View Full Version : Some advice please

1st August 2008, 01:21 PM
I am at present reading up on SM on the web to gain as much info as possible before ringing my vets.

I'll start at the beginning, our youngest Rio is 8 months old. I have always noticed that when he runs sometimes he will lift his whole back end when running fast as opposed to running on all 4 legs but I have previously raised this with the vets and they have said that can be quite normal. Over the last few months I have noticed that he scratches his neck quite alot and sometimes if you move his legs when grooming his tummy he can yelp (although we are very very gentle), I have also noticed that he rubs his face onto the sofa (I hope you can get a picture, describing as best i can). Sometimes when he is out running in the garden with our other cavalier his back end seems to drrop then he will lay down....again I am told this is normal as he runs around like a loon. Last week he was limping on one of his legs so I took him into the vets who checked all his joints and said they couldn't find anything so they assumed it was a sprain (she did say whilst checking him that she couldn't dislocate his joints but that this can also be normal for small breeds). He has stopped the limping (as he had rest) but I can't get out of my head the little niggle that something just isn't right........although the vets are telling me its all normal.

What are your thoughts?

1st August 2008, 02:55 PM
My little girl Anastasia rubs her face a lot too. On me, the sofa, the floor, ect. but she has a lot of strange quarky behavior. she's just really weird sometimes, but in a goofy way. I would keep an eye on it. don't ALWAYS believe everything your vet tells you. Doctors can be wrong, and you know your dog better then anyone.

1st August 2008, 04:23 PM
I agree with you about vets not always being right but unless I have something more concrete I doubt they will do any testing etc

1st August 2008, 05:35 PM
Talk with your vet about SM, and explain your concerns. Can you take some information with you about SM? (there is plenty on this site)

Do you have insurance? if your vet isn't sure whats going on then ask to see a Neurologist and this should be covered on your policy. Talk with a person that knows about the condition and can answer your concerns correctly. Don't waste precious time. If your little dog isn't well, happy or you sense a problem then seek correct and helpful advice, if he is in enough pain to yelp then perhaps he could do with some pain relief as well.

Keep a diary for the vet and neurologist of the things that concern you and the things that are happening.

An assumption isn't a diagnosis it's more of a guess and that isn't really enough here. Help your vet to understand about SM then hopefully they will understand your concerns a little more.

Hope this helps,


1st August 2008, 07:26 PM
Yelping when handling a dog normally and gently is probably an indication of pain and some sort of problem -- it isn;t normal for any animal to be that sensitive. Is that something that always happens or only sometimes? I'd try to video it or see if you can duplicate this with the vet. It is hard to understand what running with his back up so I am not sure whether that is significant. Again video it and take it to your vet or a neurologist.

Dogs do not normally behave in quirky ways -- almost always, something is causing the behaviour. If anyone is seeing odd behaviour, you need to go in and talk to your vet. Try to video it if you can.

There are far more options for handling a problem -- and less suffering and discomfort for the dog -- if problems are spotted early rather than later. :thmbsup:

1st August 2008, 08:27 PM
The yelping has only happened since he has "sprained" his leg so i assume it is still sensitive. Other than the things I have mentioned he is perfectly well, always eats his food, no problems with toilet etc or getting worn out its just these little niggles I have when I have come across SM literature, perhaps I am putting 2 and 2 together and getting 10!!

I will keep an eye on him over the weekend and see if it is just me or there is something that needs further investigating (my hubby says he has not noticed any of what I have mentioned!). I have him covered on insurance so I am not worried about the money side of things.

I will keep you all posted;)

1st August 2008, 11:19 PM
I'm a little confused as you said this:

and sometimes if you move his legs when grooming his tummy he can yelp (although we are very very gentle),

which suggests this happens regularly? You hadn't mentioned he had a sprain when he did this so it sounded like it was happening from time to time, in which case yes, that is worth having investigated.

Basically if you are seeing a lot of things you think are odd, then it is worth getting checked. If he scratches a lot more than other dogs, and there's nothing wrong with his ears that a vet can find, and other things are popping up, then I'd discuss your concerns with your vet. Your vet needs to eliminate all possibilities before referring a dog to a neurologist (unless you feel your vet is not seeing things you are seeing -- this is sometimes the case with SM as vets are not really familiar with it or its symptoms).

3rd August 2008, 10:41 AM
Oops sorry for confusing you.

Sometimes "after" his sprain. I hope this has cleared it up:)

Ruth M
9th August 2008, 03:52 PM
Hi - Hope Rio is feeling better today. Our cavi Tilly was about 8 months old when she started to get 'unexplained' bouts of lameness - usually in front legs and our vet repeatedly put it down to 'sprains'. We were finding she limped for a few days then back to normal for a a few weeks, then the limping returned. She also rubbed her face on the floor, repeateldly rubbed her body on the sofa etc etc.
Our MRI revealed SM - the worst news but at least we know what we are up against and can give the right pain relief.
As you are insured I'd opt for an MRI right away. UK insurance companies seem to cover SM no problem - and now she is diagnosed I also have all Tilly's meds paid for under insurance (gabapentin etc).
Hopefully - Rio will be clear, but at such a young age with these symptoms - I'd say the MRI is essential .... and would be insist on a referral ...
Thinking of you
Ruth x