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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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My dog started losing balance in her d leg, he is dragging

Customer Question

My dog started losing balance in her hid leg, he is dragging it now. Took the dog to the vet. She said It might be spinal an xray. Showed some compression. Also took blood test for lime which showed a high elevation. She put my dog on a antibiotic, minocycline every 12 hours for four weeks and at te end of the course a c6 should be checked. She also sent him home with a muscle relaxer, methocarbamol every 8 hours, also a anti antiinflamatory,prevovox every 24 hours. She also gave me gabapentin liquid , every 8 hours. Can I use tramadol instead of gabapentin. The vet said after taking the antinflamatory for lyme after 3 days I should see a big improvment in his dragging leg. They dont seem to know if it is a cmpression or the lyme that is causeing him to be affecting his leg
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Jess K replied 1 year ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Jess. I am sorry to hear that Dante is having some issues. It looks like your main question is that you want to know if you can use Tramadol instead of gabapentin? Do you feel the medications aren't helping enough and that is why you want to switch? Is Dante on any other medications besides the previcox, minocycline, methocarbamol and gabapentin?

Expert:  Jess K replied 1 year ago.

Do you know if they did a neurological exam on her leg? If she is standing and you take her foot and flip it so that the top of her foot is resting on the ground and then let go, does she immediately flip her foot back into a normal position or is there a delay?

Expert:  Jess K replied 1 year ago.

Are you still there and having a question?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I waited forever for a response from your service, finally I went to bed, I need to speak with Dr Jess. I paid for the service and did not get a chance to speak with her, due to your services take so long to get to me response....email me please***@******.*** or phone me(###) ###-####
Expert:  Jess K replied 1 year ago.

I am very sorry sir, not sure what happened- your question was posted at 9:34 on the 4th and I responded at 9:38 and 9:45 and never heard anything back from you, until today. Not sure what happened if your responses didn't come through. Unfortunately I am not online right now, so I will opt out to open your question in case someone else can be of help to you faster.

Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Hi there, I'm sorry that we are having trouble catching you online at the same time. I'd be happy to continue talking with you if you could reply with an update when you get the chance. I'll reply as soon as I'm able after hearing your reply.

Your vet is right in saying that if this is lyme disease, you should see dramatic improvement - I usually tell my owners - within 3-5 days. Lyme, however, usually causes limping and swollen joint(s), not dragging of a leg. Dragging usually indicates a neurologic problem like spinal disease or damage to the sciatic nerve. I would be much more suspicious of neurologic disease here than the lyme, but time will tell. If he's continuing to drag that leg and isn't improving with anti-inflammatories and the antibiotic, you might need to pursue some more advanced diagnostics like an MRI with a specialty hospital.

Please reply here to let us know how Dante is doing.

Thanks!

~Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi thanksyou for getting back. My Vet sent him home with a muscle relaxer, methocarbamol every 8 hours, also a anti antiinflamatory,prevovox every 24 hours. She also gave him gabapentin liquid pain killer , every 8 hours. Can I use tramadol instead of gabapentin. He is not taking any other medication.The vet said after taking the antinflamatory for lyme after 3 days I should see a big improvment in his dragging leg. They dont seem to know if it is a compression or the lyme that is causeing him to be affecting his leg
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also he is walking a little better, he had been taking the antbiotic since Monday...Do you think it is helping...from when he started taking the anti from 1 to ten, I would say his walking now is a 4
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the reply - I'm glad to hear that things are looking up. It does seem that you're seeing a little improvement. Typically signs from lyme disease show significant improvement within 3-5 days on antibiotics - it's pretty drastic. So if it's more of a gradual improvement then I'd think that the problem is likely something else. I don't actually see that you've listed an antibiotic - lyme disease is typically treated with doxycycline or amoxicillin. Is he taking one of these? The signs that you were seeing in the first place aren't typical for lyme disease. Usually lyme disease causes one or several obviously swollen and painful joints and a high fever. At this point it's best to continue as your vet directed and recheck as planned. You certainly can use tramadol instead of gabapentin, and often we use them together. Likely, though, your vet had a reason for prescribing the gabapentin instead, so I'd feel more comfortable if you asked your vet why they didn't prescribe tramadol and let them know your desire to switch. Just curious, though - why would you like to change the medication? Gabapentin is going to more effective for a potential neurologic pain as it seems that your vet suspects is going on.

~Dr. Sara

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
His antinflamatory is previcox. 1 x a day. The reason I wanted to know about tremadol, because it is easier to give in food instead of forcing a syringe in his mouth, he's a little guy ( BISHON POO) .Im not likeing the antibiotic minocycline, because its a capsule and any wetness from his mouth makes the capsule stick to the inside of the mouth and it is easier for him not to swallow it, He is spitting it out or it gets stuck in his throat and he starts to gag. I have been opening the capsule and putting it on his food . That is the only way he can take it or he gets rid of it. Im afraid because I have to open it , I am loseing a little bit of it A pill would be easier. Can I change to the antibiotics you are stateing, or is this one ok for lyme
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
oh by the way, The initial visit to emergency, they did take a lyme test , it was sent out and he is experiencing a higher level for lyme, I think it was a c6
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the extra information, that is very helpful. Indeed, if the lyme "Quant C6" test indicates a high titer, then you could be seeing signs of lyme disease. Minocycline is similar to doxycyline and some vets do prescribe it because doxycycline has been very difficult to come by in the past few years. You could ask your veterinarian to write you a script for doxycyline tablets:

http://www.goodrx.com/doxycycline-hyclate?form=tablet&dosage=100mg&quantity=30

It appears that they are available through common "human" pharmacies at a reasonable price.

Also, if you're having difficulty giving the gabapentin as it's formulated, it's likely that a local compounding pharmacy can make these into smaller tablets or chewables. I'm afraid that it wouldn't be appropriate or ethical for me to instruct you to change from the gabapentin or tramadol without examining your pet in person - I hope that you can understand. However, a quick phone call to your vet with your concerns should get you an easy answer.

What other questions can I answer for you?

~Dr. Sara