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.