View Full Version : yelps, then runs and hides

27th November 2006, 05:48 PM
We just bought a 6 month old Cavalier about a week ago, we noticed that a couple times a day he'll just be laying there by your side, then he all of a sudden will yelp, turns his head and snaps his mouth back by his hind quarters and then runs to the corner and hides for a second. It only lasts for about 5 seconds. He almost acts as if someone's hurt him or something. Any ideas why he's doing this?


molly+charlies mum
27th November 2006, 07:10 PM
molly does something like that she will be lying down then will yelp and bite at her back i did think it might be fleas biteing her so i brought some flea stuff and she also has dry skin so i dont know if she does it when she get a big itch i must say since she has been deflead she hasnt done it does he bite himself or not if not then im not sure why he does it...

27th November 2006, 07:42 PM
could be anything that's causing momentary pain. did he see a vet about it?
did the person you bought him from give you a detailed health history? Did he have any vaccinations recently? it would be good to have a vet check him closely and try to feel around for any sore spots or skin lesions or anal gland abcess. With their longish hair, it can be hard to see what's on their skin. I was told by a vet that if itchy skin is a possible problem, don't bathe but brush every day with a soft bristle brush to distribute the oils in the skin.

Joanne M
27th November 2006, 07:46 PM
Tucker sometimes yelps when he is picked up. As a result, I do not let my little nieces pick him up. Any time Tucker has gotten shots at the Vet I've noticed he is tender for a couple of days. Usually worse the next day. Tucker sometimes cries out in his sleep, like he's having a nightmare. He's 18 months old and has been doing this for as long as I can remember. Good luck with your new puppy. I know you must be enjoying him.

Darby's Mom
27th November 2006, 07:48 PM
Hi Sean,

I wish I had a definitive answer for you, but this could have a number of very different causes. It could be as benign as flea bites, allergies (as Molly+Charley's mum said), dermatitis, vaccine reaction, or an anal gland impaction/abscess, to something as severe as Syringomyelia. When in doubt, please consider taking him in to the vet to rule things out. We can all become a little paranoid with our babies, especially when it comes to SM (as the symptoms are common with several other maladies as well). If you are unfamiliar with Syringomyelia, please check out Karlin's fantastic infosite: www.sm.cavaliertalk.com

Let's hope it is something simple and easily fixed! Cavalier puppies are often hypersensitive over everything! Please keep us updated.

27th November 2006, 08:23 PM
I have done a little research as far as SM, because he also has the flycatching syndrome, we took him to the vet last week to get check out about the flycatching thing, and the vet thinks it's just a compulsive behavior because he can easily be distracted while he's doing it. When he's on my wife's lap he doesn't do the flycatching thing, but when she puts him down on the ground and the kids are near he starts to do it. We didn't ask the vet about the yelping thing because he had only done it once before then.

27th November 2006, 08:34 PM
You need to have a vet check out this new behaviour -- yelping is an indication of pain and discomfort of some sort.

Have a read through this, which explains what to work to eliminate before considering have a neurologist check him out for SM. Flycatchers is sometimes associated with SM (flycatchers is often neurological in origin).


Be sure to print out the information sheet and symptoms sheet as well for your vet -- this condition is common in cavaliers though the vast majority of the time it doesn't seem to bother the dog and the dog is asymptomatic. If the dog begins to be symptomatic, you need to watch carefully for progression and there are a number of things that can be considered for treatment.

Hopefully this is not symptomatic SM but those behaviours could be indicative of it, so just be aware and make sure you know as much as possible. You will likely know more than your vet once you read through my SM website -- few vets know anything at all about this condition and will not be aware that it is being seen in high numbers of cavaliers (30-70% in all samples so far) when groups are MRId for research. That's why it is very helpful to print out the info sheet, tretament sheet, and symptoms sheet for them.

27th November 2006, 08:44 PM
I watched the two video clips you had with dogs with SM, he doesn't act like them at all. I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on it and see if he gets worse. If it seems to continue, I'll get him to the vet.

28th November 2006, 01:10 AM
Those are only some of the symptoms -- in the case of the videos I have been able to get, they mostly describe scratching or walking difficulties. Yelping for no reason is a very common symptom but obviously a bit more difficult to capture (oddly, dogs will yelp for no reason but not when handled, sometimes, with this condition). The yelping and snapping at hindquarters, and the desire to hide (often under beds or somewhere dark) is also well- described by people with affected cavaliers. See:


Yelping is definitely a sign of actual, serious pain (as a point of contrast, my cavalier that has SM -- shown in clip 1 of the videos -- almost never yelps despite living with a certain level of chronic pain), so you really do want to have a vet try to methodically eliminate possible causes for this as there could be many other causes -- disk problems, anal glands that are impacted, etc. Please don't wait and see if other things develop as you have a cavalier that is letting you know something already is painful. Hopefully you will find a more immediate cause and can get that resolved. :thmbsup:

Cathy T
28th November 2006, 01:29 AM
I think I'd be a bit concerned by this behavior. It's definitely not normal. I would get him checked out by a vet and see what's going on. Better to do it sooner rather than later though.

28th November 2006, 02:10 AM
My Bentley started to yelp several months ago one evening, just out of the blue....and I did notice that he had a lot of intestinal noises at the time. I put in a quick call to my vet and was prepared to take him in that night....but as quckly as it came on, it went away, thank God. Not sure what could be happening with your puppy, but I would take him to the vet ASAP and have him checked out by the vet. Yelping means serious pain. Let us know how he is doing, hope he is better!!

Leigh Ann
28th November 2006, 02:15 AM
It could be impacted anal glands. Does that happen that young? When Kallie's have needed expressing she's done that same thing. In general, when she starts yelping, something's wrong. Sometimes she's just got a nail hung up in a tangle in her ear hair, but sometimes it's more serious.

Joanne M
28th November 2006, 02:27 AM
Let us know how he's doing.

Cathy Moon
28th November 2006, 11:25 AM
We just bought a 6 month old Cavalier about a week ago, we noticed that a couple times a day he'll just be laying there by your side, then he all of a sudden will yelp, turns his head and snaps his mouth back by his hind quarters and then runs to the corner and hides for a second. It only lasts for about 5 seconds. He almost acts as if someone's hurt him or something. Any ideas why he's doing this?
He needs to be seen by a vet, as he is obviously in pain. Please do not wait to see if he gets any worse!

28th November 2006, 02:51 PM
This is exactly what Rory did at 4 -6 months. Yelped and whipped around at his backend as if something had bit him. We didn't know what it was. Checked out just about everything. No fleas, no parasites, nothing in the carpets, normal rectal, normal anal glands (although AGs could cause problems like this). At a year he started scratching like the dogs in the videos. At 18 months he was MRI'd and it showed he was severely affected by SM. In retrospect Im sure this behavior was related to the SM and I've heard of several other SM dogs who exhibited the same behavior.

I'd get it checked out. How long ago did you get this dog?

28th November 2006, 03:09 PM
we've had him for about 1 week.

28th November 2006, 05:16 PM
Back in September when I got Jolly at 13 weeks old, he did this. It turned out to be a flea. I found it walking up his head one day and solved the mystery. That little bugger was biting him. Once I put him on flea medication it never happened again.

Joanne M
28th November 2006, 07:39 PM
I agree with everyone. If it's something that serious, and you've only had him a week, though I realize you've probably already fallen in love. Have you contacted the breeder that you got him from? I have no expertise or wisdom to offer, but my heart aches for you all. I hope he's ok, but if he isn't you need to know now. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. In 18months the worst health thing Tucker has had is an bacterial intestinal thing and I have also concluded he's got a sensitive tummy. Very workable condition for him to have.