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MEMANTINE, has anybody used this? Anyone noticed behavioural changes?
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London, UK
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12 May 2018 - 1:24 pm
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(I'm still not sure what section this should go in, so please feel free to move if appropriate)

Meg was recently prescribed Memantine (by her rehab vet), as additional pain control for her arthritis etc. I'm noticing really peculiar behavioural changes, and I don't know if it is this that is causing them or not. With Elsie's recent death, there are clearly other possible stress-based causes for a change in behaviour.

Meg has always loved to spend time outside but it seems to be becoming almost an obsession. Today, she has been lying outside ever since we got home (about nine hours ago), despite the fact that it has been raining much of the time. She came in for her dinner, gave me a brief cuddle on the sofa, then asked to go out again. She's still out there now.

She's also taken to waking me up in the night and asking to go outside, then staying out there for hours.

She seems well in herself in terms of eating and drinking, normal peeing and pooping, and in fact had full bloods done only about a month ago. All was normal. She does not seem hot, no signs of a fever etc.

But she does seem to have aged quite suddenly. She is much whiter in the muzzle and just seems like an older dog. She is sleeping more as well.

I think I may take her off the Memantine and see if it makes a difference. Has anyone had experience of this drug? I'd never heard of it before. The rehab vet is not in now until Tuesday. I will call her then, but in the meantime...

Anyone?

Meg (who is currently asleep in the rain), Clare and Angel Pie xxx

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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12 May 2018 - 1:55 pm
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Very interesting Clare. This is one I haven't heard about. You are the first one using it that I know of.

It appears that memantine was originally used to treat human Alzheimer's patients but is now used off label in dogs to treat cognitive disorders like OCD, and also to treat chronic osteoarthritis pain. It's used in the same manner, and sometimes with, amantadine, a common drug that many pain specialists recommend. Here are some papers about memantine:

http://vetmed.i.....n-Dogs.pdf

https://www.vin.com/proceedings/downloads/UCDCMC2008/UCD12-pain_man_canine_med_08.pdf4

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/pharmacology-toxicology-and-pharmaceutical-science/amantadine

Amantadine and memantine can be administered to animals suffering from wind-up, allodynia, and opioid tolerance and may permit a lower dose of opioid administration. Dogs with problem osteoarthritis and decreased responsiveness to NSAID therapy generally benefit from the coadministration of amantadine for 21 days as needed.

Side Effects and Toxicity
Dogs may develop high anxiety, restlessness, and dry mouth as the daily dose approaches 6 mg/kg or if there is impaired renal excretion.

Let us know what the doc says about it, I'm totally curious. 

It's better to hop on three legs than to limp on four.™
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12 May 2018 - 2:02 pm
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Gosh, that's extremely helpful. Thank you! She's only on a low dose, 5mg a day and she weighs 15 kg, so massively lower than the dose they mention there. The fact it can be used to treat behavioural disorders, makes me wonder if it is affecting her behaviour, albeit in an atypical way. I kind of hope so, because then she can just stop taking it, problem solved... She's never had any sort of reaction to any medication before. Even ones that are supposed to dope them out, never doped out the MegaStar, apart from Gabapentin, which did make her sleepy the first day. She's been taking the memantine for two weeks, but the rehab vet did say that it can take about three weeks to have an effect.

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


The Rainbow Bridge

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12 May 2018 - 2:30 pm
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Glad it helps.

Looks like Gabapentin is in a similar drug class, so the dopiness would make sense.

As for the behavior side effects on Meg...well, I know that Wyatt Ray often has weird intolerances to certain drugs that are supposed to mellow out a dog, like Ace Promazine and Tramadol. When he was given those medications he was hopped up and batty, totally the opposite of how they should have affected him. Who knows but maybe this is what's happening with Meg? Just thinking out loud.

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12 May 2018 - 6:18 pm
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Clare,

I haven't heard of this one but to me it sounds like she is having a reaction to it.  It may make her hot internally and the cool ground is helping that feeling.   That is the only thing I can think of. 

Keep us informed and I will put Megastar in my prayers.

xoxoxo

Michelle & Angel Sassy

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12 May 2018 - 7:10 pm
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Hi guys,

I don't know anything about that drug, actually never even heard of it before, but I have seen bunches of times like Rene said where animals have had a total opposite than expected reaction to medications. 

Maybe she's just super sensitive to it and would do well lowering the dosage? If she doesn't I would wean her off totally and see if she's her normal self again. 

I know it must be very distressing for you to have her acting that way, I'm sorry you're both having to go through this and I hope it resolves quickly.

Sending you a big tight hug and love,

Jackie and Huck ❤️

Hugs,

Jackie, David, Mitchell, Andy Oscar, and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry

http://paws120......ipawds.com

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12 May 2018 - 7:47 pm
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Hi Clare,

I don't have any experience with that med, but I would also wonder if it is affecting her since it has been used to regulate cognitive function.

A couple other things came to mind:

Tani was also one of those dogs who didn't always react to meds like she was 'supposed' to.  After dealing with her for so long my vet was never surprised if Tani had a reaction that wasn't in the literature.

Also- as Tani aged she seemed to always be warm, not having a fever warm, like her normal body temp clicked up a few degrees.  I resorted to those cooling gel pads for her even when it wasn't that warm otherwise she would lay awake and pant.  After she was on the pad for awhile the thing absorbed so much heat it felt like a heating pad!  Her higher body temp corresponded with her taking gabapentin.  She was put on gaba for her arthritis and was on it for several years.  I could never find any link between gaba and high body temp, but then it was Tani!  Of course she was on so many meds that it was hard to decipher why she was so warm all the time. 

As far as missing the Pie, I suppose her behavior could be at least in part to that, as you said she is already dealing with added stress.  Maybe a combo of missing Elsie Pie and the meds?  Since it's been three months since Miss Pie bolted for the Bridge and Meg just started this behavior I would really wonder if  the new meds are causing this.

Be sure you ask if you need to taper this med if you decide to take her off. 

It must be quite stressful for you to see her act this way!  I hope you find a solution to get her back to her old Star self.

Karen and the Spirit Pug Girls

Tri-pug Maggie survived a 4.5 year mast cell cancer battle only to be lost to oral melanoma.

1999 to 2010

 

              Maggie's Story                  Amputation and Chemo

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12 May 2018 - 10:51 pm
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Yeah, her bejavior certainly  seems to point more and more to that drug.  As Karen said, dpivle check  to see ofn yo u can stopmit cold turkey.   If so, or if she needs to taper slowly, I'd go on and give her time to have it completely  out of her system and see if this vrings more normalcy.

Okay, one completely  off the wall thought .  Is it  possible there is a critter who has moved into Meg's territory?    Maybe a squirrel nesting in a tree, a Possum, a family of bunnies......maybe a family of OWLS.     Or maybe even a new dog in the area .  Any of those could make her want to stay outside and keep watch.

The other thing is, after all  the winter storms you have endured , is it possible  thar she's  just thoroughly  enjoying being outside.   Although  laying  in the rain would be going a bit too far.  

It  really  does sound like it's  that drug though

Meg, you're are one of a kind!

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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13 May 2018 - 3:31 am
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Goodness Clare that is strange behaviour indeed ...

Could never imagine Meg in the rain voluntarily ...

I know nothing about that drug but my gut (like others) points in the drug direction. 

Wish I had something more constructive to offer but please know I am thinking about you and Meg and hope Meg goes back to normal very, very soon.

Sending you a tornado of hugs and tons of cuddles 💫😘🐮💫✨🌟🌹

Eurydice 77kg/170lb Great Dane limping end of April 2016, amputation (right front leg/osteosarcoma) 4 May 2016 6 courses of carboplatin followed by metronomic therapy, lung mets found 30 Nov 2016. 3 courses of doxorubicin, PET scan 26 Jan 2017 showed more mets so stopped chemo. Holistic route April 2017. Lung X-ray 5 May 2017 showed several tennis ball size mets, started cortisone and diuretics. Miss Cow earned her XXL silver wings 12 June 2017, 13 months and 1 week after amputation and 6 1/2 months after lung mets, she was the goofiest dawg ever and is now happily flying from cloud to cloud woof woofing away :-) 

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31 May 2018 - 12:57 pm
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My husband had to take Memantine for a while after having radiation treatments on his brain. I'd never heard of it before. Hope everything works out okay!

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1 June 2018 - 1:58 am
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Thanks for responding, revsully, and best wishes to your husband. My father had radiation on his brain and my sister is about to. These things are not easy to deal with. I hope your husband is doing well now. 

Your post has also made me realise that I never responded to the posts above. Sorry, everyone. And thanks for your insight and support. 

I took Meg off the memantine under the guidance of the rehab vet (no tapering required) and her behaviour has returned to normal (normal for Meg, that is). 

The rehab vet said that in her experience memantine is a kind of ‘either or’ medication. Either it works like a miracle drug or it does nothing at all (in terms of pain) and can cause behavioural issues. 

Not sure where to go from here, in addition to the metacam. The rehab vet prescribed a low dose of paracetamol but I’m concerned about her liver. Galliprant (another ‘either or’, as i understand it) is STILL not available here. And neither is Adequan (for dogs). 

Pack your bags, Meg. We’re moving to the States. 

❤️

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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1 June 2018 - 10:11 am
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"PACK YOUR BAGS MEG, WE'RE  MOVING TO THE STATES!"   YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY😂🤣😁😎😄😃😀😂😁

Glad that the Meg-a-Star has stopped hanging  out in the rain!  Good for you for figuring  this out .

Clare, we are ALL surrounding your sister with pawsitive and healing energy 💗

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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1 June 2018 - 10:34 am
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Ahhh, thank you for letting us know she's doing well. That's great. Now we know about this medication. And yes, Galliprant is one of those either or from what I understand. The Oaktown pack used it on three of their dogs and only one started acting like a puppy again after they gave it to him. The others, you couldn't even tell they'd taken any.

I'm surprised Adequan isn't available overseas yet. I wonder if there's an equivalent?  What about an over the counter like Cosequin

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1 June 2018 - 10:41 am
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She takes Dasuquin already and we’re happy with that. 

Adequan is available but only licensed for use in horses. I don’t know the reasoning behind this. I guess I could always saddle her up and get her to pretend she’s a pony. 

One similarish thing we do have is Cartrophen, which is injected like Adequan is. According to my rehab vet this works to stimulate the remaining cartilage but in her view it wouldn’t help Meg as her arthritis is too advanced. don’t think you have cartrophen in the US, so hard to get feedback on it. Though I believe it is licensed in Canada. I’d be interested to hear from anyone who’s used it. 

Sally, thanks ❤️

Meg, Mutt, aged around 9, adopted 31/12/2009. Sudden explosive right elbow fracture 06/12 (caused by IOHC), diagnosed with End Stage Arthritis 03/15, Total Elbow Replacement 08/15, problems with healing leading to skin graft & skin flap surgery, Chronic Infection leading to implant breakdown. Became a Tripawd 9th March 2016. 
Lives with Mum, Clare, watched over by Angel Pie and Angel Billie
My life as a MEG-A-STAR 


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