View Full Version : Does my dog have SM or is it crazy

29th July 2008, 07:19 PM
I am trying to figure out if my dog has a serious illness or if it is just crazy. I have a 2 yr old cavalier that shows the neck scratching, chasing its tail and fly catching about half of the day. The other half of the day it is normal and lays around or plays fetch. It also is a compulsive licker and seems to find things like door knobs or deck post to bark at for no reason.

The neck scratching and chewing has got to the point where the hair on the ears and on the back quarters are very thin.

Some of the signs like the neck scratching are similiar to dogs with SM but our dog shows no signs of pain. He loves to jump and run and you can press around his neck and spine and he does not even flinch.

Does anyone think it is a disease like SM or if he is just nuts. Also if he is nuts is there any way to fix him.

29th July 2008, 09:44 PM
Have you been to your vet and explained all this to them? perhaps a consultation and an examination would be a good place to start. Keep a diary of events to take with you showing the behaviour that happens at home. Keep us posted.


29th July 2008, 10:41 PM
I think you should really get your dog to a vet as soon as you can. I would be very worried at the fact that he has scratched so hard that the hair around his ears has thinned out considerably.
He may not show obvious signs of pain, but something must be causing this type of behaviour.
Good luck and let us know how it goes....

29th July 2008, 11:51 PM
Dogs are not 'crazy' -- they behave in peculiar ways for reasons, whether medical or behavioural. Any dog that is removing its own hair through frantic scratching and chewing on its tail needs to see a vet immediately -- just as you would go to the doctor if you were scratching so hard that you were removing your skin. You are describing a dog in some obvious discomfort and pain, and you need to find the source.

Dogs with SM do not constantly show symptoms, as those of us, including me, with dogs with this terrible condition can confirm. Any time you are seeing possible SM symptoms, the dog needs to see a vet. Tail chasing and fly catching are definitely neurological symptoms and can be associated with SM but also problems in their own right. When they interfere in this way with the dog's normal life, they must be investigated.

I'd print out the downloads I have on www.smcavalier.com for your vet, just so s/he is familiar with SM in case that might be a possibility. But you have a variety of things a vet and perhaps a neurologist needs to investigate so that your dog can live a comfortable and more normal life than it has right now.

If you go read the symptoms and other info at my site, you will see that not all dogs have all symptoms and not all dogs show obvious pain so I am afraid pushing on neck and back is not going to tell you much -- you need a proper vet and perhaps then, a neuro exam to know what is going on (my dog has moderate grade SM and does not flinch if I push on his neck or spine either -- but has serious scratching and needs neurological pain medication for it and has slowly progressing symptoms. The pain didn't show up til later than the scratching but it still is not expressed by pain in neck or back!). Also, you may not be able to see pain that the dog is actually experiencing in other ways. For example scratching is sen by neurologists as definite discomfort and pain because it indicates serious damage to the dorsal horn region of the spine. So pain may present in ways that do not seem obvious. If this dog is not scratching due to SM it certainly has some very serious problem causing scratching that bad, but I would definitely want the dog to be checked for SM if the vet cannot find other explanations.

Cathy Moon
30th July 2008, 01:19 AM
It could be that multiple problems are manifesting themselves in your cavalier all at once. I would be looking for fleas, mange, worms, obsessive behavior, allergies, and ear problems such as mites, yeast or bacterial infections in addition to SM.

Is your dog a male or female? What is his/her name? I would definitely get the soonest vet appointment possible. It sounds like your boy/girl needs help quickly. :flwr: