Lessons From Lupin Jan Update

Written by Eryn Martyn-Godfrey

Jan 29, 2020

As many of you know my Working Cocker, Professor Lupin certainly keeps me on my toes. I have learnt so much since he joined our family in August 2017 a perfect bundle of 10-week old love, joy, magic and mischief. I said to my husband in the summer of 2017 that I wanted a ‘Challenge’ as our next dog; I don’t think we knew just what type of challenges may come from our new addition. However, I am so happy we ended up with this incredible dog, as he has taught us all so much in the short time he has been with us.

Funnily enough, when we decided on Lupin’s name, it came from a book and play called ‘Dear Lupin’ and Professor Lupin from Harry Potter. With Alfie and Lula Mae already in our family named after film references too, little did we know we would often write notes and comments as Lessons from Lupin just like some of the letters from a father to his son in the play and book.

Our latest Lesson from Lupin is about always trusting your gut, literally. Lupin has had a sensitive stomach since adolescence, and as such, I am meticulous about what he has each day. Due to a recent flare-up of inflammation, under our incredible Vet’s guidance, we were trialling Gabapentin, in addition to the Galliprant, he is on daily. In the hope, the addition of the Neuropathic Pain med would help him settle through this recent episode and work as anti-anxiety too, as much like humans who have chronic pain he was showing signs of being in a ‘protective’ state over a ‘need’ state.

After three days on Gabapentin he had bloody puddles of loose stools. Of course, I discussed this with our vet, but it isn’t a typical or common side effect to Gabapentin, so we waited to see if he would settle. He did a bit, but not significantly, so he went on a blander diet to try and get his stomach back to better health, eventually due to persistent loose stools, we took him off of the Gabapentin slowly. Put him on a Digestive Support diet, and within five days he was a different dog!

It would have been easy to dismiss this as being down to the Gabapentin, but

this is where having an INCREDIBLE vet seriously pays off. As it is so unlikely it was the drug itself causing the upset stomach, Sarah suggested staying on the elimination diet for four weeks, helping him recover, before considering how to trial the meds again, possibly consider trying the liquid form instead. At this point, her face lit up, and she said, maybe it is the capsule, to which I asked ‘Why, what would it be made of?’, Sarah said ‘gelatin’, then my lightbulb lit up, the last time we had seen terrible stools and bloody puddles, was when he had had pork pate, and not a lot of it either!

Trust your gut

So we are now going to transfer the Gabapentin to vegetable-based capsules to try him again in four weeks. I will keep you posted on how he gets on, but the lesson this time from Lupin is there is always a reason for a busy brain; in his case, it was gut pain in addition to the initial flare-up. So while we thought we were helping, sadly we added to the issue. Now we know we can take steps forward again together. Thank DOG for our amazing vet at Alders Veterinary Practice in Guildford, Sarah.

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