View Full Version : Odd behavior

16th June 2007, 12:50 AM
Hey guys. My Cav, Liesl, is a year and half years old and just today she started acting very oddly. This morning she was hiding behind things in the house and seemed very removed, but then tonight she started acting just the opposite and was running around the house and looking up at the ceiling like she saw something. Sometimes she chases flies or other bugs, but always stops within 5 minutes. She continues to keep looking up at the ceiling and also trying to turn her head behind her to almost see what's back there. She keeps pacing as well as panting. In addition, she has been scratching under her chin for several months now, but I always assumed it was allergies. I just noticed now that she is also shaking her head often (2-3 times per minute). This couldn't possibly be symptoms for SM could it??? Any suggestions as to what I should do?

16th June 2007, 01:31 AM
They could be. But you are talking about several different things -- a possible obessive compulsive behaviour along the lines of flycatching, something bothering head/ears, and possible pain. These could all be signs of SM and would be some typical things that are seen, or they could be separate issues. If a dog is hiding away, this is always a cause for concern -- animals hide away when in pain or uncomfortable or disturbed for some reason, so whatever the possible reason, it would be wise to talk to your vet -- especially when an odd behaviour appears out of nowhere. Just make sure your vet is familiar with SM issues in this breed (you can download a set of three documents to bring in at www.smcavalier.com (http://www.smcavalier.com) ). Also have your vet read about PSOM.

Cavimom has a post in the general health section where I made some points today about things to keep in mind -- http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=18886 -- basically that there are always other issues to start with and the point is not to get overly worried abut SM before other more likely problems are eliminated. :thmbsup:

17th June 2007, 03:32 AM
Liesl seems to be doing better. She still is itching under her chin all the time, but again, that could be allergy related. She doesn't seem as spooked or distant. My husband and I are moving this week so the house is a bit chaotic right now. That could be part of some of her odd behavior. I think it's a good idea though to print off some information about SM for the vet to look at because often they too need to be better educated, as do I. Thanks for the support and encouragement!

Cathy T
17th June 2007, 05:08 AM
I hesitated to post because ours may have been an isolated incident and may have nothing to do with what Liesl is doing..but here goes. A while back Jake just acted really spooked all of a sudden. He was in his crate for the night and started barking. I let him out for potty but he didn't do anything and there didn't seem to be any reason for it. He did not want to go back into his crate which was very unusual. He barked off and on throughout the night but seemed to finally settle down. The next few weeks he had some really odd behavior. He would be laying on the couch and all of a sudden flip his head around like something had bitten him in the butt. Then he would kind of slink around the house like he was afraid of something and throw himself into my arms panting. It would take a good hour for him to calm down. I tried rescue remedy. I checked his crate for anything (bugs, spiders, whatever) and there was nothing. I took him to the vet and she gave him an a-okay for medical health. And then someone told me not to react to him when he did this. When he behaved like this my instinct was to comfort him and I was told that comforting him was encouraging his behavior and probably increasing his reaction. So I stopped. The next time he did it I completely ignored him. It was sooo hard to do, I just wanted to scoop him up and cuddle him. Sure enough he did it maybe two or three more times and then just as suddenly stopped and has never done it again. I have no idea what in the world happened. The main point here is that I took him to be checked to be sure it was nothing physical and once that was ruled out I began to work with a mental behavior.

Not sure if that helps but thought I'd share my experience.

Cathy Moon
18th June 2007, 02:24 AM
We just had another thread about grass seeds - how they can get in the cav's ear and cause infection, pain, and even be fatal. I'd take her to the vet as soon as possible and have her checked over. The head shaking and scratching can be a symptom of this.

18th June 2007, 07:23 PM
I'm taking Liesl to the vet today...mostly regarding the scratching under her chin (and I'll definitely have her check in her ears, as well). It has gotten so bad that at times she'll make herself bleed. Cathy, that's interesting what you were saying about Jake. It sounds very similar to how Liesl was acting, except she has still been very good in her crate at night. But, she was totally turning her head around and looking all around, and at times acting like something was on her butt. She was also running from room to room and panting a lot. Now today she started looking all over again and going for her butt, but I noticed that her hair was in her face (she has crazy hair on top her head!) so I fixed it and that seemed to help. Who knows...I mean, it could be anything to the hair on top her head to something more serious! I'm definitely going to talk to the vet about it all. It's just hard for me to tell what is physical and what is mental with her (especially with the fact that we are moving and she could be experience some issues related to that). I'll let you guys know. Thanks for the support and information though!

19th June 2007, 12:04 AM
Good luck with the vet visit and let us know what s/he says.

19th June 2007, 03:09 AM

I'll be interested in hearing what you find out at the vet's office. Our first cavalier, Gizmo, had very similar behavior to what you described in the first part of your message. He ended up being diagnosed with flycatchers. This was about 9 years ago and he was just a little over one when he started having problems. At the time many people believed that this was a seizure disorder. I think now that opinions are a little more divided as to whether it is a seizure disorder or some form of obsessive disorder.

Many times we didn't see the original "seizure" (the frantic runninig around and acting as if he was trying to catch flies) but we did see the aftermath. What happened after the seizure is that he would hide in corners and act very frightened. He seemed very upset.

He went on potassium bromide after seeing a veterinary neurologist. He was on it for the rest of his life. After starting medicine he had only a few few "breakthrough" seizures.

Hope you get good news.


19th June 2007, 04:08 AM
That must be very worrying for you Anna. I look forward to hearing what the vet has to say :xfngr: