would get skin lesions and infections. It also gave him behavioral problems, including aggression. He would go into remission and they would cycle off the drugs, but then the symptoms would return again and they'd have to go back on. They maintained him for a year or so, but the periods of remission became shorter and shorter and they couldn't live with his aggression as they had an infant at the time (it had gotten really bad and he once went after my friend while she had the baby in her arms), so they made the decision to let him go.

 

Now, all this being said, it appears that treatment options have improved a lot (e.g., this dog was never on gabapentin, etc.) since my friends' dog was diagnosed.

 

I see you are in Mt. Airy. If you're not already on board with a neuro, I can highly recommend Bush over at The Life Centre in Leesburg (I don't think they have Maryland offices). Everyone I know who has used them has sung their praises (and I'm a fan of TLC itself for emergency care).

 

Best of luck in managing your pup's condition.


Meredith with Heyokha (HUS Me Teddy) and Crow (Mike Milbury). Missing Turbo (Sendahl Boss), Pancho, JoJo, and "Fat Stacks" Juana, the psycho kitty. Canku wakan kin manipi.

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

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Yes to Dr. Bush.

 

Also, you might look for a Yahoo group for people dealing with GME. I don't know anything about it, but there is a Yahoo group for almost everything there days and your advice does not need to be greyhound specific.

 

Make sure to give her the gabapentin every eight hours. Greyhounds metabolize gabapentin faster than other breeds and need the more frequent dosing. You can also talk to your neurologist about increasing the dose.

So you have some additional information about this? Gabapentin has a short half life and thus is more beneficial when given more often, but I have never heard anything specific about how greyhounds metabolize it. If I recall correctly the half life is about 6 hrs regardless of breed.

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Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I am happy to report that San Tan Snuggles, continues to improve every day. I am amazed that she is walking so good. Her sassy personality has changed, she has become a little more reserved. She actually broke out into a small trot yesterday.

 

When we visited the Neurologist on Thursday,

she got a little stressed out, I think. Because when we got her home, she seemed to have lost her ability to walk for a couple of hours, but in a few more

hours, she was back on her feet, and by Friday, she was back to her getting better self.

 

She has become a night owl.

 

Dr Cuff, is the Neurologist that is treating her in Rockville, MD. He is doing an amazing job. I have shared your comments with Dr. Cuff. It has been very helpful to those involved with Snuggles.

 

Thank you for sharing information about your experiences concerning GME.. Please continue to do so, if you discover more information, have suggetions. I will continue to post her progress. .

 

As I mentioned before, her personality changed a little, did anyone else experience that with their greyhounds? She is lovely to me no matter what. I am glad that she is still attached to me as much as ever. Please share any thing I post, if you know of someone who would be helped or encouraged.

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The life center in Leesburg is part of the Bush Neurology Center in Rockville where we went to see the neurologist, Dr. Cuff. It was reassuring when I followed the link that you were kind enough to send, that they are all part of the same group. Today San Tan Snuggles did great, but this evening she added a really strange roll to her routine as we were getting down for the evening. I was able to distract her by giving her a dog biscuit. She has always been a really different greyhound since the day we got her. I am thinking that is because she is part Galgo.Before her GME Incident, she was really funny with Surprise. She would bump her head and chest into his and than stomp her feet, several times to get him to play with her, snort like a pig and grab her toys and shake them as hard as she could. We all ran for cover.That for now is gone and that is good, as her brain needs some calm. When she tries to lay down now, it is a little more harder than she should. I think she is still fighting for better control of her body. Dr. Cuff agrees about the Gabapentin,, that we should give it to her every 8 hours and not every 12 or discontinue it. She still can not really do a good doggie shake (like shaking off water). Guess that is it for this report.:)

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this evening San Tan Snuggles has another thing going on. Her right front foot has gotten swollen. She does not complain, as most greyhounds seem to never complain, The Neurologist wants to see her if it gets bigger or does not go away in the next 24-48 hours. He said it could be a lot of things, such as a med reaction, cellulitis, bite, injury. etc. She lets me put cool ice on it. Has not changed for hours. I would put in a picture, but have not figured out how to do that yet on grey talk. Still the newbe. Only thing that changed was that she finished her 150 mg soft gel cyoclosporin and is now taking 130 mg of cyclosporin twice a day, from a compounding pharmacy, as the dose was lowered just a little by the Neurologist. Any one know of a place -pharmacy that has a reasonable $ cost for the prescription? The one we were given to use, charged $285.00 (shipping included) for one months Supply. I was told that the cost would be $200.00 for two months worth. but apparently not so?? Anyone, any idea?

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http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/pharmacies.htm

 

This link is to a listing of pharmacies, most compounding, that have proven good at working with dog owners dealing with epilepsy. Check with some of them to see if you can find a better price for cyclosporin. I have learned that prices on meds can vary greatly from one pharmacy to another so it is worthwhile to call many looking for the best price for a costly drug.

gallery_2398_3082_9958.jpg
Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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Great update, how is the foot doing?

med_gallery_14228_2915_582.jpg
Roberta & Michael with Furkids- Flower (Shasta Flowers 6/7/06) & Rascal the kitty - Missing our sweet angels - Max(M's Mad Max) 10/12/02 - 12/3/15, Sara (Sara Raves 6/30/01 - 4/13/12) Queenie & Pandora the kitties - gone but never forgotten

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I'm so sorry Snuggles has encephalitis. My boy Zephyr came down with it about 4.5 years ago. He is doing great. We went with the aggressive treatment that was very similiar to what 3greys2cats' girl Sara used. We had a different type of chemo, but very effective. I think this type of treatment is considered to have the best chance of completely getting rid of the encephalitis with no relapses. I have a blog http://hikinghounds.blogspot.com/where I wrote about a lot of what he went through and his treatment. The posts sart in March of 2011. It was very scary and I was so happy to have the support from greytalk and 3greys2cats. I hope Snuggles continues to improve. Sending lots of good thoughts to you and Snuggles!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update/upbeat for San Tan Snuggles: Had a blood test last week. They decided to increase her Cyclosporine 130mg capsule from two times a day to three times a day. They are reducing her Prednisone 20 mg tablet from 1 !/2 tablets twice a day to 1 1/2 tablets once a day. Her Phenobarbital 64.8mg tablets by mouth twice a day (every 12 hours) until otherwise directed-has not changed. She is off of her antibiotics. Her Gabapentin (Neurontin®) 300mg Capsule Give 1 capsule by mouth 2-3 times a day with food (every 8-12 hours) as needed for pain remains the same. The side effects of the prednisone and the phenobarbital are a little daunting to say the least. They give her excessive hunger and thirst. That in itself is not hard to deal with, but she has to pee a whole lot at night, almost every hour. I do not sleep a lot. I put pee pads down for her, if I do not wake up for her to goout, she will go in the house.. I use the human size washable pads I get on prime, as they are large, hold a lot of pee and are washable. I put hem down near the door on top of a shower curtain every night. I leave the door open every night for a while as it is warm outside and as long as I can force myself to stay awake. But winter is coming and it gets pretty cold here in Maryland. I have cut back on her water at night and that helps a little. The Dr's assistant said it was okay to do that. The Doctor said it is necessary to leave her on those medications for at least six months. I agree with all he has done, as she improves everyday. I was just wondering if there is a better way to deal with the pee? Prior to her medical condition and medications, she was always and I mean always able to hold her pee for 6-8 hours a night and never had an accident in the house. Next week my other greyhound starts oral chemo. So this house is busy. Husband is also going to get a back operation soon (he has a kidney transplant) and adult live in son has CP. I hope that cutting back some on the prednisone will give us some relief. It's just a busy, busy household right now. But I am not complaining as each thing is slowly being resolved. Maybe a little tired. It I only had one sick greyhound at a time, things would hardly skip a beat, but two do make it a loving challenge for sure.

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They do make doggie diapers so you could consider that, but I've always found the washable pads the best. I just keep the dogs in my bedroom with me and line the floor with the pads so the dog can't miss. With Neyla, who was sleeping in bed with me, the pads went on the bed.

gallery_12662_3351_862.jpg

Jen, CPDT-KA with Zuri, lab in a greyhound suit, Violet, formerly known as Faith, Skye, the permanent puppy, Cisco, resident cat, and my baby girl Neyla, forever in my heart

"The great thing about science is that you're free to disagree with it, but you'll be wrong."

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I too have used the "human" incontinence pads--washable from Amazon, with fairly good luck. If you need more absorbancy, maybe try some cheap towels? They'd wash up nicely as well.

 

Piper was on Phenobarbital, though not Pred. He could generally hold through the night but had problems with holding while I was at work. Even if I came home at lunch to let him out, there would often be a puddle. He just couldn't seem to hold urine at all. When he had to go, he had to go RIGHT NOW. I finally ended up putting in a dog door for him, which solved the problem--he didn't have to wait for a human to be available to open the door for him. I really, really did not want a dog door but Piper needed that and it has worked out well.

 

For what it's worth, while the potential side effects of Phenobarbital are alarming, most dogs don't have any problems with it even with long term use. Piper too Pb for 8 of his 10 years and, though I had his liver function checked every 6 months, there was never a problem for him with the Pb.

 

You certainly have your hands full. :grouphug I'm glad that you are seeing improvements for San Tan Snuggles.

gallery_2398_3082_9958.jpg
Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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San Tan Snuggles continues to improve. She has been able to take some very short walks with Surprise. She seems to have a little bit of a fear of leaving the house at first, but once she is out, she is a little better. Each day we try to take her just a little more to build up her stamina. She still has some movement issues. When she goes to lay down, she sorta plops, not smooth like it used to be. She developed a sore on the hock of her right rear leg, where there is a pin from when she broke it racing about 18 months ago. She came to live with us about 4 months after she broke her leg and right after her cast was removed. It was doing really good. We have all but one entrance with ramps to the house, so she does not have to jump or go down or up steps. She only has one step to do, if we leave the house. She did not have trouble with that step at first, but since her sickness, she will drag her rear foot a little when she goes down that step. The Dr gave her cephalexin to help heal the hock and it scabbed up nicely. She finished that prescription. However, she has now developed a few more areas with the same type of irritation. I bathed her with a mild soap and I am treating it with a water based mild wound antiseptic spray I had tried neosporin, but that was not good. It would not heal over with a scab. The antiseptic water spray seems to be working. I hope her irritation is not any reaction to her GME or her medications. I will give her a couple more days to see if it gets better. Otherwise her over all demeanor is very good. Her peeing at night has decreased since the Dr, reduced her prednisone. That makes everyone getting a little rest much better. I thank everyone for their advice and input. It is all very helpful. Thank you for sticking with us through these interesting issues.

Edited by SanTanSnuggles
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Because the treatment for GME is to suppress the immune system, she will have a harder time healing from wounds and be more likely to get infections. I'd recommend following up with your vet sooner rather than later on any wounds that aren't healing, especially if she is no longer on any oral antibiotics right now.

Jennifer &

Willow (Wilma Waggle), Wiki (Wiki Hard Ten), Carter (Let's Get It On),

Ollie (whippet), Gracie (whippet x), & Terra (whippet) + Just Saying + Just Alice

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  • 3 weeks later...

the sore on Snuggles right back hock where she broke it while racing is healing nice as long as I keep a sock over it so she can not lick it. It works nice for us. A great way to use socks no longer having a match. It seems to let enough air around the area and the scab is deep and nice and strong. Because she does not have much hair in that place, we may just keep that area protected. That way when she plops down on the floor or tries to lick it, it is protected and she will not be able to cause it a problem. She can not live her life in a collar or a potty mouth guard. The sore on her hip was hard to keep covered, but I did for many weeks. It is now half the size it was, not weeping and is filling in nicely. I hope it continues to do so. I have been able to leave the bandage off of that now for about three/four days. I do no creams or anything to those areas and they seem to be healing nicely. I pray it continues. No change in her meds for now. Back to the vet next week to get blood levels to make sure her meds are enough. She is improving each day, but is still not herself. I love the improvement for sure.

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