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LuckysMommy
28th November 2007, 04:39 PM
I see that a lot of people here seem to use the Puppia harness on their cavs. I've never heard of such a thing and I rarely see dogs with harnesses. They usually just have a collar.

So my question is, why do many of you choose to use a harness? :confused:

Thanks in advance for your answers!

WoodHaven
28th November 2007, 04:46 PM
In one word -- SYRINGOMYELIA (or the possibility of it)

Karlin
28th November 2007, 04:57 PM
As the fluid pockets (syrinxes) in syringomyelia tend to form in the neck area and as there's a high incidence of this condition in the breed, some neurologists feel the tugging and pulling that happens on a collar could possibly actually hasten syrinx formation or worsen existing syrinxes. For dogs that already have some syrinxes, a collar (when on a lead) clearly aggravates most of them -- it will cause them to stop and scratch. Often the scratching on the lead is the first indication that a dog has SM (not all SM dogs scratch, but many do, and it is a very distinctive symptom, especially when it keeps happening on walks while on the lead). Harnesses remove the pressure at the neck.

So some neurologists have suggested that harnesses should be the preferred form of walking and training cavaliers even if you think the dog does not have syringomyelia (the only way to verify this is by MRI -- but see the info in the SM/MVD forum on neurologist Geoff Skerritt's recent talk, where he said that of 195 cavaliers with no symptoms at all that he MRI scanned for breeders on low cost screening programmes in the UK, only 13% were actually free of SM -- 87% had syrinxes. He thinks this is probably pretty much the rate of SM in the breed as these are dogs most breeders presumed were clear! We can only hope this is not actually the rate of incidence but it would suggest it is well over the conservative estimate of 50% offered by researcher Dr Clare Rusbridge).

However a few SM dogs are actually more comfortable in collars than harnesses. I have heard of a few of those. It probably depends on where the syrinx has formed and what areas of the body have become most sensitive.

With my SM dog Leo, he will immediately start to scratch if on a collar and lead.

More info on syringomyelia: www.smcavalier.com

Ciren
28th November 2007, 05:30 PM
so will any old harness do?

WoodHaven
28th November 2007, 05:40 PM
Puppias (and other like brands) are made of a soft material that the dogs can wear for extended periods (if need be). They can even sleep in them.

arasara
28th November 2007, 06:00 PM
Aside from SM, I started using a collar after Kosmo was choking from pulling when he was little. My vet told me that their tracheas are very sensitive and once there are problems there, they stay for life :(

Also, if I have to pick either dogs up with a quick whoosh to my arms it's a lot better to be able to pick them up from underneath rather than their neck. That happened to me when a dog went crazy after Kosmo and I had to pick him up quickly. Thank God for the harness. :flwr:

If I were a dog, though, I think I would rather wear a harness than a collar ;)

anniespeeps
28th November 2007, 06:34 PM
Annie wears a collar most of the time with her ID tag and her rabies tag. We can hear her the tags jingle when she jumps down off the bed in the middle of the night, or when she steals a sock in the other room and tries to shake it to death. :p

We got a Puppia harness for walking because Annie is a puller (especially if she sees a squirrel or bunny). She doesn't seem to pull nearly as much when we use the harness, and when she does it doesn't put pressure on her neck.

Now she gets very excited when she sees her harness, because she knows she's going for a walkie. She jumps up on your lap and puts her head right through for you.

Ciren
29th November 2007, 12:14 AM
is there a web link for the harness's you are recommending please?

thanks
C

Debby with a Y
29th November 2007, 12:27 AM
I ordered this one (http://www.tiabellas.com/boutique/puppia-harness-click-more-colors-p-321.html)over the weekend and it came in the mail today. :)

Moviedust
29th November 2007, 12:59 AM
I ditto the reasons presented here for using a harness. The puppia is a popular one on the site because we assume it is more comfortable with the broad, softer material across the chest. Also, though, it's popular because people like how it looks. There are other types of harnesses that are probably just as good; in fact, some people have disliked the puppia and have had issues with their dogs being able to get out of them. Personally, I've never experienced that problem with any of my three dogs.

As well as the puppia, we have the gentle leader harness that we use for general walks. With this harness, the lead attaches at the front of the chest. My girls will pull when we first head out for a walk (they get excited), and this harness keeps them from pulling as much as they do with the puppia (for which the leash attaches at the top of the shoulder).

Of my three dogs, only one wears a collar all the time. Holly wears a quick-clasp (break-away) collar because she's still learning her manners and sometimes she needs a handle. :o

My other two dogs do not need handles, and I have heard too many stories of dogs being strangled to death by getting caught up by their collars to leave their collars on all day. They have collars that they were when we travel that have their ID info, but all three of my dogs are microchipped. So when we are at home, the well-behaved dogs dont need their collars.

Spencer'sMom
29th November 2007, 06:06 PM
I love the look of Puppia's but have found that Spencer is actually more comfortable in a step-in harness. He has CM with a pretty severe herniation I imagine the tugging on his head and neck that I have to do when putting on the Puppia cause him discomfort. The step-in works just like it sounds and you don't touch the neck at all to put it on.

Debby with a Y
29th November 2007, 08:52 PM
Whitney, do you have a link for that harness by any chance?

Spencer'sMom
29th November 2007, 09:51 PM
Debby, a bunch of "designers" make step-in harnesses. Some of my, umm, I mean Spencer's ;) favorites designers are Up Country (http://www.upcountryinc.com/PRODTEMP.CFM?CFID=44304519&CFTOKEN=82482063&&divid=1&subdivid=28&dn=Dog%20Collection&sdn=Harnesses&do=detail&productid=34), Preston (http://www.thepamperedpup.com/shopping/pl-bee-dog_harness.asp), Trish Hampton (http://trishhampton.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=H&Category_Code=HARNESS) and Bella Bean Couture (http://www.bellabeancouture.com/collection.html).

Debby with a Y
29th November 2007, 10:07 PM
Whitney, thanks!!! I do love the Puppia on Barkley, but sometimes it gets hung up on his collar when I put it on/off. I really like the Bella Bean and there is a retailer right near work!

Karlin
30th November 2007, 12:08 AM
Debby, a bunch of "designers" make step-in harnesses. Some of my, umm, I mean Spencer's favorites designers are Up Country, Preston, Trish Hampton and Bella Bean Couture.

:rotfl:

I like the step in harnesses too -- I use a lot of different harnesses. For walks, the boys both wear Sense-ible no-pull harnesses and Leo (with SM) is comfortable in that. I don't use a mesh Puppia on Leo (with SM) anymore as sometimes he would yelp when it came off over his head, even though it fits pretty loosely over his head. SM dogs can be extremely sensitive on and off around the ears, side of the head, and shoulders. He wears the step in jacket Puppia sometimes though. Also a range of types of step in harnesses.

Cathy Moon
30th November 2007, 01:28 AM
I love the look of Puppia's but have found that Spencer is actually more comfortable in a step-in harness. He has CM with a pretty severe herniation I imagine the tugging on his head and neck that I have to do when putting on the Puppia cause him discomfort. The step-in works just like it sounds and you don't touch the neck at all to put it on.

My Charlie has severe SM, and even after decompression surgery we found that he can only wear an UpCountry step-in harness, which Spencer'sMom sent to Charlie. :) It is very comfortable on him, and he has actually slept while wearing it.

I bought Charlie a Puppia step-in harness, but it hurts him. My other cavs LOVE the Puppia step-in harness so much that I'm planning to buy 2 more very soon.

LuckysMommy
30th November 2007, 02:36 AM
Thank you so much for all the useful information. SM sounds really scary. I hope Lucky doesn't have it, but it sounds like I may have to get a Puppia.

Melissa
1st December 2007, 02:43 AM
I have a gooby freedom harness for my dog Maverick. I really wanted a puppia but I didn't want to order the wrong side and our locale designer doggie store carries the gooby brand in her store. I can't wait to order a puppia for him.