View Full Version : Question about SM and weight

Friday's Mommy
8th February 2007, 07:48 PM
I have a question that I'm concerned about. Friday gained a few pounds when she was put on prednisone earlier this past year. It's been hard to get it off because she has limited walks due to her scratching and pain afterwards. The more excited she gets the more she scratches and yelps. I've tried to be careful with her diet but she has several "treats" throughout the day to dispense her medications.

Does her weight affect the severity of SM symptoms such as her scratching? If salt might, then I would think extra pounds would do the same thing.

8th February 2007, 08:11 PM
I don't know that it would make the scratching worse...but it definitely won't be helping her joints and heart, being overweight puts a big strain on these.

I'd try to cut her food down even more...will Friday eat vegggies? These are good for filling her up so she isn't so hungry. You can also hide meds in frozen green beans...

You can also give a couple of teaspoons of bran {mixed with water, otherwise it goes EVERYWHERE!!} in with the food to fill them up.

Maybe try lots of short walks and any games in the garden that don't get her too excited...

Does Friday wear a harness? We had some months where we couldn't get TedBear into a harness at all, it was trial and error to find one that didn't cause him to scratch - he can't wear a collar at all, and really you want to avoid collars as these cause pressure on the neck.

I hope this helps.

Friday's Mommy
8th February 2007, 08:33 PM
Thanks for all the tips Nicki. Friday does where a harness only. Anything even near her neck and shoulders drives her nuts! The flower costume in the pic was worn for about 2 minutes. I'll try and find another style and see if it helps.

She does like fruits and vegetables and I do mix them with her food. Since being on prednisone it changed how she views food. She now begs horribly! The kids feel sorry for her and give her treats. I'll talk to them and show them your post. I'll keep her medication in healthy treats from now on! She was getting them in little pieces of bread.

We have a fenced yard she can play in but right now most of it has 2 feet of snow in it from the recent blizzards! That will melt....someday... It's so cold she's outside for a very limited amount of time.

8th February 2007, 10:35 PM
How old are the kids? If they're old enough, I'm sure if you explain to them that giving her treats will make her poorly, they will understand...

Perhaps they could help by giving her her meds in veggies, and giving her meals, so they are still involved?

If she's begging at meal times/when they are having snacks etc, maybe you could shut her out the room with a baby gate so she can still see you, or in a crate/cage if you have one?

Goodness 2 ft of snow!! That makes it hard for walkies :( TedBear has been scratching more since we've had a bit of snow and it's been colder...

Sounds like games indoors might have to be the order of the day...and maybe some kind of food dispensing device instead of a bowl for dry kibble - this will keep her occupied and make meal times last longer. Or you can just sprinkle the kibble over the floor, hide it under cushions etc...anything to encourage activity and extend the meal!!

9th February 2007, 07:11 AM
I had a Cavalier with SM on daily pred for about a year, I can honestly say it didn't make a difference to her weight. Tilly was a house/garden girl only for all that time as walking or any excitememnt would set off the scratching/yelping. It was better to keep her calm.

I did however have to adjust her diet...I gave her far less calories as she wasn't burning them away with excercise and I replaced alot of her normal food (then kibble) with fresh fruit/veg and lean meat/fish.

Treats were replaced by a bag of carrots cut into strips and kept in the fridge, a slice of apple, green beans etc.

Tilly had a treat ball that I would put her breakfast inside, she had to push the ball around to get the food out....she loved it, perhaps you could try one of those to make the meal last a little longer for Friday and to provide her with some extra stimulation, your children could do this for her if they wished. :flwr:


9th February 2007, 01:36 PM
These are all great tips. Could I use these ideas as the basis for something for the SM website on tips for feeding and exercising SM cavaliers on prednisone, taken from SM dog owners? I know many would benefit from your experience. :flwr:

9th February 2007, 05:46 PM
Our pleasure Karlin, use what you like. :flwr: