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Chesters Mum
18th October 2008, 09:57 AM
Hi , although I do not post very often I often read the posts for help and info.
I am thinking the worst about Chester my 10 month old regarding SM, last month he stayed for the week with my Mum while we were away on holiday and on our return she asked whether he had been 'flea'd' , he has of course and has no fleas , after that I have I noticed that he does seem to scratch much more than our 9 yr old Springer , he never air scratches nor does he scratch on his lead BUT he does scratch while stood up but always makes contact with his body , he scratches on both sides and will always bite at his back and back legs either before or after scratching.He will scratch quite often throughout the day for maybe for 10 - 15 seconds at a time . When grooming he doesn't seem to have any sore points or be in any pain and is such a happy little boy, never yelps when being picked up or cuddled. Although when sleeping he does tend to move positions alot and move from place to place.
Chester is a fantastic little boy and I would hate to think he is in pain. He has brought such joy to lives since we lost our other Springer 12 months ago. I have discussed this with my husband and I think he thinks I am over reacting BUT I do think he seems to jump to bite himself as if something is itching and cannot get rid of the itch .
We have to take our Springer on Wednesday to the vets for her tablets
(hormone replacement) so I am going to book an appointment along side to discuss my concerns but I would really like to hear your thoughts?

Thanks alot from a worried Mum.

sins
18th October 2008, 10:12 AM
It is a possibility,but also you have to rule out the basic causes of scratching first. Ear mites can cause persistent scratching as can infection and allergies.
A vet visit is an excellent idea,at the very least you can catch up on vaccines, and have a check up for him and see if he has any regular causes to scratch.
Sins

AT
18th October 2008, 10:14 AM
he never air scratches nor does he scratch on his lead BUT he does scratch while stood up but always makes contact with his body , he scratches on both sides and will always bite at his back and back legs either before or after scratching.He will scratch quite often throughout the day for maybe for 10 - 15 seconds at a time . .

It could be his anal glands annoying him . ask the vet to check that first then go from there.

my dog with sm didnt "air scratch" , she scratched her side just behind her ribs.

my papillon does exactly the same as your boy . scratches when stood up & bites her back end , she does have problems with her glands but is still scratching after I did them & flea's seem to find her very tasty but I can't find any of them either, She doesnt scratch on the lead ( though doesnt like the lead)

she has had problems with her back in the past so i'm hoping its something like a slipped disk . i'm going to talk with my vet about it

Chesters Mum
18th October 2008, 11:24 AM
Thank you to you both for your replies, I really hope that it is something less serious that what I am thinking , I have checked his ears and they do not seem inflamed or red , he doesn't really scratch much at his ears more his back and tops of his thighs and always in the same area , maybe it is an allergy , here's hoping.:xfngr:

meljoy
18th October 2008, 11:59 AM
Hi,

I have a 2 year old boy called Leo, he has been scratching a lot lately and so I took him to the vet, She thinks he has ear infections and has put him on drops. We discussed Sm but she said he's showing no other clinical signs. Trouble is that was on wednesday and he's still scratching. He doesnt air scratch and shows no signs of pain at all. He's been de flead so we know its not that. He is now shaking his head a fair bit but that could be the ear drops I suppose. The collar and lead doesnt bother him and he doesnt "bunny hop"
I have a nagging doubt now and am starting to get concerned.
I think I will revisit the vet and see what she thinks.

Hope Chester is ok, here's hoping.
Mel :rah:

Ejay
18th October 2008, 12:05 PM
I don't know if thismay help, but it may be worth a try, i bath my two in Epi-Soothe dog shampoo, it is a hypoalergenic shampoo and if i ever see them scratching a bit more than normal i will give them a bath with this, works a treat on my two. Might be worth a try to eliminate skin prolems?

Sabby
18th October 2008, 12:23 PM
I don't know if thismay help, but it may be worth a try, i bath my two in Epi-Soothe dog shampoo, it is a hypoalergenic shampoo and if i ever see them scratching a bit more than normal i will give them a bath with this, works a treat on my two. Might be worth a try to eliminate skin prolems?


Hi Ejay

Where do you buy the shampoo?

Sabby

Ejay
18th October 2008, 12:35 PM
Hi Sabby,

i got mine from the vet, you can google it and comes up with lots of online shops, its about £10 for 250ml bottle from vets, but i can't recommend it enough.

here is the 'blurb' about it

"Epi-Soothe is a hypoallergenic, gentle, soothing shampoo designed for the maintenance of sensitive skin in dogs and cats. The shampoo has been developed to relieve itching over a sustained period of time and has active ingredients that can retain water and therefore moisturise your pet well after bathing."

Chesters Mum
18th October 2008, 12:55 PM
I don't know if thismay help, but it may be worth a try, i bath my two in Epi-Soothe dog shampoo, it is a hypoalergenic shampoo and if i ever see them scratching a bit more than normal i will give them a bath with this, works a treat on my two. Might be worth a try to eliminate skin prolems?
Ejay, I will ask my vet for this on Wednesday , thank you for the recommendation:thmbsup:

*Pauline*
18th October 2008, 01:07 PM
I don't want to frighten you and I'm really sorry but, your dog is scratching more than mine. If he doesn't have flees then why is he biting his legs? I would ask if your vet knows about Syringomyelia. If this is an issue, it's better treated earlier than later. Dry skin is a reason for scratching so can be ruled out very simply, you probably already know if your dog has dry skin or not.

Margaret C
18th October 2008, 02:58 PM
For a few years now I have received phone calls from cavalier owners who have spent months, sometimes years, trying to find out what is wrong with their pet.
They have done the ear drops, skin scrape, allergy tests or, if the dog was limping or yelping, they will have gone for X-rays.

Sometimes when no cause is found they are told the dog is a 'Drama Queen' and that it is just seeking attention and they should ignore it.

The search for a diagnosis can cost them a great deal of money if the dog is not insured.

There are many different explanations for all these symptoms, and it is common sense to check out the most obvious causes, & have the basic tests first, but there does come a time to grasp the nettle and have the MRI done.

For those that are not insured, and really cannot afford the cost of a MRI at a referral centre, it may be worth looking at the low cost centres shown on Karlin's site http://sm.cavaliertalk.com/

I'm always happy to explain a little more. PM me if anyone wants to talk.

Margaret C

Cathy T
18th October 2008, 05:40 PM
Sometimes when no cause is found they are told the dog is a 'Drama Queen' and that it is just seeking attention and they should ignore it.



If your vet tells you this.....do not accept this as an answer!!! I get so infuriated when I hear a vet/groomer say that a Cavalier is "just a drama queen/king (in Jake's case!!) yelping or acting out for attention". I had a groomer put Jake in an upper cage after grooming him. When I went to pick the dogs up she pulled Jake out of the upper crate by his front legs and he yelped. She said "oh he's just a big baby". I gave her a serious piece of my mind....and never went back!!

I just talked to a woman the other day whose Cavalier screeched for a solid two minutes after a vaccination injection. The vet's response was that the dog's reaction was "over the top". Not so! It now turns out the dog most likely has SM.

If my dog yelps....he/she is yelping for a reason (pain, discomfort, etc) not for attention.

MadPip
18th October 2008, 06:55 PM
If my dog yelps....he/she is yelping for a reason (pain, discomfort, etc) not for attention.


Well said Cathy.

We had a bad time last summer with Maddie when she started scratching. Having researched all the health things in the breed before we'd decided to get one my first panicky thought was SM. :eek: I still worry about it, but the scratching with her is definitely a summer thing (so far) and responds to anti-histamines. I do know, however, that "allergies" is one of the most common mis-diagnoses given to an SM dog, so I watch her like a hawk for any change or escalation in the behaviour.
She also bites at her back legs if her anal glands need emptying.

Sabby
19th October 2008, 05:07 PM
Well said Cathy.

We had a bad time last summer with Maddie when she started scratching. Having researched all the health things in the breed before we'd decided to get one my first panicky thought was SM. :eek: I still worry about it, but the scratching with her is definitely a summer thing (so far) and responds to anti-histamines. I do know, however, that "allergies" is one of the most common mis-diagnoses given to an SM dog, so I watch her like a hawk for any change or escalation in the behaviour.
She also bites at her back legs if her anal glands need emptying.

Hi Ejay
Thanks for the advice regarding the shampoo. I am going to my vets tomorrow so I will ask if they sell the shampoo.
MadPip
My Rosie was doing the same. She started scratching last year in June and the vet said it might be a summer allergy and gave her an injection, and she didn’t scratch after that again. (Then I didn’t know much about SM) This summer in June she started again, had the injection and it stopped again but this time it came back late August. He did say that the injection only lasts for about 2 month. By then I changed to another vet and he gave her tablets and they did the trick. Now we are in autumn she doesn’t scratch. She also started biting her back legs and after her anal gland was emptied it completely stopped. I must say after the Documentary and after reading everything on here I watch her like a hawk.
Sabby

brotymo
19th October 2008, 05:44 PM
I hope it is not SM. You could try the suggested remedies with shampoo. I have found mine (both Pixie did and now so does Bandit) get really itchy after baths. That seems to improve after 2 or 3 days, so I guess they need to replenish the oils in the coat near the skin. They bite their legs a LOT for the first day or two after a bath. When I have to go a couple weeks without bathing, they seem to have FAR fewer itches by the second week. It seems the smellier they get, the more comfortable they get. I use a hypoallergenic oatmeal shampoo, and sometimes a medicated shampoo for itchy skin.

annod
19th October 2008, 10:24 PM
It sounds to me too like anal glands, our fella had similar symptoms, biting back legs etc. He also scratched and was generally irratated (sp) Does your cav chase his tail or drag his bum across the floor? :xfngr: this is all it is, it is something you can keep on top off, and adding bran (unsalted) or changing his food may help with it. When you go to vet I would ask though, because sometimes vets only expect to see this in older cavs (like my vet did).

Chesters Mum
24th October 2008, 11:16 AM
Hi,
Well we took Chester to vet on wednesday evening and he said it was anal glands that was giving him the problem, so he has had them emptied , he said they were quite full. He doesn't seem to be scratching as much but I wouldn't say he has stopped completely either.
I am going to change his food and see if this helps even though he doesn't have dry skin etc.
When I asked the vet about SM he seemed to dismiss it straight away and said asked if I had seen the program on the TV about it. This concerns me , I do not think he is the right vet to speak to about SM , I will give it a couple of weeks as he shows no signs of being in any pain what so ever, change his food and if he continues to scratch I will speak to another vet about my concerns.
Thank you all for your help and suggestions and fingers crossed that it is just an anal gland problem.
Alison

Jan Bell
24th October 2008, 12:51 PM
Hope Chester's problem turns out to be just the anal glands. We all worry about SM and it's worth knowing the symptoms, but sometimes it can be something much more mundane causing problems. Fingers crossed.

qwickkertje
24th October 2008, 01:12 PM
I get the impression that there are quite a few vets that don't know about syringomelia or at least don't want to look into it..

The first time I ever heard about it was 1,5 year ago when we took qwick for his knee surgery.. Cause the treating vet wasn't around we saw the neurologist there and he told us about it.. He also said that normally the first signs of SM appear before the dog turns 2.. The signs probably aren't too clear in every case but him telling us that still has me a bit worried and made me very carefully watch our 2 youngest ones..
Especially Qwebble cause she has a lot of ear infections, I already discussed my concerns with our vet and luckily they know about SM cause they also treat a Cavalier with SM but she said with Qwebble it's most likely just allergies.. This was a few months ago.. Since then we changed Qwebble's food and there has been a LOT of improvement.. Since then she's had only 1 ear infection which is great for her.. So now I just have eardrops around and if I see her scratching, I'll treat her for a few days (it doesn't always smell or look dirty) and this normally does the trick..

For Qnotje I'm not so worried cause she had both her parents checked out and even her grandparents were tested before breeding..

Now all we can do is cross our fingers and hope that things turn out..
The least worries I have is about Qwick.. He turns 9 soon and still doesn't show any of the symptons and even his heart is still in top condition, no murmur or anything :rah:

LucyDog
25th October 2008, 12:29 AM
I posted last year about the same thing and I was completely freaked out that Lucy had SM. She would scratch at her ears every morning and every night and it went on for quite a while before the vet was able to diagnose the problem. At first the vet thought it wasn't her ears itching because they didn't have any discharge and the ear canal looked ok. But, a few weeks later the discharge began. Well, the vet had me treat her ears with some ear drops for about a week and honestly she has never scratched at her ears (more than normal) again. It has been quite a while now...at least 7 months. Anyway, I hope that your dog doesn't have SM and that you discover the source of the itching soon.

Aimee