Syringomyelia Awareness: Charlie the Rescue Boy Part 2

Guest Post Series by Colin and Cathy Moon

Charlie went to see his new neurologist on Tuesday, October 30, 2007. Dr. A. feels Charlie is taking too much Gabapentin – his doses are very high. He says 45 mg is a regular dose and 90 mg is a high dose. Charlie’s dose is 200 mg and sometimes 300 mg, three times a day! Scary, but the poor dog has been having pain episodes in spite of that.

Charlie was also taking Lasix, but I had changed him to Prilosec soon after I brought him home. Both vet and neurologist agree this was a more appropriate medication, since it reduces the body’s production of cerebral spinal fluid. It helps reduce the pressure. I felt terrible changing his medication on my own, but other people who have cavaliers with SM are having good results with it. And Charlie was urinating at night in his sleep when he took Lasix. From now on I’ll be glad for Charlie’s two vets to make the decisions about his medication.

Dr. A. said the decompression surgery has an 80% success rate. Charlie has had severe symptoms for at least 1.5 years, so some of the neurological damage may be permanent. But the surgery will hopefully reduce or alleviate his pain. Colin and I decided we have to do this if it’s still an option for Charlie. We have to give Charlie this chance.

We had decided together that morning not to delay the surgery if Charlie would be a candidate. We would never let any of our beloved dogs get as bad as Charlie is with his pain episodes. He has suffered too much already.

I scheduled the surgery for November 8, 2007. Dr. A. would have performed the surgery on November 1, but we have to clear up Charlie’s skin and ear infections first. Charlie had x-rays taken and bloodwork performed during his appointment. We want to be sure his organs weren’t damaged from the high Gabapentin dosages.

He had an MRI in October 2006 soon after he was placed in the rescue organization. So he won’t need a new MRI before surgery. Dr. A. said he’d like another MRI sometime in the future after the surgery to look for changes in the size of Charlie’s syrinx.

To read Charlies full story please visit his Blog:

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