View Full Version : Scratching

1st June 2006, 04:38 PM
Hi guys, Ozzy is fine during the day, but when he wakes up early morning he is a bit scratchy, on the side of his head and mouth, what's the best thing to watch out for?

1st June 2006, 04:49 PM
Hi Claire,
I'm glad you posted this. Twinkle actually woke us this morning with her scratching. She was literally itchy all over. She was only frontlined a couple of weeks ago and she looks fine. Her ears are clean and I can't find anything in her coat so I'm at a loss. I'm going to bathe her tonight and see how she is after that.

1st June 2006, 05:06 PM
I need to Frontline him as he can now use it - was on stronghold before, his ears are clear, but you start to get worried.....

1st June 2006, 05:14 PM
I know what you mean - been reading up on it all day. Hopefully everything will be okay once you frontline him.

1st June 2006, 05:50 PM
The things to check for are ear mites, ear infections, fleas, any skin conditions, and maybe allergies.

Next up in seriousness is PSOM, an ear problem similar to glue ear in children which can cause scratching and discomfort.

Unfortunately you do also need to consider the possibility of syringomelia as scratchiness in the morning and evening or at night would be one manifestation. Also this needs to be considered when no other explanation for scratching can be found by a vet. All indications at this time are that there is a very high incidence of this condition in the breed and that most cavaliers have the skull malformation that can develop into SM (some researchers believe 50% of the breed as a minimum, probably closer to 85%) .

You can find a whole section on PSOM as well as detailed info on SM at www.sm.cavaliertalk.com . It is good to be familiar with what to watch out for as a 'just in case' measure, as symptoms are varied and tend to be progressive. Also just be aware that vets will tend to be dismissive of this option, as they are unfamiliar with the high incidence in cavaliers of what otherwise is an extremely rare condition in dogs, according to neurologists.

Most likely there's something minor going on here but the larger concerns should be kept in mind too. Many old time breeders will talk about how cavaliers were always known for having a 'scratching disease' with no apparent cause, which now is thought to have been early, fairly mild incidences of SM.

2nd June 2006, 06:41 AM
when i first got zack, he was scratching like crazy. the only scratching i had any previous experience with was from fleas so i put Advantage on him. He did not improve. During this period he also had diarrhea and vomiting for a month which immediately cleared up after treatment with worming medication. The scratching cleared up at the same time. There was no sign of worms on fecal exam but worm medication was tried to see if it would help and it did. apparently worms can cause problems even when there are no obvious symptoms of worms.

Perhaps worms is another cause of scratching, maybe an allergic reaction to worms?

Good luck with it. it was pretty stressful to see him scratching all the time, it's no fun.

2nd June 2006, 11:01 AM
Judy, Joanna, Claire,

It might help you to keep a log, some sort of diary as to the scratching episodes.

I'm glad that you are all aware of SM, you will know the other signs to look out for, don't be overly worried at this moment, stay calm OK.

Perhaps a friendly call to your pups breeder? have any of the other siblings shown signs? are you in contact with the owners of the other litter mates? or dogs from those parents/lines, all information helps.

Alison, Wilts, UK.

2nd June 2006, 11:38 AM
Hi Alison....
Will keep a note, Mollie his sister is down the road and she is fine... I will do an email to the breeder as we keep in touch and see if she has anything.... will be taken him the vets within a couple of weeks and will make sure take notes to him for him to have a look.

2nd June 2006, 03:54 PM
That's a good suggestion Alison, contacting the breeder. I'm not in contact with the litter mates' owners and would like to get that contact info from the breeder.

i didn't get Zack from a reputable breeder but it wouldn't hurt to contact them and see what information i can get now from them as to the parents' health so far and contacts for the litter mates.

The scratchng zack was having was really scaring me, about SM. thank goodness it ended so abruptly when the GI symptoms ended, making it seem unlikely to have been caused by SM. It stopped 3 months ago. This doesnt' mean Zack won't get SM but it has removed a reason for my worry that he was having a particularly early onset of it.