View Full Version : SM related scratching

Love my Cavaliers
25th August 2008, 06:03 PM
For dogs with SM that scratch, is it always on the same side? Or do they scratch both? Oz, my tri male (7-1-07) was MRI'd at 11 months for SM because he had an episode of what I realize now was probably EFS and because I had just learned about SM when my 5 year old black and tan was diagnosed and had subsequent decompression surgery. Oz does scratch more than my others - on both ears. His MRI showed that he has the malformation, but at that point he had no syrinxes. Thanks,

Bev, along with :paw: Oliver (7 year old blen), :paw: Riley (now 6 year old bl & tan), :paw: Madison (4 year old ruby), and :paw:Oz (1 year old tri)

Cathy Moon
25th August 2008, 07:31 PM
Every dog is different. Also, some cavaliers have PSOM in addition to SM.

Two of my cavaliers, India and Geordie scratched at their necks below both ears, and both dogs were diagnosed with bilateral PSOM. After the surgery to correct the PSOM, neither dog scratches at his/her ears.

Also, Geordie was diagnosed with SM and he mostly scratches on his left neck/shoulder area whenever his Gabapentin starts wearing off.

One of my other cavaliers, Charlie, had severe SM and he air scratched on either side when he had pain episodes. His left ear hurt most of the time so he was very protective of it. He was too ill to be accepted into the PSOM study, so we never did determine if he had developed PSOM.

25th August 2008, 08:28 PM
They tend to scratch to the side on which the syrinx is larger. For some dogs that will be on one side but for others it is both. Leo used to just scratch to one side but now it is both -- he has shredded the hair off his ears equally. :( So I have upped his meds. The change probably indicates his syrinx is larger than it was on his original MRI a few years ago.

PSOM would definitely be something to look into I'd think for your dog. If there's an MRI, it should show the ear plugs of PSOM if they are there.

The malformation alone seems to cause symptoms for some dogs too. I know that neurologists generally will try frusemide or similar to see if the scratching stops so maybe that is an option to discuss with your vet or neurologist?

25th August 2008, 09:38 PM
Please update me. What is PSOM and EFM?

Cathy Moon
25th August 2008, 09:46 PM

There is currently a PSOM study for CKCS at Ohio State University.