Thursday, January 12, 2017

Ben Update

A quick update on Ben....

All of the blood tests we have run so far have come back totally normal.  There are a couple that have been sent out to Cornell that we are still waiting for.

The gabapenten (neuronton) experiment has been very interesting.  Ben is getting it twice a day and just got his 5th dose.  Initially, I saw no improvement and was getting really skeptical about continuing with it.  It did seem to make Ben a bit drowsy at first and he laid down for several very long naps.  I don't think this was a bad thing.  Ben has been lying down a lot because of pain, but not really resting well.  The gabapenten seemed to help him rest more comfortably and really sleep.

When I went out last night after work to give him his 4th dose, he was clearly feeling a bit better.  He tried to run away from me and he argued with me about having more nasty drugs shoved down his gullet, which I took as a good sign.  Today, Ben is still moving very slowly and carefully, but he is moving and his appetite has returned to its normal insatiability.

Now that he is moving around a bit more, it is increasingly obvious that this is not foot pain.  He moves like he has arthritis in every joint, which is exactly what I expect he does have.

My take on the gababpenten so far is that it takes at least 24-36 hours to show any real benefit, but does help quite a lot once it kicks in.  This is not a cure for what ails Ben, it is just a pain medication that is helping him feel better.  We are still working on treating the real problem.  However, Ben was getting increasingly depressed and in growing pain.  He was starting to loose his appetite and a donkey who won't eat is at major risk of life-threatening complications so anything that helps him feel better is a good thing.

The gababpenten was recommended to me by Cornell because they were certain that Ben had laminitis and this in one of the drugs they are using to treat that.  It is also used to treat other chronic, neuropathic pain.  This is not a drug you are going to reach for to treat minor problems, but if you are dealing with acute laminitis or some other hard to treat chronic pain, it might be worth doing some research and having a conversation with your vet about it.

The medication for treating Lyme came in this afternoon and I have started Ben on those as well.  I am very much hoping that this works and we see some real improvement soon.

14 comments:

  1. Really good to hear there's some positive signs!

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  2. I'm glad that he's beginning to feel better.

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  3. Wishing you good luck with your treatments for Ben.

    Take care,

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  4. Thanks for the update on Ben and the very good news that the pain medication has made Ben more comfortable so he can rest and eat. I also hope the Lyme medication works and real improvement is seen for Ben.

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  5. I'm glad to know the meds are kicking in and helping Ben feel more comfortable. It's such a hard row to hoe when we can't sort out what our animals are going through I applaud all you are doing for Ben. If anyone can sort it you can Kris. Hang in!!!!

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  6. So hoping this will help. Thank you for the updates! I know I'm not alone in saying that we all worry about him!

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  7. Goody for Ben. Is arthritis in the joints associated with Lyme disease? I saw a black and white documentary decades ago about an episode in the Navy. A shipped docked in Italy, and one of the cook's came back aboard with the flu. He continued to work in the kitchen and many of the young, healthy sailors came down with the flu and CRIPPLING arthritis set in. To the extent they had to be removed from the ship. I never saw any reference to this episode again.

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    1. Yes it is part of Lyme, that is why we decided to treat him for it regardless.

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  8. Praying for your big guy, Kris!

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  9. This is good news! I certainly hope the trend continues!

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  10. Oh boy, sure hope you get a diagnosis so you know what you're dealing with. Poor Ben! Animals suffering in pain are so pitiful...

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  11. Great to hear some positive news about big boy Ben. Hope it continues. And the other meds on their way will help him too. Healing vibes sent your way.

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  12. Gabapenten is amazing stuff. Fingers crossed it continues this way.

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  13. I saw this article in the following link on FB - And I wondered if it had any info on tick borne disease that might be new to you....http://www.mvtimes.com/2016/07/13/visiting-physician-sheds-new-light-lyme-disease/

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