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Comparison of gabapentin versus topiramate on clinically affected dogs with Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia
  1. I. N. Plessas, DVM, MVetMed, DipECVN, MRCVS,*2,
  2. H. A. Volk, DVM, PhD, DipECVN, FHEA, MRCVS2,
  3. C. Rusbridge, BVMS, PhD, DipECVN, MRCVS3,
  4. A. E. Vanhaesebrouck, CEAV, DipECVN, MRCVS4 and
  5. N. D. Jeffery, BVSc, PhD, MSc, DipECVS, DipECVN, DSAS, FRCVS5
  1. 2Department of Clinical Science and Services, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms AL9 7TA, UK
  2. 3Department of Neurology, Fitzpatrick Referrals, Halfway Lane, Eashing, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 2QQ, UK; School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, Guildford, Surrey GU2 7XH, UK
  3. 4Department of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Medicine School, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES, UK
  4. 5Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, 2503 Vet Med, 1600 South 16th Street, Ames, Iowa 50011, USA
  1. E-mail for correspondence: johnny.plessas{at}


To date there is no evidence-based data for efficacious treatment of neuropathic pain in dogs with Chiari-like malformation (CM) and syringomyelia (SM). The objective of this prospective cross-over study was to compare the effect of gabapentin versus topiramate, as an add-on treatment to carprofen, on quality of life (QoL) of dogs experiencing signs of neuropathic pain due to CM/SM. A visual analogue scale (VAS) was used to assess the QoL: (1) on day 0; (2) after 1 week of carprofen only; (3) after 2 weeks on carprofen and gabapentin; and (4) after 2 weeks on carprofen and topiramate. No significant difference was observed between VAS after gabapentin or topiramate (P=0.91). However, an improvement in QoL was observed when gabapentin was compared with baseline (P=0.009), but not for topiramate. In conclusion, the addition of gabapentin was more effective in improving QoL than carprofen alone, but the study failed to identify that gabapentin was more efficacious than topiramate. Perhaps the more favourable side effect profile of the former makes it more suitable for the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with CM/SM but further placebo-controlled trials are required to assess the efficacy of these drugs.

  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Neuropathic pain
  • Quality of life

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