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View Full Version : Weird yelping! Help!



cavimom
13th June 2007, 07:47 PM
Lily lately has been yelping for no reason. She will be lying down quiet as can be and then just jump up with a yelp and run from the spot she was in. I don't think it is fleas. She gets Frontline and it seems to work. She isn't excessively scratching. And when she jumps up she doesn't do anything other than take off to a different spot. Any ideas?

Karlin
13th June 2007, 08:29 PM
The first port of call is your vet, asap -- you need to have her checked and to start eliminating possible causes for this behaviour. Yelping indicates some sort of pain and it sounds like something that surprises her suddenly. There could be many reasons for this and your vet will want to start going through the possibilities.

One condition to be aware of is syringomyelia as there is a very high degree of affectedness within this breed for this condition. Yelping like this is one symptom that os often reported, which is why your vet really needs to start to work with you to check for other possible problems before investigating if this condition is a possible cause.

You will find a huge amount of info on SM at my information site, www.smcavalier.com (many of us on the board, inclding me, have cavaliers with this condition). The symtpoms list may help you determine if you have sen any other potential symtpoms besides yelping. You should download and print out the files with the symptoms list, Dr Clare Rushbridge's introduction to the condition, and her treatment diagram, and take those into your vet as this is a specialist condition most vets will be unaware of. If your girl hopefully checks out OK, then your vet will have this important information on file which may help diagnose another dog. :thmbsup: Any vet treating cavaliers in their practice needs to have this SM info though as dogs can go undiagnosed for years as vets may not consider it as a possibility.

Most dogs will never show any symptoms but for those who do, it is important to seek treatment options as this can be a very painful condition for the dog to live with.

But do start by working to eliminate all other possibilities before trying to find out if SM could be an option.

Hope that helps!

cavimom
13th June 2007, 08:40 PM
I was afraid someone would say something like that. I know I am no vet and so I can't say, but it just doesn't seem serious enough to be something that serious. For instance, she doesn't do this often. She did it once last night and once this morning. Prior to that it has been weeks. I am looking for a new vet as the one I have been going to I just don't trust anymore. I took Lily in in April for vomiting and they did a fecal. While that was off being run, they did an x-ray. Why I asked? To rule things out. Then they came back with the fecal results while her x-ray was being done and she had hookworm. Why and expensive x-ray then? I ended up getting charged about $300 for a simple hookworm diagnosis. And this is common with anything I go in for. So, needless to say, I don't want to take her in until I am sure she is in need of something. Am I making sense? I have another vet I want to go to, but again, the money issue scares me. Lily is worth it, but I am afraid now of unwarranted testing. One bad vet makes me scared of them all! :) I am reading through what you sent me and am going to take it all in then call to take Lily somewhere. I just have to know for sure.

Cathryn
13th June 2007, 09:12 PM
Hi Nicole!!

If you have been following my thread on MRI scanning recently you will be aware that I took 2 girls to be scanned whom were both considered to be unnaffected, asymptomatic of the condition, to my total shock both girls have been diagnosed as having syringomyelia. To look at them you wouldn't even consider it for a moment, yet it is there on the scans!!

Personnally if a dog is suddenly yelping in pain it needs to be checked out, they have a far higher pain threshold than we do for a start so a dog who is yelping is most certainly hurting somewhere, so do get it checked out, it could be SM or there may be a far more simple explanation, but do get it checked and lastly tell the vet you are not a bottomless money pit and to only do the most necessary tests needed and only with your permission!!

Let us know how you go along!!

Caraline
14th June 2007, 03:08 AM
For instance, she doesn't do this often. She did it once last night and once this morning. Prior to that it has been weeks.

This is the key! Though it might not happen often, it is not an isolated incident. I'd certainly be scheduling a vet visit sooner rather than later. Who knows, it might turn out to be something easily fixed, but until you get her to the vet you will never know and it will be eating at you.

I'll keep my fingers crossed that this turns out to be something simple. Let us know how she goes. :xfngr:

cavimom
15th June 2007, 07:10 PM
I am going to make the appt. Better safe than sorry. I do have one question though. If she just yelps once and then that is it, not a continuous cry, would you still consider that serious? It isn't as if she yelps and cries for a few seconds. It is almost a startled pain. Who knows, that could be worse. I am printing off the info now from Karlin and will take it with me. Thanks again!

cavimom
15th June 2007, 07:30 PM
Appointment is made for Monday, 18th at 2:30. I am going to have them talk to me about SM and look at her knee as well. She had a luxating patella and had surgery. Ever since she has trouble getting up onto the couch and such. But only sometimes. Poor little girl is going to be a year old tomorrow and been through so much. :( I will post as to what they say.

Karlin
15th June 2007, 07:51 PM
A sudden yelp that happens occasionally is probably an indication of a sudden flash of pain but not continuous pain. Think how you might get a sudden pain yourself and then it might go away for a while then you'd get it again. If it is something significant enough to make a dog cry out I'd always investigate -- as Cathryn says animals tend to have a much higher pain threshold than people and for them to start showing pain outwardly generally means something hurts or is at least enough to startle and confuse. Good luck and let us know what the vet says -- if they cannot find anything at all, probably they may just want you to record if and when the cries happen and track them to see if they increase or decrease or go away.

SM is really strange and presents in all kinds of ways. The thing is you just want to have someone check to be sure there isn't something more obvious. If it is something like SM you would gradually likely start to see more symptoms. The thing is probably half of all cavaliers would MRI with the potential to be showing pain from SM so I'd only do something that involved if 1) I were breeding, to screen my breeding stock regardless of whether they show symptoms or not and 2) if a pet owner, if my dog were really showing some suspicious signs, and even then, probably only if I were considering the decompression surgery. If symptoms were fairly strong and I didn't want to do the surgery I'd ask to see if I could treat medically on a trial basis. If the dog responds to a neurological painkiller like Neurontin, or to frusemide, you are probably looking at SM-related pain as other types of pain would probably not be affected by these drugs.

I just make the points above to say, don't get overly stressed about it -- have her checked out for other possibilities and make sure your vet is aware of SM just generally as best practice for the vets. :) Then *IF* further symptoms warrant it you can move on to the next step and consider what you want to do. But you are a long way from that right now!

I am an advocate of not being pushed into something potentially costly like an MRI if a person has no intention of considering surgery for their dog and prefers a medical approach. Something like an MRI is the right next step for many, but not for all. Personally, as a cavalier pet owner with one and perhaps two affected dogs, I would now only do an MRI for contributing to research purposes or if I wanted to consider surgery for a dog I suspected of having SM.

cavimom
15th June 2007, 08:02 PM
So, essentially you are saying when I do take her Monday, if the vet is knowledgable of SM then I should not do a MRI, just discuss the possibility of it. As I understand it a lot of vets know nothing of this disease and so I may have to educate while I am very uneducated myself on the matter. :) But, if they suspect SM at all then I should try the drugs vs. MRI to see if SM is a possibility. If I do find that it is a diagnosis, only do the MRI then if I would consider surgery. Is this something to consider if it ever came to that? Ok, by nature I think far ahead, so forgive all the questions when things may be nothing. Regardless, I have all the info printed to take with me Monday.

Karlin
15th June 2007, 08:12 PM
A vet won't perform or likely, immediately recommend an MRI anyway -- the vet would refer you to a vet neurologist who would do an exam and might, on the basis of that, recommend an MRI. A neurologist would be unlikely to accept a dog for screening for something like SM without having had the vet demonstrate that other likely causes have been eliminated, for pain, scratching, anything in the list of odd possible SM-related symptoms. It's like going to your GP with a stomach ache and asking to be sent to a cancer specialist right away! They just won;t do it -- there are so many other likely things to eliminate before sending a person (or animal) to a specialist.

Just make sure your vet is aware of SM as a possibility due to the high incidence in the breed, but what you are checking out is occasional unexplained yelping for no reason and odd behaviour. :thmbsup:

I am just giving my own approach based on personal experience -- I would consider what *I* would choose to do with the information before sending a dog for an MRI. I just think that for anyone really sure they do not want to opt for the surgery, that an MRI isn't really necessary, costs a lot and may just confirm what the neuro already pretty much knows. But on the other hand, if I had a young dog really showing increasingly serious symptoms, I'd know that the surgery is probably the only chance the dog would have for any length of life and I would MRI to consider how bad the dog was and whether surgery was an option. There are a lot of variables and not everyone would take my approach. Also US neuros are far more pro-surgery than their UK counterparts, in my experience. So they may feel that an MRI is important to do. I try to give people a counterbalance to that approach not because either is wrong or right but it is just a different way of viewing the situation.

Bet
16th June 2007, 09:52 AM
Could I just say how much I agree with Karlin in what she says about MRI Scanning .

I do feel though ,that Cavalier Breeders should be responsible and MRI their Breeding Stock ,

Surely this the prime necessity ,in fighting the SM problem in Cavaliers .

If MRI scanning is not being done by Breeders ,what is the future of the Cavalier Breed going to be ?

Bet

pinkpuppy
16th June 2007, 01:20 PM
I am certainly no expert on these matters. Since you did mention you had a fecal exam performed for symptoms of vomiting results were conclusive to hookworm. Might the original veterinarian have done a simple exam instead of a full panel of the fecal. That Lily may also have a parasite in her stomach? Which is not detectable in a simple fecal exam. This is a lesser of a horrible disease such as syringomyelia. Just crossing my fingers for your Lily. I hope I have not offended the experts here. This is just my two cents. :flwr:


I was afraid someone would say something like that. I know I am no vet and so I can't say, but it just doesn't seem serious enough to be something that serious. For instance, she doesn't do this often. She did it once last night and once this morning. Prior to that it has been weeks. I am looking for a new vet as the one I have been going to I just don't trust anymore. I took Lily in in April for vomiting and they did a fecal. While that was off being run, they did an x-ray. Why I asked? To rule things out. Then they came back with the fecal results while her x-ray was being done and she had hookworm. Why and expensive x-ray then? I ended up getting charged about $300 for a simple hookworm diagnosis. And this is common with anything I go in for. So, needless to say, I don't want to take her in until I am sure she is in need of something. Am I making sense? I have another vet I want to go to, but again, the money issue scares me. Lily is worth it, but I am afraid now of unwarranted testing. One bad vet makes me scared of them all! :) I am reading through what you sent me and am going to take it all in then call to take Lily somewhere. I just have to know for sure.

cavimom
19th June 2007, 01:54 AM
I want to thank everyone who responded to my plea for information and for help. Lily and I went to the vet this afternoon and the vet does not think I have anything to worry about. She said that given the fact that the instances were far enough apart and not regular, she does not think SM an issue. She did know a bit about it which was nice. I gave her the info anyhow and she looked at it, but she knew things before looking it over. She said she would never send me for an MRI without more symptoms and Lily has none. She looked her over very well and did not see anything wrong. We examed her skin for rashes or fleas that might have given info to the yelping, but nothing was there. She checked to see if her anal glands were full, but they seemed fine as she has had them done recently. So, we cannot see anything that should keep me concerned. I will however continue to watch for things that are not normal. Isn't that what we all do for our doggies? But for now I am grateful that someone with more knowledge than I said she looks ok. Thanks again everyone!

Caraline
19th June 2007, 02:35 AM
That's good new Nicole and I am sure you are relived. I hope the yelping is now a thing of the past.

Jenn
20th June 2007, 01:35 AM
Good to hear that Lily is okay.

Audrey is a yelper when something is bothering her. When she was a baby she would do exactly what you said - she'd be sleeping and wake up yelping. I had a feeling that she was injured b/c she jumped over the baby gate (she was only about 8 pounds at the time but she's so mischevious she actually jumped over it). I also thought it may be SM and told the vet, but the vet didn't think she had SM and he found that she actually WAS injured - she had injured a section of her spine and when he touched it she yelped. He gave her meds and rest and she got better.

She also yelps sometimes when her anal glands are full - which happens occassionally. Maybe Lily is like Audrey and yelping b/c something is actually bothering her.

cavimom
20th June 2007, 04:16 AM
I have decided to start documenting anything she does that I feel might be suspicious. Then if I see more that might lead me or the vet to think SM I have some info to back it or to go on. I do think it is something bothering her, but I don't see any reason to jump to the most horrible ideas if the vet thinks it is something not to worry about. I don't discredit anything that anyone suggested and will continue to watch for signs of SM and other issues. I do appreciate all the advice!

Caraline
20th June 2007, 06:36 AM
I have decided to start documenting anything she does that I feel might be suspicious.

A diary is a great idea. I've always kept one for my dogs... not a cutesey pie "Fifi loves her new ball" diary, but a deadly earnest one with health issues, strange occurrences, medication doses & treatments etc.

As well as documenting any strange behaviour, also if you can, cast your mind to what was going on prior to the behaviour, what she has eaten, what medications/flea treatments/hertwormings she's had etc. Though these things may well turn out to be unrelated, they can be invaluable if for no other reason but to reassure you that something is not a trigger. Also document when you first noticed the behaviour, how long it lasted & when it stopped.

I currently keep a seizure diary for Scarlett because I went through a stage of thinking that maybe it was something I was feeding her or doing. I was starting to send myself nuts considering all the possibilities. Even though I have not found a pattern in the diary, that in itself has become a comfort to me.

cavimom
22nd June 2007, 04:55 AM
It truly will make me feel better more than anything else. I want to be sure thayt they are as far apart as I conceive them to be. :) I keep thinking they aren't frequent things, but then when it happens I really can't recall when the last "episode" was. I am going to do just that, keep a diary. She hasn't made an noise since I first posted about it. I am hoping it was a passing thing and if it happens again I can pinpoint what it might be. She is such a good, sweet girl I can't imagine her not being here and healthy.