View Full Version : air scratching

12th February 2008, 09:13 PM
Well I have had my pup for 3 days now and I have seen him air scratching while walking with his back leg... I thought he hurt himself and Now I just read this website http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/ I am taking him to the vet on friday for his first checkup... should I ask the vet about sm/cm? do all vets check for this already? oh boy now im worried. :confused: I did put a collar on him and was thinking thats why he was itching.. maybe I should remove it

12th February 2008, 09:57 PM
I think if you have had your pup for such a short time you could check him out for things like fleas ? ticks? depending on the environment you got him from of course but then it could be the collar I wouldn't rush to remove it unless he is really uncomfortable or maybe let him wear it in short bursts like an hour on an hour off. I would talk to your vet about your concerns anyway even if just to put your mind at ease. You may find with your vet you end up having to educate them on SM. But there will be plenty of info in the SM forum to help you with that should the situation arise.
Enjoy your little one :)

13th February 2008, 12:06 AM
At his young age, SM symptoms would be very unlikely. It is more likely he is trying to scratch at his collar, or has fleas or earmites or similar. Air scratching is quite distinctive -- different from trying to scratch.

However, because there seems to be such a high incidence of SM in the breed (usually asymptomatic), in general some neurologists feel it is a better idea to walk cavaliers on well-fitting harnesses, not collars, as tugging at a collar could aggravate the situation. Many vets feel small breeds should be on harnesses anyway because of the risk of tracheal damage. Also a harness makes it much easier to scoop up a puppy.

The SM website is one of my sites. I would print out Clare Rusbridge's document and her treatment diagram (you can download it from the site) and leave those with your vet incase s/he is unfamiliar with SM (most vets are not familiar with the incidence in the breed, especially in the US where the breed is less common). Most vets will probably not see an actual case of this but they should at least know about it. :thmbsup: Vets do not check for it because it is a specialist's condition -- a vet can check for any other cause of possible symptoms but would refer to a neurologist if they suspect it might be SM. The only way to diagnose the condition is with an MRI and most vet surgeries do not have one of these.

As with MVD, all cavalier owners should be familiar with what to watch for with this condition. Most cavaliers do not seem to become symptomatic.